Poetics, Art, and Politics in Dio’s Olympian Oration
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Poetics, Art, and Politics in Dio’s Olympian Oration
Annotation
PII
S207987840001634-6-1
DOI
10.18254/S0001634-6-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Boris Nikolsky
Edition
Abstract
At the conclusion of Dio’s Olympian Oration there is a famous comparison of two images of Zeus — a sculptural image created by Phidias and a poetic one produced by Homer. Dio compares their specific traits, contrasting the peaceful and kind Zeus of Phidias with his ever-changing image in Homer that seems at times benevolent yet at other times belligerent and terrible. 1. I am tracing the content of the comparison back to two topoi of Hellenistic rhetoric that asked the question of how Phidias could produce his work when he did not have a model before his eyes. 2. By analyzing the whole of Dio’s speech in comparison with his orations On Kingdom, as well as with the Hellenistic treatises On Kingdom, I aim to demonstrate that it is the Roman power, in particular, the power of Emperor Trajan, which is epitomized by Dio’s Zeus, and that the message of the Olympian Oration was to affirm the peaceful character of his rule notwithstanding his wars against the Daci.
Keywords
Second sophistics, Trajan, Rome, Greece, peace, Homer, Zeus, Phidias
27.12.2016
Publication date
24.04.2017
Number of characters
34076
Number of purchasers
41
Views
4772
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