« ZurückWeiter »
Διωκόμεν@», αλλ' ουκ εγκαταλειπομενα:
2 Co R. IV. 9.
Ει γαρ τις οζους οξυτομα πελεκει
-σχυνοι δε οι θαητον ειδο
:-σα διδοι ψαφον περ. αυτας,
PIND. PYTH. IV. 469.
See'st thou, the forest's pride, yon stately Oak? Soon it
may stand, of fruit and foliage bare, It's honours lopp'd by the fell woodman's stroke,
A mangled trunk in the tempestuous air.
Yet, shorne of strength,-yet, spoil'd of gay attire,
The wood e'en then a native worth displays: A formless remnant on the wintry fire,
An Oak still proves it's vigour by the blaze.
P R E F A C E.
From the memorials of Dion, or Dio, CHRYSOSTOM, which have been transmitted to our times by himself, by Photius, Philostratus, or others, and investigated by Fabricius in that immense and inestimable repository of ancient literature, the Bibliotheca Græca, lib. iv. cap. 10. we collect, that our author was the son of one Pasicrates, that his grandfather was honoured with the title and privileges of a: Roman citizen by the reigning emperoúr of his drys that he was born at Prusa in Bithénia; but afterwards, like a man of sense and spirit, who estimates a country by the liberality and benevolence of it's manners and institutions, quitted the place of his nativity, where he rose to political distinctions as a magistrate, rather than submit to the tyrannical government then exercised in that province : imitating Pythagoras, the most illustrious philosopher of antiquity, in this respect; who retired to Italy from the arbitrary domination of Polycrates : a circumstance, which Ovid seems to have thought too striking and important to be left unnoticed in his most beau
tiful and interesting narrative of that extraor-
Vir fuit hic ortu Samius; sed fugerat unâ
Ovid. Metam. xv. 60.
In Samos born, his native Isle he left
Our author Dio was familiarly acquainted
tion of Demosthenes. From the manner in which he mentions the Getæ, Mysians, and Thracians, in several passages of his works, he seems to have penetrated during this pilgrimage to the very extremities of the Roman empire. He was recalled from banishment by Nerva, and was caressed by that emperour, but more particularly by Trajan, who conspicuously displayed his esteem and affection, by admitting our philosopher to accompany him on extraordinary occasions, when he rode in his triumphal chariot through the city. That magnanimous prince, the sovereign of the world, did not think himself disgraced by being seen in the procession of imperial Rome with a man of letters sitting by his side.
Dio's character, as a moral præceptor, an eloquent writer, and a graceful speaker, was in high estimation with his contemporaries and his successors in the same rhetorical department. He acquired the additional name of Cocceianus from his patron Cocceius, and of Chrysostom, or golden mouthed, from the elegance and purity of his compositions: a name, which has occasioned a frequent confusion of our Dio Chrysostom, the heathen philosopher, with John Chrysostom, the Christian preacher, so denominated for the same solid and splendid excellences of his style. In person our author is reasonably
presumed, from various circumstances of praise and censure on these topics in his orations, to have been slender, and of inferiour stature. He was married, brought up children, and lived to a good old-age.
A second volume of translations, certainly not less valuable than the present, from the same author, is deferred, till an experiment have been made on the public taste ; but that volume will immediately follow it's precursor, if demanded by encouragement and approbation.
John James Reiske's edition of the original is the only copy of Dio Chrysostom in my possession. It was published at Leipsic, in 1784, without a Latin version, in two volumes 8vo. after the death of the commentator, by his learned widow, Ernestina Christina Reiske, wish a short preface by herself.
Feb. 15, 1900.