1902 Encyclopedia > Dionysius of Halicarnassus

Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Greek historian
(c. 60 BC-after 7 BC)

DIONYSIUS, of Halicarnassus, was born about the middle of the first century B.C. His father's name was Alexander. From the introduction to his great work we learn that he went to Italy after the termination of the civil wars, and spent twenty-two years in preparing materials for his history, which is entitled Archaeologia. and embraced the history of Rome from the mythical period to the beginning of the first Punic war. It was divided into twenty books,—of which the first nine remain entire, the tenth and eleventh are nearly complete, and the remaining books only exist in fragments. In the first three books of Appian, and in the Camillus of Plutarch, much of Dionysius has undoubtedly been embodied. As an historian he is minute and painstaking; but his attempts to Grecianize the early history of Rome, that the Greeks might in some measure be reconciled to a foreign yoke, render his accuracy more than suspicious. Dionysius was also the author of a treatise on rhetoric, which, with his criticisms on Thucydides, Lysias, Isocrates, Isseus, Dinarchus, Plato, and Demosthenes, have been preserved. The best editions of his works are those of Hudson and Reiske. The rhetorical works have been edited separately, by Gros and by Westermann.

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