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  • Author or Editor: Marie-Laure Freyburger-Galland x
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In the framework of an European program that I direct — which is devoted to the enhancement of the humanist heritage of the Upper Rhine region (Southern Germany, Northern Switzerland and Alsace), that is the humanistic editions of the Greek and Roman authors held by the libraries —, a curious work to be found in the University Library of Basel has come to my attention. Indeed, I would like to speak about some aspects of the humanist reception of Virgil and more specifically of his Bucolica, concerning the form as well as the content.

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Abstract

I would like to focus my paper on several words belonging to the sphere of the “Sacred” as translated from Latin into Greek by Cassius Dio. Actually, the Severian historian has to translate, that is, to explain to Greek-speaking or -thinking readers terms like sacer, sacrosanctus (especially for the tribunician power), and augustus (particularly in connection with the name of the first emperor). We shall see that Cassius Dio knows very well the exact meaning of each and every one of these Latin words, but often distances himself from traditional Roman beliefs.

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Abstract

First, we will retrace the life and brilliant career of this Roman senator of Bithynian origins who came from an ancient family of public figures and who had served five or six emperors and been friends with several of them, having been twice appointed to the role of consul.

Then we will consider the nature of his role as Senator coming from an Eastern province and its relationship with Roman power. We will come to see that he represents the perfect example of his theory of the association of provincial élites coming to power, which was developed at length in his work, Roman History, which he produced in Greek for a Greek readership.

Finally, rather paradoxically, we will consider how he sees himself in a largely bi-lingual and bi-cultural empire and how he speaks of his homeland with a view to determining whether his attachment to his ‘little country’ is the stronger and if his numerous sojourns in Rome amount to little more than a ‘golden exile’ for him.

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