Cassius Dio Cocceianus was a near relative, perhaps a grandson, of the famous orator, Dio Chrysostom, after whom he took the names Dio and Cocceianus, and like him was a native of Bithynia. His father was Cassius Apronianus, a Roman senator, who served as governor of Cilicia and of Dalmatia. It is now established that the correct order of Dio's names, if we follow the normal Roman usage, is that just given, his praenomen being unknown. The common Greek order, however, was Δίων δ Kάσσιος, and this order has become so thoroughly familiar to English readers that it bids fair to remain the popular usage.
The few details known regarding Dio's life are derived from casual statements occurring in his history. The date of his birth has been variously placed between 155 and 164 A.D., according to the time assumed for his admission to the senate. We learn that he was with his father during the latter's governorship of Cilicia, and that after his father's
- Books LXIX, 1, 3; LXXII, 7, 2; XLIX, 36, 4.
- See Prosopographia Imperii Romani, i. pp. 313 f.
- LXXII, 7, 2.