Page:Dio's Roman History, tr. Cary - Volume 1.djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


For our knowledge of the lost portions of Dio's work we have two kinds of sources: (1) Excerpts contained in various Byzantine collections, together with brief quotations made by lexicographers and grammarians; and (2) Epitomes by Zonaras and Xiphilinus, supplemented by occasional citations in other historical writers. The quotations of the first class may be supposed to give, as a rule, the very words of Dio, subject of course to necessary changes in phraseology at the beginning, and sometimes at the end, and to occasional omission elsewhere of portions unessential to the excerptor's purpose. These constitute the Fragments of our author in the strict sense of the term. The Epitomes, on the other hand, while they often repeat entire sentences of Dio verbatim, or nearly so (as may readily be seen by comparing extant portions of the histories with Zonaras or Xiphilinus), must, nevertheless, be regarded as essentially paraphrases. A brief description of these various sources follows:

(1) The Excerpts De Virtutibus et Vitiis (V) are found in a Ms. of the tenth century, the Codex Peirescianus, now in the library of Tours. It was first published in 1634 by Henri de Valois, whence the fragments are sometimes called Excerpta Valesiana, as well as Peiresciana. The collection consists (at present) of quotations from fourteen historians, extending from Herodotus to Malalas. From Dio