Page:Dio's Roman History, tr. Cary - Volume 1.djvu/13

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write history. Accordingly he compiled an account of the events leading up to the accession of Severus.[1] This work also met with a cordial reception, both on the part of the emperor and of the public, and Dio soon formed the resolve to cover the whole period of Roman history. It has been conjectured that his original intention was to have the work find its fitting climax in the splendour of the new era inaugurated by Severus; if such was the case, his plan must have been changed very promptly. He presently withdrew largely from public affairs for the remainder of Severus' reign, and spent the greater part of his time in retirement at his country-seat in Capua.[2] During these years he gathered his material and wrote a considerable part of the history. In a certain vague passage[3] he seems to imply that he had been consul (suffectus, naturally) under Severus; but this first consulship should probably be dated some years later (circa 222), shortly before his pro-consulship in Africa. Indeed, it seems altogether probable that his retirement from public life was the direct outcome of the changed policy of Severus, which could no longer command his support.

Caracalla, the successor of Severus, took Dio along as a member of his retinue on his Eastern expedition in 216, and the following winter was spent at Nicomedia;[4] but Dio did not accompany the

  1. Later incorporated in his larger work, as he tells us.
  2. LXXVI, 2, 1.
  3. LXXVI, 16, 4.
  4. LXXVII, 17-18; LXXVIII, 8, 4.