LEGITIMATE VIOLENCE IN ILLEGITIMATE TIMES: DIO’S THEORIES OF LEGITIMACY

A L Beek

Abstract


Comparing legitimacy in the three different contexts of literary
leisteia, Late Republican civil war actors, and contemporary Severan
emperors reveals Dio to be consistent when discussing legitimate
violence. In all three, Dio presents establishing legitimacy as a
primary factor in attaining power. As the required skills to achieve
power differed from those for ruling, the resulting ruler could be
disastrous. Through employing the ‘noble bandit’ topos, Dio
questions the emperors’ suitability, comparing them to bandits.
Overall, Dio interprets Late Republican history differently from his
sources for Republican history. In his view, future statesmen cannot
rely upon the mos maiorum.


Keywords


Legitimacy; banditry; Cassius Dio; leisteia; mos maiorum

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/64-0-999

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