Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2001.11.09

Schmidt on Meckler on Zimmermann.   Response to 2000.03.25



Response by Manfred G. Schmidt, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Berlin

Michael Meckler's short comment on my essay "Politische und persönliche Motivation in Dios Zeitgeschichte" (see his review from 2000.03.25: Geschichtsschreibung und politischer Wandel im 3. Jh.n.Chr., ed. by Martin Zimmermann, Stuttgart 1999) is a clear misunderstanding, due either to negligent reading or to linguistic incompetence: "Schmidt argues that Dio employed the ideals and reality of Severan governance in creating the debate episode. The argument that contemporary concerns affected the representation of history is hardly surprising or original."

But I tried to show quite the opposite in analyzing the political programme of Maecenas in the second part of my contribution (p. 104-117): that there can be no doubt about the historical-descriptive perspective of Maecenas' speech in Dio Book 52 and that there is no contemporary political intention or even political advice implied, as it had been argued by scholars up to now. See my summary p. 115f. concerning the package of political measures proposed by Maecenas: "... die angeblich in ihrer Weitsicht über den historischen Rahmen hinausweisen und so dazu dienen, das ganze System (scil. the principate) zu beschreiben" and "... in seiner Gesamtheit keinen konkreten Bezug zu jenen Positionen erkennen (lassen), die der Senator Dio in seinen Kommentaren zur Zeitgeschichte durchscheinen lässt. Vielmehr widerspricht er sogar in den grossen Leitlinien wie auch im Einzelfalle der konservativen Einstellung des Historikers...".

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