DION FROM PROUSA

Prousa Bithynia, 40 - 120 A.D.

Dion, politician, rhetor, sophist, and philosopher, named "Prousaeus" (from Prousa) or "Chrysostomos" (formiddable rhetor), lived between 40-120 A.D. He was born in Prousa of Bithynia and came from a respected family, whose members had the right of Roman citizenship. He studied rhetorical art at his home country, and moved to Rome around 70, where he was taught philosophy by the stoic Mousonius Rufus. He was exiled around 85 by the emperor Domitian. At that time he adopted the cynic model of the wanderer beggar-philosopher and visited various cities and areas of the Roman Empire, enriching his knowledge and giving popular philosophical lectures trying to awaken the minds of the people. After the death of Domitian, around 96, he returned to Rome, where he enjoyed the respect of future emperors, Nerba and Trian. Until the end of his life he kept interest in the affairs of his homeland and possibly made tours of philosophical interest. His 80 extant lectures, some of which are brilliant examples of the rhetorical art, involve philosophical and moral matters, matters of mythology and literature, politics and everyday life. Being exceptional examples of the flourishing of greek letters during the period of second-wave sophism, they reveal the fertile combination of the rhetor-politician, the shophist and the Cynic and Stoic philosopher which constitute the personality of Dion.