The Seventy-Fifty Discourse: on Law
On stylistic grounds this Discourse has been assigned to the sophistic period of Dio’s career. It is an encomium such as is familiar in sophistic literature, and it exhibits both the merits and the defects of that form of composition. Careful attention is paid to matters of detail connected with rhetorical effect, but one misses the note of sincere conviction to be found in many other writings of our author.
The topic chosen for eulogy is νόμος. As is well known, that word covers a wide range, meaning at one time usage sanctified by long tradition, at another divine ordinance, and at another statutory law. Dio treats all three varieties impartially, passing lightly from one to another and back again. The opening phrase, ἔστι δέ, suggests that our Discourse was preceded by an introductory composition no longer extant.