His chief object was to reconcile the Greeks to the rule of Rome, by dilating upon the good qualities of their conquerors. According to him, history is philosophy teaching by examples, and this idea he has carried out from the point of view of the Greek rhetorician. But he has carefully consulted the best authorities, and his work and that of Livy are the only connected and detailed extant accounts of early Roman history.
Dionysius was also the author of several rhetorical treatises, in which he shows that he has thoroughly studied the best Attic models: The Art of Rhetoric (which is rather a collection of essays on the theory of rhetoric), incomplete, and certainly not all his work; The Arrangement of Words (Περὶ συνθέσεως ὀνομάτων Peri suntheseōs onomatōn), treating of the combination of words according to the different styles of oratory; On Imitation (Περὶ μιμήσεως Peri mimēseōs), on the best models in the different kinds of literature and the way in which they are to be imitated—a fragmentary work; Commentaries on the Attic Orators (Περὶ τῶν Ἀττικῶν ῥητόρων, Peri tōn Attikōn rhētorōn), which, however, only deal with Lysias, Isaeus, Isocrates and (by way of supplement) Dinarchus; On the Admirable Style of Demosthenes (Περὶ λεκτικῆς Δημοσθένους δεινότητος Peri lektikēs Dēmosthenous deinotētos); and On the Character of Thucydides (Περὶ Θουκιδίδου χαρακτῆρος, Peri Thoukudidēs charaktēros), a detailed but on the whole an unfair estimate. These two treatises are supplemented by letters to Gn. Pompeius and Ammaeus (two).
He is often cited as Dion. Halic. in print publications.
See also M. Egger, Denys d'Halicarnasse (1902), a very useful treatise. On the sources of Dionysius see O. Bocksch, "De fontibus Dion. Halicarnassensis" in Leipziger Studien, xvii. (1895). Cf. also J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Class. Schol. i. (1906).
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