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This is one of the pictures on the roll of photographs found in his cabin after his death
|Bert van Stekelenburg|
Professor of Latin and Watcher of Birds
The loss at sea of Bert van Stekelenburg, former Chair of the Department of Latin at Stellenbosch University came as a great shock to the South African Classics community and to his many friends in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, and virtually every other corner of the globe. He fell overboard on 11 March 2003 about four nautical miles off the coast of Chile from the ship with which he was returning to Patagonia from an expedition to watch a particular species of penguin in its own habitat. Colleagues and friends miss Bert for his warmth, his sense of humour, and his consistent self-irony (an ostensible pose of being a 'bombastic Hollander' hid true humility and deep kindness).
Extracts from Redevoeringen bij Cassius Dio
|Bert van Stekelenburg|
1940 - 2003
Author and editor of works on ancient history and literature
Albert Victor (Bert) van Stekelenburg was born on 31 March 1940 in Eindhoven,
Redevoeringen bij Cassius Dio, Delftsche Uijgevers Maatschappy, 1971
Tria Saecula series (Co-authors: Frans Smuts and Suretha Bruwer), Stellenbosch, 1980-1982 (tri-lingual annotated Latin texts for school and university use)
Lexis Latina, Pretoria, 1985 (a basic 1500-word Latin vocabulary, featuring high-frequency word lists suitable for both literary and legal Latin studies)
De Iure (editor), Pretoria 1991 (a set of legal Latin texts for law students)
The present study aims at examining to what extent Cassius Dio Cocceianus, whose Roman history was written at the time of the Severi, when rendering the spoken word in his work, considered himself bound by the facts that had come down to hi. It also investigates how he incorporated them and to what extent he mixed them with contemporary elements and his personal view of people and events. To this end, the majority of the speeches which have survived intact - viz. Those of the 58 B.C. - 14 A.D. period and which are dealt with by Dio in books 38 up to and including 56, have been examined in detail.
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...[G]enerally speaking, Dio did not use the speeches to clarify historical situations but to advance moralising theories; consequently his sources are often not of a historical but of a rhetorical nature. Moreover, if necessary, Dio chose and transformed his material deliberately. For these reasons, his own notions of historical events and persons are more important to his History than the factual information provided by his sources. This should put us on our guard lest we rely on him too much where we mainly depend on Dio, and this is especially so for the years 44 B.C. - 14 A.D. On the other hand, however, Dio"s discussion of the period round about the beginning of our era is interesting, because it offers the views of a senator of the third century, who in spite of the personal disadvantages and dangers that the monarchical system implied for him, does profess his belief in the principate as a form of government which is to be preferred to the republic.
www.StellenboschWriters.com © Rosemarie Breuer