Diodorus Siculus

Diodorus Siculus

Overview
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek
Roman Greece
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium
Agira
Agira is a town and comune in the province of Enna, Sicily . It is located in the mid-valley of the River Salso, 35 km from Enna...

 in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 (now called Agira). With one exception, antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica , is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books, which were divided into three sections. The first six books are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of Egypt , of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia , of North...

. Only Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, in his Chronicon
Chronicon (Jerome)
The Chronicle was a universal chronicle, one of Jerome's earliest attempts in the department of history...

under the "year of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 1968
" (i.e., 49 BC), writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious".
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Quotations

Every seat in the theater was taken when Philip appeared wearing a white cloak and by his express orders his bodyguard held away from him and followed only at a distance, since he wanted to show publicly that he was protected by the goodwill of all the Greeks, and had no need of a guard of spearmen.

Histories 16.93.1

Such was the end of Philip (II, king of Macedonia) ...He had ruled 24 years. He is known to fame as one who with but the slenderest resources to support his claim to a throne won for himself the greatest empire among the Hellenes (Greeks), while the growth of his position was not due so much to his prowess in arms as to his adroitness and cordiality in diplomacy.

Histories 16.95.1-2

After this Alexander left Dareius's mother, his daughters, and his son in Susa, providing them with persons to teach them the Greek language, and marching on with his army on the fourth day reached the Tigris River.

Histories 17.67.1

Alexander observed that his soldiers were exhausted with their constant campaigns. ... The hooves of the horses had been worn thin by steady marching. The arms and armour were wearing out, and the Greek clothing was quite gone. They had to clothe themselves in materials of the barbarians,...

Histories 17.94.1-2 Category:Greeks Category:Historians
Encyclopedia
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek
Roman Greece
Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium
Agira
Agira is a town and comune in the province of Enna, Sicily . It is located in the mid-valley of the River Salso, 35 km from Enna...

 in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 (now called Agira). With one exception, antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica , is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books, which were divided into three sections. The first six books are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of Egypt , of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia , of North...

. Only Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, in his Chronicon
Chronicon (Jerome)
The Chronicle was a universal chronicle, one of Jerome's earliest attempts in the department of history...

under the "year of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 1968
" (i.e., 49 BC), writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". His English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 translator, Charles Henry Oldfather
Charles Henry Oldfather
Charles Henry Oldfather professor of history of the ancient world,specifically at the liberal arts and science university college of Nebraska...

, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium (I.G. XIV, 588) is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".

Work



Diodorus' universal history
Universal history
Universal history is basic to the Western tradition of historiography, especially the Abrahamic wellspring of that tradition. Simply stated, universal history is the presentation of the history of humankind as a whole, as a coherent unit.-Ancient authors:...

, which he named Bibliotheca historica ("Historical Library"), consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive, and were divided into three sections. The first six books treat the mythic history of the non-Hellenic
Hellenic
Hellenic is a synonym for Greek and may refer to:* Hellenic languages* Hellenic Airlines* Hellenic College, a liberal arts college in Brookline, Massachusetts* Hellenic College of London* Hellenic FC, a football club in South Africa...

 and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 (book I), of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

, and Arabia (II), of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 (III), and of Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Europe (IV–VI). His account of gold mining
Gold mining
Gold mining is the removal of gold from the ground. There are several techniques and processes by which gold may be extracted from the earth.-History:...

 in Egypt is one of the earliest extant texts on the topic, and describes in vivid detail the use of slave labour in terrible conditions.

In the next section (books VII–XVII), he recounts the history of the world from the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

 down to the death of Alexander the Great. The last section (books XVII to the end) concerns the historical events from the successors of Alexander
Diadochi
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

 down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. They lasted from 58 BC to 51 BC. The Gallic Wars culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the...

. (The end has been lost, so it is unclear whether Diodorus reached the beginning of the Gallic War as he promised at the beginning of his work or, as evidence suggests, old and tired from his labours he stopped short at 60 BC.) He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgment that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Identified authors on whose works he drew include Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera
Hecataeus of Abdera was a Greek historian and sceptic philosopher who flourished in the 4th century BC.-Biography:Diogenes Laertius relates that he was a student of Pyrrho, along with Eurylochus, Timon the Phliasian, Nausiphanes of Teos and others, and includes him among the "Pyrrhoneans"...

, Ctesias of Cnidus, Ephorus
Ephorus
Ephorus or Ephoros , of Cyme in Aeolia, in Asia Minor, was an ancient Greek historian. Information on his biography is limited; he was the father of Demophilus, who followed in his footsteps as a historian, and to Plutarch's claim that Ephorus declined Alexander the Great's offer to join him on his...

, Theopompus
Theopompus
Theopompus was a Greek historian and rhetorician- Biography :Theopompus was born on Chios. In early youth he seems to have spent some time at Athens, along with his father, who had been exiled on account of his Laconian sympathies...

, Hieronymus of Cardia
Hieronymus of Cardia
Hieronymus of Cardia, Greek general and historian from Cardia in Thrace, was a contemporary of Alexander the Great .After the death of Alexander he followed the fortunes of his friend and fellow-countryman Eumenes. He was wounded and taken prisoner by Antigonus, who pardoned him and appointed him...

, Duris of Samos
Duris of Samos
Duris of Samos ; probably born around 350 BC; died after 281 BC) was a Greek historian and was at some period tyrant of Samos.- Personal and political life :Duris claimed to be a descendant of Alcibiades, and was the brother of Lynceus of Samos...

, Diyllus
Diyllus
Diyllus , probably the son of Phanodemus the Atthidographer , wrote a universal history of the years 357–297 BC. Only fragments of his work survive...

, Philistus
Philistus
Philistus , son of Archomenidas, was Greek historian of Sicily. Philistus was born at Syracuse about the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. He was a faithful supporter of the elder Dionysius, and commander of the citadel. Cicero who had a high opinion of his work, calls him the miniature Thucydides...

, Timaeus
Timaeus (historian)
Timaeus , ancient Greek historian, was born at Tauromenium in Sicily. Driven out of Sicily by Agathocles, he migrated to Athens, where he studied rhetoric under a pupil of Isocrates and lived for fifty years...

, Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

, and Posidonius
Posidonius
Posidonius "of Apameia" or "of Rhodes" , was a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher native to Apamea, Syria. He was acclaimed as the greatest polymath of his age...

.