HOME

TheInfoList




Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης ;  1st century BC), was an
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are con ...
. He is known for writing the monumental
universal history A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing syst ...
''
Bibliotheca historica ''Bibliotheca historica'' ( grc, Βιβλιοθήκη Ἱστορική, "Historical Library") is a work of universal history A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meani ...
'', in forty books, fifteen of which survive intact, between 60 and 30 BC. The history is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the time from the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
to the death of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. ''Bibliotheca'', meaning 'library', acknowledges that he was drawing on the work of many other authors.


Life

According to his own work, he was born in
Agyrium
Agyrium
in
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
(now called Agira). With one exception,
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...
affords no further information about his life and doings beyond his written works. Only
Jerome Jerome (; la, Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; – 30 September 420), also known as Jerome of Stridon, was a Christian priest A priest is a religious leader authoriz ...

Jerome
, in his ''
ChroniconIn historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers ho ...
'' under the "year of
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the , including , , and . In Judaism, he is the founding father of the , the special relationship between the and ; in C ...

Abraham
1968" (49 BC), writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
translator,
Charles Henry Oldfather Charles Henry Oldfather (13 June 1887 – 20 August 1954) was an American professor of history of the ancient world, specifically at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was born in Tabriz Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Ir ...
, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium (''
Inscriptiones Graecae The ''Inscriptiones Graecae'' (IG), Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...
'' XIV, 588) is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".


Work

Diodorus'
universal history A universal history is a work aiming at the presentation of a history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the invention of writing syst ...
, which he named ''Bibliotheca historica'' ( grc-gre, Βιβλιοθήκη Ἱστορική, "Historical Library"), was immense and consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive: fragments of the lost books are preserved in
Photius Photios I ( el, Φώτιος, ''Phōtios''; c. 810/820 – 6 February 893), also spelled PhotiusFr. Justin Taylor, essay "Canon Law in the Age of the Fathers" (published in Jordan Hite, T.O.R., & Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., "Readings, Cases, Material ...
and the '' Excerpts'' of
Constantine Porphyrogenitus Constantine VII Flavius Porphyrogenitus (; 17/18 May 905 – 9 November 959) was the fourth Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another ...
. It was divided into three sections. The first six books treated the mythic history of the non- Hellenic and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
(book I), of
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
,
Scythia Scythia (, ; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
, and
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...

Arabia
(II), of
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
(III), and of
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
and Europe (IV–VI). In the next section (books VII–XVII), he recounts the history of the world from the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
down to the
death of Alexander the Great The death of Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus'') of the Ancient Greece, ancient Greek kin ...
. The last section (books XVII to the end) concerns the historical events from the
successors of Alexander
successors of Alexander
down to either 60 BC or the beginning of
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
's
Gallic Wars The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 BC and 50 BC by the Roman general against the peoples of (present-day , , along with parts of ). , , and tribes fought to defend their homelands against an aggressive Roman . The Wars culmi ...
. (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 :''See Hecataeus of Miletus Hecataeus of Miletus (; el, Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Μιλήσιος; c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), son of Hegesander, was an early Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece ...
,
Ctesias of Cnidus:''For the beetle genus, see Ctesias (beetle).'' Ctesias (; grc, Κτησίας, ''Ktēsíās'', 5th century BC), also known as Ctesias the Cnidian or Ctesias of Cnidus, was a Greek physician A physician (American English), medical practitio ...
,
Ephorus Ephorus of Cyme (; grc-gre, Ἔφορος ὁ Κυμαῖος, ''Ephoros ho Kymaios''; c. 400330 BC) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek historian known for his universal history. Biography Information on his biography is limited. He was bo ...
,
Theopompus Theopompus ( grc-gre, Θεόπομπος, ''Theópompos''; c. 380 BCc. 315 BC) was an ancient Greek historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A histo ...
,
Hieronymus of CardiaHieronymus of Cardia ( el, Ἱερώνυμος ὁ Καρδιανός, 354?–250 BC) was a Greek general and historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. ...
,
Duris of Samos Duris of Samos (or Douris) ( grc-gre, Δοῦρις ὁ Σάμιος; BCafter 281BC) was a Greek historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historia ...
,
Diyllus Diyllus ( grc-gre, Δίυλλος), probably the son of Phanodemus the Atthidographer (a chronicler of the local history of Athens and Attica), wrote a universal history of the years 357–296 BC. His work seems to have been a continuation of ...
,
Philistus Philistus ( grc-gre, Φίλιστος; c. 432 – 356 BC), son of Archomenidas, was a Greek historian from Sicily (masculine) it, Siciliana (feminine) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , populat ...

Philistus
, Timaeus,
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the ...

Polybius
, and
Posidonius Posidonius (; grc-gre, Ποσειδώνιος , "of Poseidon Poseidon (; grc-gre, Ποσειδῶν, ) was one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted eleme ...
.


Details

*His book on Egypt, besides accounts of education, medicine, and Egyptian animal worship, included the inscription of Osymandias (
Ramesses II Ramesses II ( egy, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state ...
) - “If anyone wishes to know how mighty I am and where I lie, let him surpass any of my works” - which was Shelley’s inspiration for his poem
Ozymandias "Ozymandias" ( ) is a sonnet written by the English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822). It was first published in the 11 January 1818 issue of '' The Examiner'' of London. The poem was included the following year in Shelley's c ...

Ozymandias
. *Diodorus provides a fuller account of the half-century preceding the Peloponnesian War than
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
, and a more extensive, and arguably less biased, account of fourth century Greece than
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens mont ...

Xenophon
. *Diodorus also provides details of
Pytheas Pytheas of Massalia (; Ancient Greek: Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης ''Pythéas ho Massaliōtēs''; Latin: ''Pytheas Massiliensis''; born 350 BC, 320–306 BC) was a Greeks, Greek List of Graeco-Roman geographers, geographer, explore ...
’s voyage to Britain, including data about Cornish mining, and the judgement that “The inhabitants of Britain...are simple in their habits, and far removed from the cunning and knavishness of modern man”. *His account of
gold mining Gold mining is the extraction of gold Gold is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisti ...
in
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
in eastern
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
(Book III Chapters 12-14) describes in vivid detail the use of
slave labour Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
in terrible working conditions, while he provides an equally sympathetic account of the slave mines in Spain.
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
in ''
Das Kapital ''Das Kapital'', also known as ''Capital: A Critique of Political Economy'' or sometimes simply ''Capital'' (german: Das Kapital. Kritik der politischen Ökonomie, ; 1867–1883), is a foundational theoretical text in materialist philosophy, c ...

Das Kapital
'', for his account of the overworking of slave labour, wrote “Only read Diodorus Siculus”. *Diodorus also gave an account of the
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of peoples of in the and the (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). The area they originally inhabited was known as . Their forms the main branch of th ...
: "The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh; when they meet together they converse with few words and in riddles, hinting darkly at things for the most part and using one word when they mean another; and they like to talk in superlatives, to the end that they may extol themselves and depreciate all other men. They are also boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, and yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning." (Book 5)


See also

*
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
*
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
*
Acadine In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of t ...
*
Diophantus of AbaeDiophantus (born Herais) was an intersex person, who lived in the second century BC and fought as a soldier with Alexander Balas. Their life is known from the works of Diodorus Siculus. Biography Diophantus was born in the city of Abae, in Arabia, ...
* Callon of Epidaurus


Notes


References

* * * * * *


Further reading

* Braithwaite-Westoby, Kara.
Diodorus and the Alleged Revolts of 374–373 BCE
" Classical Philology 115, no. 2 (April 2020): 265-270. *Clarke, Katherine. 1999. "Universal perspectives in Historiography." In ''The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts.'' Edited by Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, 249–279. Mnemosyne. Supplementum 191. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. * Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1998. "Portents, Prophecies, and Dreams in Diodorus’ Books 14–17." ''Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies'' 39.4: 407–428. * McQueen, Earl I. 1995. ''Diodorus Siculus. The Reign of Philip II: The Greek and Macedonian Narrative from Book XVI. A Companion.'' London: Bristol Classical Press. * Muntz, Charles E. 2017. ''Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic.'' New York: Oxford Univ. Press. * Pfuntner, Laura. 2015. "Reading Diodorus through Photius: The Case of the Sicilian Slave Revolts." ''Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies'' 55.1: 256–272. * Rubincam, Catherine. 1987. "The Organization and Composition of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke." ''Échos du monde classique (= Classical views)'' 31:313–328. * Sacks, Kenneth S. 1990. ''Diodorus Siculus and the First Century.'' Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. * Sinclair, Robert K. 1963. "Diodorus Siculus and the Writing of History." ''Proceedings of the African Classical Association'' 6:36–45. * Stronk, Jan P. 2017. ''Semiramis’ Legacy. The History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily.'' Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. * Sulimani, Iris. 2008. "Diodorus’ Source-Citations: A Turn in the Attitude of Ancient Authors Towards their Predecessors?" ''Athenaeum'' 96.2: 535–567.


External links

Greek original works * * * * English translations * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Diodorus Siculus Roman-era Greek historians Historians from Magna Graecia Classical geography Sicilian Greeks 1st-century BC Greek people 1st-century BC historians 90s BC births 30s BC deaths Works about mining Hellenistic-era historians