Diodorus Siculus


Diodorus Siculus

Diodorus Siculus (Greek: Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης, Diodoros Sikeliotes) was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily (now called Agira). With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca historica. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968" (i.e., 49 BC), writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". His English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, 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, 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 and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt (book I), of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia (II), of North Africa (III), and of Greece and Europe (IV–VI). His account of gold mining 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 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 down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. (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, Ctesias of Cnidus, Ephorus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Diyllus, Philistus, Timaeus, Polybius, and Posidonius.

References

  • Ambaglio, Dino, Franca Landucci Gattinoni and Luigi Bravi. Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica: commento storico: introduzione generale. Storia. Ricerche. Milano: V&P, 2008. x, 145 p.
  • Buckley, Terry (1996). Aspects of Greek History 750-323 BC: A Source-based Approach. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415099587, ISBN 9780415099585. 
  • Lloyd, Alan B. (1975). Herodotus, Book II. Leiden: Brill. pp. Introduction. ISBN 9004041796, ISBN 9789004041790. 
  • Siculus, Diodorus; Oldfather, C. H. (Translator) (1935). Library of History: Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. 
  • Siculus, Diodorus; G. Booth (Translator); H. Valesius; I. Rhodomannus; F. Ursinus (1814). The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added the Fragments of Diodorus. London: J. Davis.  Downloadable Google Books.
  • Siculi, Diodori; Peter Wesseling (Editor); L. Rhodoman; G. Heyn; N. Eyring (1798) (in Ancient Greek, Latin). Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina.  Downloadable Google Books.

External links


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  • Diodorus Siculus — (altgr.: Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης) war ein antiker griechischer Geschichtsschreiber, der im 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. lebte. Über sein Leben ist fast nichts bekannt. Er stammte aus Agyrion auf Sizilien und hat sich längere Zeit in Rom sowie in Ägypten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Diodorus Siculus — Historian late first century BC.     The Greek author Diodorus Siculus made a brief visit to Egypt in c.59 BC, and he devoted Book I of his History to aspects of ancient Egypt. Although his first hand experience of the country enabled him utilise …   Ancient Egypt

  • Diodorus Siculus — /duy oh dawr euhs sik yeuh leuhs, dohr / late 1st century B.C., Greek historian. * * * ▪ Greek historian flourished 1st century BC, Agyrium, Sicily       Greek historian, the author of a universal history, Bibliothēkē (“Library”; known in Latin… …   Universalium

  • Diodorus Siculus — Diodore de Sicile Pour les articles homonymes, voir Diodore. Diodore de Sicile (en grec ancien Διόδωρος / Diódôros) est un historien et chroniqueur grec du Ier siècle av. J. C. né à Agyrium en Sicile au début de ce siècle. Il est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • DIODORUS SICULUS —    historian, born in Sicily, of the age of Augustus; conceived the idea of writing a universal history; spent 30 years at the work; produced what he called The Historical Library, which embraced the period from the earliest ages to the end of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Diodorus Siculus — /ˌdaɪədɔrəs ˈsɪkjuləs/ (say .duyuhdawruhs sikyoohluhs) noun late 1st century BC, Greek historian …   Australian English dictionary

  • Diodorus Siculus — /duy oh dawr euhs sik yeuh leuhs, dohr / late 1st century B.C., Greek historian …   Useful english dictionary

  • Diodorus — Siculus (altgr.: Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης) war ein antiker griechischer Geschichtsschreiber, der im 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. lebte. Über sein Leben ist fast nichts bekannt. Er stammte aus Agyrion auf Sizilien und hat sich längere Zeit in Rom sowie in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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