First published 1933

Reprinted 1946, 1960, 1968, 1989


PAGK GENERAL INTRODUCTION G . : c vii INTRODUCTION TO BOOKS 1-11, . " . xxvi BOOK I . . o . * . : 1 BOOK Il . o : : ó c . 913 A PARTIAL INDEX OF PROPER NAMES T . 461 MAPS : . : . " : 4T

ISBN 0-674-99307-1

Printed in Great Britain by St. Edmundsbury Press Ltd, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, on wood-free paper. Bound by Hunter €& Foulis Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland.



WrirH but one exception antiquity affords no further information on the life and work of Diodorus of Sicily than is to be found in his own Library of History. "The exception is St. Jerome, who, in his Chronology under the Year of Abraham 1968 (— 49 n.c.), writes: '* Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious." !

Diodorus himself says (1. 4. 4) that the city of his birth was Agyrium in Sicily, one of the oldest settle- ments of the interior, which was visited even by: Heracles (4. 24), whose cult was maintained by the inhabitants on a scale rivalling that of the Olympians, and this statement is rendered plausible by the importance accorded the city in his History, an importance quite out of proportion in a World History of only forty Books? It is a striking coincidence that one of the only two Greek inscriptions from Agyrium (IG. XIV, 588) marked the final resting- place of a '* Diodorus the son of Apollonius."

The earliest date at which Diodorus is known to

1 Diodorus Siculus Graecae scriptor historiae clarus habetur (p. 155,i,ed. Helm). "This date must mark the first appear- ance of & portion of his History.

1 At that he is more reserved in this respect than Ephorus, who, according to Strabo (13. 3. 6), was so insistent on men- tioning the city of his origin, Cyme, that he once added, ** At the same time the Cymacans were at peace."*



have been gathering material for his history is the 180th Olympiad (60/59-57/6 n.c., in the course of which he visited Egypt (1. 44. 1. Diodorus records that while there he saw with his own eyes a mob of Egyptians demand, and apparently secure, the death of a man connected with a Roman embassy, because he had accidentally killed a cat, and this despite the fear which the Egyptians felt for the Romans, and despite the fact that '* Ptolemy their king had not as yet been given the appellation of ' friend ' "' by the Romans (1. 83. 8). Ptolemy XI, " the Piper," had ascended the throne of the last nominally independent Hellenistic kingdom in 80 s.c, and after waiting twenty years, a period in which the Roman Senate would neither avow nor repudiate him, finally securcd recognition by the Senate through the efforts of Caesar and Pompey in 59 s.c. "This embassy is not mentioned in the Roman sources, but the huge sum required of Ptolemy by Caesar and Pompcy in exchange for this recognition must certainly have required some such a diplomatie mission, and it may be assumed that it was dispatched from Rome fairly early after January 1st, when Caesar entered upon his consulship, or at least soon after February 1st, when he first had the fasces. The date of this recognition of Ptolemy by Rome clearly shows that Diodorus was in Egypt in the year 59 B.C., the length of his visit remaining still uncertain,

1 Suetonius, Julius, 54. 3: Socielates ac regna. pretio dedit (sc. Caesar), ut qui uni Ptolemaeo prope sex milia talentorum suo Pompeique nomine abstulerit. Ptolemy was driven from his throne by the people in 57 and restored by Gabinius in 55; ep. the comments of Butler-Cary, ad loc.



Diodorus had already commenced his work as early as 56 s.c. This is evident from the passage (1. 44. 1-4)! in which he lists the number of years during which Egypt was under the control of foreigners. 'The last aliens to rule over Egypt, he says, are the Macedonians and their dynasty who have held the land for two hundred and seventy-six years. Now since the conquest of Egypt by Alexander is put by Diodorus (17. 49) in the ycar 331 s.c., he must have been at work upon the composition of his Library of History at least as early as 56 n.c.

The latest contemporary event mentioned by Diodorus is a reference to the city of Tauromenium in Sicily, when he records (16. 7. 1) that "' Caesar removed the citizens from their native state and the city received a Roman colony." his may have taken place in 36 s.c, or soon thereafter, since Appian, Civil Wars, 5. 109 ff. tells how the city in 36 closed its gates to Octavian, who was caught on the same day by Sextus Pompey and in the ensuing naval battle lost practically all his ships, barely escaping with his life. This disaster he could have avoided had the city received him and his forces, and the anger which he must have felt toward the city supplies the motive for the drastic punishment méted out to it The founding of this colony

1 The significance of this evidence has, so far as I know, been overlooked by previous writers, even by O. Cuntz, De Augusto Plinii geographicorum auctore (Bonn, 1888), pp. 32 fp who has listed most fully the references in Diodorus to con- temporary events.

1 This js the date first suggested by O. Cuntz, op. cit., p. 35, accepted as ''probable'" by Beloch, Die Bevolkerung der griechisch-romischen Welt, p. 337, and by Schwartz, H-E*., 5. 663, and fully approved by Kornemann, R-L*., 4. 526.



has been placed also in 21 m.c., the year in which, according to Cassius Dio (54. 7. 1), Augustus re- organized Sicily;! but it seems most improbable that such an act of angry revenge should have been delayed for fifteen years on the occasion of a mere administrative reorganization which surely could have called for nothing like this.

That Tauromenium was made a Roman colony in 36 B.c. or a little later, and that, therefore, the latest date at which Diodorus is known to have been com- posing or revising his history is that year or a little later, would appear to be supported by two further considerations. Diodorus informs us (1l. 4. 1) that he had spent thirty years in the composition of his history, and it may justly be assumed that this period includes the travels which he made and the dangers which he met in visiting the most important sites about which he intended to write. The begin- ning of this period must surely be set some years before 59 s.c., when he was in Egypt, since it is only reasonable to suppose that he had been turning over his great undertaking in his mind and been reading and excerpting some authorities upon Egypt before he set out upon his travels. Furthermore, in view of the great admiration of the Roman Empire expressed by Diodorus it is difficult to believe that

Cassius Dio (49. 12. 5) states that, after the defeat of Sextus Pompey and the humbling of Lepidus in 36 nm.c., Octavian did actually punish certain unspecified cities of Sicily, and among these must have been Tauromenium.

1 This is the view of Mommsen, C.1.Z., X, p. 718; Rómische Forschung, 2. p. 549, n. 1, of C. Wachsmuth, Über das Geschichts- werk des Sikelioten Diodoros (Leipzig, 1892), 1, p. 3, and of M. Büdinger, Die Universalhistorie im. Alterthume, 114, n. 4.



he would have said that the Macedonians were the last aliens to rule over Egypt, had he been working on his History after the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 s.c. And this accords with the statement of Suidas, that the floruit of Diodorus fell in the period of Augustus Caesar and before?

The task which Diodorus set himself was to write one of "the general histories" (ai xowoi ia ropíoi),? or " the general events "' (ai xowat epá£es) * (1. 4. 6; D. 1. 4); in other words, to compose a Universal, or World, History from the Creation to his day. The adjective " general" or '" common " is used so much by him that it may be possible to find in its connotation the clue to his motive in taking upon himself so great a task. In the decade between 70 and 60 mc. he had seen the entire Mediterranean shore brought under the control of Rome by Pompey—Egypt was stil independent only in name, for its kings held their throne at the will of the Roman Senate—the sea swept clean of pirates, Roman supremacy extended '' to the bounds

1 yévyove (80. Aidbupos) 86 éxl rGv xpórvev Ab'yócrov Kaícapos kal émdvo.

* Although parts of his History must have appeared by 49 z.c., it is reasonable to euppose that Diodorus published 1t as & whole, with consequent revision, at one time, between 36 and 30 5.c. at the latest; cp. below, p. xvi, n. 1. '

* Dionysius of di iere (1. 6) uses the same words in speaking of the writings of Timaeus.

Et i 3. 2, when e contrasts '* isolated wars waged by a single nation or a single state"' with "' the general events (al kowol wpátes). The same sharp distinction appears also in 1. 4. 6, and he uses the same words to describe the Universal History of Ephorus (4. 1. 3).



of the inhabited world " (1. 4. 3). If Diodorus had not witnessed the celebration of this incorporation of the Eastern world in the Roman state, he had certainly heard from others of the great triumph of Pompey in 61 s.c. in the course of which banners announced that he had subdued fourteen nations, brought back 20,000 talents to the treasury, and almost doubled the annual revenue of the state. Under the dominion of Rome the Stoic idea of a cosmopolis was on tlie way to becoming an actuality. Al| mankind was coming to form a '" common" civilization, a ''common " society, and Diodorus could speak of a '' common life" in the sense that the whole Mediterranean world was now interested in the same things and what benefited one nation was of common value to all. If the term '* Western civilization " may properly include two cultures so different, for inctance, as those of the United States and Spain, it is no exaggeration to say that by 60 s.c. Syrian, Greek, Iberian and Roman had become one. The limitations of the old city state, whereby à man was a stranger in any city but the one of his origin, were gone for ever. Surely, then, the history of each one of these nations was a matter of interest to all, since the past of every people was making its distinctive contribution to this most catholic of all civilizations, and he who would gather the records of all these peoples and present them in convenient form would have ''composed a treatise of the utmost value to those who are studiously inclined " (1. 3. 6). Some such considerations as these must have moved Diodorus to lay hand to such a work, and even if he was not the man fully to control the material before him, still we cannot


A "


deny him at all events the apology of Propertius (2. 10. 6):

in magnis et voluisse sal est.

In preparation for his History Diodorus states (1. 4. 1) that with much hardship and many dangers he visited all the most important regions of Europe and Asia. "There is no evidence in his work that he travelled in any other land than Egypt, where he may have ascended the Nile as far as Memphis, in connection with which city he mentions a shrine of Isis which '* is pointed out to this day in the temple- area of Hephaestus " (1. 22. 2); all the other details of his account of that marvellous land could have been gathered from his literary sources. The only other place where he claims to have stayed was Rome, which furnished him in abundance the materials necessary for his study (1. 4. 2). Certainly he never went to Mesopotamia, since he places Nineveh on the Euphrates, and it is kinder to suppose that he never visited Athens than to think that the glory of the Acropolis, if he had once seen it, was not considered important enough to deserve mention.

Not only does Diodorus claim to have travelled widely in preparation for his History, but to have gained through his contact with the Romans in Sicily * considerable familiarity '' (z0AA3) €gmreipío, 1.4. 4) with their language. In the pce disparagement of Diodorus, his knowledge of Latin has not been over- looked, and he has been accused even of finding a nominative Fidenates from an ablative Fidenate.!

1 So Christ-Schmid, Griechische Litteraturgeschichte * (1920), 2. p. 403, n. 9, but without basis, as had been shown by G. Rigwart, Romische Fasten und Annalen bei Diodor (Greisswald,

1906), pp. 5 f. be xin


Other criticisms on this score, such as that he did not know the meaning of bellare cum aliquo! must be held in abeyance, so long as the question whether Diodorus in his account of Roman affairs used a Latin or Greek source (or sources) is still sub judice. And since criticism is beginning to adopt a more reasonable attitude toward Diodorus, the better course is to trust his word that he could use the Latin language; he knew it at least well enough for his purposes.

Diodorus commenced with the mythical period and brought his History down to 59 n.c., the year of Julius Caesar's first consulship. Of the forty Books only the first five and Books XI-XX are preserved, although fragments of the other twenty-five are found in different authors, notably in Eusebius and Byzantine excerptors. According to his own plan (1. 4. 6-1), Books I-VI embraced the period before the Trojan War, the first three treating of the history of the non-Greeks, the other three, of that of the Greeks. The next eleven, Books VII-XVII, were designed to form a Universal History from the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great, and the last twenty-three carried the account down to the Archonship of Herodes in 60/59 m.c., Le. to include the year 61/60 mc? As for the years covered by his History, he makes no effort to estimate those which had elapsed before the Trojan War,

1 Cp. Büdinger, op. cit., p. 122, n. 1.

? 0. Leuze, Die rómische Jahrzühlung (Tübingen, 1909), gives the most recent detailed defence of Diodorus; cp. p. 78. n. 107, for the exaggerated detractions by Reuss, Waohsmuth, and Schwartz.

5 Cp. Leuze, op. cil., p. 72.



since for that earlier period there existed no chrono- logical table " that was trustworthy," ! but for the subsequent period he records that he followed the Chronology of Apollodorus of Athens? in setting 80 years between the Trojan War (1184 B.C.) and the Return of the Heracleidae (1104 m.c.), thence 328 years to the First Olympiad (776/5 B.c.), and from the First Olympiad to the beginning of the Celtic War (60/59 s.c.) a date which Apollodorus did not reach, Diodorus counted 730 years. There can be no question about the correctness of these numbers of years, 80, 328, 730, because in the next sentence he makes the sum of them 1138; and yet 730 years after the First Olympiad is 46/5 m.c., just fifteen years later than the date at which he says his History closes. It is impossible to think that his work came down to so late a date, since his last book opened with the year 70 n.c., the latest fragment mentioning the conspiracy of Catiline in 63, and he states specifically that his History closed before the year 60/59 n.c. The contents of the several Books are briefly :

Book I: The myths, kings and customs of Egypt. Book II: History of Assyria, description of India, Scythia, Arabia, and the islands of the Ocean.

1]In 40. 8 Diodorus says that he had no chronological table for this period, and on the basis of that passage from an excerptor, Schwartz, E-E?., 5. 605, argues that he could not have used the Chronology of Castor; but Beloch, Éómische Geschichte, p. 122, properly calls the attention of Sehwartz to this passage and its s.arevópuevov.

3 His Chronology spanned the years 1184/3 to at least 120/19 B.c.

3 For a possible explanation of this discrepancy, op. below, p. xix.



Book III: Ethiopia, the Amazons of Africa, the inhabitants of Atlantis and the origins of the first gods.

Book IV: The principal Greek gods, the Argonauts, Theseus, the Seven against Thebes.

Book V: 'The islands and peoples of the West, Rhodes and Crete.

Books VI-X: Fragments, from the Trojan War to 480 s.c.

Commencing with Book XI the Library of History

COoVers ;

Book XI: Years 480-451 s.c. Book XII: Years 450-416 s.c. Book XIII: Years 415-405 s.c. Book XIV: Years 404—387 s.c. Book XV: Years 386-361 s.c. Book XVI: Years 360—336 B.c. Book XVII: Years 335—324 n.c. Book XVIII: Years 323-318 s.c. Book XIX: Years 317-311 s.c. Book XX: Years 310-302 s.c. Books XXI-XL: Fragments, years 301-60 a.c.

To compose a history of the entire world down to his day was '' an immense labour," as Diodorus says (1. 3. 6), looking back upon it,! because the material

1 The Preface was certainly (cp. 1l. 4. 6) revised after the whole work had been completed. Diodorus lamenta (40. 8) that parts of his work had reached the publio before his final revision and publication as à whole, probably in 49 n.c. (see above, p. vii, n. 1). Just how seriously his words are to be taken remains à question. Might they not be a reserved suggestion to the reading publie that, in order to get his final account, they should purchase the latest revision ?



for it lay scattered about in so many different authors, and because the authors themselves varied so widely. Perhaps this was his way of telling lis readers that what they should expect of his history is no more than a compilation of what former writers had sct down. And the choice of so unusual a title, Library of History,. is further evidence that Diodorus made no pretence of doing anything more than giving a convenient summary of events which were to be found in greater detail in many works. The alloca- tion of this and that bit of information among the various writers whom Diodorus names has occupied the attention of many scholars.* The earlier view was that Diodorus took a single author and copied him for many chapters and even Books of his history. From that extreme position criticism soon was forced to recede, and it is generally held now that while Diodorus probably leaned very strongly upon a single author for one or another section of his work, he used at the same time other writers as well. Tt is the feeling of the present translator that there is much more of the individuality of Diodorus in his Library of History than has been generally supposed, and that he picked and chose more widely and more wisely than has been allowed him by most critics.?

1 Pliny, Nat. Hist., Preface, 25, praised this straightforward title (Apud Graecos desiit mugari Diodorus et BiBAuo8fcns historiam suam, inscripsit).

3 A convenient summary and rebuttal of some of the earlier literature is given by L. O. Brócker, Moderne Quellen- eir und antike Geschichtschreiber (Innsbrueh, 1882),

p. 83 ff.

3 I fully subscribe to the following words of Jacoby, F. Gr. Hist. 2, B D, p. 356: '". . . direkte benutzung 'Theopompos bei Diodor ist so wenig wahrscheinlich, wie eine Diodor-

, xvii


A brief discussion of the sources used by Diodorus is given in the Introductions to the several volumes.

One mistake of method made it almost impossible for Diodorus to write either a readable story or an accurate history. So soon as hie entered the period which allowed precise dating he became an annalist, or, in other words, he endeavoured to present under one year the events which took place in Greece, Sicily, Africa and Italy, to write a synchronistic universal history. For a closely related series of incidents which covered several years this meant that he either had to break the story as many times as there were years, or crowd the events of several years into one. Moreover, he tried to synchronize the Roman consular year, which in his day com- menced January lst—and he uses this date even for the earlier period—with the Athenian archon year, which commenced about the middle of July. It should be observed to his credit that Diodorus recognized (20.43. 7) the shortcomings of this annalistic arrangement, but he stil felt that the recital of events in the order in which they were taking place gave a more truthful presentation of history.

It may be noted, in connection with this annalistic arrangement, that, although Diodorus says in his Preface to the First Book that he has brought his history down to 60/59 z.c., yet in three other places

analyse, die satz für satz 'Theopompos, eigene züsatze

des Ephoros und solche aus Xenophon scheidet, reichlich

unsicher ist," and to the conclusion of Holm, Geschichte

Siciliens, 2, p. 369, ** dass Diodor nicht bloss mit der Scheere

De re hat, sondern auch mit der Feder und mit dem opt.



(3. 38. 2; 5. 21. 2; 5. 22. 1) he remarks that he will speak of Britain more in detail when he gives an account of the deeds of Gaius Caesar, and that, as observed above, in the Chronology which he gives of his entire work, 1138 years from the Trojan War brings his history down to 46/45 s.c. It has been suggested by Schwartz ! that Diodorus found these figures in some Chronology which he had in his hands at the time. Such an assumption would indeed convict him not only of carelessness, but of plain stupidity. It seems more reasonable to suppose that, as Diodorus was engaged upon the writing of his earlier Books, he fully intended to bring his history down to include the year 46/45 s.c, which would make an excellent stopping-point. In March of 45 s.c. Caesar met and defeated at Munda the last army of republicans which still held the field against him. The first period of civil war was at an end. However, as Diodorus grew old and perhaps a little tired, he gave up his original plan. He stopped his account at 60/59 .c., which year, mark- ing the agreement reached by Caesar, Pompey and Crassus, was a definite turning-point in the history of the Roman Republic. The '" 1138 years" may be explained in two ways. Since some of his Books, and presumably the carlier ones, came into the hands of the public before his final revision and the publication of his History as a whole, Diodorus may himself have overlooked the need of correcting that number in the final revision. Or the earlier figures may in some way have slipped from an earlier MS. into one of the final revision.

1 R.E?., b. 605.


From scattered observations, which bear every mark of being from Diodorus himself and not from his sources, and from the emphasis upon certain phenomena or particular features of history, it is possible to get some idea of his views and interests. Again and again, and not alone in thc Preface to the First Book, the Stoic doctrine of the utilitas of history is stressed, and nowhere does he demand that history be entertaining. Of the customs of Egypt he will mention, he tells us, only those which are especially strange and those which can be of most advantage to his readers (1. 69. 2), of its laws only those that can be of help to lovers of reading (1. 7T. 1l). It is obviously to this end that, as he states (11. 46. 1), he makes it his practice to increase the fame of good men by extoling them and to censure evil characters; thc latter he does, for instance, at the death of Pausanias (loc. cit.), and the defeat of Leuctra offers an occasion to observe what heavy punishments await the proud and unjust, while Gelon (11. 38. 6) and Epaminondas (15. 88. 1) receive the praise which is due to noble men. More often than any extant ancient lüstorian Diodorus stresses the view that history should iustruct in the good lifco. With great detail (16. 61 ff.) he describes the fate which met the various leaders of the Phocians, who had dared to lay impious hands upon the treasure of Delphi, liow the allied cities lost their freedom, and even how one woman who had tricked herself out with the chain of Helen ended her days as a prostitute, while another, who had put on the chain of Eriphyle, was burned to death in her home by her own son. Philip, on the other hand, because he came to the defence of the oracle, increased in




power from that day forth and finally made his country the mightiest state in Europe. The great earthquakes and inundations in the Peloponnesus of 373 n.c. were certainly due to the anger of the gods, more particularly to that of Poseidon. Admitting that the natural philosophers gave another reason, yet he thinks that they were wrong, and goes on to show what it was that angered Poseidon (15. 48). He emphasizes the qualities of the spirit, such as meekness, gentleness, kindliness, very much in the manner of Herodotus; but he thinks very little of democracy (1. 74. 7; 13. 95. 1), the natural counter- part of such a conviction being a great admiration for the strong man in history.

While characteristics such as these exclude Dio- dorus from a place among the abler historians of the ancient world, there is every reason to bclieve that he used the best sources and that he reproduced them faithfully. His First Book, which deals almost exclusively with Egypt, is the fullest literary account of the history and customs of that country after Herodotus. Books II-V cover a wide range, and because of their inclusion of much mythological material are of less value. In the period from 480 to 301 s.c, which he treats in annalistic fashion and in which his main source was the Universal History of Ephorus, his importance varies according as he is the sole continuous source, or again as he is paralleled by superior writers. To the fifty years from 480 to

... 430 s.c. Thucydides devotes only a little more than 'thirty chapters; Diodorus covers it more fully (11. 31-12. 38) and his is the only consecutive literary account for the chronology of the period. On the other hand, he is of less importance for the ycars



430-362 m.c., since the history of this period is covered in the contemporary accounts of Thucydides and Xenophon. For the years 362-302 n.c. Diodorus is again the only consecutive literary account, and although the Epitome by Justin of the History of Philip by Pompeius Trogus is preserved for the earlier period, and the Znabasis of Arrian and Te History of. Alexander the Great by Q. Curtius Rufus, more than half of which is extant, for the years 336-323, Diodorus offers the only chronological sur- vey of the period of Philip, and supplements the writers mentioned and contemporary sources in many matters. For the period of the Successors to Alexander, 323-302 nm.c. (Books XVIII-XX), he is the chief literary authority and his history of this period assumes, therefore, an importance which it does not possess for the other years. "These three Books are based mainly upon the work of Hieronymus of Cardia, an historian of outstanding ability who brought to his account both the experience gained in the service, first of Eumenes, and then of Anti- gonus, and an exceptional sense of the importance of the history of the period. As for Sicily, it has well been said that no history of that island could be written were it not for Diodorus, and as for Roman history, the Fasti of Diodorus are recognized in the most recent research to be by far the oldest and most trustworthy.

One merit even those crities who have dealt most severely with Diodorus accord him. Long speeches, happily used but unhappily introduced by Thucy- dides, Diodorus avoids, as he promises that he will do in the Preface to Book XX. With the exception of four instances he eliminates entirely that rhetorical




device, which must have wearied even a contem- porary audience. He gave great care to little details of writing, and when he errs in fact the fault is not so much his as that of his source. A kindly judg- ment upon such errors may be found in the words of Cicero when he acknowledges that the story was generally recognized to be incorrect that Eupolis, the poet of Old Comedy, was thrown into the sea by Alcibiades, and adds: ''But surely that is no reason for sneering at Duris of Samos, who was a careful scholar, because he erred in the company of many others." 1


The following are the more important editions :

Poggio Bracciolini: Latin translation of Books I-V; published at Bologna, 1472, and many times thereafter at Paris, Venice and Lyons.

Vincentius Opsopoeus: the first Greek edition, containing Books XVI-XX only ; Basel, 1539.

H. Stephanus: Greek edition of Books I-V, XI- XX, and some fragments of Books XXI-XL ; Geneva, 1559

L. Rhodoman: the edition of Stephanus with a Latin translation, indices and chronological tables; Hanau, 1604.

Petrus Wesseling: the Greek text, and the Latin version of Rhodoman, with the critical work of former scholars; 2 vols., Amsterdam, 1746. "This is the only annotated edition of Diodorus and a monu- ment of zeal and scholarship.

1 Ad An. 9. 1. 18... Num $dcirco Duris Samius, homo in historia diligens, quod cum multis erravit, inridetur ? ''




Bipontine Edition, 11 vols, Zweibrücken and Strassburg, 1793-1807. This is the edition of Wes- seling, to which were added essays by C. G. Heyne and I. N. Eyring.

H. Eichstádt: the Greek text of Books I-V, X-XIV ; 2 vols., Halle, 1800-1802.

L. Dindorf: four cditions of the Greek text: 4 vols., Leipzig (Weidmann), 1826; 5 vols., with critical apparatus, Leipzig (Hartmann), 1828-31; 2 vols. in a Didot edition, the Latin by C. Miüller, Paris, 1842-4; 5 vols., Leipzig (Teubner), 1866-8.

IL Bekker: the Greek text; 4 vols, Leipzig (Teubner), 1853-4.

The present text is based upon that of Vogel- Fischer, Leipzig (Teubner), 1888 f£, and the most important variants of the editions of Bekker and Dindorf (1866-8) have been noted; the reading which follows the colon is, unless otherwise stated, that of the Zextus receptus.

Translations of Diodorus have not kept pace with the intrinsic interest of his History. Worthy of mention is that into English in two volumes by G. Booth, London, 1700; another edition, in a series entitled * Corpus Historicum," is of London, 1814. The English is quaint, archon being sometimes rendered '' lord high-chancellor,'"* " high-chancellor," * chief magistrate;" the chapter divisions are quite arbitrary, and the early date, before the commentary of Wesseling, makes it of little value. The trans- lation into German by J. F. Wurm, Stuttgart, 1827-40, is a serious work, and that of A. Wahrmund of Books I-X, Stuttgart, 1866-9, with many notes, has also been of considerable aid in the preparation of this translation. It is hoped that infelicities of



the present translation will be viewed by scholars with some indulgence, in consideration of the fact that it is the first in. English for more than two hundred years.

One feature of the style of Diodorus calls for remark. A large part of his earlier Books is in indirect discourse, which is introduced with *" they say " or " it is said " or ' history records," and the like, or with the name of the writer he is following. Yet at times he inserts into this reported speech sentences of direct discourse which are presumably original with himself. In general, an attempt has been made to distinguish this reported speech from the remarks of Diodorus himself; but l have not done so if it involved any great interruption of the flow of liis narrative.


A. Codex Coislinianus, of the 15th century.

B. Codex Mutinensis, of the 15th century.

C. Codex Vaticanus, of the 12th century.

D. Codex Vindobonensis 79, of the 11th century. E. Codex Parisinus, of the 16th century.

F. G. Codices Claromontani, of the 16th century. M. Codex Venetus, of the 15th century.

N. Codex Vindobonensis, of the 16th century.

The designations of the MSS. are those of the Preface to the first volume of the edition of Vogel- Fischer, to which the reader is referred for further details on each MS. and its worth. In the critical notes '* Vulgate " designates the reading of all MSS. except D, and '' II" designates the reading of all MSS. of the '' second class," i.e. of all but A B D.



IwrRopucrioN To Booxs I-II, 34

After the Preface to his whole work Diodorus describes the origin of animal life, and then, '* since Egypt is the country where mythology places the origin of the gods "' (1. 9. 6), and since '' animal life appeared first of all " (1. 10. 2) in that country, he devotes the entire First Book to the gods, kings, laws and customs of that land. Eis interest in religion causes him to pay more attention to that subject than to political institutions and military affairs, in marked contrast to his later Books. As for his literary sources, he is generally held to have drawn primarily upon Ilecataeus of Abdera, who visited Egypt early in the 3rd century n.c., for his account of the customs of the Ezgyptians, upon Agatharchides of Cnidus, an historian and geographer of the 2nd century m.c., for his geographical data, and especially for the description of the Nile (cc. 32- 41. 3), and upon Herodotus. He also mentions what is told by the priests of Egypt and natives of Ethiopia, and it is entirely possible that many a detail was picked up by personal observation and inquiry. By the time of his visit Greek had been the official language of the land for nearly three hundred years and was widely used in the better circles, and hence he was not in such danger of being imposed upon by guides and priests as was Herodotus.

In the opening chapters of the Second Book Diodorus moves to Asia and Assyrian affairs. Most of his material was drawn from Ctesias of Cnidus, who spent seventeen years as physician at the court of the Persian king, Ártaxerxes Mnemon, returning to Greece some time after 390 s.c. Ctesias wrote a


——————— L—— i! nn— À


Persica in twenty-three Books, the first six of which dealt with Assyrian and Median history. Whether Diodorus used Ctesias directly or through à medium is still a question. He also used Cleitarchus and ** certain of those who at a later time crossed into Asia with Alexander" (2. T. 3). Incidentally, he quotes from a particular Athenaeus, otherwise unknown, and '' certain other historians "" (2. 20. 3) to the effect that Semiramis was nothing more than a beautiful courtesan. While there is some shadowy outline of the long history of Egypt in Book I, what Diodorus (or rather Ctesias, Cleitarchus and others) has to offer on Babylonian history is scarcely deserv- ing of the name. It is astonishing to observe that a writer with the opportunities which Ctesias enjoyed should have been content to do little more than pass on the folk tales which constitute the '' history "' of the Assyrian Empire. :

Into the daily widening field of the history of Egypt and Babylonia, which is the theme of this volume of Diodorus, and in which many dates change from year to year and many are still the subject of controversy among competent Orientalists, a classi- cist enters with extreme reluctance. It has seemed the better policy to draw upon the latest general survey of this period, The Cambridge Ancient History, for the chronology, recognizing at the same time that even the contributors to this single enterprise are not always in agreement.

1 Cp. P. Schnabel, Berossos und die babylonisch-hellenistische Literatur (Leipzig, 1923), p. 34.





I v H ^ , ^ Tá8e éveo rww év Tf mpoórg ràv

Atobdpov BiBXov

IIpootjuov Tis 0s mpoypareas. M e^ . 3, / ? * e^ e^ Flepi rüv cop AlyvmT(os Aeyouévov epi T9s TOU xoc ov yevécens. ' ^ ^ ." , Lj . At IIepi rày Ücàv 0cot vóXes exrwrav kar. Avyvmrrov. IÍepi ràv pórov yevouévov ávÜpeéyrov kai ToU TaXato- rárov Biov. Ilepi rs ràv àÜaváTev Tiu)s xol Tis TOV vadv kaTa- devis. * ^ , ^ , » , ^ ^ IÍepi s TomoÜeo(as ris kar AtyvmrTov Xopas kai TÀV Tepi Tóv NéiXov moror TapaOofoAoyovuévov, TS T€ p , * d P ^ - Li - ^ rovrov mÀn9péceos Tàs alríug! xai rüv iaTopuxüv oi $uXocóQov áTooáces. ^ ^ , , , * , Iiepi Tüv mpórew yevogévov xav AtyvsTov Bacikéov xai TOv kaTà uépos avTüv Tpá£eav. IÍepi korackevàyv rv mvpauí(óev rÓv dvaypadopévov éy rots érrà Üavpalopévow épyots. Ilepi ràv vój«ov kai rày 8acTnpiov. SIM ET: " 4 3 $ D Ilepi rày áduepopévov (ouv map! AlyvrTiots. IIepi rÓv vopipov. TOv Tepi ToUs TereAevrgkóras map! AlyvmrÜots -yevopévav. M -^ Li ;, -* ^ . * b , N IIepi àv 'EAXxjvov 0c0t r&v éri zaiócio. Üavpatopévov , , » * ^ ^ , mapafJaXóvres «ls AlyvmTov xai moAÀAà TOv xpucipaov e poÉóvres uerjveykav eis riy. EXAdBa.

! Some verb is needed here, such as mepiéxei whioh is found in chap. 42, from which most of this outline is drawn.


Introduction to the entire work (chaps. 1-5).

On the accounts given by the Egyptians about the origin of the universe (chaps. 6-7).

On the gods who founded cities in Egypt.!

On the first men and the earliest manner of life (chap. 8).

On the honour paid to the immortals and the building of the temples to them.!

On the topography of the land of Egypt and the marvels related about the river Nile; the causes also of its flooding and the opinions thereupon of the historians and the philosophers (chaps. 30 ff).

On the first kings of Egypt and their individual deeds (chaps. 44 ff.).

On the construction of the pyramids which are Med among the seven wonders of the world (chaps.

3 ff.).

On the laws and the courts of law (chaps. 69 ff.).

On the animals held sacred among the Egyptians (ehaps. 83 ff.).

On the eustoms of the Egyptians touching the dead (chaps. 91 ff.).

On those Greeks, renowned for their learning, who visited Egypt and upon acquiring much useful know- ledge brought it to Greece (chaps. 96 ff.).

1 There are no chapters which are especially devoted to this topic. 3




1l. Toi; ràs kowàs la ropías rparyaTeva a uévots ueyá^as xápvras dvmovépeuw Bucauov TávTOs àv- Opdrrovs, órt rois iBíois móvois GbeMjcai TOV ko.wóv Biov édiXoriudÜnaav: dxivÓvvov yàp &i- BackaMav ToU cvpubépovros elanygadpuevo: kaX- Mor» épmewíav Già mpavyuareías TaTuS

2 mepumoL.00cL TOÍs dvavywGgoUgiv. 7) uev "yàp ex Tíjs vre(pas éxda rov uáÜnais uer mroXXdv "róvov xai kiv6Üvev Toii TÓV Xpnciuev €xacTa 8ia- eyuióg ket, «ai 61à roDTro TOV Jpoov Ó TTOXUVT€LpO- T&TOS ueTà ueyáXov ürvynuaTov

moXXAy àvÜpármav iSev da rea, al vóov &yva*

^ ? , JE ^ 5 86 BiÀ Tífjs ia Topías mepvywopévy aveaus TOv áXXoTpiov ámoTevypuárov T€ kai karopÜc udrov ^ ^ 3 dmeíparov ka«v Exe Tij» 6baakaMav. emevra , * ^

«rávrag dvÜpomovs, ueréxyovras pev TüS TOS Mili Er OpeR MEE E 1 Here Diodorus markedly connects **universal" (wowai)

history with human society *'as a whole? (xowés). Cp. the

Introduction, pp. xif. J D pen UE quotation is from the Odyssey 1. 3.





l. Ir is fitting that all men should ever accord great gratitude to those writers who have composed universal? histories, since they have aspired to help by their individual labours human society as a whole; for by offering a schooling, which entails no danger, in what is advantageous they provide their readers, through such a presentation of events, with a most excellent kind of experience. For although the learning which is acquired by experience in each separate case, with all the attendant toils and dangers, does indeed enable a man to discern in each instance where utility lies—and this is the reason ' why the<