Diodorus Siculus (/ˌdaɪəˈdɔːrəs ˈsɪkjʊləs/; Greek: Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης Diodoros Sikeliotes) (fl. 1st century BC) or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC. It is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the Trojan War to the death of 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.
Diodorus Siculus as depicted in a 19th-century fresco
|Born||c. 90 BC|
|Died||c. 30 BC (aged 60)|
|Known for||Bibliotheca historica|
According to his own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily (now called Agira). With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond in his work. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968" (49 BC), writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium (Inscriptiones Graecae XIV, 588) is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".
Diodorus' universal history, which he named Bibliotheca historica (Greek: Ἱστορικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη, "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 and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.
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 (book I), of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia (II), of North Africa (III), and of Greece and Europe (IV–VI).
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.
He also gave an account of the Gauls: "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)
In Greek mythology, Alcaeus or Alkaios (Ancient Greek: Ἀλκαῖος derived from alke "strength") was the name of a number of different people:
Alcaeus, was a Mycenaean prince. He was a son of Perseus and Andromeda and thus the brother of Perses, Heleus, Mestor, Sthenelus, Electryon, Cynurus, Gorgophone and Autochthe. Alcaeus was married either to Astydameia, the daughter of Pelops and Hippodamia, or Laonome, daughter of Guneus, or else Hipponome, daughter of Menoeceus, by whom he became the father of Amphitryon, Anaxo and Perimede.
Alcaeus, the original name of Heracles (according to Diodorus Siculus), which was given to him on account of his descent from Alcaeus, the son of Perseus mentioned above.
Alcaeus, a son of Heracles by a female slave of Iardanus, from whom the dynasty of the Heraclids in Lydia were believed to be descended. Diodorus Siculus writes that this son of Heracles is named "Cleolaus".
Alcaeus, a general of Rhadamanthus, according to Diodorus Siculus, who presented him with the island of Paros. The Bibliotheca relates that he was a son of Androgeus (the son of Minos and Pasiphaë) and brother of Sthenelus, and that when Heracles, on his expedition to fetch the girdle of Ares, which was in the possession of the queen of the Amazons, arrived at Paros, some of his companions were slain by the sons of Minos. Heracles, in his anger, slew all the descendants of Minos except Alcaeus and Sthenelus, whom he took with him, and to whom he afterwards gave the island of Thasus as their home.
Alcaeus, son of Margasus and Phyllis, a Carian ally of the Trojans in the Trojan War. He was killed by Meges.Battle of Salamis (306 BC)
The naval Battle of Salamis in 306 BC took place off Salamis, Cyprus between the fleets of Ptolemy I of Egypt and Antigonus I Monophthalmus, two of the Diadochi, the generals who, after the death of Alexander the Great, fought each other for control of his empire.
Cyprus had been seized by Ptolemy, and was used as a base for operations against the Antigonid territories in Asia Minor and the Levant. In 306 BC, Antigonus sent his son Demetrius to invade the island, which was defended by Ptolemy's brother Menelaus. After landing on the northeastern part of the island, Demetrius marched to Salamis, defeated Menelaus in a battle, and laid siege to the city. This was the first time where Demetrius demonstrated his flair for siege warfare, which would later earn him the sobriquet Poliorcetes, "the Besieger". Nevertheless, Menelaus was able to hold off Demetrius' attacks until the arrival of reinforcements. Ptolemy led a large-scale rescue expedition in person, hoping to catch Demetrius between his own forces and those of Menelaus, sallying forth from Salamis. Demetrius took a calculated risk by leaving only a small force to impede Menelaus, and focusing the bulk of his forces against Ptolemy. The ensuing battle was a complete victory for Demetrius, who destroyed or captured much of Ptolemy's fleet and army. After the battle, Menelaus and his men surrendered, and the rest of Cyprus was captured by Demetrius. In the wake of this victory, Antigonus assumed the royal title that had been vacant since the murder of Alexander's underage son, followed by the other Diadochi soon after.Battle of White Tunis
The Battle of White Tunis was fought between Carthage and the tyrant Agathocles of Syracuse in 310 BC. It was the first large battle of the Agathocles' military expedition to Libya. Even though heavily outnumbered by the Carthaginian army, the soldiers of Agathocles were far more experienced in warfare than the Carthaginian citizen soldiers. Another important factor was the terrain, which prevented the Carthaginians from using their numbers to outflank Agathocles. The Carthaginian suffered a serious defeat, which caused some of the Carthaginian allies to change their allegiance to Agathocles.Bibliotheca historica
Bibliotheca historica (Greek: Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική, "Historical Library"), 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 (book I), of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia (II), of North Africa (III), and of Greece and Europe (IV–VI). In the next section (books VII–XVII), he recounts the history of the world starting with the Trojan War, down to the death of Alexander the Great. The last section (books XVII to the end) concern the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Caesar's Gallic War in 59 BC. (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 labors he stopped short at 60 BC.) He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgement that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Of the authors he drew from, some who have been identified include: Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Ephorus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Diyllus, Philistus, Timaeus, Polybius and Posidonius.
Diodorus' immense work has not survived intact; only the first five books and books 11 through 20 remain. The rest exists only in fragments preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.Creusa (Naiad)
In Greek mythology, Creusa (; Ancient Greek: Κρέουσα Kreousa "princess" ) was a Naiad and daughter of Gaia. She bore Hypseus, future king of the Lapiths and Stilbe to the river god Peneus. Through Hypseus she was grandmother of Cyrene, one of the best known lovers of Apollo while her daughter Stilbe gave birth to twin sons to Apollo. These sons were Lapithes and Centaurus progenitors of the Lapiths and the Centaurs.Harpina
In Greek mythology, Harpina (; Ancient Greek: Άρπινα) was a Naiad nymph and daughter of Phliasian Asopus and of Metope. Pausanias (5.22.6) and Diodorus Siculus (4.73.1) mention Harpina and state that, according to the tradition of the Eleans and Phliasians, Ares mated with her in the city of Pisa (located in the ancient Greek region of Elis) and she bore him Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. Oenomaus (6.21.8) founded and named after his mother the city of Harpina, not far from the river Harpinates, near Olympia. Pausanias (5.22.6) mentions Harpina in his description of a group sculpture, donated by the Phliasians, of the daughters of Asopus, which included Nemea, Zeus seizing Aegina, Harpina, Corcyra, Thebe and Asopus. The sculpture was located in the sanctuary of Hippodamia at Olympia.Isindus
Isindus or Isindos (Ancient Greek: Ἴσινδος), also known as Isinda (Ἴσινδα) was a town of ancient Ionia, mentioned by Stephanus of Byzantium. It may be that Isinda in Pisidia, which claimed an Ionian origin, was colonised from here. It was a member of the Delian League since it appears in tribute records of Athens between the years 445/4 and 416/5 BCE. It is possible that it is the same city as the Ionda mentioned Diodorus Siculus that was occupied by Thimbron in the year 391/90 BCE before his occupation of a mountain near Ephesus.Its site is unlocated.Marmara (Lycia)
Marmara was a town of ancient Lycia, whose inhabitants put up a ferocious defense to Alexander the Great during his invasion. The name does not appear in history, but the ethnonym is cited by Diodorus Siculus. The town's territory is called Mnarike (Ancient Greek: Μναρική) in the Stadiasmus Patarensis, implying a town name of Mnara.The identification of Mnara with Marmara has generally be accepted to the site of Kavak Dağ. Excavations began in 2004 and are on-going.Nireus
In Greek mythology, Nireus (Ancient Greek: Νιρεύς), was king of the island Syme (according to Diodorus Siculus, also of a part of Cnidia) and one of the Achaean leaders in the Trojan War.Orophernes of Cappadocia
Orophernes Nicephorus (in Greek Oρoφέρνης Nικηφόρoς, also known as Olophernes) was one of the two sons Antiochis (the daughter of Antiochus III the Great) pretended to have had with Ariarathes IV, the king of Cappadocia because she failed to have children (the name of the other was Ariarathes). However, she then did bear a child, Mithridates, and told her husband about the fake sons. These were sent to Rome and Ionia respectively to avoid a succession dispute with the legitimate son, whose name was changed to Ariarathes and who succeeded his father as Ariarathes V in 163 BC. A few years later Orophernes deposed him with the help of Demetrius I Soter, who became the king of the Syria-based Seleucid Empire in 161 BC when he overthrew Antiochus V, an underage king, and his regent, Lysias. The reign of Orophernes was short-lived. The Romans restored Ariarathes V.
The information we have about Orophernes comes from Justin, Diodorus Siculus and Polybius, whose works have survived in fragments. Therefore, this information is incomplete. We also have very brief references to Orophernes in Appian and Zonaras.
According to Justin, when Ariarathes V refused to marry the sister of Demetrius I, the latter welcomed Orophernes, who had come to him as a suppliant, and supported his claim to the throne of Cappadocia. For Demetrius this was a pretext for war as he wanted to enlarge his kingdom and increase his power by waging war on his neighbours. However, Orophernes plotted with the disgruntled people of Antioch to expel him. The conspiracy was discovered. Demetrius spared his life so that he could still pursue the war against Ariarathes V. He captured him and imprisoned at Seleucia, in his kingdom. The people of Antioch persisted with their rebellion. They were attacked by Demetrius, but they were supported by Ptolemy VI, the king of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Attalus II, the king of Pergamon, and Ariarathes V. They sent Balas, a young man, to pretend that he was the brother of Antiochus V and claim the throne by force. They called him Alexander (see Alexander Balas). The people believed him. He defeated Demetrius, who died in battle.Justin's brief account did not mention the deposition of Ariarathes V. This is recorded in the Periochae of Livy where an entry for book 47 says that "King Ariarathes of Cappadocia, who had been expelled from his kingdom on the initiative and with troops of king Demetrius..."Appian wrote that Demetrius deposed Ariarathes V and gave the throne of Cappadocia to Olophernes, who gave Demetrius 1000 talents for this.Diodorus Siculus wrote that Orophernes overthrew Ariarathe V and did not try to gain popular support. He raised money through forced contributions. He put many people to death. He gave Timotheus a gift of 50 talents and Demetrius a gift of 70 talents in addition to having paid him 600 talents and still owing him 400 talents (this is probably the money Appian said he paid Demetrius to overthrow Ariarathes). He began to make exactions on all his subjects and to confiscate the property of men "of the highest distinction." It is at this point that Balas (Diodorus did not give his name and only says that he was a youth who resembled Antiochus V) was sent to challenge Demetrius. In this account he was from Smyrna and he was sent by Attalus II, who was aggrieved by the expulsion of Ariarathes V and also had reasons for wanting to keep Demetrius in check. He gave him royal insignia and sent him to Zenophanes, a Cilician who had had a dispute with Demetrius and had been helped by Eumenes II, Attalus' father. This man spread the word that the youth wanted to reclaim his father's throne.In Polybius's account, Ariarathes V arrived in Rome in the summer of 158 BC. After the consuls for 157 BC, Sextus Julius Caesar and Lucius Aurelius Orestes, entered office he did some lobbying. He and his retinue dressed modestly to highlight his distressed situation. Miltiades arrived as an envoy of Demetrius to defend Demetrius and speak against Ariarathes. Orophernes sent a delegation headed by Timotheus and Diogenes to plead Orophernes' case and accuse Ariarathes V. They brought a crown dedicated to Rome, which was a way of pledging allegiance to Rome, and asked to renew Cappadocia's alliance with Rome. The lobbying of this delegation made a greater impression because it outnumbered Ariarathes, it appeared more prosperous and it disregarded truth. Since there was no one to refute falsehoods, it gained the day. However, in another passage, Polybius wrote that Ariobarzanes was restored and left Italy. Orophernes and Theotimus blamed each other for this. In another passage he summarised that Ariarathes was expelled by Orophernes through "the agency of King Demetrius" and recovered his throne "by the help of Attalus." He also noted that after Attalus succeeded his brother Eumenes his policy was to restore Ariarathes to his kingdom.That Ariarathes V was setored as sole ruler of Cappadocia rather than being ordered to be a co-ruler with his alleged brother, is recorded in the Periochae: "King Ariarathes of Cappadocia... was restored by the Senate.Diodorus Siculus wrote that the envoys of Orophernes plotted against Ariarathes V, but the latter captured them and put them to death at Corfu, an island off western Greece. The henchmen of Orophernes made plans against Ariarathes at Corinth, in Greece. However, Ariarathes eluded them and reached Attalus in Pergamon safely.Unlike Polybius and Diodorus Siculus, Appian wrote the Romans "decided that as brothers both Ariarathes and Orophernes should reign together."Zonaras, too, wrote that the Romans ruled that Ariarathes VI and Orophernes were to be co-rulers. His account also has Orophernes as the only child of Antiochis and Ariarathes IV prior to the birth of Ariarathes V. Antiochis adopted Orophernes. There is no mention of another adoptive son. When Ariobarzanes V was born, the position of Orophernes was "detected and he was banished." In his brief mention of Ariarathes VI and Orophernes, Zonaras went on to write that Orophernes deposed Ariarathes V by leading an uprising and defeating him. Attalus II was an ally of Ariarathes and Demetrius was an ally of Orophernes. The Romans decided that the two brothers were to share the kingdom. Subsequently, the fact Ariarathes V had been declared an ally of Rome enabled him to overthrow Orophernes and became the sole ruler. When Attalus II succeed Eumenes II after his death, he drove Orophernes and Demetrius out of Cappadocia. Polybius related that soon after his succession to the throne in 163 BC, Ariarathes sent envoys to Rome to renew “the previously existing alliance.” This is also recorded in the Periochae.Polybius wrote that Orophernes did not hold the kingdom for long. He thought that Orophernes despised traditional Cappadocian customs and "introduced the refined debauchery of Ionia." He lost his kingdom and life because he fell victim to the passion for money and sacrificed his life for this. This view was echoed by Athenaeus, who regarded the Ionian luxury Orophernes introduced as being artificial.When Orophernes' situation became worse, he run out of funds to pay his soldiers and was worried about a mutiny. He plundered a temple of Zeus, which was considered inviolable, to pay the wage arrears.Polybius wrote that Orophernes, who had amassed a great sum, deposited 400 talents in the city of Priene for a rainy day. The town later returned the money. In another passage he wrote that after he was restored, Ariarathes V, who thought that the money belonged to the kingdom, asked Priene to return the money to him. The town refused to give it to anyone else while Orophernes was alive. Ariarathes sent a force to devastate its territory. Priene, which had sent envoys to Rhodes, now appealed to the Romans, who ignored this. Polybius commented that "[t]he Prienians had based high hopes on their command of so large a sum but the result was just the opposite. For they paid the deposit back to Orophernes, and unjustly suffered considerable damage at the hands of King Ariarathes owing to this same deposit."According to Diodorus Siculus, when Orophernes' situation worsened, he was worried about the pay for his soldiers and was afraid about a possible mutiny. Since he was without funds, he plundered a temple of Zeus, which was considered inviolable, to pay the wage arrears.Today Orophernes is mainly known for a poem written by the celebrated modern Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy in 1915. In meditating on a tetradrachm found in Priene, the poet wrote "Orophernes," on the pretender's life and his adventures.Pherendates II
Pherendates II was an Achaemenid satrap of ancient Egypt during the 4th century BCE, at the time of the 31st Dynasty of Egypt.
Almost nothing is known about him. In his Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus Siculus reports that, after the battle of Pelusium (343 BCE) and the subsequent Achaemenid conquest of Egypt, Artaxerxes III appointed Pherendates II as satrap. His office must have been very brief, since his successor Sabaces was killed in the battle of Issus (333 BCE) while serving Darius III.Polyhymnia
Polyhymnia (; Greek: Πολυύμνια; "the one of many hymns"), also spelt Polymnia (Πολύμνια) was in Greek mythology the Muse of sacred poetry, sacred hymn, dance, and eloquence as well as agriculture and pantomime. Her name comes from the Greek words "poly" meaning "many" and "hymnos", which means "praise". She is depicted as very serious, pensive and meditative, and often holding a finger to her mouth, dressed in a long cloak and veil and resting her elbow on a pillar. Polyhymnia is also sometimes credited as being the Muse of geometry and meditation.In Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus Siculus wrote, "Polyhymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she brings distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame...". She appears in Dante's Divine Comedy: Paradiso. Canto XXIII, line 56, and is referenced in modern works of fiction.
Polyhymnia was also described as the mother of Triptolemus by Cheimarrhoos, son of Ares, and of the musician Orpheus by Apollo.Rhodos
In Greek mythology, Rhodos/Rhodus (Ancient Greek: Ῥόδος) or Rhode (Ancient Greek: Ῥόδη), was the goddess and personification of the island of Rhodes and a wife of the sun god Helios. The poet Pindar tells the story, that when the gods drew lots for the places of the earth, Helios being absent received nothing. So Helios, with Zeus' consent, claimed a new island (Rhodes), which had not yet risen from the sea. And after it rose from the sea he lay with her and produced seven sons.Sabaces
Sabaces (name variants: Sabakes, Sauaces; Sataces; Diodorus Siculus calls him Tasiaces; Aramaic: SWYK, died in 333 BC) was an Achaemenid satrap of the Achaemenid Thirty-first Dynasty of Egypt during the reign of king Darius III of Persia.Second War of the Diadochi
The Second War of the Diadochi was the conflict between the coaliton of Polyperchon (as Regent of the Empire), Olympias and Eumenes and the coaliton of Cassander, Antigonus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus following the death of Cassander's father, Antipater (the old Regent).Segesta
Segesta (Greek: Ἔγεστα, Egesta, or Σέγεστα, Ségesta, or Αἴγεστα, Aígesta; Sicilian: Siggésta) was one of the major cities of the Elymians, one of the three indigenous peoples of Sicily. The other major cities of the Elymians were Eryx and Entella. It is located in the northwestern part of Sicily in Italy, near the modern commune of Calatafimi-Segesta in the province of Trapani. The hellenization of Segesta happened very early and had a profound effect on its people.Siege of Syracuse (343 BC)
The Siege of Syracuse from 344 to 343/342 BC was part of a war between the Syracusan general Hicetas and the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius II. The conflict became more complex when Carthage and Corinth became involved. The Carthaginians had made an alliance with Hicetas to expand their power in Sicily. Somewhat later the Corinthian general Timoleon arrived in Sicily to restore democracy to Syracuse. With the assistance of several other Sicilian Greek cities, Timoleon emerged victorious and reinstated a democratic regime in Syracuse. The siege is described by the ancient historians Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch, but there are important differences in their accounts.Sybaris
Sybaris (Ancient Greek: Σύβαρις; Italian: Sibari) was an important city of Magna Graecia. It was situated on the Gulf of Taranto, in Southern Italy, between two rivers, the Crathis (Crati) and the Sybaris (Coscile).
The city was founded in 720 BC by Achaean and Troezenian settlers. Sybaris amassed great wealth thanks to its fertile land and busy port. Its inhabitants became famous among the Greeks for their hedonism, feasts, and excesses, to the extent that "sybarite" and "sybaritic" have become bywords for opulent luxury and outrageous pleasure-seeking.
In 510/09 BC the city was subjugated by its neighbor Kroton and its population driven out. Sybaris became a dependent ally of Kroton, but Kroton again besieged the city in 476/5 BC, probably resulting in another victory for Kroton. Two attempts to reoccupy the city failed around 452/1 BC and 446/5 BC when the remaining Sybarites were again expelled by the Krotoniates. After a call for help the Sybarites reoccupied their city later in 446/5 BC with the assistance of new settlers from Athens and other cities in the Peloponnese. This coexistence did not last long: the Sybarites got into a conflict with the new colonists and were ousted for the last time in the summer of 445 BC. In sum, the city saw a total of five periods of occupation separated by expulsion. The new settlers then proceeded to found the city of Thurii in 444/3 BC, a new colony which was built partially on top of the site of Sybaris. The surviving Sybarites founded Sybaris on the Traeis.
The ruins of Sybaris and Thurii became forgotten as they were buried by sediment from the Crati river over time. The ruins were rediscovered and excavated in the 1960s by Donald Freeman Brown. Today they can be found southeast of Sibari, a frazione in the comune of Cassano allo Ionio in the Province of Cosenza, Calabria region, Italy.Sybaris on the Traeis
Sybaris on the Traeis was an ancient city of Magna Grecia situated on the Traeis river, now known as the Trionto. It shares its name with the original city of Sybaris (Ancient Greek: Σύβαρις) which was destroyed in 510 BC. Its former inhabitants built a new city, Thurii, not far from the site of Sybaris. This new colony was founded together with other Greek settlers in 446/445 BC. Soon a conflict arose between the two groups and most of the Sybarites were killed by the other Greek colonists of Thurii. The Sybarites who managed to flee then founded Sybaris on the Traeis a short time after 444 BC. The city was destroyed by the Bruttii not long after their emergence as an ethnic group in 356/355 BC.
In the present day the Trionto river flows through the Province of Cosenza in Calabria, Italy. The mouth of the river lies approximately 25 kilometers southeast of the site of Thurii. The exact location of Sybaris on the Traeis has not been found along the course of the Trionto yet.