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1st-century-BC Ancient Greek historian
Diodorus Siculus as depicted in a 19th-century fresco
Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily (Greek: Diodoros; fl. 1st century BC), was an ancient Greekhistorian. He is known for writing the monumental universal historyBibliotheca historica, 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, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the time from 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.
According to his own work, he was born in Agyrium in Sicily (now called Agira). With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond his written works. 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".
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).
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.
Greek original works
Greek Wikisource has original text related to this article: ?
Siculus, Diodorus. "Library" (in Ancient Greek). Perseus Digital Library. Books 1-5 only. Retrieved .