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date: 01 February 2023

Diodorus (3), Diodorus Siculus, author of the Bibliothēkē, before 90 bce–after 30 bcelocked

Diodorus (3), Diodorus Siculus, author of the Bibliothēkē, before 90 bce–after 30 bcelocked

  • Mario Baumann

Summary

Diodorus (3) of Agyrium, Sicily (hence “Diodorus Siculus”) is the author of the Bibliothēkē (‘Library’), a universal history whose scope spans (a) the time from the beginning of mankind to Diodorus’ own day and (b) the space of the entire inhabited world. Diodorus worked on the Bibliothēkē from c. 60 to c. 30 bce. His main technique is the compilation of existing historical writings. He compiled existing historical writings and organised the vast material into two narrative structures: a space-centred and a time-centred one. Key topics treated in the Bibliothēkē are paradoxography, great men and women, emotions, and technical achievements. By focussing on these aspects, Diodorus not only captivates and engrosses his readers, but also enables them to learn from his all-encompassing history.

Subjects

  • Ancient Geography
  • Greek Literature

Updated in this version

Article rewritten to reflect curent scholarship.

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