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Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12.37.1

Greek History, 480-431 BC--the Alternative Version

Translated with introduction and commentary by Peter Green

Publication Year: 2006

A new English translation of Diodorus' history of the Greek world during the Periclean era, and an iconoclastic reappraisal of this undervalued historian by one of the world's leading Classicists.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

My acquaintance with Diodorus goes back half a century, and involves a most improbable prophecy. While writing my first published book—an excruciatingly naïve account of my recent travels in Italy and Sicily—I found myself getting interested in that early Sicilian nationalist Ducetius. To find out more about him, I turned to Diodorus, as anyone must who studies the...


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pp. xv-xxiv

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pp. 1-48

Diodorus Siculus is known to few people today apart from ancient historians, and even they, for the most part, consult his text rather than read it. This may explain why the one fact virtually all classicists think they know about him— that he is a mere slavish copyist only as good as his source—has remained for so long unchallenged dogma. There can be few ancient authors...

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Translation and Commentary, Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheke: Book 11: 480 – 451 B.C.E.

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pp. 49-176

1. The preceding book, the tenth overall, concluded with the events of the year immediately prior to Xerxes’ crossing into Europe, and the public debate held in the general assembly of the Hellenes at Corinth to discuss an alliance between Gelon and the Greeks [481 B.C.E.].1 In the present book we shall fully narrate the subsequent course of events, beginning with Xerxes’ expedition...

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Translation and Commentary, Diodorus Siculus Bibliotheke: Book 12.1.1–12.37.1: 450 – 431 B.C.E.

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pp. 177-236

1. One might well feel at a loss when pausing to consider the anomaly inherent in human existence: namely, that of those things deemed good, not one is found bestowed on mankind in its entirety, while among evils there is none so absolute that it lacks some advantageous element. We can find demonstrations [of this principle] by considering past events, especially those of...

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Appendix A: The Terminal Date of the Bibliotheke

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pp. 237-241

What has often been picked on as the most striking discrepancy in Diodorus’ chronology, that to do with the terminal date of his work, is in fact also the most revealing. In the introductory proem, while discussing the plan and structure of the Bibliotheke,1 Diodorus makes a very specific chronological statement (1.4.7). The final twenty-three books (Books 18 – 40) cover the period...

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Appendix B: Athenian Losses in the Egyptian Campaign

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pp. 242-244

The Athenian losses recorded in the Egyptian campaign (cf. 11.77.5) by all our major sources are staggering. Thucydides (1.110.1) says “the majority of them perished.” Ctesias (§34, 40b15) puts the figure of those who surrendered at “over 6,000.” Since they had to trek westward across desert, in the height of summer, to reach safety at Cyrene, we should not be surprised to learn that...


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pp. 245-252

Chronological Table

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pp. 253-274


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pp. 275-288


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pp. 289-312

E-ISBN-13: 9780292795877
E-ISBN-10: 0292795874
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292706040
Print-ISBN-10: 0292706049

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 8 maps, 1 table
Publication Year: 2006