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Diodorus Siculus
The Library of History

The Author

Prof. Oldfather's General Introduction provides an overview of Diodorus' career, his work, and the manuscripts.

The Text of Diodorus Siculus on LacusCurtius

As usual, I retyped the text rather than scanning it: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents below, the sections are therefore shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

I give further details on the technical aspects of the site layout after the Table of Contents.

There is currently (Feb 14), that I know of, no complete English text of Diodorus online anywhere. Books 33‑40 of the Loeb edition cannot be put online since they remain under copyright, but Andrew Smith (Attalus.Org) has put up his own Web edition: those Books are linked below as well, on green backgrounds.

For the Greek text, the situation is somewhat similar. Almost all of it is online at Perseus again, in a mix of two editions (for those Books the Greek column in the table below is shown on white backgrounds). Books 33‑40 are also provided in a cross-linked edition by Andrew Smith: again, green backgrounds below. The fragmentary Books 6‑8, however, seemed not to be found anywhere else, so I put them up here.

Greek English Quick Synopsis
α´
Egypt: the origin of the world and of civilized life: the gods, the first men.
Egypt: the land, the Nile and its flooding.
Egypt: the first kings.
Egypt: customs and religion.
β´
Mesopotamia: Ninus, Semiramis, the wonders of Babylon; Sardanapalus, Chaldaean astrology.
β´
India, Scythia, Arabia, and the islands of the Ocean.
γ´
Ethiopia and the gold mines of Egypt.
The coasts of the Arabian Gulf: inhabitants.
The coasts of the Arabian Gulf: animals.
Libya, the Gorgons, the Amazons; Ammon and Atlas.
Libyan and other myths about Dionysus.
δ´
Greek myths: Dionysus, Priapus, and the Muses.
Greek myths: Heracles.
Greek myths: the Argonauts, Medea, the daughters of Pelias and the descendants of Heracles.
Theseus, the Seven against Thebes.
ε´
Sicily, Malta, Corsica, Sardinia, and the Balearic Islands.
Britain, Basileia (identified today as Helgoland), Gaul, Celtiberia, Iberia, Liguria, Tyrrhenia.
The islands in the Southern Ocean: Hiera and Panchaea.
The Greek islands.
Fragments. Before the Trojan War: Salmoneus, Admetus, Bellerophon.
Fragments. The period just before and after the Trojan War: Orpheus, Aeneas; Romulus and early Roman history.
Fragments: early history of Messene, Croton, Sybaris, Rome, Cyrene.
θ´
Fragments: stories of the Seven Wise Men; Croesus, Cyrus.
ι´
Fragments: Servius Tullius, Pythagoras, Cambyses, Polycrates of Samos, Zeno, the Tarquins, Themistocles.
Ἀδέσποτα
A few very small fragments of uncertain provenience.
ια´
480‑451 B.C.: Xerxes invades Greece and is defeated.
War between Carthage and Sicily, won by Gelon. War between Greeks and Persians, Greek victory at Plataea.
Rise of Athens under Themistocles, construction of the Piraeus.
Wars of the Greek city-states; Egyptian revolt against Persia.
ιβ´
450‑416 B.C.: Athenian campaigns against Cyprus and Boeotia. The founding of Thurii.
Rome: the Decemvirate. In Greece, revolts against the Athenians, various wars; outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.
Further revolts against the Athenians; Peloponnesian War.
Wars of the Athenians.
ιγ´
415‑405 B.C.: War between Athens and Syracuse.
Consequences of the Athenian defeat in the Syracusan War.
War between Athens and Sparta. The career of Alcibiades. Carthaginian war against Sicily.
Alcibiades. Carthaginian war against Sicily.
Dionysius tyrant of Syracuse. Athens the victor in the naval battle of Aeginusae; she puts her generals to death, and loses the battles that follow: end of the Peloponnesian War.
ιδ´
404‑387 B.C.: Athens, the Thirty Tyrants; Dionysius of Syracuse saves his tyranny.
Persia: the revolt of Cyrus. Death of Socrates.
Greek wars in Asia Minor.
War between Carthage and Sicily.
Various Greek wars; end of the war between Carthage and Sicily.
Siege of Rhegium; coalition of the Italian Greeks against Dionysius; peace of Antalcidas.
The Gauls capture Rome.
ιε´
Various Greek wars.
The Boeotian War.
War between Sparta and Thebes, ending with the Theban victory of Leuctra.
The Theban invasions of the Peloponnese; various Greek wars.
Various Greek wars; career of Epaminondas.
ιϝ´
360‑336 B.C.: Rise of Philip of Macedon; in Syracuse, Dion defeats Dionysius.
The Sacred War and Philip's involvement in Greek affairs.
Artaxerxes regains Egypt, Phoenicia, and Cyprus; end of the Phocian War.
ιϝ´
The career of Timoleon; Philip consolidates his power in Greece, but is assassinated.
ιζ´
335‑324 B.C.: Rise of Alexander the Great: Greece.
Alexander's invasion of Asia: battle of the Granicus, sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus, battle of Issus.
The career of Alexander: the siege of Tyre, the occupation of Egypt, his journey to the oracle of Ammon; defeat of Darius at Arbela.
Alexander in Babylon; the burning of Persepolis; death of Darius. The conspiracy of Parmenio.
Alexander's campaigns in Sogdiana, Bactria, and India.
The marvels of India. Alexander's return to Babylon, where he dies.
ιη´
323‑318 B.C.: Struggles of successors of Alexander after his death.
The translation of Alexander's body to Egypt. Rise of Ptolemy.
Wars among the successors of Alexander.
ιθ´
317‑311 B.C.: The rise of Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse.
Antigonus fights and eventually vanquishes an assortment of other generals.
The doings of Cassander: the murder of Olympias, the razing of Thebes (again).
The varying fortunes of Cassander in Greece, the Adriatic, and Caria. Acrotatus, tyrant of Sicily.
Ptolemy's campaigns and his victory over Demetrius. Seleucus gains control of Babylon. Antigonus in Coelê Syria and Arabia. An account of the Dead Sea. The Romans war against the Samnites.
Further doings of Agathocles, most of them pretty horrible; Sicily gets assistance against him from Carthage. The murder of Roxane and her son Alexander.
κ´
310‑302 B.C.: Agathocles' Libyan campaign.
Ptolemy against Cilicia, the Carthaginians against Sicily and Agathocles' mixed successes against them.
Demetrius against Ptolemy; Agathocles master of most of Sicily.
Antigonus's failed Egyptian campaign; Demetrius' siege of Rhodes, eventually abandoned.
Demetrius frees much of Greece; the grand coalition against Antigonus, with successes by Ptolemy and Seleucus.
κα´
Fragments, 301‑ ca. 285 B.C., including the death of Agathocles and an assessment of him.
κβ´
Fragments, ca. 280‑ ca. 264 B.C.: The Gauls attack Macedonia and Delphi; Mamertine and Roman cruelties in Messina.
κγ´
Fragments, 264‑251 B.C.: the First Punic War.
κδ´
Fragments, 250‑241 B.C.: thru the end of the First Punic War.
κε´
Fragments, 242‑221 B.C.: Carthage's Mercenary War; Carthaginian advances in Iberia.
κϝ´
Fragments: wars between Rome and Carthage; siege of Syracuse, death of Archimedes.
κζ´
Fragments: Nabis tyrant of Sparta; misdeeds of Pleminius at Locri; Scipio against the Carthaginians.
κη´
Fragments, 204‑193 B.C.: Philip V of Macedon and the Second Macedonian War.
κθ´
Fragments, 192‑172 B.C.: Seleucid War and Third Macedonian War.
λ´
Fragments, 171‑168 B.C.: The Romans are victorious in the Third Macedonian War.
λα´
Fragments, 169‑165 B.C.: Rome consolidates its power in Asia Minor.
Fragments, 164‑153 B.C.: The kings of Cappadocia, the character of Scipio Aemilianus.
λβ´
Fragments, 150‑145 B.C.: After the destruction of Carthage and Corinth; assorted turmoil and pretenders in Asia. Hermaphroditic prodigies, unnatural intercourse, the biology of hyenas.

Edition Used, Copyright

Loeb Classical Library, 12 volumes, Greek texts and facing English translation: Harvard University Press, 1933 thru 1967. Translation by C. H. Oldfather thru Volume 6; Vol. 7 by C. L. Sherman, Vol. 8 by C. Bradford Welles, Vols. 9 and 10 by Russel M. Geer, Vol. 11 by F. R. Walton.

The volumes were published in various years, but — except for Volume XIII — each is in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been in 1960/1961 for Vol. I, in 1962/1963 for Vol. II, in 1966/1967 for Vol. III, in 1973/1974 for Vol. IV, in 1977/1978 for Vol. V, in 1981/1982 for Vol. VI, in 1979/1980 for Vol. VII, in 1990/1991 for Vol. VIII, in 1974/1975 for Vol. IX, and in 1981/1982 for Vols. X and XI. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Unfortunately for our purposes, Volume XII, the very last one (containing a massive modern index which I would not have transcribed anyway, but also the text of the surviving fragments of Books 33‑40) was published in 1967 and thus, by the same application of U. S. law, remains under copyright.

For those Books, there was for a while apparently no other public domain English translation than that by Booth, mentioned by the Loeb editor (Introduction, p. xxiv); as a photostat of the 1814 reëdition of that antiquated translation is online elsewhere (starting at what looks like the middle of Book XXXII, but is actually, p543, the beginning of Book XXXIII).

That photostat is altogether superseded by the elegant and convenient fresh rendering, cross-linked to the Greek text, provided at Attalus.Org, that I mentioned above.

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers) mark local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage.


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Site updated: 19 Feb 14