The Library of History

by Diodorus Siculus
Bibliotheca Historica, [1746]

Diodorus Siculus (also known as Diodorus of Sicily) was born in Sicily in 90 BC. He worte his universal history called Bibliotheca historica sometime between 60-30 BC.

He described his objective for writing the history as follows:

"Other monuments indure but for a little time, and are often ruin'd and destroy'd by various accidents; but the force and vigour of history, pierces through the whole world, and time it self (which consumes all other things) is its keeper, handing it down to posterity for ever."

Diodorus used the work of other historians when compiling his library. Those authors include: Megasthenes, Timaeus, Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Ephorus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Diyllus, Philistus, Polybius, and Posidonius.

His history was divided into three sections. The first six books included mythical history and end with the Trojan War. These books also include geographical information and describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt (book I), Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia (II), North Africa (III), and Greece and Europe (IV–VI).

Books VII–XVII is the history from the Trojan War down to the death of Alexander the Great.

The remaining books, starting with Book XVII describe the events following the death of Alexander the Great to the time of Julius Ceasar (around 60 BC.).

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books