The Library of History

Page 125

Page 125

THE Historical Library OF Diodorus the Sicilian. BOOK IV.


I Am not ignorant that the Writers of Antiquities in many things fall short of the truth in their Relations. For being that ancient things are (as it were) scrap'd out of the Rubbish with very great difficulty, they greatly perplex the Historian. And because the Supputation of Times, wherein things were done, cannot now be so exact as to infer an Infallible Argument for the truth of the Actions related; therefore it is that the Reader despises the Authors of the History. And the multitude and variety of the Gods, Demy-Gods, and other Famous Men, whose Genealogies are to be treated of, add much more to the difficulty. And the greatest vexation of all is, that the Writers of Antiquities and Mythologies differ exceedingly in their Relations one from another: And therefore the most fam'd and noted Historians of later Times, have altogether wav'd Treatises of Ancient Things, and apply'd themselves to Composing Histories only of such as have happened in Times a little before their own. For Ephorus the Cumean, the Scholar of Isocrates, designing to write a General History, passing over matter of former Ages, began his Writings with theReturn of the Heraclides: Callisthenes and Theopompus, who were Contemporary, follow'd the same Method, and wav'd all matters of Antiquity. But I am of a contrary Opinion from them in this matter, and therefore the more fully to discharge what I have undertaken, have resolv'd with the greatest care and diligence I can, to treat of the Antiquities of Ancient Times: For there are many things, and such as are very remarkable, that have been done by the Gods and Demy-Gods, and other Famous Men, to some of whom Posterity for their good Actions to the general benefit of Mankind, have attributed Divine Honours, as to Gods, and have ador'd others, by instituting Sacrifices to them as Demy-Gods. But the due praises of all these Worthies are publish'd to the World by History, to the Succession of perpetual Generations.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books