The Library of History

Page 175

Page 175

THE Historical Library OF Diodorus the Sicilian. BOOK V.


IT ought to be the special care of all Historians, not only in their Writings to observe whatever may be useful and profitable, but also to keep to a due Order and Method in the several parts of their History. This not only conduces much to direct and caution private Persons how to get and keep Estates, but is an extraordinary help to Writers, in composing of their Historical Treatises. For some there are, that though they are justly in high Esteem for their Eloquent Style, and Variety of Learning discover'd in their Writings, yet have been too careless in distributing their Matter under proper Heads; so that though the Readers may easily discern their great Pains and Industry, yet their manner of Writing deserves justly to be censur'd. Timaeus indeed was very exact in his Chronology, and extraordinarily industrious to abound in variety of Relations; but for his unseasonable and immoderate Censuresof others, may be justly tax'd and reprehended himself; who for his unbounded Liberty that he takes in this bitter Censuring, is call'd by some, the Detracter.

But Ephorus, on the contrary, in his ∆≤niversal History, acts the part of an excellent Historian, both as to the Elegancy of his Style, and his accurate Method: For he divides his Books according to their several Subjects, keeping close in every Book to things of one and the same nature. Which way and order of Writing, I approve above all others, and therefore shall endeavour to imitate him as well as I can.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books