In Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic, Charles E. Muntz offers a fresh look at one of the most neglected historians of the ancient world, and recovers Diodorus's originality and importance as a witness to a profoundly tumultuous period in antiquity. Muntz analyzes the first three books of Diodorus's Bibliotheke historike, some of the most varied and eclectic material in his work, in which Diodorus reveals through the history, myths, and customs of the "e;barbarians"e; the secrets of successful states and rulers, and contributes to the debates surrounding the transition from Republic to Empire. Muntz establishes just how linked the "e;barbarians"e; of the Bibliotheke are to the actors of the crumbling Republic, and demonstrates that through the medium of the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Indians, and others Diodorus engages with the major issues and intellectual disputes of his time, including the origins of civilization, the propriety of ruler-cult, the benefits of monarchy, and the relationship between myth and history. Diodorus has many similarities with other authors writing on these topics, including Cicero, Lucretius, Varro, Sallust, and Livy but, as Muntz argues, engaging with such controversial issues, even indirectly, could be especially dangerous for a Greek provincial such as Diodorus. Indeed, for these reasons he may never have completed or fully published the Bibliotheke in his lifetime. Through his careful and precise investigations, Muntz demonstrates Diodorus's historical context at its full size and scope.
Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic
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