Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Diodorus Siculus – Books 11-12.37.1 on Xerxes and Sicily

Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12.37.1 (ISBN 0-292-71277-4) is probably best known as published in the Loeb Classical Library version, but his time I have opted for the alternative version translated and introduced by nobody less than Peter Green.

Diodorus was a Greek historian from Agrigento in Sicily, who lived ca. 100-30 BC and who wrote a world history covering forty books. His history was divided into three parts: the mythical history of peoples, non-Greeks and Greek till the Trojan War; the history till Alexander’s death in 323 BC; and finally the history until 54 BC.  Not all books have survived, but we do have Books I to V where Diodorus writes about the Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians and Greeks, and Books XI to XX handling Greek history from 480 till 302 BC. Of the other volumes, we only have fragments.

Book 11 covers the period from 480 BC to 451 BC, meaning from the year King Xerxes of Persia launched his expedition against Greece till Pericles citizenship law. Book 12.1.1 to 12.37.1 tells us about the prosperity in mainland Greece, the fight over Cyprus, the internal wars in Sicily and their peace treaty with Carthage.

It is known that Diodorus used good and reliable sources. He is the only ancient historian covering Greek history from the days of Xerxes’ invasion to the War of the Diadochi following the death of Alexander the Great.

This version, unlike the Loeb book that was translated back in 1946, is set in modern-day English and is enhanced with the most up-to-date historical information and footnotes. Besides the many useful maps, Peter Green has also added a precious Chronological Table of events shown in parallel as happening in Mainland Greece; in the Aegean, Asia and Africa; and in Sicily & the West. In fact, it relates a very comprehensive piece of history. I used this “alternative” translation for my recent trip to Sicily as a most precious travel companion. 

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