Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic

Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic

by Charles Muntz


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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 "barbarians" 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 "barbarians" 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190498726
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2017
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Charles E. Muntz is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arkansas and was a visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University and his B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1 Diodorus, Quellenforschung, and Beyond
Chapter 2 Organizing the World
Chapter 3 The Origins of Civilization
Chapter 4 Mythical History
Chapter 5 The Deified Culture-bringers
Chapter 6 Kings, Kingship, and Rome
Chapter 7 The Roman Civil Wars and the Bibliotheke

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