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The Library, Books 16-20: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Successors
The Library, Books 16-20: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Successors
  • The first translation of the Library for over fifty years, by the acknowledged best contemporary translator of ancient Greek prose
  • A fluent and readable translation accompanied by textual notes, glossary, chronologies, maps, and an index of proper names
  • A comprehensive introduction covering Diodorus' life and times, examining the kind of universal history he was intending to write, his use of his sources, and his moralizing tendency, and assesses his value as a historian
  • Explanatory notes forming an introduction to the history of the period, and point out when Diodorus needs factual corrections

Starting with the most meagre resources, Philip made his kingdom the greatest power in Europe

The Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily is one of our most valuable sources from ancient times. His history, in forty volumes, was intended to range from mythological times to 60 BCE, and fifteen of The Library's forty books survive.
This new translation by Robin Waterfield of books 16-20 covers a vital period in European history. Book 16 is devoted to Philip, and without it the career of this great king would be far more obscure to us. Book 17 is the earliest surviving account by over a hundred years of the world-changing eastern conquests of Alexander the Great, Philip's son. Books 18-20 constitute virtually our sole source of information on the twenty turbulent years following Alexander's death and on the violent path followed by Agathocles of Syracuse. There are fascinating snippets of history from elsewhere too - from Republican Rome, the Cimmerian Bosporus, and elsewhere.
Despite his obvious importance, Diodorus is a neglected historian. This is the first English translation of any of these books in over fifty years. The introduction places Diodorus in his context in first-century-BCE Rome, describes and discusses the kind of history he was intending to write, and assesses his strengths and weaknesses as a historian. With extensive explanatory notes on this gripping and sensational period of history, the book serves as a unique resource for historians and students.


Select Bibliography
Synopsis of Books 16-20
The Library
Book 16
Book 17
Book 18
Book 19
Book 20
Explanatory Notes
Textual Notes
Appendix 1: Diodorus' Sources for Books 16-20
Appendix 2: Roman Consuls of Books 16-20
Index of Proper Names

About the author: 

Diodorus Siculus
Robin Waterfield, Freelance writer and translator
Robin Waterfield is a writer, living in Greece. His previous translations for Oxford World's Classics include Plato's Republic and five other editions of Plato's dialogues, Aristotle's Physics, and The Art of Rhetoric, Herodotus' Histories, Polybius' Histories, Plutarch's Greek Lives and Roman Lives and Hellenistic Lives, Euripides' Orestes and Other Plays and Heracles and Other Plays, Xenophon's The Expedition of Cyrus, Demosthenes' Selected Speeches and The First Philosophers: The PreSocratics and the Sophists. He is the author of Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire (Oxford, 2011), Taken at the Flood (Oxford, 2014), and Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens (Oxford 2018).

Product details

ISBN : 9780198759881

Diodorus Siculus; Robin Waterfield
624 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jul 2019
Oxford World's Classics
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The Library, Books 16-20: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Successors

The Library, Books 16-20: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Successors

The Library, Books 16-20: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Successors