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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4471
Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.69.7


nan Now as for the stories invented by Herodotus and certain writers on Egyptian affairs, who deliberately preferred to the truth the telling of marvellous tales and the invention of myths for the delectation of their readers, these we shall omit, and we shall set forth only what appears in the written records of the priests of Egypt and has passed our careful scrutiny.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

8 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 2.151 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2.151. Now the twelve kings were just, and in time came to sacrifice in Hephaestus' temple. On the last day of the feast, as they were about to pour libations, the high priest brought out the golden vessels which they commonly used for this; but he counted wrongly and had only eleven for the twelve. ,So the last in line, Psammetichus, as he had no vessel, took off his bronze helmet and held it out and poured the libation with it. All the kings were accustomed to wear helmets, and were then helmeted; ,it was not in guile, then, that Psammetichus held out his headgear; but the rest perceived what Psammetichus had done, and remembered the oracle that promised the sovereignty of all Egypt to whoever poured a libation from a vessel of bronze; therefore, though they considered Psammetichus not deserving of death (for they examined him and found that he had acted without intent), they decided to strip him of most of his power and to chase him away into the marshes, and that he was not to concern himself with the rest of Egypt .
2. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 2.97, 6.54-6.59 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3. Cicero, On Laws, 1.1.5 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.13, 1.23.2, 1.24.2, 1.24.5, 1.25.2-1.25.3, 1.26.1, 1.28-1.29, 1.65.5-1.65.6, 1.96.2 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.13. 1.  And besides these there are other gods, they say, who were terrestrial, having once been mortals, but who, by reason of their sagacity and the good services which they rendered to all men, attained immortality, some of them having even been kings in Egypt.,2.  Their names, when translated, are in some cases the same as those of the celestial gods, while others have a distinct appellation, such as Helius, Cronus, and Rhea, and also the Zeus who is called Ammon by some, and besides these Hera and Hephaestus, also Hestia, and, finally, Hermes. Helius was the first king of the Egyptians, his name being the same as that of the heavenly star.,3.  Some of the priests, however, say that Hephaestus was their first king, since he was the discoverer of fire and received the rule because of this service to mankind; for once, when a tree on the mountains had been struck by lightning and the forest near by was ablaze, Hephaestus went up to it, for it was winter-time, and greatly enjoyed the heat; as the fire died down he kept adding fuel to it, and while keeping the fire going in this way he invited the rest of mankind to enjoy the advantage which came from it.,4.  Then Cronus became the ruler, and upon marrying his sister Rhea he begat Osiris and Isis, according to some writers of mythology, but, according to the majority, Zeus and Hera, whose high achievements gave them dominion over the entire universe. From these last were sprung five gods, one born on each of the five days which the Egyptians intercalate; the names of these children were Osiris and Isis, and also Typhon, Apollo, and Aphroditê;,5.  and Osiris when translated is Dionysus, and Isis is more similar to Demeter than to any other goddess; and after Osiris married Isis and succeeded to the kingship he did many things of service to the social life of man. 1.23.2.  And those who say that the god was born of Semelê and Zeus in Boeotian Thebes are, according to the priests, simply inventing the tale. For they say that Orpheus, upon visiting Egypt and participating in the initiation and mysteries of Dionysus, adopted them and as a favour to the descendants of Cadmus, since he was kindly disposed to them and received honours at their hands, transferred the birth of the god to Thebes; and the common people, partly out of ignorance and partly out of their desire to have the god thought to be a Greek, eagerly accepted his initiatory rites and mysteries. 1.24.2.  and their proofs of this assertion they endeavour to draw from the Greeks themselves. For inasmuch as it is generally accepted that Heracles fought on the side of the Olympian gods in their war against the Giants, they say that it in no way accords with the age of the earth for the Giants to have been born in the period when, as the Greeks, Heracles lived, which was a generation before the Trojan War, but rather at the time, as their own account gives it, when mankind first appeared on the earth; for from the latter time to the present the Egyptians reckon more than ten thousand years, but from the Trojan War less than twelve hundred. 1.24.5.  The account of the Egyptians agrees also with the tradition which has been handed down among the Greeks since very early times, to the effect that Heracles cleared the earth of wild beasts, a story which is in no way suitable for man who lived in approximately the period of the Trojan War, when most parts of the inhabited world had already been reclaimed from their wild state by agriculture and cities and the multitude of men settled everywhere over the land. 1.25.2.  Osiris has been given the name Sarapis by some, Dionysus by others, Pluto by others, Ammon by others, Zeus by some, and many have considered Pan to be the same god; and some say that Sarapis is the god whom the Greeks call Pluto. As for Isis, the Egyptians say that she was the discoverer of many health-giving drugs and was greatly versed in the science of healing; 1.25.3.  consequently, now that she has attained immortality, she finds her greatest delight in the healing of mankind and gives aid in their sleep to those who call upon her, plainly manifesting both her very presence and her beneficence towards men who ask her help. 1.26.1.  The priests of the Egyptians, reckoning the time from the reign of Helius to the crossing of Alexander into Asia, say that it was in round numbers twenty-three thousand years. 1.28. 1.  Now the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of colonies were spread from Egypt over all the inhabited world. To Babylon, for instance, colonists were led by Belus, who was held to be the son of Poseidon and Libya; and after establishing himself on the Euphrates river he appointed priests, called Chaldaeans by the Babylonians, who were exempt from taxation and free from every kind of service to the state, as are the priests of Egypt; and they also make observations of the stars, following the example of the Egyptian priests, physicists, and astrologers.,2.  They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country;,3.  and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution among these two peoples to circumcise their male children, the custom having been brought over from Egypt.,4.  Even the Athenians, they say, are colonists from Saïs in Egypt, and they undertake to offer proofs of such a relationship; for the Athenians are the only Greeks who call their city "Asty," a name brought over from the city Asty in Egypt. Furthermore, their body politic had the same classification and division of the people as found in Egypt, where the citizens have been divided into three orders:,5.  the first Athenian class consisted of the "eupatrids," as they were called, being those who were such as had received the best education and were held worthy of the highest honour, as is the case with the priests of Egypt; the second was that of the "geomoroi," who were expected to possess arms and to serve in defence of the state, like those in Egypt who are known as husbandmen and supply the warriors; and the last class was reckoned to be that of the "demiurgoi," who practise the mechanical arts and render only the most menial services to the state, this class among the Egyptians having a similar function.,6.  Moreover, certain of the rulers of Athens were originally Egyptians, they say. Petes, for instance, the father of that Menestheus who took part in the expedition against Troy, having clearly been an Egyptian, later obtained citizenship at Athens and the kingship. . . .,7.  He was of double form, and yet the Athenians are unable from their own point of view to give the true explanation of this nature of his, although it is patent to all that it was because of his double citizenship, Greek and barbarian, that he was held to be of double form, that is, part animal and part man. 1.29. 1.  In the same way, they continue, Erechtheus also, who was by birth an Egyptian, became king of Athens, and in proof of this they offer the following considerations. Once when there was a great drought, as is generally agreed, which extended over practically all the inhabited earth except Egypt because of the peculiar character of that country, and there followed a destruction both of crops and of men in great numbers, Erechtheus, through his racial connection with Egypt, brought from there to Athens a great supply of grain, and in return those who had enjoyed this aid made their benefactor king.,2.  After he had secured the throne he instituted the initiatory rites of Demeter in Eleusis and established the mysteries, transferring their ritual from Egypt. And the tradition that an advent of the goddess into Attica also took place at that time is reasonable, since it was then that the fruits which are named after her were brought to Athens, and this is why it was thought that the discovery of the seed had been made again, as though Demeter had bestowed the gift.,3.  And the Athenians on their part agree that it was in the reign of Erechtheus, when a lack of rain had wiped out the crops, that Demeter came to them with the gift of grain. Furthermore, the initiatory rites and mysteries of this goddess were instituted at Eleusis at that time.,4.  And their sacrifices as well as their ancient ceremonies are observed by the Athenians in the same way as by the Egyptians; for the Eumolpidae were derived from the priests of Egypt and the Ceryces from the pastophoroi. They are also the only Greeks who swear by Isis, and they closely resemble the Egyptians in both their appearance and manners.,5.  By many other statements like these, spoken more out of a love for glory than with regard for the truth, as I see the matter, they claim Athens as a colony of theirs because of the fame of that city. In general, the Egyptians say that their ancestors sent forth numerous colonies to many parts of the inhabited world, the pre-eminence of their former kings and their excessive population;,6.  but since they offer no precise proof whatsoever for these statements, and since no historian worthy of credence testifies in their support, we have not thought that their accounts merited recording. So far as the ideas of the Egyptians about the gods are concerned, let what we have said suffice, since we are aiming at due proportion in our account, but with regard to the land, the Nile, and everything else worth hearing about we shall endeavour, in each case, to give the several facts in summary. 1.65.5.  And the excessiveness of his piety may be inferred from a vision which he had in a dream and his consequent abdication of the throne. 1.65.6.  For he thought that the god of Thebes told him while he slept that he would not be able to reign over Egypt in happiness or for any great length of time, unless he should cut the bodies of all the priests in twain and accompanied by his retinue pass through the very midst of them. 1.96.2.  For the priests of Egypt recount from the records of their sacred books that they were visited in early times by Orpheus, Musaeus, Melampus, and Daedalus, also by the poet Homer and Lycurgus of Sparta, later by Solon of Athens and the philosopher Plato, and that there also came Pythagoras of Samos and the mathematician Eudoxus, as well as Democritus of Abdera and Oenopides of Chios.
5. Strabo, Geography, 1.2.35, 11.6.3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2.35. There are many who would make the Erembi a tribe of the Ethiopians, or of the Cephenes, or again of the Pygmies, and a thousand other fancies. These ought to be regarded with little trust; since their opinion is not only incredible, but they evidently labour under a certain confusion as to the different characters of history and fable. In the same category must be reckoned those who place the Sidonians and Phoenicians in the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else in the Ocean, and make the wanderings of Menelaus to have happened there. Not the least cause for mistrusting these writers is the manner in which they contradict each other. One half would have us believe that the Sidonians are a colony from the people whom they describe as located on the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and who they say were called Phoenicians from the colour of the Erythraean Sea, while the others declare the opposite. Some again would transport Ethiopia into our Phoenicia, and make Joppa the scene of the adventures of Andromeda; and this not from any ignorance of the topography of those places, but by a kind of mythic fiction similar to those of Hesiod and other writers censured by Apollodorus, who, however, couples Homer with them, without, as it appears, any cause. He cites as instances what Homer relates of the Euxine and Egypt, and accuses him of ignorance for pretending to speak the actual truth, and then recounting fable, all the while ignorantly mistaking it for fact. Will anyone then accuse Hesiod of ignorance on account of his Hemicynes, his Macrocephali, and his Pygmies; or Homer for his like fables, and amongst others the Pygmies themselves; or Alcman for describing the Steganopodes; or Aeschylus for his Cynocephali, Sternophthalmi, and Monommati; when amongst prose writers, and in works bearing the appearance of veritable history, we frequently meet with similar narrations, and that without any admission of their having inserted such myths. Indeed it becomes immediately evident that they have woven together a tissue of myths not through ignorance of the real facts, but merely to amuse by a deceptive narration of the impossible and marvellous. If they appear to do this in ignorance, it is because they can romance more frequently and with greater plausibility on those things which are uncertain and unknown. This Theopompus plainly confesses in the announcement of his intention to relate the fables in his history in a better style than Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and those who had written on the affairs of India. 11.6.3. For, seeing that those who were professedly writers of myths enjoyed repute, they thought that they too would make their writings pleasing if they told in the guise of history what they had never seen, nor even heard — or at least not from persons who knew the facts — with this object alone in view, to tell what afforded their hearers pleasure and amazement. One could more easily believe Hesiod and Homer in their stories of the heroes than Ctesias, Herodotus, Hellanicus, and other writers of this kind.
6. Longinus, On The Sublime, 22.1, 38.4, 43.1 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Plutarch, On The Malice of Herodotus, 854 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Ammianus Marcellinus, History, 15.9-15.12 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alternative versions Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
amada Torok, Herodotus In Nubia (2014) 10
apollo Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
babylonia Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
cicero Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
colchis, colchians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
diodorus siculus Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31
disciplina auguralis, egyptian Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
disciplina auguralis, hecataeus on Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
egypt, divination in Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
egypt, egyptians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31, 32
egypt, ethnographies of Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
ethnography, hecataeus's contributions to" Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
ethnography, hellenistic Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
ethnography, utopian Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
ethnography Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
euhemerus Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
fowler, r. Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
hecataeus, of abdera Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31, 32
hecataeus of abdera, attitude toward divination and omens Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
hecataeus of abdera, audience of Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 17
hecataeus of abdera, on the egyptians Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13, 17
hecataeus of abdera, on the hyperboreans Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
hecataeus of abdera, structure of ethnographies Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13, 17
herodotus and the histories, aspects of ancient reputation Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
homer Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
hyperboreans Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
ister, river Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
lateiner, d. Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
longinus, on the sublime Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
lydia, lydians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
macedon, macedonians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31
marincola, j. Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
modello-codice, herodotus as Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31, 32
nearchus Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31
nile, river Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
nomoi' Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 31
nomoi Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
persia, persians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
persia and persians, persian wars, reception of Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
photius Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
psammeticus, king Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 60
reception, concepts of Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
reception, distinguished from reputation Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
salmakis inscription Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 16
scythia, scythians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
seleucid period Bar Kochba, Pseudo-Hecataeus on the Jews: Legitimizing the Jewish Diaspora (1997) 13
thrace, thracians Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32
thucydides Morrison, Apollonius Rhodius, Herodotus and Historiography (2020) 32