The Persian Wars to the Fall of Athens: Books 11-14.34 (480-401 BCE)
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Only one surviving source provides a continuous narrative of Greek history from Xerxes' invasion to the Wars of the Successors following the death of Alexander the Great--the Bibliotheke, or "Library," produced by Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus (ca. 90-30 BCE). Yet generations of scholars have disdained Diodorus as a spectacularly unintelligent copyist who only reproduced, and often mangled, the works of earlier historians. Arguing for a thorough critical reappraisal of Diodorus as a minor but far from idiotic historian himself, Peter Green published Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12.37.1, a fresh translation, with extensive commentary, of the portion of Diodorus's history dealing with the period 480-431 BCE, the so-called "Golden Age" of Athens. This is the only recent modern English translation of the Bibliotheke in existence. In the present volume--the first of two covering Diodorus's text up to the death of Alexander--Green expands his translation of Diodorus up to Athens' defeat after the Peloponnesian War. In contrast to the full scholarly apparatus in his earlier volume (the translation of which is incorporated) the present volume's purpose is to give students, teachers, and general readers an accessible version of Diodorus's history. Its introduction and notes are especially designed for this audience and provide an up-to-date overview of fifth-century Greece during the years that saw the unparalleled flowering of drama, architecture, philosophy, historiography, and the visual arts for which Greece still remains famous.
Sparta’s king who left behind a great memorial of valor, everlasting renown. 12. Now that we have discoursed sufﬁciently on the theme of these men’s valor, we shall continue our narrative from the point at which we abandoned it. By gaining control of the passes in the way previously described, which gave him (as the proverb has it) a “Cadmean” victory only,21 Xerxes had caused very few enemy casualties, while losing countless numbers of his own troops. So, having thus obtained control of the
dispute) the Argives took over control of the Games (Paus. 2.15.2). book 11 69 heroes and with notable achievements to its credit, came to the disastrous end described above, and has remained uninhabited to this day. These, then, were the events that took place during this year. 66. When Lysistratus was archon in Athens [467/6], the Romans elected as consuls [Varr. 472] Lucius Pinarius Mamer
concluded,] was why many men of average character become ensnared by factitious pleasures and end up stuck with really abominable habits. Wanting, therefore, to banish this source of corruption, the lawgiver banned all friendship and intimate association with base persons, provided actions at law against the keeping of bad company and by means of stringent penalties, discouraged those about to commit such errors.  He also framed another law of greater merit even than this one and similarly
War. 49. Neither the timing nor the instructions in Diodorus (the Athenians react to a fait accompli; the instructions—slash and burn, sack—are more stringent) agree with those of Thuc. 1.58.1–59.1. Diodorus here preferred an alternative source (? Ephorus). Presumably he felt Thucydides was airbrushing Athenian brutality. His version also, interestingly, suggests that Athens was not expecting serious resistance, let alone a long siege: precisely the same expensive mistake she had made over Samos.
 Though the Lacedaemonians had suffered heavy losses in their endless assaults on Pylos, they held on grimly through the worst of the ﬁghting. Indeed, one well might wonder at the paradoxical nature of Fortune and the peculiar way in which she disposed matters at Pylos,  seeing that Athenians, ﬁghting from a Laconian base, were gaining the mastery over Spartans, while Lacedaemonians, forced to treat their own soil as hostile, were attacking their enemies from the sea. Champion land ﬁghters