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Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus$
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Lisa Irene Hau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411073

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Diodorus Siculus

Diodorus Siculus

(p.73) 2. Diodorus Siculus
Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus

Lisa Irene Hau

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the Diodorus source problem and its bearing on the argument. It then offers a thorough analysis of the moral-didactic lessons and moralising techniques of Diodorus Siculus. It finds that Diodorus’ story universe is governed by divine forces, which are largely just, and that this makes piety the cardinal virtue of his historical actors. Diodorus also condemns brutality and cruel behaviour in any context, and especially when perpetrated against civilians or prisoners of war. Throughout, he recommends epieikeia, decent treatment of those in one’s power, as the most moral and most practically beneficial course. The chapter ends with an overview of differences in moralising between parts of Diodorus’ work based on different sources and briefly hypothesises about the moralising of these sources, some of which are going to be analysed in more detail in chapter 3.

Keywords:   Diodorus Siculus, Moral didacticism, Moralising, Mildness, Kindness, Epieikeia, Piety, Divine justice, Moderation, Cruelty

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