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Semiramis' LegacyThe History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily$
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Jan Stronk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474414258

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414258.001.0001

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Semiramis’ Legacy

Semiramis’ Legacy

(p.525) 10 Semiramis’ Legacy
Semiramis' Legacy

Jan P. Stronk

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter starts with a discussion on the historical characters that may have contributed to Diodorus’ imaginary picture of Semiramis. The chapter also make clear that Diodorus combined different elements -or story-lines- in his account. First, the idea of ‘Continuity of empire’, sc. that there was a logical succession of the various empires discussed. Second, and related to the first, the concept of the need of ‘world domination’, if not in fact than at least in claim, present in the empires and houses of (almost) all rulers discussed. Third, Diodorus’ Stoic beliefs, in the Historical Library notably focusing on aretê, commonly translated as ‘virtue’, and, as regards Persian history, on truphē, best translated as ‘luxuriousness’. These qualities, or the lack thereof, can -and in Diodorus’ view did- make or break an empire.

Keywords:   Semiramis, Darius I the Great, Alexander III the Great, Seleucids, Aretē, Truphē

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