Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic is part of the wave of scholarship which since the 1980s and ’90s has attempted to rehabilitate Diodorus as a thinker and/or as a historian. It accomplishes this purpose more successfully than many other publications of the same persuasion: Muntz applies careful and critical scholarship both to Diodorus’ own text and to control texts that were (probably) based on the same sources, and he reaches balanced and nuanced conclusions. His main goal throughout is to show that, although Diodorus undeniably based his work closely on written sources and took over ideas from other writers and—primarily—from current trends in his time, he moulded his material to reflect on the current issues of the Late Roman Republic even when writing about mythological times or far-away places. Overall, Muntz’s analysis and argument are convincing, and it is good to see such care and attention being paid to Diodorus’ text and its historical context rather than to preconceived ideas about its sources.It is good to see Diodorus receiving so much attention lately. For past PaleoJudaica posts on Diodorus and the importance of his work for the history of Second Temple Judaism, start here and follow the links.
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