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Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic$
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Charles Muntz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190498726.001.0001

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The Roman Civil Wars and the Bibliotheke

The Roman Civil Wars and the Bibliotheke

(p.215) 7 The Roman Civil Wars and the Bibliotheke
Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic

Charles E. Muntz

Oxford University Press

With Diodorus’s close engagement with contemporary issues established, this chapter explores how the Roman civil wars may have influenced composition and publication of the Bibliotheke. From available evidence, it appears Diodorus was working on the opening books of the Bibliotheke in the years immediately following Julius Caesar’s assassination but failed to begin publishing them. Diodorus’s two principal exemplars, Egypt and Dionysus, would probably have been acceptable to the Romans during the 40s BCE, but they became politically toxic as Octavian used Mark Antony’s association with both in his propaganda war during the 30s BCE. Diodorus’s struggles to adapt to the changing political situation may account for many of the incongruities in the work. It is possible the Bibliotheke itself was a casualty of the Roman civil wars and Diodorus failed to ever publish or even complete it in his own lifetime.

Keywords:   Octavian, Mark Antony, Roman civil wars, propaganda, Dionysus, Egypt, Julius Caesar

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