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Chapter Summary

This is introduction chapter of the book, which explores Diodorus's first five books. The first part of the book deals with Diodorus's methods in writing history. The accurate geographical details and valuable historical information, mingled in Diodorus's mythological books, are analysed in the second part of the book. It shows that although Diodorus did not invent universal history, his presentation and definition of universal history in his introduction to the whole work reveals his personal view of this genre. A comparison of Bibliotheke with other works considered as universal histories confirms his unique contribution to the development of the genre. The book offers a new approach to the study of Diodorus' use of sources. Inspecting his accounts of the journeys of six chosen mythical figures - Osiris, Sesostris, Semiramis, Myrina, Dionysus and Heracles - reveals certain motifs which are voiced throughout the first pentad, regardless of the author whose writings he consulted.

Keywords: Bibliotheke; Diodorus; geographical details; Myrina; mythical figures; mythological books; Osiris; Semiramis; Sesostris; universal history



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