Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Ctesias of Cnidus, a Reappraisal

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Mnemosyne

The works of Ctesias of Cnidus have frequently been regarded as second rate at best. His reliability as a historian has been seriously questioned in particular, not only by Felix Jacoby and many historians after him, but also by authors in antiquity. Doubts were especially raised about Ctesias' Indica, but also the trustworthiness of his Persica was—and still is—considered dubious. This verdict appears to be unfair, for two reasons. The first is that hardly anything that can be attributed directly to Ctesias has survived: the overwhelming majority of material ascribed to Ctesias has been transmitted by other authors, who used their source not necessarily with proper care. The second is to be found in Demetrius' On Style: here a new perspective on Ctesias is offered. It shows that we should no longer regard Ctesias primarily as a historian, but as a forerunner of a new literary genre (culminating in the classical novel) mixing historical fact with fictitious elements. It is only because of the lack of a proper word in antiquity to describe this genre that the term 'history' was applied to his work as well. It would confuse many generations of historians and deny Ctesias his proper place in Greek literary history.

Affiliations: 1: University of Amsterdam, Ancient History, c/o Reestein 9, 2151 KB Nieuw-Vennep, The Netherlands


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Mnemosyne — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation