Diodorus Siculus und der athenische Ostrakismos

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: In the extant parts of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke historike there are three
passages where the Athenian Law of ostracism is mentioned. Two of them, which
are to be found in ch. 55 and 87 of the Bibliotheke’s eleventh book, contain a concise description of the institution and its purpose. The striking similarities between these texts suggest a common source, and by close examination of the texts
and their respective context it can be shown that the author in question was well
informed of the subject, but not so much interested in the Athenian Institution as
in its Syracusan counterpart, the so-called petalism. It seems to have been his intention to supplement a meagre body of genuine information on petalism with
conjectures drawn from the philosophical and historiographical discourse of
Athenian ostracism. The question who this author was cannot be answered with
absolute certainty, but a strong case can be made for Timaeus of Tauromenium,
an author whom we know to have been equally well acquainted with Syracusan
history and with Athenian political institutions.
The third Diodorean mention of Athenian ostracism is to be found in the
preface to the nineteenth book of the Bibliotheke, where Diodorus dwells on the
institution’s purpose as a means to secure democratic constitutions against the
danger of being subverted by the most influential members of the citizen body.
The analysis of this passage suggests that Diodorus here relies on the same body
of information as in the eleventh book but connects it with a strongly-worded
criticism of all-to-powerful individuals that seems to stem from his own personal
notions. Following a suggestion made by Michael Rathmann, it is argued that
Diodorus here tried to convey a veiled criticism of the too powerful individuals of
his own time, the warlords of the late Roman Republic.
Seiten (von - bis)137-171
FachzeitschriftCommentaria Classica
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2023

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