The Ancient Library

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On this page: Dinocrates – Dinolochus – Diocletian, Edit of – Diodorus – Diogenes Laertius



acquired wealth and reputation by writing

-speeches for others. He was involved in the ruin of his patron, Demetrius, and in 307 went into voluntary exile at Chalcis in Eurxjea. It was fifteen years before he obtained permission to return, through the good offices of Theophrastus. Robbed of his property by the treachery of a friend,

•and nearly blind, he died at Athens, more than 70 years old. His speeches, which were very numerous (there were at least fifty-eight), are all lost, except three on the trial of Harpalus, one of which is di­rected against Demosthenes. They do not give a favourable idea of his powers. In the opinion of the ancients his style had no individuality, but was an unsuccessful imitation, at one time of Lysias, at another of Hyperides, at another of Demosthenes.

DJndcrites (Deindkrates). A Greekarchi-tect, a native of Macedonia, who flourished in the second half of the 4th century b.c., and was thus a contemporary of Alexander the Great. On the commission of Alexander he superintended the foundation of Alex­andria, and erected the funeral pyre of Hephsestion, celebrated for its boldness and splendour. He is also said to have restored the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, burnt down by Herostratus. An idea of the bold­ness of his conceptions may be gathered from the fact that he proposed to represent Mount Athos in human form, with a city in one hand, and in the other a vessel from which the waters of the mountain flowed into the sea.

DlndlSchns (DeinOldclids). See comedy.

Diocletian, Edict of. [An edict published by the Emperor Diocletian about 303 a.d., directing those engaged in the sale of pro­visions not to exceed certain fixed prices in times of scarcity. It is preserved in an inscription in Greek and Latin on the outer wall of the cello, of a temple at Stratonicea (Eski-hissar) in Caria. It states the price of many varieties of provisions, and these inform us of their relative value at the time. The provisions specified include not only the ordinary food of the people, but also a number of articles of luxury. Thus mention is made of several kinds of honey, of hams, sausages, salt and fresh-water fish, asparagus and beans, and even perncK MenHplcce (Westphalian hams). At the time when the edict was published the denarius was obviously much reduced in value, that coin appearing as the equivalent of a single oyster. The inscription was first copied by Sherard in 1709 ; it has been

elaborately edited by M. Waddington, with new fragments and a commentary, 18G4; and by Mommseu in the third volume of the Corpus InscriptWnum Lattnunim. Portions of the Greek copy and the Latin preamble were found at Plataea in 1888-9 during the explorations of the American School of Classical Archseology. In 1890, during the excavations of the British School of Archaeology, several hundred lines of the Greek version of the decree were discovered at Megalopolis, including a list of pigments with their prices. It has been edited anew by Mommsen and Bliimner, 1893. —J. E. S.j

DI6dorus, surnamed Slculus, or the Sici­lian. A Greek historian, native of Agyrion, in Sicily, who lived in the times of Julius Caesar and Augustus. After thirty years' preparation, based upon the results yielded by long travels in Asia and Europe, and the use of the plentiful materials supplied by residence in Rome, he wrote his BibllOthSca, an Universal History in 40 books, extending over a period of some 1,100 years, from the oldest time to 60 B.C. In the first six books he treated the primitive history and mytho­logy of the Eg3'ptians, the natives of Asia, and Africa, and the Hellenes. The next eleven embraced the period from the Trojan war to the death of Alexander the Great. The remaining 23 brought the history down to the beginning of Caesar's struggle with Gaul. We still possess books 1-5 and 11-20 (from the Persian War under Xerxes to 302 B.C.), besides fragments, partly con­siderable, of the other books. In the early books his treatment is ethnographical; but from the seventh book onwards, in the strictly historical part of his work, he writes like an annalist narrating all the events of one year at a time, with emphasis on the more important ones. It is obvious that this proceeding must rob the history of all its inner connection. He has other weaknesses. He is incapable of seizing the individual characteristics either of nations or of indi­viduals, and contents himself with giving nnecdotes and unconnected details. He follows his authorities blindly, without any attempt to criticize their statements. Then his work falls far short of the ideal which he himself sets up in his introduction. But it is none the less of great value as being one of the main authorities for many parts of ancient history, especially that affecting Sicily. In his style Diodorus aims at clear­ness and simplicity.

DI6g6nes Laertlus (of Lacrte in Cilitia). A Greek author, who flourished about 150

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