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Un monde partagé : la Sicile du premier siècle av. J.-C. entre Diodore et Cicéron

edited by

Stefania De Vido    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

Cécile Durvye    Aix-Marseille Université, France    



This volume is the result of a scientific collaboration between the research centres of the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme in Aix-en-Provence and the Department of Humanities at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, whose study interests converged in a joint experimental project. A detailed comparison between Cicero and Diodorus has never been proposed until now, probably because of the obvious disparity between their works. There is, on the one hand, an illustrious orator at the centre of the political and cultural experience of Rome, and on the other hand, a minor Greek historian whose intellectual profile has only recently been enhanced by critics. Yet, they have quite a lot in common: they both lived in the turbulent late Republican age, both came from wealthy families without any political role; both received rhetorical training, travelled and frequented cultured circles. The area where the comparison between the two authors is most instructive is undoubtedly Sicily, the homeland of Diodorus and the scene of the beginnings of Cicero’s political career. The two writers shared a deep personal knowledge of the island: Sicily is constantly present in Diodorus’ Bibliotheca and is the focus of the judicial and political case exposed in the Verrinae. Aspects of the island’s history and culture emerging from the work of each author have already been extensively considered. This study, however, aims to offer a more analytical comparison of the representation of Sicily in both works, examining how the same geographical, historical and religious information, originating from a shared cultural background and from personal knowledge, is reinterpreted by the two authors according to their different rhetorical and intellectual projects. We defined four major categories of information relating to the island: geography, history of great men, religious traditions and practices, artistic and monumental heritage. For each of these categories, we conducted parallel analyses on each work, focusing on the selection of data, the way they were presented and their function in the overall economy of Diodorus’ and Cicero’s works. These parallel analyses highlight similarities and dissimilarities between the two authors: the affinities show the existence of a codified representation of Sicily, its history and its specificity in the context of the first century BC; the discrepancies result both from the divergences in method and aims of the two authors and, more deeply, from their differences in terms of personal, cultural and linguistic backgrounds and perspectives.

Dec. 19, 2023
Copyright: © 2023 Stefania De Vido, Cécile Durvye. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Table of contents

Stefania De Vido    Cécile Durvye   
Dec. 19, 2023
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Section I. Tradition géographique : description de la Sicile
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Cristina Soraci   
Dec. 19, 2023
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Section II. Tradition historique : les grands hommes de la Sicile
Diodorus’ Representation of Gelon, Dionysius I, and Agathocles
Lisa Irene Hau   
Dec. 19, 2023
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Section III. Tradition religieuse : mythes et cultes de Sicile
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Section IV. Tradition culturelle : chefs-d’œuvre et monuments de Sicile
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