DIODATI, GIOVANNI (1576-1649), Swiss Protestant divine, was born at Geneva on the 6th of June 1576, of a noble family originally belonging to Lucca, which had been expatriated on account of its Protestantism. At the age of twenty-one he was nominated professor of Hebrew at Geneva on the recommendation of Theodor Beza. In 1606 he became professor of theology, in 1608 pastor, or parish minister, at Geneva, and in the following year he succeeded Beza as professor of theology. As a preacher he was eloquent, bold and fearless. He held a high place among the reformers of Geneva, by whom he was sent on a mission to France in 1614. He had previously visited Italy, and made the acquaintance of Paolo Sarpi, whom he endeavoured unsuccessfully to engage in a reformation movement. In 1618-1619 he attended the synod of Dort, and took a prominent part in its deliberations, being one of the six divines appointed to draw up the account of its proceedings. He was a thorough Calvinist, and entirely sympathized with the condemnation of the Arminians. In 1645 he resigned his professorship, and died at Geneva on the 3rd of October 1649. Diodati is chiefly famous as the author of the translation of the Bible into Italian (1603, edited with notes, 1607). He also undertook a translation of the Bible into French, which appeared with notes in 1644. Among his other works are his Annotationes in Biblia (1607), of which an English translation (Pious and Learned Annotations upon the Holy Bible) was published in London in 1648, and various polemical treatises, such as De fictitio Pontificiorum Purgatorio (1619); De justa secessione Reformatorum ab Ecclesia Romana (1628); De Antichristo, &c. He also published French translations of Sarpi’s History of the Council of Trent, and of Edwin Sandys’s Account of the State of Religion in the West.
DIODORUS CRONUS (4th century B.C.), Greek philosopher of the Megarian school. Practically nothing is known of his life. Diogenes Laërtius (ii. 111) tells a story that, while staying at the court of Ptolemy Soter, Diodorus was asked to solve a dialectical subtlety by Stilpo. Not being able to answer on the spur of the moment, he was nicknamed ὁ Κρόνος (the God, equivalent to “slowcoach”) by Ptolemy. The story goes that he died of shame at his failure. Strabo, however, says (xiv. 658; xvii. 838) that he took the name from Apollonius, his master. Like the rest of the Megarian school he revelled in verbal quibbles, proving that motion and existence are impossible. His was the famous sophism known as the Κυριεύων. The impossible cannot result from the possible; a past event cannot become other than it is; but if an event, at a given moment, had been possible, from this possible would result something impossible; therefore the original event was impossible. This problem was taken up by Chrysippus, who admitted that he could not solve it. Apart from these verbal gymnastics, Diodorus did not differ from the Megarian school. From his great dialectical skill he earned the title ὁ διαλεκτικός, or διαλεκτικώτατος, a title which was borne by his five daughters, who inherited his ability.
See Cicero, De Fato, 6, 7, 9; Aristotle, Metaphysica, θ 3; Sext. Empiric., adv. Math. x. 85; Ritter and Preller, Hist. philos. Gr. et Rom. chap. v. §§ 234-236 (ed. 1869); and bibliography appended to article Megarian School.
DIODORUS SICULUS, Greek historian, born at Agyrium in Sicily, lived in the times of Julius Caesar and Augustus. From his own statements we learn that he travelled in Egypt between 60-57 B.C. and that he spent several years in Rome. The latest event mentioned by him belongs to the year 21 B.C. He asserts that he devoted thirty years to the composition of his history, and that he undertook frequent and dangerous journeys in prosecution of his historical researches. These assertions, however, find little credit with recent critics. The history, to which Diodorus gave the name βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορική (Bibliotheca historica, “Historical Library”), consisted of forty books, and was divided into three parts. The first treats of the mythic history of the non-Hellenic, and afterwards of the Hellenic tribes, to the destruction of Troy; the second section ends with Alexander’s death; and the third continues the history as far as the beginning of Caesar’s Gallic War. Of this extensive work there are still extant only the first five books, treating of the mythic history of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians and Greeks; and also the 11th to the 20th books inclusive, beginning with the second Persian War, and ending with the history of the successors of Alexander, previous to the partition of the Macedonian empire (302). The rest exists only in fragments preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The faults of Diodorus arise partly from the nature of the undertaking, and the awkward form of annals into which he has thrown the historical portion of his narrative. He shows none of the critical faculties of the historian, merely setting down a number of unconnected details. His narrative contains frequent repetitions and contradictions, is without colouring, and monotonous; and his simple diction, which stands intermediate between pure Attic and the colloquial Greek of his time, enables us to detect in the narrative the undigested fragments of the materials which he employed. In spite of its defects, however, the Bibliotheca is of considerable value as to some extent supplying the loss of the works of older authors, from which it is compiled. Unfortunately, Diodorus does not always quote his authorities, but his general sources of information were—in history and chronology, Castor, Ephorus and Apollodorus; in geography, Agatharchides and Artemidorus. In special sections he followed special authorities—e.g. in the history of his native Sicily, Philistus and Timaeus.
Editio princeps, by H. Stephanus (1559); of other editions the best are: P. Wesseling (1746), not yet superseded; L. Dindorf (1828-1831); (text) L. Dindorf (1866-1868, revised by F. Vogel, 1888-1893 and C. T. Fischer, 1905-1906). The standard works on the sources of Diodorus are C. G. Heyne, De fontibus et auctoribus historiarum Diodori, printed in Dindorf’s edition, and C. A. Volquardsen, Die Quellen der griechischen und sicilischen Geschichten bei Diodor (1868); A. von Mess, Rheinisches Museum (1906); see also L. O. Bröcker, Untersuchungen über Diodor (1879), short, but containing much information; O. Maass, Kleitarch und Diodor (1894- ); G. J. Schneider, De Diodori fontibus, i.-iv. (1880); C. Wachsmuth, Einleitung in das Studium der alten Geschichte (1895); Greece; Ancient History, “Authorities.”
DIODOTUS, Seleucid satrap of Bactria, who rebelled against Antiochus II. (about 255) and became the founder of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom (Trogus, Prol. 41; Justin xli. 4, 5, where he is wrongly called Theodotus; Strabo xi. 515). His power seems to have extended over the neighbouring provinces. Arsaces, the chieftain of the nomadic (Dahan) tribe of the Parni, fled before him into Parthia and here became the founder of the Parthian kingdom (Strabo l.c.). When Seleucus II. in 239 attempted to subjugate the rebels in the east he seems to have united with him against the Parthians (Justin xli. 4, 9). Soon afterwards he died and was succeeded by his son Diodotus II., who concluded a peace with the Parthians (Justin l.c.). Diodotus II. was killed by another usurper, Euthydemus (Polyb. xi. 34, 2). Of Diodotus I. we possess gold and silver coins, which imitate the coins of Antiochus II.; on these he sometimes calls himself Soter, “the saviour.” As the power of the Seleucids was weak and continually attacked by Ptolemy II., the eastern provinces and their Greek cities were exposed to the invasion of the nomadic barbarians and threatened with destruction (Polyb. xi. 34, 5); thus the erection of an independent kingdom may have been a necessity and indeed an advantage to the Greeks, and this epithet well deserved. Diodotus Soter appears also on coins struck in his memory by the later Graeco-Bactrian kings Agathocles and Antimachus. Cf. A. v. Sallet, Die Nachfolger Alexanders d. Gr. in Baktrien und Indien; Percy Gardner, Catal. of the Coins of the Greek and Scythian Kings of Bactria and India (Brit. Mus.); see also Bactria.
- (Ed. M.)
DIOGENES, “the Cynic,” Greek philosopher, was born at Sinope about 412 B.C., and died in 323 at Corinth, according to Diogenes Laërtius, on the day on which Alexander the Great died at Babylon. His father, Icesias, a money-changer, was imprisoned or exiled on the charge of adulterating the coinage. Diogenes was included in the charge, and went to Athens with one attendant, whom he dismissed, saying, “If Manes can live without Diogenes, why not Diogenes without Manes?” Attracted by the ascetic teaching of Antisthenes, he became his pupil, despite the brutality with which he was received, and rapidly excelled his master both in reputation and in the austerity of his life. The stories which