tions yield. But since we engaged ourselves in a few
Books not only to set forth, to the best of our ability, the events but also to embrace a
period of more than eleven hundred years, we must forgo the long discussion which such
introductions would involve and come to the events themselves, with only this word by way of
preface, namely, that in the preceding six Books we have set down a record of events from the
Trojan War to the war which the Athenians by decree of the people declared against the
Syracusans,i.e. from 1184
B.C. to 415 B.C. the period to this war from the capture of
Troy embracing seven hundred and sixty-eight years;
and in this Book, as we add to our narrative the period next
succeeding, we shall commence with the expedition against the Syracusans and stop with the
beginning of the second war between the Carthaginians and Dionysius the tyrant of the
Syracusans.The Book covers the years 415-404 B.C.
an iron corselet under his tunic, and has
bequeathed since his death his own life as an outstanding example unto all ages for the
maledictions of men. But we
shall record each one of these illustrations with more detail in connection with the
appropriate period of time; for the present we shall take up the continuation of our account,
pausing only to define our dates. In the preceding Books we
have set down a record of events from the capture of Troy to the end of the Peloponnesian War
and of the Athenian Empire, covering a period of seven hundred and seventy-nine years.i.e. from 1184 B.C. to 405 B.C. Athens capitulated in April 404 B.C.,
but Diodorus' year is the Athenian archon year, in this case July 405 to July 404. In this Book, as we add to our narrative the events next
succeeding, we shall commence with the establishment of the thirty tyrants and stop with the
capture of Rome by the Gauls, embracing a period of eighteen years.
The poems of Homer formed the basis of Greek literature. Every Greek who had received a liberal education was perfectly well acquainted with them from his childhood, and had learnt them by heart at school; but nobody could state any thing certain about their author.
In fact, the several biographies of Homer which are now extant afford very little or nothing of an authentic history.
The various dates assigned to Homer's age offer no less a diversity than 500 years (from B. C. 1184-684). Crates and Eratosthenes state, that he lived within the first century after the Trojan war; Aristotle and Aristarchus make him a contemporary of the Ionian migration, 140 years after the war; the chronologist, Apollodorus, gives the year 240, Porphyrius 275, the Parian Marble 277, Herodotus 400 after that event; and Theopompus even makes him a contemporary of Gyges, king of Lydia. (Nitzsch, Melet. de Histor. Hom. fasc. ii. p. 2, de Hist. Hom. p. 78.)
The most important point to be de
metal whenever a purchase was made, or of cutting it to make fractions, pieces of a known weight were ready cut and introduced into circulation.
These were marked with their weight; afterwards devices, such as the name or figure of the king, were placed upon them to confer authenticity, and thus coins were established.
Chinese bronze and copper money was made as early as 1100 B. C., but none of gold or silver till a much later period.
The brass money referred to by Homer as existing 1184 B. C. was bronze, and may have been merely pieces of known weight.
Herodotus states that the Lydians first coined money about 1000 B. C. This was at the period when Solomon paid Hiram in corn, wine, and oil, for the use of his skilled workmen and his cedar-wood.
The early coins of Lydia show a punch-mark on the reverse, the quadratum incisum, given by a protuberance on the anvil upon which the planchet of metal was laid to receive the impression of the die, which was laid above and struck by
es of the bridge across the Euphrates, built by Nitocris, were cramped by bands of iron set in lead.
Thucydides says the blocks of the walls of the Pireus were fastened in the same way. Theseus, who ascended the throne of Athens 1235 B. C., was buried with a bronze sword and spear.
Some have dated the use of iron in Greece at 1406 B. C., but Hesiod makes it later.
Homer generally speaks of bronze arins, but mentions iron.
We learn from the Iliad that at the time of the siege of Troy (1184 B. C.) iron was used in making axes, shipwrights' tools, axles for chariots, plowpoints, sheep-hooks, and some other agricultural implements. As the smith plunges the loud-hissing axe into cold water to temper it, for hence is the strength of iron, etc., shows clearly that the writer or compiler of the Odyssey, whom we are content to call Homer, lived in a time when iron and steel were forged and tempered.
About 500 B. C., and thereafter, steel was imported into Greece from the Chalybes, a pe