Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History

LCL 409: 44-45

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Diodorus of Sicily


1. Ὅτι πάτριόν ἐστι τοῖς Ἠπειρώταις μὴ μόνον περὶ1 τῆς ἰδίας πατρίδος ἀγωνίζεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὲρ τῶν φίλων καὶ συμμάχων κινδυνεύειν.

2Ὅτι Δέκιος ὁ Ῥωμαῖος χιλίαρχος φύλαξ γενόμενος Ῥηγίου διὰ Πύρρον τὸν βασιλέα κατέσφαξεν αὐτοὺς καὶ τὰς κτήσεις καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας ἰδιοποιήσατο. Καμπανοὶ δὲ οὗτοι ἦσαν, καὶ ἐποίησαν κατὰ τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον Μαμερτίνοις, ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνοι Μεσσηνίους2 σφάξαντες. εἶτα τὴν διαίρεσιν τῆς κτήσεως τῶν ἠτυχηκότων ἄδικον ποιησάμενος ἐξέπεσεν ἐκ τοῦ Ῥηγίου φυγαδευθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἰδίων Καμπανῶν. συνήργησαν δὲ καὶ Μαμερτῖνοι . . . μετὰ τῶν ληφθέντων3 χρημάτων στρατηγὸν ἐποίησαν. καὶ δὴ ὀφθαλμίας νόσου αὐτὸν περιεχούσης, τῶν ἰατρῶν τὸν δόκιμον μεταστειλαμένου αὐτοῦ, οὗτος4 τὴν ὕβριν τῆς πατρίδος ἐκδικῶν κανθαρίσιν ὑπήλειψε τὸν Δέκιον καὶ τῆς ὁράσεως αὐτὸν ἀπεστέρησε5 καὶ φεύγει ἐκ Μεσσήνης.

(Exc. Hoesch. pp. 494–495 W.)



Fragments of Book XXII

1. It is traditional with the people of Epirus not only to fight for their own country but also to face danger in defence of their friends and allies.

Deems, the Roman tribune, appointed to guard c. 280 b.c. Rhegium because of King Pyrrhus, slaughtered the men of the city and appropriated their wives and property. These soldiers were Campanians, and acted just as the Mamertines did, after they slaughtered the men of Messana. Then because his distribution of the property of the victims was unjust, Decius was driven out of Rhegium and was sent into exile by his own Campanians. The Mamertines also gave assistance . . . with the money that was plundered, and made him general. On a certain occasion, being afflicted with a disease of the eye, he summoned the leading physician; and he, to avenge the outrage to his fatherland, anointed Decius’ eyes with a salve made from the blister-beetle, thus deprived him of his sight, and then fled from Messana.1

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diodorus_siculus-library_history.1933