The paper deals with the destruction of Selinous by the Carthaginians in 409 B. C., told by Diodorus of Sicily in his Library of History, XIII book, chapters 54-59. This section is analyzed from the stylistic point of view (strongly pathetic tones, peculiar to the likely source, Timaeus), from the content point of view (bloody details of the siege) and from the ideological and anthropological point of view (the comparison between Greeks and barbarians, between oneself and ‘otherness’ in a border region). The Carthaginians are described by means of common themes of the Greek anti-barbaric propaganda (unintelligible language, savage behaviour, fierce war customs). However, this description - a product of the collective imagination, which has a strong ideological value - contradicts the Realien, the archaeological and epigraphic evidence, the trade relations, the sharing of places of worship, which demonstrate actual inter-ethnic relations and complex relational dynamics among Greeks, Carthaginians, and also Elymi, in western Sicily. The difference between literary and archaeological-epigraphic documents reflects the different interpretative models with which the Greeks portrayed their relationship with ‘otherness’.

La distruzione di Selinunte in Diodoro Siculo: tra ideologia e storia

Maria Grazia Fileni
2018-01-01

Abstract

The paper deals with the destruction of Selinous by the Carthaginians in 409 B. C., told by Diodorus of Sicily in his Library of History, XIII book, chapters 54-59. This section is analyzed from the stylistic point of view (strongly pathetic tones, peculiar to the likely source, Timaeus), from the content point of view (bloody details of the siege) and from the ideological and anthropological point of view (the comparison between Greeks and barbarians, between oneself and ‘otherness’ in a border region). The Carthaginians are described by means of common themes of the Greek anti-barbaric propaganda (unintelligible language, savage behaviour, fierce war customs). However, this description - a product of the collective imagination, which has a strong ideological value - contradicts the Realien, the archaeological and epigraphic evidence, the trade relations, the sharing of places of worship, which demonstrate actual inter-ethnic relations and complex relational dynamics among Greeks, Carthaginians, and also Elymi, in western Sicily. The difference between literary and archaeological-epigraphic documents reflects the different interpretative models with which the Greeks portrayed their relationship with ‘otherness’.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2665537
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