Timaeus of Tauromenium (Ancient Greek : Τιμαῖος; born 356 or 350 BC; died c. 260 BC) was an ancient Greek historian. He was widely regarded by ancient authors as the most influential historian between the time of Ephorus (4th century BC) and Polybius (2nd century BC). In the words of scholar Lionel I. C. Pearson, Timaeus "maintained his position as the standard authority on the history of the Greek West for nearly five centuries."
Timaeus was born 356 or 350 to a wealthy Greek family in Tauromenium (modern Taormina), in eastern Sicily. His father, Andromachus, was a dynast who had been ruling Tauromenium since 358 after he seized the city from Dionysius of Syracuse.
In 316 or 315 BC, Timaeus is said to have been driven out of Sicily by Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, possibly because of his hostility towards him, although it is likely that he left his hometown considerably earlier. Timaeus stated that he spent at least 15 years in Athens, where he studied under Philiscus of Miletus, a pupil of Isocrates. He wrote at that time his major work on history.
Timaeus may have returned to Sicily in c. 265 BC, under the reign of Hiero II. He died shortly after 264 BC, allegedly at the age of 96.
While in Athens, he completed his great historical work, the Histories, which comprised thirty-eight books.This work was divided into unequal sections containing the history of Greece from its earliest days until the first Punic war. The Histories treated the history of Italy and Sicily in early times, of Sicily alone, and of Sicily and Greece together. The last five books address the time of Agathocles in detail; the work most likely concluded before the Romans crossed over into Sicily in 264. Timaeus also wrote a monograph on the Greek king Pyrrhus, which almost certainly had the wars against Rome as its centrepiece.
Timaeus devoted much attention to chronology and introduced the system of reckoning by Olympiads. In order to plot chronologies, he employed the years of Archons of Athens, of Ephors of Sparta, and of priestesses of Argos. This system, although not adopted in everyday life, was widely used by the Greek historians afterwards.
Timaeus can claim to be the first to recognize in his work the rising power of the Roman Republic,although it is not clear whether he regarded Rome as a potential friend or foe, and how he understood its significance for the history of the Mediterranean world as a whole. According to scholar Craige B. Champion, "Timaeus may well have been the first writer to see clearly the importance to the western Greeks of the victor of the great Sicilian War, whether it be Rome or Carthage, which he could not have divined."
Very few parts of the elaborate work of this historian were preserved after Antiquity:[ citation needed ]
Timaeus was highly criticized by other historians, especially by Polybius, and indeed his unfairness towards his predecessors, which gained him the nickname of Epitimaeus (Επιτίμαιος, "fault-finder"), laid him open to retaliation. While Polybius was well-versed in military matters and a statesman, Timaeus is depicted as a bookworm without military experience or personal knowledge of the places he described. The most serious charge against him was that he willfully distorted the truth when influenced by personal considerations: thus, he was less than fair to Dionysius I of Syracuse and Agathocles, while loud in praise of his favourite Timoleon.
On the other hand, as even Polybius admitted, Timaeus consulted all available authorities and records. His attitude towards the myths, which he claimed to have preserved in their simple form, can be contrasted to the rationalistic interpretation under which it had become the fashion to disguise them. This is probably the origin of his nickname graosyllektria (γραοσυλλεκτρία; "Old Ragwoman", or "collector of old wives' tales"), an allusion to his fondness for trivial details.
Both Dionysius of Halicarnassus and the Pseudo-Longinus characterized him as a model of "frigidity", although the latter admitted that he was nevertheless a competent writer. Cicero, who was a diligent reader of Timaeus, expressed a far more favourable opinion, especially commending his copiousness of matter and variety of expression. Timaeus was one of the chief authorities used by Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus, by Diodorus Siculus, and by Plutarch (in his life of Timoleon ).
Agathocles was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse (317–289 BC) and self-styled king of Sicily (304–289 BC).
Polybius was a Greek historian of the middle Hellenistic period. He is noted for his work The Histories, a universal history documenting the rise of Rome in the Mediterranean in the third and second centuries BC. It covered the period of 264–146 BC, recording in detail events in Italy, Iberia, Greece, Macedonia, Syria, Egypt and Africa, and documented the Punic Wars and Macedonian Wars among many others.
This article concerns the period 349 BC – 340 BC.
Year 344 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Rutilus and Torquatus. The denomination 344 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Hiero II was the Greek tyrant of Syracuse from 275 to 215 BC, and the illegitimate son of a Syracusan noble, Hierocles, who claimed descent from Gelon. He was a former general of Pyrrhus of Epirus and an important figure of the First Punic War. He figures in the story of famed thinker Archimedes shouting "Eureka".
Timoleon, son of Timodemus, of Corinth was a Greek statesman and general.
Dionysius I or Dionysius the Elder was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse, in Sicily. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot—cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
The Pyrrhic War was largely fought between the Roman Republic and Pyrrhus, the violent king of Epirus, who had been asked by the people of the Greek city of Tarentum in southern Italy to help them in their war against the Romans.
Dionysius the Younger, or Dionysius II, was a Greek politician who ruled Syracuse, Sicily from 367 BC to 357 BC and again from 346 BC to 344 BC.
Duris of Samos was a Greek historian and was at some period tyrant of Samos. Duris was the author of a narrative history of events in Greece and especially Macedonia from 371 BC to 281 BC, which has been lost. Other works included a life of Agathocles of Syracuse and a number of treatises on literary and artistic subjects.
The treaties between Rome and Carthage are the four treaties between the two states that were signed between 509 BC and 279 BC. The treaties influenced the course of history in the Mediterranean, and are important for understanding the relationship between the two most important cities of the region during that era. They reveal changes in how Rome perceived itself and how Carthage perceived Rome, and the differences between the perception of the cities and their actual characteristics.
The Sicilian Wars, or Greco-Punic Wars, were a series of conflicts fought between ancient Carthage and the Greek city-states led by Syracuse, Sicily over control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean between 580 and 265 BC.
Andromachus was the ruler of Tauromenium in eastern Sicily in the middle of the 4th century BCE, and the father of the historian Timaeus.
The city of Carthage was founded in the 9th century BC on the coast of Northwest Africa, in what is now Tunisia, as one of a number of Phoenician settlements in the western Mediterranean created to facilitate trade from the city of Tyre on the coast of what is now Lebanon. The name of both the city and the wider republic that grew out of it, Carthage developed into a significant trading empire throughout the Mediterranean. The date from which Carthage can be counted as an independent power cannot exactly be determined, and probably nothing distinguished Carthage from the other Phoenician colonies in Northwest Africa and the Mediterranean during 800–700 BC. By the end of the 7th century BC, Carthage was becoming one of the leading commercial centres of the West Mediterranean region. After a long conflict with the emerging Roman Republic, known as the Punic Wars, Rome finally destroyed Carthage in 146 BC. A Roman Carthage was established on the ruins of the first. Roman Carthage was eventually destroyed—its walls torn down, its water supply cut off, and its harbours made unusable—following its conquest by Arab invaders at the close of the 7th century. It was replaced by Tunis as the major regional centre, which has spread to include the ancient site of Carthage in a modern suburb.
Bibliotheca historica is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books, which were divided into three sections. The first six books are geographical in theme, and describe the history and culture of Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India, Scythia, and Arabia (II), of North Africa (III), and of Greece and Europe (IV–VI). In the next section, he recounts human history starting with the Trojan War, down to the death of Alexander the Great. The last section concern the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Caesar's Gallic War in 59 BC. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgement that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Of the authors he drew from, some who have been identified include: Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Ephorus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Diyllus, Philistus, Timaeus, Polybius and Posidonius.
The siege of Syracuse from 344 to 343/342 BC was part of a war between the Syracusan general Hicetas and the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius II. The conflict became more complex when Carthage and Corinth became involved. The Carthaginians had made an alliance with Hicetas to expand their power in Sicily. Somewhat later, the Corinthian general Timoleon arrived in Sicily to restore democracy to Syracuse. With the assistance of several other Sicilian Greek cities, Timoleon emerged victorious and reinstated a democratic regime in Syracuse. The siege is described by the ancient historians Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch, but there are important differences in their accounts.
The siege of Syracuse in 278 BC was the last attempt of Carthage to conquer the city of Syracuse. Syracuse was weakened by a civil war between Thoenon and Sostratus. The Carthaginians used this opportunity to attack and besiege Syracuse both by land and sea. Thoenon and Sostratus then appealed to king Pyrrhus of Epirus to come to the aid of Syracuse. When Pyrrhus arrived, the Carthaginian army and navy retreated without a fight.
Antander was a man of Syracuse of the 3rd and 4th centuries BCE. He was the older brother of Agathocles, king of Syracuse, and was a commander -- or strategos -- of the troops sent by the Syracusans to the relief of Crotona when it was besieged by the Bruttii tribe in 317.
The history of Greek and Hellenistic Sicily began with the foundation of the first colonies around the mid 8th century BC. The Greeks of Sicily were known as Siceliotes.