Ctesias' Persian History
Part I: Introduction, Text, and Translation


Autor Jan P. Stronk
Veröffentlicht Januar 2010
Seitenzahl 424 + XVI, gebunden
ISBN 978-3-941820-01-2
Preis [D] inkl. MWST 79 EUR
Lieferstatus lieferbar


The Persian History is a curious work. Likewise the career of its author: Ctesias of Cnidus was a physician, prisoner of war, guest at the Persian royal court, diplomat and, eventually, composer of several literary works. At least two of his works survived for more than 1,250 years - one of them being the "Persica" or Persian History - in spite of the allegedly debatable trustworthiness of their author.

Intrigued by the longevity of the Persian History, Dutch classicist Jan Stronk became interested in the quality of this historical work. More to the point, given Ctesias' own claims of having drawn on particular literary sources, Stronk wondered as to whether these sources really existed? Could Ctesias have made use of them? Did he actually employ them? These are but a few of the questions the work of Ctesias evokes. However, things are even more complex, for the work itself is no longer extant other than in numerous fragments that have been reassembled from later writers. For the most part, the fragments are rather short, consisting of no more than a few words; other fragments, however, are longer, some are even quite extensive. Together they constitute what remains of the Persian History today.

In this edition, J. P. Stronk presents a revised Greek text of all known fragments together with a facing translation. Drawing on recent scholarship in the fields of Classics and Near Eastern studies, the substantial Introduction discusses the life of Ctesias and places his work in its historical context. This is the first English translation together with all known fragments since John Gilmore's translation published in 1888, making this interesting material more easily accessible to scholars and students.




„His book, which will be of use for the student and general reader but of particular interest for the specialist, is sure to become a standard work.“

Andrew G. Nichols, The Classical Review Volume 61, Issue 02, 2011, p. 399-402