HD: Loebolus
Posted: 06 June 2012 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A useful collection of public domain classical texts with English translations.

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Posted: 06 June 2012 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thank you for that valuable piece of information, Dave.  Such things are very useful to Internet near-illiterates like myself. I often don’t know where, or how, to find something, which I know is out there somewhere. Right now I am looking for a passage from Diodorus Siculus (Book I.36.7 according to my source) about the Nilometer. As luck would have it, the Loeb Classical Library doesn’t have the particular paragraphs I want. I found a version on-line of D.S., but it’s in Greek (might as well be in Euskadi, as far as I’m concerned). I know this is off-topic, but I’d be grateful for help from anyone.....

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Posted: 07 June 2012 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I found a translation at Google Books; the passage you want is on pp. 46-47:

But since a nagging anxiety remains about the height of the river, the kings have installed at Memphis the niloscope, by means of which responsible officials precisely gauge the rate of increase; and they dispatch bulletins to inform the cities of how many cubits or fingers the river has risen, and on what day it begins to fall. In this way the entire populace is relieved of its uncertainty once it has learned that the river has ceased to swell and started to diminish; and straightaway everyone knows the size of the coming harvest, since the Egyptians have kept accurate records of this phenomenon from time immemorial.

There’s commentary on pp. 136-7 of Diodorus Siculus: A Commentary, by Anne Burton (under 36.11).

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Posted: 07 June 2012 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Many thanks, lh! I have been spectator to what a friend of mine calls “a Byzantine argument” about the levels of the Nile flood (at Memphis, in Greco-Roman times) which were considered (a) inadequate and prefatory to drought, (b) adequate (the lowest acceptable level of flooding), (c) optimum (the highest acceptable level) and excessive (leading to flooding and ruin of the crop). I am trying to gather all possible evidence from ancient historians, who are not always correctly interpreted by later generations of historians, each with their own axe to grind.

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