Jerome of Cardia

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Hieronymos von Kardia ( Latinized Hieronymus ; * around 360 BC; † after 272 BC) was an ancient Greek historian .


Hieronymos came from the Milesian colony of Kardia . He was a friend and perhaps also a relative of Eumenes de Kardia , a private secretary to Alexander the Great . It is unknown whether he himself took part in the Alexanderzug .

As a historical person he does not appear before the year 319 BC. When he was sent by the banished Eumenes from the mountain fortress Nora ( Cappadocia ) to Macedonia to see the regent Antipater to negotiate with him about his pardon. However, Antipater died in the fall of 319 BC. After which Jerome returned to Nora, where Eumenes had just been besieged by Antigonus Monophthalmos . Here he acted as a negotiator for Eumenes, to whom he presented the offer of Antigonus. He suggested that he surrender in order to become a follower of Antigonus, which Eumenes refused. Then Hieronymos accompanied his friend to Persis and fought for him in the winter of 316 BC. In the battle of Gabiene , in which he was wounded.

After the death of Eumenes, Hieronymos moved to the company of Antigonus. He was born by him in 311 BC. Chr. Charged with securing the asphalt mining at the Dead Sea ; but he failed because of the resistance of the local Arab tribes. In 301 BC He took part in the battle of Ipsos , in which Antigonus fell. After that he remained loyal to the Antigonids and belonged to the retinue of Demetrios Poliorketes , from whom he 293 BC. Was appointed governor in Thebes . In the sources, this is also the last reference to the person of Jerome. In his remarks, however, Pausanias indicated that he still lived in the reign of Antigonus II Gonatas and probably also wrote his literary work in it. According to Agatharchides, he is said to have died at the age of 104.


Hieronymos wrote a history of the Diadoch Wars , which is now lost to a few fragments , which began with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Until about the death of Pyrrhos in 272 BC. Chr. Was enough. The title is unknown; it is mentioned as the history of the Diadochi , events after Alexander or simply as histories . Jerome was often an eyewitness to the fights and was a confidante in the service of Eumenes and the first Antigonids.

While little of the work has survived, it appears to have had a major impact on several subsequent historians who used it as the primary source for the period. It was used by Diodor , Arrian , Pausanias and Plutarch , among others .

The criticism expressed in some cases that Hieronymos took into account the views of his employers in his work is rather unfounded. Above all, Pausanias has accused him of reporting too negatively to all the kings who lived before Antigonus II Gonatas. He also considered Jerome's report that King Lysimachus had destroyed the tombs of the Epirotian kings in the war against Pyrrhus to be completely untrustworthy. He also accused Hieronymos of having been biased towards Lysimachos because he had destroyed his hometown Kardia in order to be able to found Lysimacheia .

In the fragments of the historical work, however, it is quite clear that Hieronymos therefore endeavored to report as objectively as possible. One can conclude that the work was written in a very factual and precise manner and, like Herodotus , the culture of other peoples was also discussed. In research, Felix Jacoby has already established the value of his descriptions and referred to Hieronymos as a man "whose meaning is in inverse proportion to our knowledge of him". Without the apparently reliable account of Hieronymus used by other authors, our knowledge of the Diadoch period would probably be even more fragmentary than it is already.

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  1. Diodor 18,42,1 and Plutarch , Eumenes 12,1.
  2. Diodorus 18,50,4.
  3. Diodorus 19,44,3.
  4. Diodorus 19,100,1-3.
  5. Lukian , Macrobii 11.
  6. Plutarch, Demetrios 39.2.
  7. FGrHist 86 F 4.
  8. Pausanias, Helládos periēgēsis 1,9,8.
  9. Pausanias, Helládos periēgēsis 1,9,8.
  10. See also Bosworth (2000), pp. 169ff.
  11. Jacoby (1913), col. 1540.