For the beetle genus, see Ctesias (beetle).

Ctesias of Cnidus (Greek Κτησίας) was a Greek physician and historian from Cnidus in Caria. Ctesias, who lived in the 5th century BC, was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger.

Ctesias was the author of treatises on rivers, and on the Persian revenues, of an account of India entitled Indica (which is of value as recording the beliefs of the Persians about India), and of a history of Assyria and Persia in 23 books, called Persica, written in opposition to Herodotus in the Ionic dialect, and professedly founded on the Persian royal archives.



The first six books treated of the history of Assyria and Babylon to the foundation of the Persian empire; the remaining seventeen went down to the year 398 BC. Of the two histories, we possess abridgments by Photius, and fragments are preserved in Athenaeus, Plutarch and especially Diodorus Siculus, whose second book is mainly from Ctesias. As to the worth of the Persica there has been much controversy, both in ancient and modern times. Although many ancient authorities valued it highly, and used it to discredit Herodotus, many people consider Ctesias's account of little historical value. People argue that this is due to the fact that Ctesias's account of the Assyrian kings does not reconcile with the cuneiform evidence. The satirist Lucian thought so little of Ctesias' historical reliability that in his satirical True Story he places Ctesias on the island where the evil were punished. Lucian wrote that "The people who suffered the greatest torment were those who had told lies when they were alive and written mendacious histories; among them were Ctesias of Cnidus, Herodotus, and many others." [1]


A record of the view of Persians of India, under the title Indica includes descriptions of god like people, philosophers, artisans, unquantifiable gold, among other riches and wonders. [2] The book only remains in fragments and in reports made about the book by later authors.



  1. ^ Lucian, A True Story, 2.31
  2. ^ Lavers, Chris (2009). The Natural History of Unicorns. New York, NY: Morrow. pp. 5. ISBN 9780060874148. 

Further reading

  • Ed., trad. et commentaire par Dominique Lenfant, Ctésias de Cnide. La Perse. L'Inde. Autres fragments, Collection Budé, Belles Lettres, Paris, 2004 (ISBN : 2-251-00518-8).
  • Jan P. Stronk: Ctesias' Persian History. Part I: Introduction, Text, and Translation, Wellem Verlag, Düsseldorf, 2010 (ISBN : 978-3-941820-01-2).
  • Andrew G. Nichols, Ctesias: On India. Translation and Commentary, Duckworth, 2011, ISBN 1853997420

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ctesias — Ctésias Ctésias (en grec ancien Κτήσιας / Ktếsias), né à Cnide au Ve siècle av. J. C., mort après 398 av. J. C., médecin grec au service d Artaxerxès II, historien de la Perse et de l Inde. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ctésias — (en grec ancien Κτήσιας / Ktếsias), né à Cnide au Ve siècle av. J.‑C., mort après 398 av. J. C., médecin grec au service d Artaxerxès II, historien de la Perse et de l Inde. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ctesias — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ctesias de Cnido (Caria) (griego Κτησίας) fue un historiador y médico griego que nació alrededor del inicio de la segunda mitad del siglo V a. C. Fue hecho prisionero por los persas en un momento y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • CTESIAS — Atheniensis, Sycophanta celeberrimus, de quo Aristoph. Acharn. 3. sc. 4 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Ctesias — (flourished late fifth and early fourth centuries b.c.)    A Greek physician and historian who wrote extensively about the Achaemenid Persians when they controlled Mesopotamia and most of the rest of the Near East. Ctesias (TEE see us, or TEE… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • Ctesias — ▪ Greek physician and historian born late 5th century BC, Cnidus, Caria [now in Turkey]       Greek physician and historian of Persia and India whose works were popular and influential in antiquity. In 405 BC Ctesias traveled to the Persian court …   Universalium

  • CTESIAS —    Greek physician and historian of Persia; was present with Artaxerxes Mnemon at the battle of Cunaxa, 401 B.C., and stayed afterwards at the Persian court, where he got the materials for his history, of which only a few fragments are extant …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Ctesias (beetle) — Ctesias Ctesias serra Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Ctésias de Cnide — appartient à la famille des Asclépiades. Il aurait été fait prisonnier par les Perses et, emmené à la cour du roi Artaxerxès Memnon, il devint son médecin. Ctésias se trouvait à la bataille de Cunaxa (401 av. J. C.) aux côtés d Artaxerxès. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • КТЕСИЙ —    • Ctesias,          Κτησίας, современник Ксенофонта, родился в Книде, городе Карий, прибыл, вероятно, около 416 г. до Р. X. к персидскому двору. Сопровождал царя Артаксеркса Мнемона в походе против Кира Младшего и лечил царя, когда тот был… …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

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