Polybius, Rome, and the Hellenistic World: Essays and Reflections

Polybius, Rome, and the Hellenistic World: Essays and Reflections

Polybius, Rome, and the Hellenistic World: Essays and Reflections

Polybius, Rome, and the Hellenistic World: Essays and Reflections

Synopsis

This volume contains nineteen important essays related to the Greek historian Polybius by Professor F.W. Walbank, the recognized authority on the subject. The essays deal with Polybius as a historian, with his views on Rome and with many historical topics for which he is the principal source. A substantial introduction provides a critical account of work done on Polybius during the last twenty-five years. The book will be of special importance to students of Republican Rome and the Hellenistic world and also to anyone interested in historiography.

Excerpt

In 1985 the Cambridge University Press published a score of my separata in avolume entitled Selected Papers. The present volume contains a further nineteen papers, mostly dealing with Polybius. The majority of these were originally published after 1985, but I have included a few earlier ones, for which there was no room in the earlier volume. I have prefaced them with anewly written chapter, in which I have attempted asurvey of the main topics and directions apparent in Polybian studies over the last twenty-five years and have indicated how the papers appearing here fit in with those trends. These papers are arranged in four sections. First, there are nine historical and geographical papers; next, five concerned with Polybius as a historian; then, three on Polybius and Rome; and finally two dealing with the later significance of Polybius, the first in seventeenthcentury England at the time of Dryden and the second in twentiethcentury Italy, as seen in the writings of the historian Gaetano De Sanctis.

In one or two places, and especially in papers which involve Polybius' views on the Roman constitution, there is some slight repetition; this is unfortunate, but was inevitable if the argument was to be clearly presented in each paper. After full consideration, it seemed better to reprint the articles as they were written and not to abbreviate them in a way likely to cause confusion in any reference to them. There is one partial exception to this, in chapter 4, where I have added a substantial note (in square brackets) giving what now seems to me a more correct and straightforward solution to an old problem in Ptolemaic dating. Elsewhere I have added a few notes in square brackets, giving cross-references and an occasional more recent item of bibliography; but generally I have confined later bibliography to the first chapter. I have of course corrected misprints, false references and the like, where I have detected them. The method of reference adopted is to quote author, date and pagination at the relevant point in the text, but to leave the full details of title and place of publication for the comprehensive bibliography.

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