The Language of Polybius since Foucault and Dubuisson

David Langslow

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
The Language of Polybius since Foucault and Dubuisson

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This chapter undertakes a provisional reassessment, first, of Polybius' Greek against nine syntactic/stylistic features, comparing his usage with that of both classical and later Hellenistic historians; and, secondly, of the influence of Latin on his Greek syntax and vocabulary. It suggests on the strength of examples and case studies a series of working hypotheses for further investigation, including the following: that Polybius' use of (near)synonyms is less haphazard than is often supposed; that his similes and metaphors contain further evidence of his natural fondness for everyday language; and that, notwithstanding the last, he may occasionally use syntax or vocabulary to allude to a famous predecessor historian.

Keywords: Polybius; Greek language; classical; Koine; Greek syntax; Greek vocabulary; Latin; language-contact; everyday language; simile

Chapter.  9477 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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