Festivals and Games in Polybius

Bruce Gibson

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
Festivals and Games in Polybius

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This chapter examines festivals and games in Polybius' Histories. Such events have typically been seen in terms of the cultural politics of civic and ethnic identity, and also as an important interface between Greek communities and Rome in period of Rome's expansion in the Mediterranean. The chapter considers these types of events in historiographical terms, and aims to demonstrate Polybius' use of festivals and games to delineate sections of narrative and to provide contrasting juxtapositions of formal occasions and the realities of Roman power. It then examines the way in which Polybius uses the epideictic dimension of festival and games as opportunities for authorial interventions in the form of praise and blame. The final section underlines the importance of metaphors drawn from the world of contests.

Keywords: cultural politics; epideixis; festivals; games; metaphor; narrative delineation; Polybius; Roman expansion

Chapter.  6406 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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