From Polybius to the Parthenon: Religion, Art, and Plunder

Jonathan Williams

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
From Polybius to the Parthenon: Religion, Art, and Plunder

Show Summary Details


One particular passage of Polybius (9.10) has come to play a recurring role in contemporary legal literature and public debate on the law and practice of cultural property protection in time of war. This chapter asks whether Polybius has been appropriately cited as an early voice arguing for the protection of ‘art’ and ‘cultural property’ in time of war. More broadly, it looks at some of the similarities and divergences between analogous debates on the issues of spoliation and repatriation in antiquity and the present and, in common with other recent commentators, concludes that religion, not culture, was the dominant theme in antiquity.

Keywords: Polybius; Livy; cultural property; spoliation; repatriation; sacrilege

Chapter.  8366 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.