Chapter

‘A piece of work which would occupy some years…’ Oxford University Press Archive Files 814152, 814173, 814011

John Henderson

in Polybius and his World

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199608409
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745102 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608409.003.0002
‘A piece of work which would occupy some years…’ Oxford University Press Archive Files 814152, 814173, 814011

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This chapter examines the history of Walbank's engagement with Polybius and subsequently with his commentary on Polybius, whose origins and development towards publication is charted against the materials held in the archives of Oxford University Press, and against Walbank's career and his unpublished memoir, Hypomnemata. As well as showing how the history of scholarship can be illuminated by the study of publication practice, the sustained examination of correspondence between the Press and Walbank (and involving other scholars as well) demonstrates how Walbank's initial plan of writing on Tacitus' Histories came to metamorphose into a commentary on Polybius. His skilful correspondence with the Press over decades thus enabled him to ensure that his commentary had the necessary scale and physical scope of three substantial volumes that such a project of 'long-distance writing' needed.

Keywords: F.W. Walbank; Polybius; Commentaries; Oxford University Press; history of scholarship; history of publishing

Chapter.  18324 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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