Chapter

Introduction

Craige B. Champion

in Cultural Politics in Polybius's Histories

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520237643
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929890 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520237643.003.0001
Introduction

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Polybius was a political hostage at Rome, an outsider on the inside, a stranger in a strange land. The Greek historian shows both conformity to and rejection of the Roman dispensation through his collective representations of Romans. The assumption that Greek representations of Romans in the second century bce were for the most part politically instrumental is introduced. Polybius's decision to stress institutional factors and historical contingency in his system of causation for collective societal characteristics allowed for the greatest flexibility, and ambiguity, in regard to the question of Rome's relation to Hellenism. Generally, the Histories has treated as a unity and Polybius's collective representations read as part of a thematically coherent narrative in their contemporary ideological and historical contexts.

Keywords: Polybius; Rome; Greek representations; Histories; Hellenism; Romans

Chapter.  5467 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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