Political Subordination and Indirect Historiography

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:
Political Subordination and Indirect Historiography

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This chapter presents a foundation for studying Polybius's cultural politics in the Histories. It briefly provides the biographical tradition on Polybius, especially necessary since his history is unfamiliar even to many classicists. A discussion of Polybius's views on the nature and function of history writing and his place in the ancient Greek historiographical tradition is given. The chapter then addresses three historiographical typologies that help to conceptualize Polybius's collective representations. The significance of Polybius's history extends beyond the study of ancient history and historiography. Polybius's direct statements on methodology, historiographical conceptions, and intended audiences are invaluable to the interpretation of the Histories. Polybius is an indirect historian because he conveys political messages through his collective representations of ethnic-cultural groups.

Keywords: Polybius; political subordination; indirect historiography; Greek historiographical tradition; historiographical typologies; collective representations; indirect historian

Chapter.  7051 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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