Chapter

Practical Contexts and Political Realities

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/9780520237643.003.0008
Practical Contexts and Political Realities

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This chapter determines Polybius's collective representations in the political circumstances from which they arose. It also discusses Polybius's text within dramatic historical changes Rome was undergoing in the period of Polybius's stay there and Roman politicians' reactions to them, Greek and Roman diplomatic and political interactions, and Achaean factional politics before the Senate. The acceleration of Hellenism at Rome and its intensified politicization among the Roman senatorial aristocracy were but part of dramatically rapid historical transformations at Rome in period. Polybius makes the same charges against the leaders of the Achaean Confederation at the time of the debacle of the Achaean War against Rome. He constructed Hellenism as a matter of institutions and customs. Polybius clearly did admire many qualities in the Romans, but in his representations of them as barbarians the Achaean patriot was also able to assert his independence in expressing negative aspects of Roman behavior.

Keywords: Polybius; collective representations; Rome; Roman politicians; Hellenism; Roman senatorial aristocracy; Achaean Confederation; Achaean War

Chapter.  14962 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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