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:

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This study has attempted to understand Polybius as individual statesman and historian through his uses of one of the dominant themes of his cultural heritage: the Greek politico-cultural grammar of Hellenism. Polybius's stress on institutional factors in the formation of the Roman and other collective group characters afforded him the greatest flexibility in his representations of the world conqueror, allowing him to represent the Romans alternately as quasi Hellenes and as barbarians. Polybius's representation of Romans is a subtle play with the principles of polarity and analogy. It is noted that Polybius himself experienced the crushing blow of expatriation and political arrest in Rome; that he soon befriended Scipio Aemilianus and other powerful Roman statesmen, enjoying considerable privileges in Rome, and in the end he served as a mediator in the Roman resettlement of Greece, earning high praise from both Romans and his Greek compatriots for his services.

Keywords: Polybius; Hellenism; collective group; barbarians; quasi Hellenes; Rome; Scipio Aemilianus; Greece

Chapter.  2096 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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