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By Frank W. Walbank

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Extra info for A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6

Sample text

5–7 can be refuted from the evidence of contemporary coins and inscriptions, and is to be interpreted as a reflection of Achaean hostility. 1 How far in all these instances the bias is consciously applied it is difficult to say; but Polybius' willingness to grant something to patriotic prejudice probably rendered him less alert to the risks he was running. Another field in which practice fell short of theory was in the speeches which, following Greek tradition, Polybius included at intervals throughout his Histories; some thirty-seven survive, and several times Polybius makes it clear that such speeches should represent the actual words of the speaker.

For example, she punished the Boeotians for the unhealthy state of their public affairs, ὥσπερ ἐπίτηδες ἀνταπόδοσιν . . 7 The Spartan ephors, who had been bribed to make Lycurgus king, were murdered by Cheilon, Tyche thus exacting τὴν ἁρµόζουσαν . . 8 This phrase is also used of Philip and [20] 1 In xxxix. 8 Polybius says that Tyche is ἀγαθὴ φθονῆσαι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις; on the personification of Tyche see below, p. 25. 2 For public opinion will then operate; and this is a powerful force; cf. xxxviii.

If history is deprived of truth, all that [10] 1 xii. 25 e. xii. 25 e 7; the analogy is a false one, for Polybius' arm-chair historian does not study memoirs as a model, as the painter studies his predecessors, but as a source. 3 Cf. xii. 25 f 5. 4 xii. 4 c 3, τὸ περὶ τὰς ἀνακρίσεις µέρος; this like so much else was scamped by Timaeus. The main period of Polybius' history fell within the lifetime of people who could be questioned (iv. 2. 2–3), and he made full use of his opportunities; see below, pp.

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