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The Histories, Vol 6: Bks.XXVIII-XXXIX
Polybius (born ca. 208 BCE) of Megalopolis in the Peloponnese (Morea), served the Achaean League in arms and diplomacy for many years, favouring alliance with Rome. From 168 to 151 he was hostage in Rome where he became a friend of Aemilius Paulus and his two sons, and especially adopted Scipio Aemilianus whose campaigns he attended later. In late life he was trusted media ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published January 1st 1927 by Loeb Classical Library
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At long last, and with a feeling of both relief and accomplishment, I finished the sixth and final volume of The Histories, by Polybius, a work that was most informative and rewarding, this final volume containing material that was particularly interesting, including a discussion of Polybius’s relationship with his friend and patron, Scipio Aemilianus, material from Strabo discussing some of the missing material from the fragmentary Book XXXIV, a review of the (brief) Third (and final) Punic War ...more
I will miss Polybius, and I hope some of the missing chunks will pop into view one of these days. I enjoyed his thoughts on what things to pray for and what things not to pray for. Religion shows up pretty often in the Histories, but usually as the common fabric of life, rather than something that gets explicit attention. I was amused by the continued bad-mouthing of Cretans (since I have a friend who spent a year in Crete), and also by this remark: "Such conduct would naturally be admired every ...more
Polybius (ca. 200–118 BC), Greek Πολύβιος) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his book called The Histories covering in detail the period of 220–146 BC. He is also renowned for his ideas of political balance in government, which were later used in Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and in the drafting of the United States Constitution.More about Polybius...
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“In our own time the whole of Greece has been subject to a low birth rate and a general decrease of the population, owing to which cities have become deserted and the land has ceased to yield fruit, although there have neither been continuous wars nor epidemics...For as men had fallen into such a state of pretentiousness, avarice, and indolence that they did not wish to marry, or if they married to rear the children born to them, or at most as a rule but one or two of them, so as to leave these in affluence and bring them up to waste their substance, the evil rapidly and insensibly grew.”More quotes…