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The Histories

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Here is the first new translation for over thirty years of Polybius' Histories, the major source for our knowledge of the Eternal City's early rise to power, covering the years of the Second Punic War, the defeat of Hannibal, and Rome's pivotal victories in the Mediterranean. Polybius, himself a leading Greek politician of the time, attributes Rome's success to the greatne ...more
Paperback, 501 pages
Published November 5th 2010 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 146)
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Yann
Polybe, grec envoyé comme otage à Rome au deuxième siècle était devenu l'ami des puissants de la plus célèbre des cités Latine. Il entreprit de rédiger une histoire universelle des événements récents qui avaient vu l'essor inexorable de l'influence romaine sur les affaires du monde méditerranéenne. Les événements relatés vont des prémisses de la première guerre punique (laquelle fait défaut dans Tite-Live) jusqu'à la destruction finale de Carthage lors de la troisième guerre punique. Les théâtre ...more
Chris
3.5 stars.

I am not a historian, and have encountered almost all the content of this book in later works that probably just cribbed from Polybius. My rating reflects my enjoyment of the history, not it's importance.

The content itself is a roller coaster ride. It begins with books covering two wars between Rome and Carthage. The history is exciting and the writing captures it. Next are two books on The Social War occurring in Greece. Compared to the previous conflict, this is children squabbling o
...more
Esteban Gordon
It is an absolute shame that most of this work did not make it down to the present day. And on that note I make my only criticism of this edition: the jacket and web material on this book state that it covers the Second Punic War and the later destruction of Carthage. The original work may have, but what is left to us is the history of the Second Punic War up to the battle of Cannae and nothing further. My favorite quote is on the use of religion as a means of control: "In Rome, nothing plays a ...more
Raja
OK, so why did I spend my time reading this book?

To learn more about the Mediterranean - the cultures, religions, civilizations, empires, outlooks, beliefs and ways of life that existed on its shores through time.

Did I get what I wanted from reading it?

Yes! The author himself provides a huge window into his world. His assumptions, judgments, opinions and reflections convey the outlook, values and beliefs of at least one segment of a society that flourished back then.

He markets his book as requ
...more
Chris Wolfington
Polybius was a leading politician and military officer in ancient Greece, who believed that historians should only write about events they are personally familiar with. He was close to several people he writes about, and he himself becomes an historical figure towards the end of his work.

His work focuses on the period from 264-145 B.C., or, the period of the Punic Wars. He describes his book as a "universal history", meaning he gives the histories of all major powers at the time: Rome, Carthage,
...more
Rutger
As a political historian, Polybius is second only to Thucydides and Tacitus. His narration of the Second Punic War is vivid. Illuminating is his description of the Roman constitution, which he characterizes as a balance between the elements of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.
James Violand
Jul 03, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of ancient Rome
Shelves: own
An engaging read for the historically minded. He was a Greek prisoner (hostage) who became enamored of the Roman Republic and the merit of its people. This was long before Sulla and Marius started Rome down the road to autocracy. His perspective brings the Republic to life.
Frank
The vision may be narrower, but the pedigree is unmistakably Herodotus.
Joe Schmidbauer
Worth the effort.
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  • A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society and Culture
  • The History of Alexander
  • The Comedies
  • Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation
  • The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline
  • The "Eclogues" And "Georgics" (Oxford World's Classics)
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Menander: The Plays and Fragments
  • A History of My Times
  • The Histories
  • Lives of the Noble Greeks
  • Idylls
  • Euthyphro/Apology/Crito
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4-6: Volumes 4, 5, and 6
  • The Birds and Other Plays
  • Caesar's Commentaries: On the Gallic War/On the Civil War
  • The Roman Revolution
  • Sextus Empiricus: Outlines of Scepticism
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...
The Rise of the Roman Empire The Histories, Vol 1: Books 1-2 The Histories, Vol 4: Books 9-15 The Histories, Vol 5: Books 16-27 The Histories, Vol 6: Bks.XXVIII-XXXIX

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“Can any one be so indifferent or idle as not to care to know by what means, and under what kind of polity, almost the whole inhabited world was conquered and
brought under the dominion of the single city of Rome, and that too within a period of not quite fifty-three years?”
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