By Frank W. Walbank
Read Online or Download A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6 PDF
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Extra resources for A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6
4 xxxvi. 17. 1, where, however, the words τοῖς τὴν τύχην καὶ τὴν εἱµαρµένην ἐπιγράφουσιν appear to be those of the excerptor. 5 See the notes to iii. , discussing Polybius' account of the causes of several wars. 6 iii. 97. 5; cf. 99. 9 ἐκ τῆς τύχης. 7 Similarly, in iv. 3. µατον, since the home authorities did not foresee the relations between Dorimachus and the brigands; and in v. 34. 2 Ptolemy IV contrasts his own action in ridding himself of domestic dangers with the help given him δι? χην in the deaths of his two rivals, Antigonus and Seleucus, abroad.
7 xviii. 1–10; cf. , and references there quoted. 2 uncertainties of an oral tradition; this probably helps to explain why many of his speeches, and especially such pairs as those of Hannibal and Scipio before Zama,1 read like a series of commonplaces. But he never concedes to the historian the right to improvise,2 and it would be unjust to assume that he consciously composed rhetorical exercises for inclusion in his Histories. 3 Polybius is therefore entitled to our confidence that he made a determined effort to discover what was actually said καθ᾽ ὅσον οἷόν τε πολυπραγµονήσας,4 and that any failure here and there is due to practical shortcomings rather than a deliberate betrayal of principle.
6 (but this is in a speech of Lyciscus of Acarnania). 7 Feyel, passim; for detailed discussion of his thesis see the commentary on xx. 4–7. 2 that political prejudice has also produced a completely false picture of conditions in third-century Boeotia; the account of social decadence in xx. 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.