Roman and Achaean Virtues
This chapter explores the Romans in books 1–5. The narrative pattern of Achaean history in books 2, 4, and 5 parallels that of Rome in books 1–3. It is also argued that in the Roman sections of books 1–3, the Illyrians Agron, Teuta, and Demetrius of Pharos exemplify Illyrian group character. Polybius's narrative reveals his representation of Roman collective group character. Polybius provides the reader with a catalogue of the barbarous behaviors of Gallic peoples. In books 2, 4 and 5, he stresses the legality of Achaean collective actions, and also strives to present Achaean and Aetolian group characters as exact opposites. Polybius then underscores the importance of the individual in historical events in his consideration of Aratus. In their exercise of rationality and through excellent political and social institutions, Rome and Achaea managed to place the good of the community before the interest of the individual.
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