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Cultural Politics in Polybius's Histories$
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Craige Champion and William Joseph Sanders

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520237643

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520237643.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Cultural Politics in Polybius's Histories

Craige B. Champion

University of California Press

Polybius was a political hostage at Rome, an outsider on the inside, a stranger in a strange land. The Greek historian shows both conformity to and rejection of the Roman dispensation through his collective representations of Romans. The assumption that Greek representations of Romans in the second century bce were for the most part politically instrumental is introduced. Polybius's decision to stress institutional factors and historical contingency in his system of causation for collective societal characteristics allowed for the greatest flexibility, and ambiguity, in regard to the question of Rome's relation to Hellenism. Generally, the Histories has treated as a unity and Polybius's collective representations read as part of a thematically coherent narrative in their contemporary ideological and historical contexts.

Keywords:   Polybius, Rome, Greek representations, Histories, Hellenism, Romans

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