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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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Political Subordination and Indirect Historiography

Political Subordination and Indirect Historiography

(p.15) Chapter 1 Political Subordination and Indirect Historiography
Cultural Politics in Polybius's Histories

Craige B. Champion

University of California Press

This chapter presents a foundation for studying Polybius's cultural politics in the Histories. It briefly provides the biographical tradition on Polybius, especially necessary since his history is unfamiliar even to many classicists. A discussion of Polybius's views on the nature and function of history writing and his place in the ancient Greek historiographical tradition is given. The chapter then addresses three historiographical typologies that help to conceptualize Polybius's collective representations. The significance of Polybius's history extends beyond the study of ancient history and historiography. Polybius's direct statements on methodology, historiographical conceptions, and intended audiences are invaluable to the interpretation of the Histories. Polybius is an indirect historian because he conveys political messages through his collective representations of ethnic-cultural groups.

Keywords:   Polybius, political subordination, indirect historiography, Greek historiographical tradition, historiographical typologies, collective representations, indirect historian

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