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The Histories of Polybius, Vol. II (of 2)

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File Name: The Histories of Polybius, Vol. II (of 2)

File Submitter: Viggen

File Submitted: 12 Nov 2014

File Category: Free Classic Works in PDF



The substance of Polybius’ work is based on historical information and conveys his role as a historian. His The Histories starts in 264 BC and finishes off in 146 BC. He mainly discusses the years in which Ancient Rome rose to superpower status from 220 BC to 167 BC, describing Rome's efforts in subduing its arch enemy, Carthage, and thereby becoming the dominant Mediterranean force. Books I through V of The Histories are the introduction for the years during his lifetime, describing the politics in each powerful nation, including ancient Greece and Egypt. In Book VI, Polybius describes the way of the Romans; he discusses the powers of the different parts of the republic, as well as the rights of the plebeian. He describes the First and Second Punic Wars. Polybius concludes the Romans are the pre-eminent power because they maintain customs and traditions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, and a fear of the gods. Also chronicled are the conflicts between Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus such as the Battle of Ticinus, the Battle of the Trebia, the Siege of Saguntum, the Battle of Lilybaeum, and the Battle of Rhone Crossing. In Book XII, Polybius discusses the worth of Timaeus’ account of the same period of history. He asserts Timaeus' point of view is inaccurate, invalid, and biased in favor of Rome. Therefore, Polybius's The Histories is also useful in analyzing the different Hellenistic versions of history and of use as a credible illustration of actual events during the Hellenistic period.



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