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Born about 200 B.C. in Greece to a politically prominent family, Polybius had his own political career cut short when he was deported to Rome as a hostage. During his exile, he commenced the composition of his Histories, with the original goal of examining Rome's rise to supremacy during the years from 220 to 168 B.C.; later he would extend his investigation down to the aftermath of the Third Punic and Achaean wars, which ended in 146 B.C. Of the original forty books of the Histories, today only the first five survive essentially intact, with most of the remaining books represented by fragments of various lengths. In this volume, David D. Phillips presents a commentary on Polybius' first book. The volume includes the definitive text by Theodor Buttner-Wobst, together with detailed commentary on points of linguistic and historical interest, and an introduction to Polybius' life, the Histories (with special attention to book 1), and Polybian language, style, and tone. An index of Greek words is also provided.
Although scholars continue to address old questions about Polybius, it is clear that they are also turning their attention to aspects of his history that have been inadequately dealt with in the past or have even gone largely unnoticed. Polybius' history is increasingly treated not just as a source of valuable information on the impressive expansion of Roman rule in the Mediterranean world, but also as a complex and nuanced narrative with its own interests and purposes. Moreover, since (apart from Livy's use of Polybius, which has been thoroughly discussed) most studies of Polybius' reception focus on the modern world, especially in relation to the theory of mixed constitutions, finding out more about Polybius' impact on ancient Greek and Roman authors remains a major desideratum. This volume brings together contributions which, in either posing new questions or reformulating old ones, attest both to the ardent scholarly interest currently directed toward Polybius and to the variety of hermeneutical issues raised by his work. Subjects discussed include Polybius' historical ideas, his methods of composition, his views on the role of the historian, his representation of cultural difference, his intertextual affinities, and his reception and influence. Taken together, the papers in this collection attempt to promote a deeper understanding of the qualities and peculiarities of Polybius' history, as well as to offer fresh insights into the interpretation of this important work.
David Moessner proposes a new understanding of the relation of Luke’s second volume to his Gospel to open up a whole new reading of Luke’s foundational contribution to the New Testament. For postmodern readers who find Acts a ‘generic outlier,’ dangling tenuously somewhere between the ‘mainland’ of the evangelists and the ‘Peloponnese’ of Paul—diffused and confused and shunted to the backwaters of the New Testament by these signature corpora—Moessner plunges his readers into the hermeneutical atmosphere of Greek narrative poetics and elaboration of multi-volume works to inhale the rhetorical swells that animate Luke’s first readers in their engagement of his narrative. In this collection of twelve of his essays, re-contextualized and re-organized into five major topical movements, Moessner showcases multiple Hellenistic texts and rhetorical tropes to spotlight the various signals Luke provides his readers of the multiple ways his Acts will follow "all that Jesus began to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1) and, consequently, bring coherence to this dominant block of the New Testament that has long been split apart. By collapsing the world of Jesus into the words and deeds of his followers, Luke re-configures the significance of Israel’s "Christ" and the "Reign" of Israel’s God for all peoples and places to create a new account of ‘Gospel Acts,’ discrete and distinctively different than the "narrative" of the "many" (Luke 1:1). Luke the Historian of Israel’s Legacy combines what no analysis of the Lukan writings has previously accomplished, integrating seamlessly two ‘generically-estranged’ volumes into one new whole from the intent of the one composer. For Luke is the Hellenistic historian and simultaneously ‘biblical’ theologian who arranges the one "plan of God" read from the script of the Jewish scriptures—parts and whole, severally and together—as the saving ‘script’ for the whole world through Israel’s suffering and raised up "Christ," Jesus of Nazareth. In the introductions to each major theme of the essays, this noted scholar of the Lukan writings offers an epitome of the main features of Luke’s theological ‘thought,’ and, in a final Conclusions chapter, weaves together a comprehensive synthesis of this new reading of the whole.
Elizabeth Rawson (1934-1988) was a distinguished specialist in the history, society, and culture of the later Roman Republic and Augustan period. First published between 1971 and 1989, her papers cover the workings of human politics and society, historical and antiquarian thinking at Rome, and literary history. The collection offers an essential contribution to the understanding of the central period of Roman history.
The Hellenistic period (approximately the last three centuries B.C.), with its cultural complexities and enduring legacies, retains a lasting fascination today. Reflecting the vigor and productivity of scholarship directed at this period in the past decade, this collection of original essays is a wide-ranging exploration of current discoveries and questions. The twelve essays emphasize the cultural interaction of Greek and non-Greek societies in the Hellenistic period, in contrast to more conventional focuses on politics, society, or economy. The result of original research by some of the leading scholars in Hellenistic history and culture, this volume is an exemplary illustration of the cultural richness of this period. Paul Cartledge's introduction contains an illuminating introductory overview of current trends in Hellenistic scholarship. The essays themselves range over broad questions of comparative historiography, literature, religion, and the roles of Athens, Rome, and the Jews within the context of the Hellenistic world. The volume is dedicated to Frank Walbank and includes an updated bibliography of his work which has been essential to our understanding of the Hellenistic period.
This volume contains a selection of Professor F. W. Walbank's papers on classical Greco-Roman subjects.
A sweeping, revisionist history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists. Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 ce—nearly a thousand years later—when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 bce with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this “terrorist conspiracy,” which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome’s subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters—Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others—while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome’s glorious conquests. Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record, refusing either simple admiration or blanket condemnation. Far from being frozen in marble, Roman history, she shows, is constantly being revised and rewritten as our knowledge expands. Indeed, our perceptions of ancient Rome have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, and S.P.Q.R., with its nuanced attention to class inequality, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.

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