The Histories
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The Histories

By (author) Polybius , Translated by Robin Waterfield

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'no one else in our times has attempted to write a universal history' Polybius' ambitious goal was to describe how Rome conquered the Mediterranean world in less than fifty-three years. This great study of imperialism takes the reader back to Rome's first encounter with Carthage in 264 and forward to her destruction of that renowned city in 146. Polybius, himself a leading Greek politician of the time, emphasizes the importance of practical experience for the writing of political history as well as the critical assessment of all the evidence. He attributes Rome's success to the greatness of its constitution and the character of its people, but also allows Fortune a role in designing the shape of world events. This new translation by Robin Waterfield, the first for over thirty years, includes the first five books in their entirety, and all of the fragmentary Books 6 and 12, containing Polybius' account of the Roman constitution and his outspoken views on how (and how not) to write history. Brian McGing's accompanying introduction and notes illuminate this remarkable political history. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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  • Paperback | 560 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 28mm | 381.02g
  • 11 Nov 2010
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • 3 maps
  • 0199534705
  • 9780199534708
  • 64,017

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Author Information

Brian McGing has written articles on the Hellenistic period and recently completed a book on Polybius.

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Review quote

...this new translation of Polybius will be a valuable resource for teachers and students of Polybius and Roman history. The authors deserve no small praise for permitting one of the most highly regarded ancient historians, yet also one of the least read, speak to a new generation. Bryn Mawr Classical Review Waterfield is a veteran translator who is senstive to the idiosyncrasies of ancient originals and chooses the difficult task of rendering them in good, natural English. Bryn Mawr Clasical Review

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