The Book Depository The Histories by Polybius

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The Book Depository The Histories by Polybius
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Description: The Histories : Paperback : Oxford University Press : 9780199534708 : 0199534705 : 11 Nov 2010 : Polybius' account of Rome's rise to world power and her method of rule is a major source for the history of the years 220-146 BC. This new translation includes Books 1-5 in their entirety and all of the fragmentary Books 6 and 12 on the Roman constitution and historiography. It is accompanied by an illuminating introduction and notes. The Book Depository The Histories by Polybius - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Author: Francesco

Rating: 5

Review: A worthy replacement for the excellent but now rather dated edition published by Penguin Classics. Unfortunately, you cannot just throw out your old Penguin copy for, as other reviewers have pointed out, this edition only goes up to book 12 of Polybius. Never-the-less, this is a worthwhile addition, as Robin Waterfield is an excellent writer and classicist and has rendered Polybius into highly readable English, replacing the now rather stilted language of the Penguin edition, which is getting a bit long in the tooth. As for other reviews taking issue with aspects of Waterfield’s new translation (and one aspect in particular), while it is possible that he may have mistranslated or misunderstood the Greek word ‘lonche’ this is by no means certain and I suspect Mr Waterfield’s knowledge of Greek is far superior to ours. We do not really know what the word meant in the second century B.C. or just how it was understood by Polybius and his Greek audience. Claims that he was a technically correct writer are rather fantastical. He was not writing military history; he was trying to explain to his readers how their country (and the rest of the Mediterranean) had come under the yoke of the Romans. (And as he was writing under Roman patronage this means we cannot take everything he says at face value either.) Suggestions that he would have used a different word for this or that, make the assumption that all Greek words then meant the same as we understand them to mean now. Clearly this is nonsense. With reference to the sarissa for example, which some think means ‘pike’. According to Everson this probably meant nothing more than ‘long spear’ originally. Arguments about what words such as ‘lonche’ (or sarissa for that matter) may have meant over two thousand years ago are, frankly, pointless.

 

Author: Mr. J. J. Bannister

Rating: 2

Review: Disappointingly, the remaining extant books after book 12 are not included, so in this volume we never get to the conclusion of the 3rd and final Punic war. It would also be a good idea to include as foot note on the relevant pages, which dates the events conventionally, as the olympiad dates used by Polybius don't give much idea of dates in BC. In my view a much better compilation is the Penguin Classics Polybius with the title...The rise of the Roman Empire. In this volume you get the full Punic war story.

 

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