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Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Consequences of the Battle of Cannae (search)
in a brave and manly spirit. And subsequent events made this manifest. For though the Romans were on that occasion indisputably beaten in the field, and had lost reputation for military prowess; by the peculiar excellence of their political constitution, and the prudence of their counsels, they not only recovered their supremacy over Italy, by eventually conquering the Carthaginians, but before very long became masters of the whole world. I shall, therefore, end this book at this point, having nowB.C. 216. recounted the events in Iberia and Italy, embraced by the 140th Olympiad. When I have arrived at the same period in my history of Greece during this Olympiad, I shall then fulfil my promise of devoting a book to a formal account of the Roman constitution itself; for I think that a description of it will not only be germane to the matter of my history, but will also be of great help to practical statesmen, as well as students, either in reforming or establishing other constitutions.
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Teuta Agrees to Pay Tribute to Rome (search)
luded a treaty; in virtue of which she consented to pay a fixed tribute, and to abandon all Illyricum, with the exception of some few districts: and what affected Greece more than anything, she agreed not to sail beyond Lissus with more than two galleys, and those unarmed. When this arrangement had been concluded, Postumius sent lit, and read the treaty which had been made with the Illyrians. The envoys then returned to Corcyra after receiving the thanks of both leagues: for they had freed Greece by this treaty from a very serious cause for alarm, the fact being that the Illyrians were not the enemies of this or that people, but the common enemies of all alike. Such were the circumstances of the first armed interference of the Romans in Illyricum and that part of Europe, and their first diplomatic relations with Greece; and such too were the motives which suggested them. But having thus begun, the Romans immediately afterwards sent envoys to Corinth and Athens. And it was then that
Polybius, Histories, book 7, Philip's Loss of Popularity (search)
o wish to correct their ideas by a study of history. For the splendour of his early career, and the brilliancy of his genius, have caused the dispositions for good and evil displayed by this king to be more conspicuous and widely known throughout Greece than is the case with any other man; as well as the contrast between the results accompanying the display of those opposite tendencies. Now that, upon his accession to the throne, Thessaly, Macedonia, and in fact all parts of his own kingdom werese on whom he had within a short time conferred great benefits. On the whole, if one may use a somewhat hyperbolical phrase, I think it has been said of Philip with very great propriety, that his beneficent policy had made him "The darling of all Greece." And it is a conspicuous and striking proof of the advantage of lofty principle and strict integrity, that the Cretans, having at length come to an understanding with each other and made a national alliance, selected Philip to arbitrate between
Polybius, Histories, book 1, The First Punic War; Plan of the First Two Books (search)
to treat. Of these the first in order of time are those which befell the Romans and Carthaginians in their war for the possession of Sicily. Next comes the Libyan or Mercenary war; immediately following on which are the Carthaginian achievements in Spain, first under Hamilcar, and then under Hasdrubal. In the course of these events, again, occurred the first expedition of the Romans into Illyria and the Greek side of Europe; and, besides that, their struggles within Italy with the Celts. In Greece at the same time the war called after Cleomenes was in full action. With this war I design to conclude my prefatory sketch and my second book. To enter into minute details of these events is unnecessary, and would be of no advantage to my readers. It is not part of my plan to write a history of them: my sole object is to recapitulate them in a summary manner by way of introduction to the narrative I have in hand. I will, therefore, touch lightly upon the leading events of this period in a co
Polybius, Histories, book 8, Flawed Structure of Theopompus's History (search)
t off, when he got near the period of the battle of Leuctra, and the most splendid exploits of the Greeks, he threw aside Greece and its achievements in the middle of his story, and, changing his purpose, undertook to write the history of Philip. And yet it would have been far more telling and fair to have included the actions of Philip in the general history of Greece, than the history of Greece in that of Philip. For one cannot conceive any one, who had been preoccupied by the study of a royalGreece in that of Philip. For one cannot conceive any one, who had been preoccupied by the study of a royal government, hesitating, if he got the power and opportunity, to transfer his attention to the great name and splendid personality of a nation like Greece; but no one in his senses, after beginning with the latter, would have exchanged it for the shoGreece; but no one in his senses, after beginning with the latter, would have exchanged it for the showy biography of a tyrant. Now what could it have been that compelled Theopompus to overlook such inconsistencies? Nothing surely but this, that whereas the aim of his original history was honour, that of his history of Philip was expediency. As to th
Polybius, Histories, book 7, Aratus a Moderating Influence on Philip (search)
transgressing the laws of war; and entirely deserted his original principles, by showing himself an implacable and bitter foe to all who opposed him. The same remark applies to the Cretan business.Plutarch, Aratus, ch. 48. As long as he employed Aratus as his chief director, not only without doing injustice to a single islander, but without even causing them any vexation, he kept the whole Cretan people under control; and led all the Greeks to regard him with favour, owing to the greatness of character which he displayed. So again, when under the guidance of Demetrius, he became the cause of the misfortunes I have described to the Messenians, he at once lost the good-will of the allies and his credit with the rest of Greece. Such a decisive influence for good or evil in the security of their government has the choice by youthful sovereigns of the friends who are to surround them; though it is a subject on which by some unaccountable carelessness they take not the smallest care. . . .
Polybius, Histories, book 2, Rivers and Mountains in Northern Italy (search)
ose mountains. It is navigable for nearly two thousand stades up stream, the ships entering by the mouth called Olana; for though it is a single main stream to begin with, it branches off into two at the place called Trigoboli, of which streams the northern is called the Padoa, the southern the Olana. At the mouth of the latter there is a harbour affording as safe anchorage as any in the Adriatic. The whole river is called by the country folk the Bodencus. As to the other stories current in Greece about this river,—I mean Phaethon and his fall, and the tears of the poplars and the black clothes of the inhabitants along this stream, which they are said to wear at this day as mourning for Phaethon,—all such tragic incidents I omit for the present, as not being suitable to the kind of work I have in hand; but I shall return to them at some other more fitting opportunity, particularly because Timaeus has shown a strange ignorance of this district. Gauls expel Etruscans from the valley of
Polybius, Histories, book 4, The Aetolians and Illyrians Invade Achaia (search)
Messenians to alliance; but though the conduct of the Aetolians caused them momentary indignation, they were not excessively moved by it, because it was no more than what the Aetolians habitually did. Their anger, therefore, was short-lived, and they presently voted against going to war with them. So true is it that an habitual course of wrong-doing finds readier pardon than when it is spasmodic or isolated. The former, at any rate, was the case with the Aetolians: they perpetually plundered Greece, and levied unprovoked war upon many of its people: they did not deign either to make any defence to those who complained, but answered only by additional insults if any one challenged them to arbitration for injuries which they had inflicted, or indeed which they meditated inflicting. Treachery of the Spartans. And yet the Lacedaemonians, who had but recently been liberated by means of Antigonus and the generous zeal of the Achaeans, and though they were bound not to commit any act of hosti
Polybius, Histories, book 1, Importance and Magnitude of the Subject (search)
cedonia. 1. Persia. favourite themes of historians, and measuring them with the superior greatness of Rome. There are but three that deserve even to be so compared and measured: and they are these. The Persians for a certain length of time were possessed of a great empire and dominion. But every time they ventured beyond the limits of Asia, they found not only their empire, but their own existence also in danger. 2. Sparta. B. C. 405-394. The Lacedaemonians, after contending for supremacy in Greece for many generations, when they did get it, held it without dispute for barely twelve years.3. Macedonia.The Macedonians obtained dominion in Europe from the lands bordering on the Adriatic to the Danube,—which after all is but a small fraction of this continent,—and, by the destruction of the Persian Empire, they afterwards added to that the dominion of Asia. And yet, though they had the credit of having made themselves masters of a larger number of countries and states than any people had
Polybius, Histories, book 3, Plan: Causes of Wars (search)
annibalian war. Hannibalian war: and shall have to describe how the Carthaginians entered Italy; broke up the Roman power there; made the Romans tremble for their safety and the very soil of their country; and contrary to all calculation acquired a good prospect of surprising Rome itself. I shall next try to make it clear how in the same period2. Macedonian treaty with Carthage, B. C. 216. Philip of Macedon, after finishing his war with the Aetolians, and subsequently settling the affairs of Greece, entered upon a design of forming an offensive and defensive alliance with Carthage. Then I shall tell how Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator3. Syrian war, B. C. 218. first quarrelled and finally went to war with each other for the possession of Coele-Syria. Next how the Rhodians and Prusias went to war with the4. Byzantine war. B. C. 220. Byzantines, and compelled them to desist from exacting dues from ships sailing into the Pontus. At this point I shall pause in my narrative to introduce aFi
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