Cultural Politics in Polybius's i Histories i by Craige B. Champion

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By Craige B. Champion

Polybius was once a Greek statesman and political prisoner of Rome within the moment century b.c.e. His Histories give you the earliest non-stop narrative of the increase of the Roman Empire. during this unique examine educated by way of contemporary paintings in cultural experiences and on ethnicity, Craige Champion demonstrates that Polybius's paintings plays a literary and political balancing act of heretofore unappreciated subtlety and curiosity. Champion indicates how Polybius contrived to tailor his historiography for a number of audiences, comprising his fellow Greeks, whose freedom Rome had usurped in his personal iteration, and the Roman conquerors. Champion focuses totally on the ideological presuppositions and predispositions of Polybius's various audiences in an effort to interpret the plain contradictions and incongruities in his textual content. during this approach he develops a "politics of cultural indeterminacy" during which Polybius's collective representations of political and ethnic teams have varied meanings for various audiences in several contexts. Situating those representations within the ideological, political, and ancient contexts from which they arose, his ebook offers new and penetrating insights right into a paintings whose subtlety and complexity have long gone mostly unrecognized.

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This group’s continuance is dependent upon the importance its members ascribe to maintaining its boundaries in order to advance the interests of the constituency. As my definition of “culture” in the introduction makes clear, however, I do not insist, as does Barth, that we make a sharp distinction between culture and ethnicity in this sense. Although we do not usually think of culture as including ethnicity’s galvanizing constructs of common ancestry and mythical homeland, my definition of culture has strong political dimensions and maps well onto Barth’s conception of ethnicity, and I use the terms “culture” and “ethnicity” virtually interchangeably.

9, with Walbank 1972: 27–31; Momigliano 1974: 28–30; Eckstein 1995b: 10–11. 20. Cf. Gelzer 1964d: 168. 21. 1–7; Pédech 1964: 518–19 with nn. ; 1972: 6 n. 26, 121 n. 131; cf. Liv. 1–10. 478 ad loc. 22 In light of these considerations, I have chosen to treat the Histories as a unity and to read Polybius’s collective representations as part of a thematically coherent narrative in their contemporary ideological and historical contexts. 22. See Mioni 1949: 40–46 for a critique of the earlier attempts at Schichtenanalyse of Laqueur and Cuntz; cf.

On ancient Greek constructions of ethnicity, see now Hall 2002; and collected essays in Malkin 2001 and Harrison 2002. 32 historical and historiographical contexts lenism. We do not find much evidence for such a conception, nor do we find a well-articulated Panhellenism, in Geometric and early archaic Greece. Preclassical Greece certainly shows little evidence of a pervasive sense of a superior common Greek identity. Both Homeric epic and Hesiodic nonheroic, wisdom poetry support that assertion. 3 Homer uses the term “Hellenes” once, and the term “Panhellenes” once in a passage scholars generally regard as a later interpolation.

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