'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.
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