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Alien Wisdom: The Limits of Hellenization by Arnaldo Momigliano

By Arnaldo Momigliano

During this vintage learn of cultural disagreement Professor Momigliano examines the Greeks' angle towards the modern civilizations of the Romans, Celts, Jews, and Persians. reading cultural and highbrow interplay from the fourth throughout the first centuries B.C., Momigliano argues that during the Hellenistic interval the Greeks, Romans, and Jews loved an specific designated dating that assured their lasting dominance of Western civilization.

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In his accounts of Roman men and manners, Polybius is never troubled by difficulties of interpretation. His walks through the streets of Rome must have been accompanied by a constant sensation of deja vu. He gives the impression of recognizing rather than of discovering. He lacks the sense of surprise. He is the prototype of the historian who never marvels, just as Herodotus is the prototype of the historian who always marvels. He had of course his grasp of military and diplomatic practice to help him; and he was firmly convinced that the Roman constitution was open to analysis in Greek terms.

Scipio did cry, and classical scholars are therefore entitled to ask how many tears he shed. As Professor A. E. Astin observes in his very valuable book on Scipio Aemilianus (1967): 'By iSdupvev Diodorus (Polybius) need not necessarily mean that Scipio shed a flood of tears, that he truly wept. It is also possible to envisage moist eyes, with a tear or two trickling down either cheek; and this would be much more consistent with Polybius' praise of Scipio's attitude, that of "a great, a perfect man, a man in short worthy to be remembered"' (p.

The sympathy of Diodorus - that is, of Posidonius - stretches so far as to admit that even during the war the slaves spared some of the owners who had been kind to them. 39). The historian does not extend his sympathy to the leaders. 23). 11). 11). Plunder and lawlessness from the free-born slowly emerge as the greater menace. The slave wars are not to be separated, in Posidonius' mind, from the civil wars he had seen in his own time. The 34 Polybius and Posidonius opposition of Scipio Nasica to the destruction of Carthage figures so prominently in this account by Diodorus - and therefore by Posidonius - because he was thought to have foreseen the possibility of civil war in Rome if Carthage were to be eliminated: 'but once the rival city was destroyed, it was only too evident that there would be civil war at home and that hatred for the governing power would spring up among all the allies because of the rapacity and lawlessness to which the Roman magistrates would subject them' (34-33-5 transl.

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