By Frank W. Walbank
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Additional resources for A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6
With regard to his main theme, however—the work of Tyche in making Rome mistress of the world in fifty-three years—one must allow for at least the possibility that as he looked back on this startling and unparalleled process Polybius jumped the step in logic between what had happened and what had had to happen, and so in a somewhat muddled way invested the rise of Rome to world power with a teleological character; in so doing he probably fell a victim to the words he used and to his constant personification of what began as a mere hiatus in knowledge.
The histories (also in Greek) of C. Acilius will perhaps have been used for the later part of the Hannibalic War; but if they were published about 142, as seems likely,3 they must have appeared too late for Polybius to use them for the years down to Cannae. Also available, and equally certain to have been read by Polybius, was the πραγµατικὴ ἱστορία of A. 8 Another possible Latin source is L. Cassius Hemina,9 who may have published his first three books before 150; but almost nothing is known about him or the contents of his work.
I. 1. 2, stressing the two purposes, political and moral, and describing history as ἐναργεστάτην . . καὶ µόνην διδάσκαλον τοῦ δύνασθαι τὰς τῆς τύχης µεταβολὰς γενναίως ὑποφέρειν. 4 These passages are conveniently assembled in Hercod, 100–1; cf. ; P. Shorey, CP, 1921, 281. 5 i. 7. 4. 6 There are similar examples at v. 42. 8 and x. 33. 4–5; they are common throughout the Histories. 2 occasions when Tyche may properly be invoked. 'In the case of things of which it is difficult or impossible for mortal men to grasp the causes,' he writes, 'one may justifiably refer them, in one's difficulty, ἐπὶ τὸν θεὸν .