Philip V of Macedon in Polybius' Histories

Politics, History, and Fiction

Emma Nicholson

ca. 101,94
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft


Philip V of Macedon in Polybius' Histories: Politics, History, and Fiction offers a historiographical and literary study of Polybius' portrait of Philip V and aims to advance our knowledge of both the Macedonian king and the historian. It takes a chronological and thematic approach, exploring how Polybius' political, historiographical, and didactic aims impact the king's depiction from beginning to end. The first half focuses on political and rhetoricalaspects: it highlights the embedded Achaean perspective of the narrative and how this fundamentally shapes Philip's image; it re-evaluates key character-defining episodes, such as the sack of Thermum and the attempt on Messene; and it problematizes Polybius' claim that Philip became increasingly treacherous andtyrannical towards the Greeks after 215 BC. The second half explores how Polybius develops his interpretation of the king through ideological and literary means: it investigates how Polybius uses cultural politics to blacken Philip's image and justify the exchange of Macedon and Rome as hegemonic powers in the Greek world; it rationalizes his use of a tragic mode for Philip's last years, examining the implications this styling has for our historical understanding of the king; and it considershow tensions between Polybius' narrative and commentary on Philip may be the result of his combination of historiographical and biographical modes of presentation. It finishes by resituating Philip in the broader context of the Histories, drawing comparisons between his portrait and that of otherkings and leaders, and discussing how kings are shaped by and contribute to the arguments in the Histories.

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