l>Polybius" Introduction

Polybius publication 1.1-6, 62-64

1 If earlier writers on person affairs had neglected to prayer History, itmight perhaps have actually been crucial for me to urge everyone to look for out andwelcome functions such as this one, since men have actually no handier guide to conductthan expertise of the past. However all historians, one may say withoutexception, and also not there is no enthusiasm, but making this the whole point oftheir work, have actually impressed on united state that the finest education for a politicalcareer is the study of History, and also that the surest and, indeed, the onlymethod the learning just how to bear with dignity the vicissitudes of happiness isto it is in reminded the others" misfortunes. Evidently, then, no one, and leastof all myself, would think the his duty at this day to repeat what has actually beenso well and also so regularly said. Because that the an extremely element that the unexpected in theevents I have actually chosen together my design template will be adequate to difficulty andstimulate everyone, young and also old alike, to check out my systematic history.For who is so worthless or apathetic as not to great to know by what meansand under what mechanism of government the Romans in less than fifty-threeyears have succeeded in subjecting nearly the entirety inhabited civilization totheir sole federal government - a thing distinct in history? Or that again is thereso passionately committed to other spectacles or studies as to regardanything as of better moment than the acquisition of this knowledge? 2 just how magnificent is the spectacle presented by the duration with which ns propose to deal,will it is in most clearly apparent if us compare through the Roman conquests the most famous empires of the past, those which have developed the chief layout of historians, the foremost gift these: The Persians because that a certain period possessed a an excellent rule and also dominion, however as regularly as they tried to overstep the boundaries of Asia they threatened not just the protection of this empire, however their very own existence. The Lacedaemonians, after having actually for numerous years disputed the hegemony the Greece, at size attained it, just to organize it uncontested because that a just dozen year <405-394 BCE inclusive>. The Macedonian dominion in Europe expanded only indigenous the Adriatic an ar to the Danube, i m sorry would appear a very small portion of the continent. Later, by overthrowing the Persian realm they ended up being supreme in Asia also. But though their empire was currently regarded as the greatest geographically and politically that had ever existed, castle left the larger component of the inhabited civilization as yet outside it. Because that they never also made a single attempt to conflict possession of Sicily, Sardinia, or Libya, and the most warlike countries of west Europe were, to speak the basic truth, unknown to them. Yet the Romans have subjected come their dominance not portions, but practically the whole of the world and also possess realm which is not just immeasurably higher than any which came before it, but need not fear rivalry in the future. In the course of this occupational it will certainly become an ext clear through what steps this power was acquired, and also it will likewise be seen how many and how great advantages accrue to the college student from the organized treatment the history.3 The day from which i propose to start my background is the 140th Olympiad <220-216 BCE>, and the events are the following: (1) in greece the so-called social War, the very first waged against the Aetolians by the Achaeans in organization with and under the management of Philip that Macedon, the boy of Demetrius and father the Perseus, (2) in Asia the battle for Coele-Syria in between Antiochus and Ptolemy Philopator, (3) in Italy, Libya, and the surrounding regions, the war in between Rome and Carthage, usually well-known as the Hannibalic War. These events immediately succeed those associated at the end of the job-related of Aratus the Sicyon. Formerly the work of the human being had been, so to say, dispersed, as they were hosted together through no unit of initiative, results, or locality; however ever since this date history has been an organic whole, and the to work of Italy and also Libya have been interlinked v those the Greece and Asia, all leading as much as one end. And this is my reason for beginning their systematic background from that date. Because that it to be owing to their defeat the the Carthaginians in the Hannibalic war that the Romans, emotion that the chief and also most important step in their plan of global aggression had actually now to be taken, were an initial emboldened to reach the end their hands to understand the rest and also to cross with an military to Greece and the continent that Asia.Now if us Greeks were well acquainted with the two says which discussed the realm of the world, it would certainly not perhaps have actually been essential for me to deal at all with their vault history, or to narrate what objective guided them, and on what resources of strength they relied, in start upon together a vast undertaking. Yet as no the former power nor the earlier background of Rome and Carthage is familiar to many of united state Greeks, I believed it crucial to prefix this book and the beside the really history, in order that no one after becoming engrossed in the narrative ideal may find himself at a loss, and ask by what counsel and trusting to what power and resources the Romans took on that companies which has actually made castle lords end land and also sea in our component of the world; however that from these Books and the preliminary sketch in them, it may be clean to readers that they had actually quite adequate grounds because that conceiving the ambitious of a world-empire and adequate means for achieving your purpose. 4 for what provides my occupational its strange quality, and what is many remarkable in the present age, is this: Fortune has guided virtually all the work of the world in one direction and has required them come incline towards one and also the very same end; a historian should similarly bring prior to his readers under one synoptical see the operations through which she has achieved her general purpose. Undoubtedly it to be this chiefly that invited and encouraged me to undertake mine task; and second, the fact that none of my contemporaries have actually undertaken to compose a general history, in which instance I should have actually been much much less eager to take it this in hand. As it is, i observe the while several modern-day writers deal with specific wars and specific matters associated with them, no one, as far as ns am aware, has even attempted come inquire critically when and whence the basic and substantial scheme of occasions originated and also how that led up to the end. I therefore thought it quite crucial not to leaving unnoticed or permit to pass into oblivion this the finest and also most beneficent that the performances that Fortune. Because that though she is ever developing something new and ever before playing a part in the lives of men, she has actually not in a single instance ever accomplished such a work, ever achieved such a triumph, as in our own times. We deserve to no an ext hope to perceive this from backgrounds dealing with certain events 보다 to obtain at as soon as a id of the kind of the totality world, the disposition and order, by visiting, every in turn, the most renowned cities, or indeed by spring at separate plans of each: a an outcome by no method likely. He without doubt who believes that by studying isolated histories he can obtain a reasonably just check out of history as a whole, is, together it seems to me, lot in the case of one, who, after having actually looked in ~ the dissevered four of an animal once alive and also beautiful, fancies he has been as great as an eyewitness of the biology itself in every its action and grace. For can anyone put the creature together on the spot, restoring its form and the comeliness the life, and also then display it come the same man, ns think that would conveniently avow that he was formerly very far far from the reality and more like one in a dream. For we can obtain some idea of a totality from a part, however never understanding or specific opinion. Unique histories thus contribute very small to the understanding of the whole and conviction that its truth. That is only indeed by research of the interconnexion of all the particulars, their resemblances and also differences, that us are enabled at the very least to make a general survey, and thus derive both benefit and also pleasure from history.5 ns shall embrace as the starting-point of this book the an initial occasion on which the Romans overcome the sea from Italy. This follows instantly on the near of Timaeus" history and took location in the 129th Olympiad <264-261 BCE>. For this reason we must first state how and also when the Romans developed their place in Italy, and also what triggered them afterwards to cross to Sicily, the first country exterior Italy whereby they set foot. The actual cause of their crossing should be declared without comment; because that if i were to seek the reason of the cause and also so on, my totality work would have no clean starting-point and also principle. The starting-point must be one era usually agreed upon and recognized, and also one self-apparent from the events, also if this requires my going earlier a tiny in allude of date and giving a an overview of intervening occurrences. Because that if there is any kind of ignorance or indeed any dispute as to what are the facts from i beg your pardon the work opens, it is impossible that what adheres to should meet with acceptance or credence; yet once we develop in our readers a general commitment on this point they will provide ear to every the succeeding narrative.6 that was, therefore, the nineteenth year after the battle of Aegospotami and the sixteenth prior to that the Leuctra, the year in which the Spartans ratified the peace recognized as the of Antalcidas v the King that Persia, that in which also Dionysius the Elder, after defeating the Italiot Greeks in the fight at the flow Elleporos, to be besieging Rhegium, and also that in which the Gauls, after taking Rome chin by assault, lived in the entirety of the city except the Capitol <387/6 BCE>. The Romans, after making a truce on problems satisfactory to the Gauls and being hence contrary to your expectation reinstated in your home and also as that were currently started top top the roadway of aggrandizement, ongoing in the adhering to years to wage battle on your neighbors. ~ subduing all the Latins by your valor and also the luck of war, they fought first against the Etruscans, then versus the Celts, and next versus the Samnites, whose territory was conterminous with that of the Latins ~ above the East and also North. After part time the Tarentines, fearing the results of your insolence to the roman envoys, begged because that the intervention of Pyrrhus. (This was in the year preceding the expedition of those Gauls that met through the turning back at Delphi and then overcome to Asia.) The Romans had prior to this decreased the Etruscans and Samnites and had vanquished the Italian Celts in many battles, and also they currently for the an initial time assaulted the rest of Italy no as if it were a foreign country, but as if that rightfully belonged come them. Their battle with the Samnites and Celts had actually made them veritable masters in the arts of war, and after bravely supporting this war with Pyrrhus and finally expelling himself and his army from Italy <275 BCE>, they continued to struggle with and also subdue those who had sided through him. When, through extraordinary great fortune, castle had decreased all this peoples and also had made all the occupants of Italy their topics excepting the Celts, they carried out the siege of Rhegium now held by details of their compatriots. 62 even on hearing of this unexpected defeat the Carthaginians, had actually they let us be guided through passion and ambition, would conveniently have continued the war, yet when it involved a matter of cool calculation they were quite at a loss. Because that one thing they were no longer able come send offers to their forces in Sicily as the enemy commanded the sea, and if they abandoned and also in a manner betrayed them, they had neither other guys nor other leaders with whom to seek the war. They thus at once sent a message to Barca providing him complete powers to resolve the situation. Hamilcar action thoroughly favor the great and wise leader that was. As lengthy as there had been part reasonable hope in the case he had actually left no means, however perilous and venturesome it seemed, unemployed, and also if there ever was a general who placed to evidence in a war every opportunity of success, it was he. However now that fortunes were reversed and also there was no reasonable prospect left of saving the troops under his command, he confirmed his practical great sense in yielding come circumstance and also sending an embassy come treat for peace. Because that our opinion should be that a general ought to it is in qualified come discern both when he is victorious and when is beaten. Lutatius readily consented to negotiate, mindful as that was the the Romans were by now worn out and also enfeebled through the war, and he prospered in putting an end to the contest by a treaty an ext or less as follows. "There shall it is in friendship between the Carthaginians and Romans on the adhering to terms if approved by the roman inn people. The Carthaginians to evacuate the whole of Sicily and not come make war on Hiero or be affected by each other arms against the Syracusans or the allies the the Syracusans. The Carthaginians to offer up come the Romans all prisoners without ransom. The Carthaginians to pay to the Romans by instalments in two decades two thousand 2 hundred Euboean talents."63 however when this terms were referred to Rome, the human being did no accept the treaty, yet sent ten commissioners to examine the matter. On your arrival they make no comprehensive changes in the terms, yet only slight changes rendering them much more severe because that Carthage: for they reduced the hatchet of payment by one half, included a thousand talent to the indemnity, and demanded the evacuation by the Carthaginians of every islands lying between Sicily and Italy.Such then was the finish of the war in between the Romans and Carthaginians because that the possession that Sicily, and also such to be the terms of peace. It had lasted there is no a break for twenty-four years and is the longest, many unintermittent, and also greatest battle we recognize of. Personal from every the other battles and also armaments, the complete naval forces involved were, as I discussed above, on one occasion much more than 5 hundred quinqueremes and also on a succeeding one very nearly 7 hundred. Additionally the Romans shed in this war about seven hundred quinqueremes, inclusive that those that died in the shipwrecks, and also the Carthaginians around five hundred. So that those who marvel at the an excellent sea-battles and great fleets of an Antigonus, a Ptolemy, or a Demetrius would, if ns mistake not, ~ above inquiring into the history of this war, be much astonished at the vast scale of operations. Again, if we take into consideration the difference between quinqueremes and also the triremes in i beg your pardon the Persians fought against the Greeks and the Athenians and Lacedaemonians versus each other, us shall discover that no pressures of together magnitude ever before met in ~ sea. This confirms the assertion i ventured to do at the outset the the progress of the Romans to be not because of chance and was not involuntary, as some amongst the Greeks choose to think, yet that by schooling us in such large and perilous enterprise it to be perfectly organic that they no only got the courage to target at global dominion, but executed your purpose.64 several of my readers will wonder what deserve to be the reason why, now that they are masters the the world and also far much more powerful 보다 formerly, they could neither man so countless ships, nor placed to sea v such large fleets. Those, however, that are puzzled by this, will certainly be permitted to recognize the reason clearly when us come to resolve their politics institutions, a topic not come be cure incidentally by the writer or complied with inattentively by the reader. It offers a noble spectacle and also one nearly wholly unrevealed approximately now, owing to the incompetence of the authors who have dealt with it, some of whom sinned from absence of knowledge, when the account provided by others is wanting in clearness and also entirely unprofitable.

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As regards, however, the battle of which we are speaking, one will uncover its purpose and also prosecution ~ above the part of the two states equally characterized on both political parties by enterprise, by lofty spirit, and over all through ambition because that supremacy. In separation, personal, instance courage undoubtedly the Romans were far superior ~ above the whole, however the basic to who the palm must be offered both for daring and also for genius is Hamilcar referred to as Barca, the actual father of the Hannibal who later on made war on the Romans.