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Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus$
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Lisa Irene Hau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411073

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411073.001.0001

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(p.23) 1. Polybius
Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus

Lisa Irene Hau

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter offers a thorough analysis of the moral-didactic lessons and moralising techniques of Polybius. It finds that practical, political, and moral didacticism are confluent in his Histories, and that moral actions are often shown to result in practical benefits for the moral actor. It also establishes that Polybius’ moral lessons are largely traditional, except for a lack of interest in piety and a high tolerance for brutal actions of war which are routinely labelled ‘cruel’ by other historiographers.

Keywords:   Polybius, Moralising, Moral didacticism, Practical didacticism, Laws of war, Rules of war, Moderation, Cruelty, Mutability of fortune

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