The Ancient Library

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ther Paulus. Scipio was then eighteen years of age, and soon became warmly attached to Polybius. Scipio was accompanied by his friend in all his military expeditions, and derived much advantage from his expe­rience and knowledge. Polybius, on the other hand, besides finding a liberal patron and protector in Scipio, was able by his means to obtain access to public documents, and to accumulate materials for his great historical work.1 After remaining in Italy seventeen years, Polybius re­turned to the Peloponnesus, in B.C. 151, with the surviving Achaean ex­iles, who were at length allowed by the Senate to revisit their native land. He did not, however, remain long in Greece, but joined Scipio in his campaign against Carthage, and was present at the destruction of that city, in B.C. 146. Immediately afterward he hurried to Greece, where the Achaeans were waging a mad and hopeless war against the Romans. He appears to have arrived in Greece soon after the capture of Corinth; and he exerted all his influence to alleviate the misfortunes of his countrymen, and to procure favorable terms for them. His grate­ful fellow-countrymen acknowledged the great services he had rendered them, and statues were erected to his honor at Megalopolis, Mantinea, Pallantium, Tegea, and other places.2

Polybius seems now to have devoted himself to the composition of the great historical work for which he had long been collecting materials. At what period of his life he made the journeys into foreign countries for the purpose of visiting the places which he had to describe in his history, it is impossible to determine. He tells us that he undertook long and dangerous journeys into Africa, Spain, Gaul, and even as far as the At­lantic, on account of the ignorance which prevailed respecting those parts. Some of these countries he visited while serving under Scipio, who afforded him every facility for the execution of his design. At a later period of his life he visited Egypt likewise. He probably accompa­nied Scipio to Spain in B.C. 134, and was present at the fall of Numan-tia, since Cicero states that Polybius wrote a history of the Numantine war. He died at the age of eighty-two,3 in consequence of a fall from his horse, about B.C. 122.

The history of Polybius consisted of forty books. It began B.C. 220, where the history of Aratus left off, and ended at B.C. 146, in which year Corinth was destroyed, and the independence of Greece perished. It consisted of two distinct parts, which were probably published at differ­ent times, and afterward united into one work. The first part comprised a period of thirty-five years, beginning with the second Punic war, and the Social war in Greece, and ending with the overthrow of Perseus and the Macedonian kingdom, in B.C. 168. This was, in fact, the main por­tion of his work, and its great object was to show how the Romans had, in this brief period of thirty-five years, conquered the greater part of the world. But since the Greeks were ignorant, for the most part, of the early history of Rome, he gives a survey of Roman history from the tak­ing of the city by the Gauls to the commencement of the second Punic

1 Polyb., xxxii,, 9, seqq.; Pausan., vii., 10.

2 Pawsan.,viii., 37, 2; Polyb., xl,, 8, seqq. 3 Lucian, Macrob., 23.

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