Rome conquered the Mediterranean with a combination of manpower, military skill, might, intimidating toughness in adversity and moral scrupulousness. Polybius, himself a Greek and an active contemporary participant in political relations with Rome, wrote the forty books of his Universal History primarily to chronicle and account for the Roman conquest of Greece between 200 and 167 B.C.. He saw that Mediterranean history, under Rome's influence, was becoming an organic whole, so he starts his work in 264 B.C. with the beginning of Rome's clash with African Carthage, the rival imperialist power, and ends with the final destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C.Far more than a chronicle of military affairs, the Histories are superb political and social history. The clarity of hsi account is admirably preserved in his substantial selection from the surviving book.
The Greek statesman Polybius (c.200118 BC) wrote his account of the relentless growth of the Roman Empire in order to help his fellow countrymen understand how their world came to be dominated by Rome. Opening with the Punic War in 264 BC, he vividly records the critical stages of Roman expansion: its campaigns throughout the Mediterranean, the temporary setbacks inflicted by Hannibal and the final destruction of Carthage. An active participant of the politics of his time as well as a friend of many prominent Roman citizens, Polybius drew on many eyewitness accounts in writing this cornerstone work of history.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Polybius (200-118 BC) was a Greek statesman and historian.
F.W. Walbank has published numerous works on ancient Greece.
Ian Scott-Kilvert has also translated Plutarch's works for Penguin Classics.
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