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Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius$
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Christopher Smith and Liv Mariah Yarrow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600755

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.001.0001

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Polybius among the Romans: Life in the Cyclops' Cave

Polybius among the Romans: Life in the Cyclops' Cave

(p.17) 1 Polybius among the Romans: Life in the Cyclops' Cave
Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Andrew Erskine

Oxford University Press

This chapter treats Polybius' sixteen-year detention in Rome following the Third Macedonian War and asks what it meant to be a detainee in Rome. Consequently, although the chapter focuses on Polybius, it also examines the situation of those deported with him, whether from Achaea or elsewhere in Greece. It explores the conditions in which he and others were detained, their attitude to detention, the kind of terminology that Polybius uses to describe himself and his fellow detainees, their status compared to those in Rome as hostages, their place of residence, and the degree to which they had freedom of movement. It concludes by reviewing the evidence for Polybius' eventual release.

Keywords:   Polybius, Rome, Achaea, detention, hostage, Third Macedonian War

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