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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Thucydides’ influence on Polybius and Sallust. It demonstrates the various ways in which these two authors drew on and adapted the concepts, methods and ideas, style, and narrative technique of their famous predecessor as part of the creation of their own original interpretations of the past. In respect to Polybius, the chapter argues that the Thucydidean paradigm had a marked effect both on Polybius’ conceptions of historical causation and on his style. In the case of Sallust, the paper argues that Thucydides provided a writing style and ethical concepts with which to describe the crisis of the late Roman Republic. However, neither author simply “imitates” Thucydides. Both engage creatively and often critically with the various aspects of his work. They rewrite, elaborate on, and “correct” Thucydides as much as they are inspired by him.

Keywords: Polybius, Sallust, Thucydides, historical explanation, narrative technique, style

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