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Polybius and his WorldEssays in Memory of F.W. Walbank$
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Bruce Gibson and Thomas Harrison

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608409

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608409.001.0001

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Some Misunderstandings of Polybius in Livy

Some Misunderstandings of Polybius in Livy

Chapter:
(p.117) 5 Some Misunderstandings of Polybius in Livy
Source:
Polybius and his World
Author(s):

John Briscoe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608409.003.0005

Livy's text shows only a few misunderstandings of Polybius' Greek, and it is misleading to speak of Livy as somehow being negligent. There are, however, a few examples where technical military language creates confusion, such as the practice of lowering spears to horizontal position in order to attack, which Livy renders using Latin ponere, giving the meaning of 'laying down' spears; similarly, Livy's account of the siege of Ambracia in 189 BC also contains two confusions (one of which may arise from an early corruption to Polybius' text). The chapter also examines occasions where Livy's adoption of present tenses from Polybius' description of matters that are current creates what are in effect anachronisms in Livy's own time.

Keywords:   Polybius, Livy, translation, intertextuality, military history, anachronisms, source criticism

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