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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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From Polybius to the Parthenon: Religion, Art, and Plunder

From Polybius to the Parthenon: Religion, Art, and Plunder

Chapter:
(p.278) 15 From Polybius to the Parthenon: Religion, Art, and Plunder
Source:
Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius
Author(s):

Jonathan Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.003.0016

One particular passage of Polybius (9.10) has come to play a recurring role in contemporary legal literature and public debate on the law and practice of cultural property protection in time of war. This chapter asks whether Polybius has been appropriately cited as an early voice arguing for the protection of ‘art’ and ‘cultural property’ in time of war. More broadly, it looks at some of the similarities and divergences between analogous debates on the issues of spoliation and repatriation in antiquity and the present and, in common with other recent commentators, concludes that religion, not culture, was the dominant theme in antiquity.

Keywords:   Polybius, Livy, cultural property, spoliation, repatriation, sacrilege

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