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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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Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius, and the Quest for Friendship in Second-Century Rome 1

Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius, and the Quest for Friendship in Second-Century Rome 1

Chapter:
(p.307) 17 Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius, and the Quest for Friendship in Second-Century Rome1
Source:
Polybius and his World
Author(s):

Michael Sommer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608409.003.0017

Polybius' account of his friendship with Scipio Aemilianus has generated fierce controversy concerning whether or not there was a 'Scipionic circle'. Instead of the extreme positions which have characterized either side of this debate, Scipio is better seen as the product of a milieu where investment in the cultural capital offered by Greek paideia was an important means for generating prestige, though his friendship with Polybius should be seen in terms of Greek philia rather than Roman amicitia between equals. Nevertheless, Polybius' contact with Scipio does not appear to have given him a clearer understanding of how friendship worked among the Roman nobility, which may account for some of the shortcomings of his understanding of the Roman constitution.

Keywords:   Polybius, Scipio Aemilianus, friendship, cultural capital, paideia, philia, amicitia, constitutional theory

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