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Alien Wisdom: The Limits of Hellenization by Arnaldo Momigliano

By Arnaldo Momigliano

During this vintage learn of cultural war of words Professor Momigliano examines the Greeks' perspective towards the modern civilizations of the Romans, Celts, Jews, and Persians. examining cultural and highbrow interplay from the fourth in the course of the first centuries B.C., Momigliano argues that during the Hellenistic interval the Greeks, Romans, and Jews loved an unique distinct courting that assured their lasting dominance of Western civilization.

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Extra resources for Alien Wisdom: The Limits of Hellenization

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He was not the man to deny the Romans access to the wealth of the barbarians. Like Polybius, we repeat, he did not question the Roman conquests as such. But he spoke of the Italian traders as exploiters of Spain and Gaul (fr. 116-17) and showed how the native defenders of Numantia valued freedom (Diod. 1-2). Thus there is a remarkable coherence in the accounts of Polybius and Posidonius, and the latter was right in claiming to have continued the work of the former. Starting from an implicit acceptance of Roman rule they interpreted it as responsible contemporaries, having regard to the needs and interests of the Greek upper class.

If this is correct, it confirms Posidonius' awareness of the desperate situation of the slaves before the rebellion. 4). 35). The sympathy of Diodorus - that is, of Posidonius - stretches so far as to admit that even during the war the slaves spared some of the owners who had been kind to them. 39). The historian does not extend his sympathy to the leaders. 23). 11). 11). Plunder and lawlessness from the free-born slowly emerge as the greater menace. The slave wars are not to be separated, in Posidonius' mind, from the civil wars he had seen in his own time.

Polybius acts as a Greek who has a vital interest in the proper functioning of the Roman hegemony over Greece. He finds no pleasure in the behaviour of the Romans after the destruction of Corinth and says so (Book 38). Indeed it is evident that the events of 146, both at Carthage and at Corinth, filled him with bitterness and anxiety. Just because he had by now become an important agent of the Roman rule, and one whom the Romans trusted, he felt the need of continuing his history from 166 to 146 to show how the Romans had behaved.

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