Polybius, The Histories

LCL 161: 394-395

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The Histories of Polybius

FRAGMENTA LIBRI XXXVI

I. BELLUM PUNICUM TERTIUM

1. Ἴσως δέ τινες ἐπιζητοῦσι πῶς ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἐναγωνίσματι (1a)κεχρήμεθα προφερόμενοι τοὺς κατὰ μέρος λόγους, τοιαύτης ὑποθέσεως ἐπειλημμένοι καὶ τηλικαύτης 2πράξεως· ὅπερ οἱ πλεῖστοι ποιοῦσι τῶν συγγραφέων, εἰς ἀμφότερα τὰ μέρη διατιθέμενοι τοὺς 3ἐνόντας λόγους. ἐγὼ δὲ διότι μὲν οὐκ ἀποδοκιμάζω τοῦτο τὸ μέρος, ἐν πλείοσι τόποις τῆς ἱστορίας δῆλον πεποίημαι, πολλάκις ἀπηγγελκὼς δημηγορίας καὶ συντάξεις 4ἀνδρῶν πολιτικῶν· ὅτι δ᾿ οὐκ ἐκ παντὸς τρόπου τοῦτο προαιροῦμαι πράττειν, νῦν ἔσται συμφανές· οὔτε γὰρ ὑπόθεσιν ἐπιφανεστέραν ταύτης εὑρεῖν 5ῥᾴδιον οὔθ᾿ ὕλην πλείων καὶ παράθεσιν. καὶ μὴν οὐδὲ προχειρότερον ἕτερον ἐμοὶ τῆς τοιαύτης παρασκευῆς. 6ἀλλ᾿ οὔτε τοῖς πολιτικοῖς ἀνδράσιν οἶμαι πρέπειν πρὸς πᾶν τὸ προτεθὲν διαβούλιον εὑρησιλογεῖν καὶ διεξοδικοῖς χρῆσθαι λόγοις, ἀλλ᾿ ἀεὶ τοῖς ἁρμόζουσι πρὸς τὸν ὑποκείμενον καιρόν, οὔτε τοῖς ἱστορι

394

Book XXXVI

FRAGMENTS OF BOOK XXXVI

I. THE THIRD PUNIC WAR

1. Perhaps some may ask themselves why I do not, now150–149 b.c. that I have to deal with a subject of such importance and so momentous an event,1 display my talent and report the particular speeches after the fashion of most authors who lay before us all that it is possible to say on either side. That I do not disapprove of such a practice is evident from various passages of this work in which I have quoted both the speeches and the writings of politicians, but it will now be made clear that it is not my principle to do this on any and every pretext. For it is not easy to find a subject more renowned than the present nor ampler material for comparisons; nor again is anything more facile for myself than such an exercise. But on the one hand neither do I think it is the proper part of a politician to display his ingenuity and indulge in discursive talk on any and every subject of debate that may arise, but simply to say what the situation demands, nor is it the proper part of a historian to practice

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.polybius-histories.2010