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Alexander to Actium

Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age

PETER GREEN
Copyright Date: 1990
Edition: 1
Pages: 970
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt130jt89
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  • Book Info
    Alexander to Actium
    Book Description:

    The Hellenistic Age, the three extraordinary centuries from the death of Alexander in 323 B. C. to Octavian's final defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium, has offered a rich and variegated field of exploration for historians, philosophers, economists, and literary critics. Yet few scholars have attempted the daunting task of seeing the period whole, of refracting its achievements and reception through the lens of a single critical mind.Alexander to Actiumwas conceived and written to fill that gap.In this monumental work, Peter Green-noted scholar, writer, and critic-breaks with the traditional practice of dividing the Hellenistic world into discrete, repetitious studies of Seleucids, Ptolemies, Antigonids, and Attalids. He instead treats these successor kingdoms as a single, evolving, interrelated continuum. The result clarifies the political picture as never before. With the help of over 200 illustrations, Green surveys every significant aspect of Hellenistic cultural development, from mathematics to medicine, from philosophy to religion, from literature to the visual arts.Green offers a particularly trenchant analysis of what has been seen as the conscious dissemination in the East of Hellenistic culture, and finds it largely a myth fueled by Victorian scholars seeking justification for a no longer morally respectable imperialism. His work leaves us with a final impression of the Hellenistic Age as a world with haunting and disturbing resemblances to our own. This lively, personal survey of a period as colorful as it is complex will fascinate the general reader no less than students and scholars.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-91414-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. LIST OF MAPS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xv-xxiv)
    Peter Green
  5. PART ONE. ALEXANDER’S FUNERAL GAMES, 323–276 B.C.

    • CHAPTER 1 PERDICCAS, EUMENES, CASSANDER, 323–316
      (pp. 3-20)

      When Alexander lay dying in Babylon, in June 323 b.c., Perdiccas, now his senior commander,¹ spent much time at his bedside. The question of the succession was in everyone’s mind. It was to Perdiccas, reportedly, that Alexander gave his ring, its seal the symbol of imperial authority; but the ultimate source of that report must have been Perdiccas himself, a fact that does not inspire confidence. And what, even if true, did the gesture signify? Was Perdiccas to be the king’s heir, his regent, or nothing more than the supervisor of what he hoped would be a peaceful succession? Perdiccas...

    • CHAPTER 2 ANTIGONUS ONE-EYE’S BID FOR EMPIRE, 316–301
      (pp. 21-35)

      By defeating Eumenes, Antigonus had consolidated his grip over a vast area extending from Asia Minor to the uplands of Iran. The fiction of special commands under the kings was still maintained, but Antigonus began to act uncommonly like an independent monarch. He removed Peithon from his office as satrap of Media, and had him liquidated, on a charge—possibly true—of planning revolt. To replace him he reverted to Alexander’s old pattern of appointing a native satrap, in this case one Orontobates, but he also installed a Macedonian garrison commander.¹ The satrap of Persia, Peucestas, another of Alexander’s old...

    • CHAPTER 3 DEMETRIUS OF PHALERON: THE PHILOSOPHER-KING IN ACTION
      (pp. 36-51)

      Athens has entered this narrative so far only in a tangential way. We have watched the conflicts of the Successors in Greece, and seen their impact on Athens, but exclusively from the outside. It will be beneficial now to alter the perspective and the viewpoint, to see how a once-dominant Greekpolis, now subject to Macedonian overlordship and torn by crippling class enmities, reacted to the larger struggles that followed Alexander’s death. When Antipater imposed the new oligarchy on Athens after the defeat at Crannon in 322, when an activist like Hypereides was tortured before execution while Antipater looked on,¹...

    • CHAPTER 4 ZENO, DIOGENES, EPICURUS, AND POLITICAL DISENCHANTMENT
      (pp. 52-64)

      All societies, it has been said, get the philosophers and the architects they deserve, on the grounds that these tend to furnish a peculiarly accurate reflection of theZeitgeist. Athens in the late fourth century b.c. is no exception to the rule. Her major buildings then were secular and commercial: Philo’s great arsenal in Piraeus (329), the Panathenaic theater and stadium, the large but unfinished peristyle on the northeast side of the Agora, probably designed to accommodate (in that ever-litigious city) an overflow of law courts. In the more traditional mode she patched and developed. A new temple of Apollo...

    • CHAPTER 5 THEOPHRASTUS, MENANDER, AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF ATTIC COMEDY
      (pp. 65-79)

      The literature that has survived from the late fourth century and subsequent Hellenistic period shows some striking contrasts with that of the classical era.* In ways these can be misleading. It might appear, for instance, at first sight, as though there had been a total collapse of tragedy, but of course this is not true. Just as many hopeful tragedians, in Athens and elsewhere, were as busy as ever, but for whatever reason—ranging from the vicissitudes of Byzantine taste to plain lack of talent—their work has, except for snippets and fragments, failed to survive. Lycurgus, as we have...

    • CHAPTER 6 THE POLITICS OF ROYAL PATRONAGE: EARLY PTOLEMAIC ALEXANDRIA
      (pp. 80-91)

      We have seen much evidence of a move away from involvement with the classicalpolisduring the late fourth century: commercialism, lack of real political power, and intellectual alienation all played their part in this process. What Plato, with odd prescience, referred to as “doing your own thing” became increasingly the norm for thinking Greeks rather than, as earlier, a term of social abuse.¹ Another major factor was the rapid development of urbanism. The collapse of one sort of city, and political system, heralded the emergence of another, which had far stronger roots in the future: it is, indeed, still...

    • CHAPTER 7 EARLY HELLENISTIC ART AND ITS ANTECEDENTS, 380–270: SPACE, PATHOS, REALISM; OR, THE HORSE AS CRITIC
      (pp. 92-118)

      When Alexander the Great was in Ephesus (334), he sat for his portrait, astride his warhorse, Bucephalas, for the famous Greek painter Apelles,¹ who had worked for Alexander’s father, Philip, and was later to serve Ptolemy—a tribute, one feels, to his diplomatic no less than his artistic skills. When he painted Antigonus One-Eye, he executed the portrait in three-quarter profile to mask the old general’s empty eye socket;² perhaps he had done the same for Philip. The finished picture of Alexander, however, did not meet with the king’s approval: Alexander believed, to put it mildly, in self-alignment with the...

    • CHAPTER 8 THE DIVISION OF THE SPOILS, 301–276
      (pp. 119-134)

      The final quarter-century of the drawn-out struggle between Alexander’s successors was notable (even in that age of violent and cynicalMachtpolitik) for some cold-blooded dynastic marriages, and the even more cold-blooded dynastic murders that several of these produced: Olympias was by no means the last Macedonian queen determined at all costs to see her son or grandson on the throne. It was also a period of tantalizing bids for power, frustrated at the last moment either—according to the way one looks at it—by Chance, Tyche, or by the human frailties and errors of judgment inherent in the protagonists....

  6. PART TWO. THE ZENITH CENTURY, 276–222 B.C.

    • CHAPTER 9 PTOLEMY PHILADELPHOS AND ANTIGONUS GONATAS, 276–239
      (pp. 137-154)

      The third century b.c. witnesses the acme of Hellenistic culture, just as the fifth witnessed that of the classical era; yet both, paradoxically, are very short, during their most crucial years, on solid historical documentation, and for once the later period is worse off than the earlier.¹ We have no continuous narrative of events except for Justin’s miserable (but at times, alas, indispensable) epitome of Trogus Pompeius, a Gaulish historian who wrote under Augustus: it takes Justin to make us properly appreciate Diodorus, lost, except for fragments, after Ipsus (301). Trogus’s own work was derived, at third or fourth hand,...

    • CHAPTER 10 THE NEW URBAN CULTURE: ALEXANDRIA, ANTIOCH, PERGAMON
      (pp. 155-170)

      We have already seen something of the great new Hellenistic cities: their shift away from the ideals of the Greekpolis(though many of them obstinately retained the political institutions, now for the most part meaningless, of council and assembly under ultimate royal domination), their cosmopolitan commercialism, their swarming crowds of entrepreneurs, bureaucrats, agents, craftsmen, slaves.¹ Even a small state such as Pergamon reveals the same pattern, indeed in an acute form: despitephylai(tribes),dēmoi(demes),prytanis(chief magistrate), and elected offices, the city was in practice wholly subject, both financially and administratively, to fivestratēgoi(generals) appointed by...

    • CHAPTER 11 THE CRITIC AS POET: CALLIMACHUS, ARATUS OF SOLI, LYCOPHRON
      (pp. 171-186)

      A preoccupation with the past, a sense of being overshadowed by one’s own classics, an elevation of the critic to an integral role in the establishment of new creative canons, even in the creative process itself—these are all phenomena that we recognize today, and to which we therefore have no difficulty in responding when we meet them in the literature of the Hellenistic period, from the third century onwards. Ransacking the past for preservable fragments, allusions, or verbal usages is a practice familiar to us from the work of Eliot, Pound, David Jones inThe Anathemata, or the Kazantzakis...

    • CHAPTER 12 KINGSHIP AND BUREAUCRACY: THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SUCCESSOR KINGDOMS
      (pp. 187-200)

      The Diadochoi found themselves Alexander’s heirs in more ways than they had anticipated, and the legacy proved itself—in every sense—a taxing one. Except in Macedonia, which had its own idiosyncratic problems (below, pp. 198 ff.), the new rulers were forced to deal with dilemmas inherent in Alexander’s career of conquest, and to adopt solutions very similar to those he himself had outlined. They stood, long after his death, in his tremendous shadow still. He had made them what they were; and however consciously they might try to jettison his alleged ideals—above all, the military and administrative fusion...

    • CHAPTER 13 ARMCHAIR EPIC: APOLLONIUS RHODIUS AND THE VOYAGE OF ARGO
      (pp. 201-215)

      Few things are more enjoyable, for the uninvolved spectator, than a good (i.e., really rancorous) literary quarrel, and that between Callimachus and Apollonius—even allowing for the dubious nature of much of the evidence¹—has to be accounted one of the best bookish battles on record.² It is full of picturesque personal insults; patronage and job competition may well have fueled its flames. It involved charges of plagiarism, incompetence, and bad taste. In short, it is irresistible. We have an epigram that Apollonius wrote against Callimachus,³ in the form of two mock encyclopedia entries: “Callimachus: Trash, cheap joke, blockhead.Original...

    • CHAPTER 14 EVENTS IN THE WEST: SICILY, MAGNA GRAECIA, ROME
      (pp. 216-232)

      Despite regular economic and commercial links, the eastern and western ends of the Mediterranean had very little political contact, in any serious sense, until the middle of the third century, and even then this was largely brought about through the expansionist activities of Rome. It was Rome that steadily encroached on the wealthy cities of Campania and southern Italy, Rome whose embroilment with the great commercial empire of Carthage in the First Punic War (264–241) led to the absorption of Sicily as a Roman province, Rome whose concern to halt the depredations of Adriatic piracy brought about a Roman...

    • CHAPTER 15 URBANIZED PASTORALISM, OR VICE VERSA: THE IDYLLS OF THEOCRITUS, THE MIMES OF HERODAS
      (pp. 233-247)

      There is a pleasant paradox about pastoral poetry: it is set in the countryside (or at least in a formalized idyllic landscape), its ideals are rural and bucolic, it glorifies summer ripeness—and it is invariably produced by urban intellectuals who have never themselves handled a spade, much less herded sheep, goats, or cattle, in their lives. It is, clearly, a perennial form of literary and social escapism, and one that may have concealed political undertones. It grafts a kind of yearning idealism onto a reality that was, in fact, peculiarly harsh and unrewarding. Thanks to Virgil, we tend today...

    • CHAPTER 16 THE ROAD TO SELLASIA, 239–222
      (pp. 248-266)

      At the time of Antigonus Gonatas’s death in 239, Aratus—a general of great energy and vision, though reputedly prone to diarrhea before every major engagement¹—had made the Achaean League a force to be reckoned with in mainland Greece. His capture of Acrocorinth in 243 (brilliant, though not preceded by any declaration of war, and carried out at the expense of a nominally friendly power)² had fatally weakened Macedonia’s control over the Peloponnese.³ The rival Aetolian League had already put Boeotiahors de concours(245) and now controlled most of central Greece.⁴ In terms of local Greek power politics...

  7. PART THREE. PHALANX AND LEGION, 221–168 B.C.

    • CHAPTER 17 POLYBIUS AND THE NEW ERA
      (pp. 269-285)

      “The starting point for my treatise,” Polybius wrote, “will be the 140th Olympiad [= 220–216 b.c.]…. In earlier times the affairs of the inhabited world [oikoumenē] had been, as it were, scattered, since enterprise, consummation, and locality remained separate in each instance; but from this turning point onwards history emerges as an organic whole: the affairs of Italy and of Africa arc interwoven [symplekesthai]¹ with those of Asia and of Greece, and all things point in concert to a single end.”² That end, of course, was the rise of Rome to supremacy in the Mediterranean, and to achieve its...

    • CHAPTER 18 ANTIOCHUS III, PHILIP V, AND THE ROMAN FACTOR, 221–196
      (pp. 286-311)

      In June 217 the news of Rome’s defeat by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene reached Greece. Philip V of Macedon read the dispatch in eloquent silence at Argos while attending the Nemean Games.¹ He showed it only to his Illyrian confidant, the ambitious freebooter Demetrius of Pharos, who had sought refuge at Philip’s court when driven from Illyria by the Romans (p. 296).² Demetrius instantly advised him to wind up the local war then occupying his attention, and to devote his full energies to the West. This war, known as the Social War or the War of the Allies, had been...

    • CHAPTER 19 THE SPREAD OF HELLENISM: EXPLORATION, ASSIMILATION, COLONIALISM; OR, THE DOG THAT BARKED IN THE NIGHT
      (pp. 312-335)

      Hellenization, the diffusion of Greek language and culture that has been defined, ever since Droysen’sGeschichte der Diadochen(1836), as the essence of Hellenistic civilization, is a phenomenon calling for careful scrutiny.¹ Its civilizing, even its missionary aspects have been greatly exaggerated, not least by those anxious to find some moral justification for imperialism; so has its universality. On the other hand, despite the labors of scholars such as Rostovtzeff, this trend has been matched by a persistent tendency to underplay the lure of conquest, commercial profits, and generous land grants (below, p. 371), which provided the main driving force...

    • CHAPTER 20 MIDDLE-PERIOD HELLENISTIC ART, 270–150: SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS …
      (pp. 336-361)

      Goethe once remarked, shrewdly, that “scholarship without any notion of art is one-eyed” (Philologie ohne Kunstbegriff ist einäugig), but failed to provide any adequate guidance as to how the art could be related to an overall interpretation of society. This is a particularly pressing problem in the period under discussion, where for long stretches our evidence is skimpy at best, and the chronology in consequence chaotic.¹ Such literary statements as we possess tend to be puzzling. We have a nice instance of this in the elder Pliny (a.d. 13/4–79), whose chapters on the history of art are among the...

    • CHAPTER 21 PRODUCTION, TRADE, FINANCE
      (pp. 362-381)

      It has always been a cause for puzzlement as to why the Greeks, intellectual pathfinders in every branch of pure science (below, p. 465), should have revealed so stubborn a streak of tribal naïveté when it came to economics.¹ It is true (and has often been remarked) that economic theory never progressed beyond the level of estate management till the Middle Ages, that the principle of “buy cheap, sell dear” was about the sum of its achievement in antiquity. Yet why was this? Homer, the secular equivalent of a Bible for traditionalists, may have been partly responsible: the economics of...

    • CHAPTER 22 THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY: SLAVERY, REVOLUTION, UTOPIAS
      (pp. 382-395)

      So far we have examined the evolution of the Hellenistic states in political and economic terms, with concomitant developments in art and literature. It remains now to consider the social consequences of those various fundamental changes that took place in the fourth and third centuries: the virtual disintegration (except in a narrow parochial sense) of effectivepolissociety, the reversion to authoritarian government by royal fiat, the removal of real civic power (and, hence, civic involvement) from the ordinary citizen, the replacement of political ideals by commercial avarice, social ambition, or bookish introspection, the enlargement of physical and psychological horizons...

    • CHAPTER 23 RULER CULTS, TRADITIONAL RELIGION, AND THE AMBIVALENCE OF TYCHE
      (pp. 396-413)

      Belief—its presence or absence, and, where present, its nature—forms one of the most revealing guides to any culture. We have already noted, in passing, some of the more characteristic religious trends in the Hellenistic period: the steady erosion of the old Olympian pantheon (still accorded traditional public honors, but progressively more peripheral); a corresponding increased addiction to foreign, and particularly enthusiastic, cults; a preoccupation with Tyche (Fate, Fortune, Chance);¹ the practice of instituting ruler cults, at first of deceased monarchs, but soon of the throne’s living occupant;² and, in Egypt at least, the deliberate fostering of official cults...

    • CHAPTER 24 FROM CYNOSCEPHALAE TO PYDNA: THE DECLINE AND FALL OF MACEDONIA, 196–168
      (pp. 414-432)

      Only twenty-eight years separated Cynoscephalae from Pydna, yet in that time Rome advanced from a reluctantly self-assertive role in Balkan affairs to a position where—reluctant still—she was the absolute arbiter of nations throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Philip V, Antiochus III, and Perseus all tried conclusions with the legions on the battlefield, and all three went down in defeat. From the very beginning, while Greeks were talking airily about Roman barbarians, the Senate in Rome or the proconsul on the spot had displayed not only an irritated unconcern with Greek affairs, but, when pressed, an arrogant indifference to Greek...

  8. PART FOUR. THE BREAKING OF NATIONS, 167–116 B.C.

    • CHAPTER 25 THE WILDERNESS AS PEACE, 167–146
      (pp. 435-452)

      The period between Rome’s defeat of the last Macedonian king at Pydna (168) and the sack of Corinth by Mummius (146)—a lurid and notorious climax to the so-called Achacan War (bellum Achaicum)—has been stigmatized by modern historians for its incoherence, confusion, partisan anarchy, and lack of conscious purpose. Until the eleventh hour, we are told, Rome had no positive or consistent policy in Greece, Macedonia, or Asia Minor.¹ It was a world, says Edouard Will, “in the final stage of decomposition, only awaiting thecoup de grâceand … the peace of the graveyard.”² There is some truth...

    • CHAPTER 26 MATHEMATICS AND ASTRONOMY: THE ALTERNATIVE IMMORTALITY
      (pp. 453-466)

      In the course of this study we have had occasion to note a number of social, political, and religious characteristics that typify the Hellenistic period as a whole. These include a reversion to large-scale authoritarian government, the emergence of ruler cults, the increased availability of slave labor, a marked inclination toward superstition and astrology, the enskyment of Tyche (Chance, Fate, Providence), a decline in the respect paid to the Olympian gods, a corresponding enhancement of exotic foreign cults, the collapse of the inner spirit animating thepolis, the loneliness of the individual adrift in the urban jungle, and, finally, the...

    • CHAPTER 27 TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS: SCIENCE AS PRAXIS
      (pp. 467-479)

      Among the many social paradoxes we have noted during the Hellenistic age none, surely, is more striking or improbable to the modern mind than the wide gap between theoretical and applied science: the brilliance of intellectual achievement in areas such as pure mathematics, the limitations and poverty of technological development. Why should brains capable of conceiving a heliocentric universe, or of doing pioneer work on conic sections, so signally fail to tackle even the most elementary problems of productivity? In this context it should, I think, be borne in mind that, whereas technological development is, more often than not, socially,...

    • CHAPTER 28 HELLENISTIC MEDICINE; OR, THE EYE HAS ITS LIMITATIONS
      (pp. 480-496)

      By now the complex revolutionary profile of Hellenistic scientific thought, and its close involvement with the social, political, and intellectual trends that developed in the Successor kingdoms or the semiautonomouspoleis, should be tolerably clear. At one level, that of the actual problems we find being investigated, there is no real watershed between the classical and the Hellenistic eras.¹ Aristarchus’s heliocentric theory, as we have seen (above, p. 461), picked up an idea that had earlier caught the attention of the Pythagoreans. Those anomalous planetary movements that so preoccupied Apollonius of Perge and Hipparchus (above, p. 460) had caused just...

    • CHAPTER 29 HELLENISM AND THE JEWS: AN IDEOLOGICAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT?
      (pp. 497-524)

      For reasons that have little to do with Hellenistic history, the part played by the Jews under Ptolemaic and Seleucid rule tends to get a closer, more detailed scrutiny than, say, the precisely comparable activities of the separatist movements in Bithynia or Commagene.¹ What marks off Judaism both in its own right and as the precursor, and seedbed, of Christianity is its ideological clement (taking “ideological” as a religious no less than a political term). The fact of faith, as a datum, conflicts with normal historical criticism, presupposes what Eliot called “the intersection of the timeless with time.” The historian,...

    • CHAPTER 30 PTOLEMAIC AND SELEUCID DECADENCE AND THE RISE OF PARTHIA, 145–116
      (pp. 525-544)

      The last half of the second century b.c., following on Rome’s destruction of Corinth (146), saw the virtual eclipse of independent history throughout mainland Greece, at least in any meaningful sense. The revolt under Mithridates in 88 can be seen as one last, hopeless act of rage against the dying light (below, pp. 561 ff.). Documents now begin to date in terms of an “Achaean era,” thus implicitly conceding the existence of a watershed in Greek affairs, “after which the fortunes of Hellas could never be the same.”¹ Macedonia was now a Roman province. The assemblies (synedria) of the Achaean...

  9. PART FIVE. ROME TRIUMPHANT, 116–30 B.C.

    • CHAPTER 31 MITHRIDATES, SULLA, AND THE FREEDOM OF THE GREEKS, 116–80
      (pp. 547-565)

      The death in 116 of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Physcon heralded a fresh period of divisive and crippling royal intrigue, not only in Egypt, but also (by virtue of intermarriage, if for no other reason) in what remained of Seleucid Syria. By some inexorable law of political degenerescence, the less power these Ptolemics or Seleucids had, and the narrower their frontiers became, the more ambitious the male heirs—and ruthless sister-queens¹—they produced to fight, and kill for the wretched heritage that remained.² Meanwhile city after city broke away from central bureaucratic control, while endless warfare and increasing piracy laid...

    • CHAPTER 32 LATE HELLENISTIC ART, 150–30: THE MASS MARKET IN NOSTALGIA
      (pp. 566-585)

      Mummius’s sack of Corinth (146) and Attalus III’s bequest of his kingdom to Rome (133) between them wrote finis to a long period of public, sponsored, monumental art: such creations as Ptolemy’s gymnasium and the Middle Stoa in Athens, or the Great Altar of Pergamon. They also emphasized (if emphasis were needed) the paramount importance from now on, in artistic as in other matters, of Roman patronage and Roman taste. This did not, at least until the Augustan age, imply a Romanization of Greek canons in any creative sense: far from it. Captive Greece took her conqueror captive, and no...

    • CHAPTER 33 FOREIGN AND MYSTERY CULTS, ORACLES, ASTROLOGY, MAGIC
      (pp. 586-601)

      We have seen the public, official side of belief develop through the Hellenistic period; time, now, to look at the private scene, that curious underworld of exotic cults and associations, often foreign in origin; of curse tablets, spiked wax dolls, and formulas guaranteed to induce passion or dispose of enemies; of a proliferating variety of demons, friendly or malevolent; of mystery cults, syncretic distillations of Pythagoreanism and Orphism, oracles, miraculous cures, and, above all, astrology. Though the contrast with the ruler cults is apparent (above, p. 396: there is not only the political polarity, between conformism and individualism, but also...

    • CHAPTER 34 ACADEMICS, SKEPTICS, PERIPATETICS, CYNICS
      (pp. 602-617)

      Throughout our investigation of Hellenistic history and culture we have, time and again, come up against the fundamental concepts that gave this culture shape, and which in turn were often dictated by changing stresses and pressures within the Mediterraneanoikoumenēelements and humors, concentric spheres, the world soul, gods as deified monarchs (and vice versa), the random dance of atoms, the challenge to the senses, the earth as the still center of a turning universe. We should now be in a more advantageous position to examine the ideas of the various philosophical schools, briefly, in the context of their historical...

    • CHAPTER 35 THE GARDEN OF EPICURUS
      (pp. 618-630)

      When Epicurus, having already established the principles for which he is best known,¹ finally made his home in Athens (spring 306),² it was in the wake of the famous lawsuit that had, against strong opposition, upheld the right of free association, if not necessarily of free speech, for allbona fidereligious and philosophical groups (above, p. 61).³ Just over a decade later the volatile Atheniandēmoswas to hail Demetrius Poliorcetes as a god-king (294), dismissing the other gods as remote, indifferent to human affairs, or even nonexistent (above, p. 55). What effect this politicized misrepresentation of his creed...

    • CHAPTER 36 STOICISM: THE WIDE AND SHELTERING PORCH
      (pp. 631-646)

      Popular philosophies—and Stoicism must be accounted one of the most popular ever¹—almost always tend to have an intellectually suspect quality about them. They are popular, in the last resort, because they tell a wide range of people what they want to hear, and encourage them to believe what they believe already. Sometimes, though not often, such a message may also coincide with the rigorous pursuit of truth, the laborious exercise of reason. In the common way of things, however, such a philosophy is far more liable to be shaped by historical and social circumstance rather than to reshape...

    • CHAPTER 37 CAESAR, POMPEY, AND THE LAST OF THE PTOLEMIES, 80–30
      (pp. 647-682)

      One of the more tempting excuses for Rome’s progressively more radical, steadily less reluctant policy of intervention and eventual takeover in the eastern Mediterranean was, beyond any doubt, the patent inability of the rulersin situto manage their own affairs. This not only encouraged what Rome, and conservatives generally, saw as dangerous sociopolitical trends—mass movements by the dispossessed, encroachment by non-Mediterranean tribal elements—but, worse, proved disastrous for trade, a fault that Roman administrative paternalism could seldom resist the temptation to correct. In addition to the rampant scourge of piracy—for which, as we have seen (above, p....

  10. CHRONOLOGY
    (pp. 683-730)
  11. GENEALOGICAL TABLES
    (pp. 731-740)
  12. NOTES
    (pp. 741-908)
  13. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 909-928)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 929-970)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 971-972)