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Polybius and other sources

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Chapter Summary

Born around 200 and drafting his History in the 150s and later, Polybius would have had no eyewitnesses to interview; but Greek authors on Carthage's affairs had long been active, some at considerable length. Typical of his treatment of the war, he names no names. There are only three known candidates on the Carthaginian side, and they are not certain to have recorded the events: the Sicilian writer Philinus, who did narrate the First Punic, and later on Hannibal's friends and historians, Silenus and Sosylus of Sparta. Philinus composed his work after 241, Silenus and Sosylus probably not long after 200. Polybius' generally pro-Carthaginian attitude, and his special interest in Hamilcar, do not prove it. It would be rash to assume that his account took on these features because he followed similar predecessors with carbon-copy-like literalness.

Keywords: Carthage; Philinus; Polybius; Silenus; Sosylus; Truceless War

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