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Polybius

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Chapter Summary

Polybius’ constant dwelling on the nature of historical writing proves fruitful for the narratological analysis of time. He explicitly addresses his own and other historians’ handling of Genette’s temporal categories. The most common departures from singulative frequency are repetitions caused by Polybius’ strong narratorial control. The most striking variations of speed in Polybius’ History are related to temporal order. Prolepsis is used for particularly striking effect in Polybius’ account of the early stages of the Second Punic War. Polybius’ internal analepses vary greatly in scope and extent and in the contexts in which they are introduced. Analepses are especially common in Polybius’ frequent didactic and argumentative sections. Typical of Polybius is the use of analepsis in the course of his polemics against earlier historians.

Keywords: analepses; frequency; Polybius; prolepsis; singulative

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