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Hannibal, the Rhone and the 'Island': Some Philological and Metrological Notes

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Hannibal's march on Italy has been the subject of much discussion. This article focuses on two aspects: the localisation of the Rhone crossing, 'about four days marching for an army from the sea' (Polybius 3.42.1), and the identification of the river that, together with the Rhone and a mountain range, formed the sides of 'the so-called Island' (Polybius 3.49.5-6, Livy 21.31.4). The first subject entails an inquiry into the norms for days' marches and consequently into the length of Herodotus' and Polybius' stades and Roman miles. The second problem proves to have been solved already in the seventeenth century.


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