By Frank W. Walbank
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Extra info for A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6
6. 6–7. 6. Mioni (141 n. 13) thinks that Tyche is here equivalent to Providence (see below, p. 22); but the passage is exactly parallel to the others quoted. 16 xv. 8. 3, 17. 4–6. 17 xxi. 16. 8. 18 Cf. vi. 2. 5–6. 19 x. 40. 6, 40. 9, xxxviii. 21. 1–3. 20 xv. 15. 5. 21 xviii. 33. 4. 22 xxxviii. 2. 7; shortly afterwards ἀπέβαλον τὴν ἡγεµονίαν. 2 There is one exception. After a minor success, Perseus' friends urged him to offer terms to the Romans;3 the latter, they thought, might be disposed to accept them as a result of their set-back, and if they rejected them, νεµεσήσειν τὸ δαιµόνιον, whereas the king by his µετριότης would win over τοὺς θεοὺς καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
2. 5 ix. 8. 13, xxiii. 12. 3. A few stout-hearted men make headway τῆς τύχης ἀντιπιπτούσης, but they are few (xvi. 28. 2). 6 xv. 20. 5–8, xvi. 32. 5, xxxii. 4. 3. Tyche turns against Sparta so that her constitution deteriorates and after being the best becomes the worst (iv. 81. 12); and Athens and Thebes in turn decline ὥσπερ ἐκ προσπαίου τινὸς τύχης (vi. 43. 3–5). 7 i. 86. 7; contrast rather than a specific pleasure in cruelty (so Erkell, 140) is what Polybius associates with Tyche. 17 It is the mark of a great man to have learnt this lesson;18 both Scipio19 and Hannibal20 came up to this test, whereas Philip V,21 and the Spartans after the Peloponnesian War,22 failed.
4. 4 See above, p. 14 n. 6. 5 xxiii. 10. 14. 2 6 xv. 20; cf. xxix. 27. 11–12 (Tyche arranges that the fall of Perseus shall involve the survival of Egypt). Where Tyche is not specifically mentioned, the word δαιµονοβλάβεια, like τὸ δαιµόνιον, has the same implications. 7 To a large extent, therefore, the personality with which Polybius invests Tyche is a matter of verbal elaboration, helped by current Hellenistic usage, which habitually spoke of Tyche as a goddess; and this helps to explain many of the inconsistencies, for consistency is not essential to a rhetorical flourish.