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Polybios and the Consulship of Iunius Pullus

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It is generally believed that Polybios mistook L. Iunius Pullus (cos. 249) for one of the consuls of 248 B. C. The internal evidence of Polybios' narrative shows clearly that he knew the correct year of Iunius' consulship, and inadvertently created a false impression of the date by structuring his account so as to tell the story of the Roman siege of Lilybaeum without interruption, from its inception in 250 to Claudius Pulcher's defeat at Drepana in the following year. This narrative objective led him to postpone the paragraph (1.52.4–5) detailing the Roman reaction to the disastrous siege operations of 250 and the consular elections for 249 until after his account of Drepana, without considering how such an arrangement could mislead readers two millenia hence.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Siegmar Döpp, Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp and Adolf Köhnken, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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