I Testimonia di Filarco, storico del III sec. a. C.: riflessioni preliminari

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In this paper I analyze the two most important testimonia of Phylarchos (FGrHist 81 T 1 and T 3), necessary to develop a bio-bibliography of the historian. In fact, biographical information on Phylarchos is very scanty and essentially depends on the entry dedicated to him in the Suda (T 1). The entry focuses on Phylarchos’ works; from a biographical point of view, it merely preserves four distinct indications of Phylarchos’origin (Athens, Sikyon, Naukratis and Egypt). In FGrHist 81 T 3, Polybios harshly criticises Phylarchos in a famous chapter of his work (2.56.1), and his words have had a huge impact on the evaluation of the contents of Phylarchos' Histories. Polybios’ chapter figures in the account of the war between Kleomenes III of Sparta and the Achaean league led by Aratos (225/2 BC), and has always been considered at the core of his historiographical thinking. Since the late nineteenth century, Polybios’ chapter has been used by scholars in the discussion of the origin and the features of the so-called 'tragic history' along with two other equally famous passages by Aristotle (Poet. 9.2-9.1451b1-32) and Duris of Samos (BNJ 76 F1 with Pownall’s Commentary). Polybios 'hides' his fierce political struggle against Phylarchos behind topics which appear to be related to the latter's historiographical method. Polybios accuses our historian of falsifying the truth and of writing haphazardly and superficially, so as to belittle Phylarchos' criticism against Aratos. Therefore, Polybios’ attack against Phylarchos is different from those he conducted against fourth-century historians, like Ephoros and Theopompos, mostly in the twelfth book of the Histories. In effect, the twelfth-book attacks seem to be extraneous to the narrative framework and are justified only by Polybios’ methodological interests; differently, when attacking Phylarchos, Polybios’ criticism stems from a strong contrast of contents. Phylarchos supported Sparta and Kleomenes III; Polybios the Achaean League and Aratos: consequently, both wrote with polemical and unilateral aims, but only the younger of the two (Polybios) had the opportunity to denigrate the older (Phylarchos)
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] I Testimony of Filarco, historian of the III century. to. C .: preliminary reflections
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteKOINONIA. Studi di Storia antica offerti a Giovanna De Sensi Sestito
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • Filarco
  • Storiografia antica


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