Episode 9 – Polybius on the Trail of the Ancients

In this episode, we look at the life of historian Polybius, a mediocre explorer who nonetheless, by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, stood at a pivotal moment in the history of exploration, becoming responsible for uniting the exploratory traditions of the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, putting both at the service of the expanding Roman state.


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One of the few authentic ancient surviving representations of Polybius: the stele of Kleitor. Unlike on the monument which supposedly survived in Megalopolis for some 3 centuries after his death, Polybius here is not represented as an explorer, but rather as a martial figure, highlighting his military background. He wears a sword belt, a sword, a hoplite’s shield, a crested helmet and, most prominently, holds a massive spear in his hand. Although the exact allusions of the stele of Kleitor are today uncertain, it clearly represented Polybius as a civic fighter.


12 thoughts on “Episode 9 – Polybius on the Trail of the Ancients

  1. so glad to see a new episode! Glad you are not quitting. I follow a number of educational podcasts and this is one of the best


  2. Dear Guillaume,
    Stumbled upon your podcast last month. Must admit, it is extremely engaging and pleasantly concise. You have an art of story telling my friend!
    Slightly concerned there hasn’t been an episode in over 7 months. Hope everything is well with you. Looking forward for more episodes in the very near future.


    • Guillaume, i fully echo all other comments: such a great podcast! I hope you’re well and hope there will be further episodes. Even if not many or slowly, please do continue!


  3. What do we have to do to keep you making these? The primary sources where available, with your own brand of storytelling is one of the finer educational podcasts, and the fact you start at or near the beginning superb. Then to find out you stopped making them almost 2 years ago. I am sure you are doing something more lucrative, but if any podcast had potential of connecting a mainstream audience to obscure historical stories that have changed and better help our understanding of humanity, it is yours. Thanks for all your episodes. I have been telling everyone who might care about your four part Nearchus story. One of the best and completely unknown stories of Alexander’s maurauding to me and many of the history buffs I hang with. Great Work.

    Liked by 1 person

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