By Frank W. Walbank
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Additional info for A Historical Commentary on Polybius, Vol. 1: Commentary on Books 1-6
Passim. xxxvi. 17. 15. 3 xxviii. 9. 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.
The equivocal and contradictory terms in which he comments on an incident sensational in itself and fraught with fatal consequences are perhaps not without relevance to the problem of Tyche in Polybius. § 4. Polybius' Sources The vast literature which exists on Polybius' sources4 is perhaps disproportionate to the results it has achieved; and the chief reason for this is that for the main part of his work Polybius has used a great variety of material, much of it no longer identifiable, and has woven it into a close and homogeneous fabric in which the separate threads are not now distinguishable.
G. i. 58. 1) or the stager of a contest (ii. 66. 4), and reproduces the vocabulary of popular philosophy; see the examples from Diogenes and Lucian quoted by HerzogHauser, RE, 'Tyche', cols. 1668–9. 7 CR, 1903, 446. 8 Hirzel (862–9, Appendix VII) suggests that, where it is not a purely verbal echo of popular usage, Polybius' Tyche is equivalent to the Stoic πρόνοια; but if this were so, there seems no good reason why he should not have used the technical term, rather than a word like Tyche, which is so fraught with ambiguities (cf.