Classics Fabius Pictor
by
Tim Cornell
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0300

Introduction

Quintus Fabius Pictor was the first Roman to write a history of his city in prose. A member of the great patrician family of the Fabii, he lived at the time of the First and Second Punic Wars (see Biographica: Ancestry and Public Career), and wrote about them in his historical work, which traced the history of Rome back to its remote origins (see Title and Scope). The work does not survive, and is known to us only through references and indirect quotations in later authors (see Editions of the Fragments). It was written in Greek, but a Latin version also circulated and is quoted by some later sources (see Language). It is unclear precisely when Fabius was writing, or in what circumstances (see Time of Writing, Political and Cultural Context). We also do not know what inspired him to write, or why he chose to write in Greek (see Political and Cultural Context, Purpose and Intended Readership). But it is clear that he initiated the tradition of historical writing at Rome, and was the first of many to trace its history from the beginning to his own time. Like his successors, he wrote at greater length on contemporary events than on the earlier centuries, which he covered briefly, although he may have given an extensive account of the foundation story (see Internal Architecture). Whether he arranged his material annalistically, covering events year by year, and if so for which period(s), is disputed (see Narrative Format). His influence has been variously assessed, with some regarding him as a fundamentally important source of information and inspiration for later Roman historians, and even as a pioneer of national historiography in the West, while others minimize his significance in the development of the Roman historical tradition (see Influence and Reception).

General Overviews

The editions of Peter, Chassignet, Beck and Walter, and Bispham and Cornell (see Editions of the Fragments) all have introductions outlining the main facts about Pictor and his work, with full bibliographies. Suerbaum 2002 replaces Schanz and Hosius 1927 and is the nearest thing we have to an up-to-date review of research on Fabius Pictor. Perl 1964 surveys earlier material and remains valuable. Entries on Fabius Pictor can be found in standard works of reference, notably Münzer 1909, Scholz 2004, and Briscoe 2012, and in general accounts of Greco-Roman historiography, such as Badian 1966, Flach 1998, Kierdorf 2003, and Walter 2004.

  • Badian, Ernst. 1966. The early historians. In Latin historians. Edited by T. A. Dorey, 1–38. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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    A pioneering article by a leading historian, setting the works of the early Roman historians against the background of wider historical developments. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 2–6.

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    • Briscoe, John. 2012. Fabius (RE 126) Pictor, Quintus. In The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 4th ed. Edited by Simon Hornblower, Anthony Spawforth, and Esther Eidinow, 564. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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      A succinct statement of the main facts.

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      • Flach, Dieter. 1998. Römische Geschichtsschreibung. 3d ed. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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        A clear and authoritative discussion of its subject. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 61–67.

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        • Kierdorf, Wilhelm. 2003. Römische Geschichtsschreibung der republikanischen Zeit. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitätsverlag Winter.

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          An excellent brief account. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 9–17.

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          • Münzer, Friedrich. 1909. Q. Fabius (126) Pictor. In Pauly’s Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Vol. 6.2. Edited by Georg Wissowa, 1836–1841. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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            A characteristically reliable, thorough, and authoritative article.

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            • Perl, Gerhard. 1964. Der Anfang der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Forschungen und Fortschritte 38:185–189, 213–218.

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              A detailed and wide-ranging discussion of modern research (up to 1962) on the origins of Roman historiography. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 213–218.

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              • Schanz, Martin, and Carl Hosius. 1927. Geschichte der römischen Literatur. Vol. 1. 4th ed. Munich: C. H. Beck.

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                A comprehensive and authoritative survey, now somewhat outdated. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 168–174.

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                • Scholz, Udo W. 2004. Fabius Pictor, Q.: First Roman historian. In Brill’s New Pauly. Vol. 5. Edited by Hubert Cancik and Helmut Schneider, 295–296. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                  A brief but judicious account.

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                  • Suerbaum, Werner. 2002. Handbuch der lateinischen Literatur der Antike. Vol. 1, Die archaische Literatur von den Anfängen bis Sullas Tod. Edited by Werner Suerbaum. Munich: C. H. Beck.

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                    A detailed and thorough discussion of all aspects of early Roman literature, with extensive bibliography. Roman historiography is covered on pp. 345–456; for Fabius Pictor, §157, pp. 359–370.

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                    • Walter, Uwe. 2004. Memoria und res publica: Zur Geschichtskultur im republikanischen Rom. Frankfurt: Verlag Antike.

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                      A thorough study of all aspects of Roman historical memory—how it was transmitted and perpetuated, and how the past was represented and commemorated, in a variety of forms and social contexts. A long chapter deals with literary historiography, including a wide-ranging discussion of Fabius Pictor and his work (pp. 229–255).

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                      Editions of the Fragments

                      The standard 20th-century editions of the surviving fragments of Fabius Pictor were Peter 1914 and Jacoby 1958. These were updated by Chassignet 1996, Beck and Walter 2001, and Jenkins 2014, providing translations into French, German, and English, respectively. Bispham and Cornell 2013 is a completely new edition organized on radically different lines (all references to the fragments and testimonia of Fabius Pictor are taken from this edition). On the problem of the Latin fragments, see the section on Language.

                      • Beck, Hans, and Uwe Walter. 2001. Die Frühen Römischen Historiker. Vol 1, Von Fabius Pictor bis Cn Gellius. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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                        A convenient modern edition with introduction, text, German translation, and historical commentary, supported by extensive and up-to-date bibliography. The arrangement and numbering of the fragments follows Chassignet 1996. Testimonia are not included. On Fabius Pictor, see pp. 55–136.

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                        • Bispham, Edward H., and Timothy J. Cornell. 2013. Q. Fabius Pictor. In The fragments of the Roman historians. Vols. 1–3. Edited by Timothy J. Cornell. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                          This volume is a new critical edition of the testimonia and fragments of the Roman historians, with English translation and commentary, and full concordances with previous editions. Fabius Pictor is covered in Vol. 1, pp. 160–178 (introduction); Vol. 2, pp. 32–105 (text and translation of testimonia and fragments); and Vol. 3, 13–49 (commentary). The fragments are numbered in a single sequence, on the assumption that the Greek Annals and the Latin Annals were different versions of the same work. The editors did not have access to Jenkins 2014. The volume will be abbreviated henceforth as FRHist.

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                          • Chassignet, Martine. 1996. L’annalistique romaine. Vol. 1, Les annales des pontifes et l’annalistique ancienne (fragments). Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                            A critical edition of the fragments, with French translation, introduction, and extensive notes. Testimonia are not included. On Fabius Pictor, see pp. liv–lxxiii, 16–54. The fragments are numbered in a single sequence, on the assumption that the Greek Annals and the Latin Annals were different versions of the same work.

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                            • Jacoby, Felix. 1958. Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker. Vol. 3, Geschichte von Städten und Völkern (Horographie und Ethnographie)—C: Autoren über einzelne Länder, Nr. 608a–856, 2. Bd., Illyrien–Thrakien, Nr. 709–856. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                              Jacoby’s great monumental edition of the fragments of the Greek historians includes Fabius Pictor as one of the historians writing in Greek about Rome and Italy. He appears as no. 809 in Jacoby’s sequence, Vol. 3C 2, pp. 845–876. Testimonia and fragments are printed in the original languages, without translation; Jacoby’s planned introduction and commentary were never completed. Fragments from the Latin Annals are printed separately (F29–36), but the sequence is continued, implying that, for Jacoby, the Latin Annals were a separate work by Fabius Pictor.

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                              • Jenkins, Fred. 2014. Fabius Pictor (Quintus). In Brill’s New Jacoby. Edited by Ian Worthington. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                Jenkins reproduces Jacoby’s text and adds English translation and useful commentary, adding a biographical note and an up-to-date bibliography. He takes the Latin Annals (F29–36) to be the work of N. Fabius Pictor, the historian’s grandson, and to be either a translation or a modified version of his grandfather’s work. Jenkins did not have access to Bispham and Cornell 2013. Available online by subscription.

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                                • Peter, Hermann. 1914. Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae. Vol. 1. 2d ed. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

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                                  First published in 1870, this excellent work remained the standard edition of the fragments of the Roman republican historians until recently. Peter’s critical edition of the fragments (but not testimonia) has extensive introduction and notes in Latin. The fragments of the Greek Annals are on pp. 5–39 (with introduction on pp. lxix–c), and those of the Latin Annals on pp. 112–113 (introduction, pp. clxxiv–clxxvi), reflecting Peter’s view that they were a different work by a later Fabius Pictor.

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                                  The Tauromenium Inscription

                                  Our knowledge and understanding of Fabius Pictor and his work were considerably enhanced by the discovery, in 1969, of an inscription painted in red letters on the wall of a building in Tauromenium (mod. Taormina), eastern Sicily. It was one of several texts, set out in columns, celebrating famous authors of works in Greek (at least seven can be made out). Apart from Fabius Pictor, the identifiable writers include two historians (Philistus and Callisthenes) and one philosopher (Anaximander). The text that concerns us (= FRHist 1 T7) reads, “Quintus Fabius surnamed Pictorinus, a Roman, son of Gaius. He recorded the arrival of Heracles in Italy, and . . . of Lanoios . . . by Aeneas and . . . much later there were Romulus and Remus, and the foundation of Rome by Romulus . . . (?) reigned. . . .” The text was first published and discussed in Manganaro 1974 and Manganaro 1976, and has subsequently been reprinted many times with further commentary, e.g., Robert and Robert 1976 and Frier 1979, and in all modern (post-1974) editions of the fragments of Fabius (see Editions of the Fragments). A recent update, Battistoni 2006, is now widely accepted as the most authoritative version, and is the one translated in this paragraph.

                                  • Battistoni, Filippo. 2006. The Ancient pinakes from Tauromenium: Some new readings. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 157:169–180.

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                                    A thorough reexamination of all the texts, with cautious new readings, suggesting a date around the beginning of the 2nd century BCE. Battistoni’s text of the Fabius Pictor entry (p. 175) is now generally accepted as the authoritative version. The article is also accompanied by excellent color photographs. The one showing the entry on Fabius Pictor (plate 3, p. 180) proves conclusively that “Lanoios” is the correct reading in line 8, as against “Latinos,” which some had favored.

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                                    • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                      The discussion of the Tauromenium inscription (pp. 230–231) clarifies what it contributes to our knowledge of Fabius and his work. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                      • Manganaro, Giacomo. 1974. Una biblioteca storica nel ginnasio di Tauromenium e il P. Oxy 1241. La Parola del Passato 29:389–409.

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                                        The second of two articles (Manganaro 1976 was actually written first) making the inscription available to the public. Both dated the inscription around 130 BCE, and proposed that it was painted on the wall of a library in the gymnasium of Tauromenium (this latter interpretation is now generally accepted). In the Fabius Pictor fragment, Manganaro drew attention to the hitherto unknown figure of Lanoios, presumably the eponymous founder of Lanuvium, a city that claimed a mythical connection with Sicily.

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                                        • Manganaro, Giacomo. 1976. Una biblioteca storica nel ginnasio a Tauromenium nel II sec. a.C. In Römische Frühgeschichte: Kritik und Forschung seit 1964. Edited by Andreas Alföldi, 83–96. Heidelberg, Germany: C. Winter.

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                                          A preliminary version of Manganaro 1974, although it was actually published later.

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                                          • Robert, Louis, and Jeanne Robert. 1976. Bulletin épigraphique. Revue des études grecques 89.426–427: 415–595.

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                                            An annual review of newly published inscriptions, with characteristically penetrating comment. The Tauromenium inscription is no. 820, on pp. 593–594.

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                                            Biographica: Ancestry and Public Career

                                            The discovery of the Taormina inscription showed that Fabius Pictor’s father was named Gaius, and made it virtually certain that the historian was the son of C. Fabius C.f. M.n. Pictor, the consul of 269 BCE, and the grandson of the man who painted the frescoes that decorated the temple of Salus in 304 and thus earned the surname Pictor (“the painter”). Frier 1979 identifies the latter with the C. Fabius who is attested as Master of the Horse in 315, in contrast to the idea that he was a freedman (Zimmermann 1933). The historian’s family tree is reconstructed by Frier, who argues that he was born around 270 and served under his second cousin Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (the famous “Cunctator”) in a campaign against the Ligurians in 233, before entering the Senate and rising to the praetorship—at an unknown date, but before 218. We also know that he fought in the war against the Gauls in 225 BCE (see Gallic Invasions). After Cannae in 216, he was sent by the Senate to consult the Delphic Oracle, an event he probably recorded in his history, which on Frier’s view was written in the last decade of the 3rd century (see Time of Writing). Frier’s reconstruction has been widely followed (e.g., Verbrugghe 1980, Bispham and Cornell 2013), but there are some disagreements over details (e.g., Oakley 1997–2005). Earlier reconstructions can be found in Münzer 1909 and Beloch 1926.

                                            • Beloch, Karl Julius. 1926. Römische Geschichte bis zum Beginn der punischen Kriege. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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                                              A groundbreaking study of early Roman history, starting with an extensive analysis of the sources, including the annalists (pp. 95–107). Beloch’s reconstruction of the life and background of Fabius Pictor (pp. 95–96) reflects the state of the evidence before the discovery of the Taormina inscription. He argued that Fabius was born around 240 and was the grandson of either C. Fabius Pictor (cos. 269), or, more probably, N. Fabius Pictor (cos. 266).

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                                              • Bispham, Edward H., and Timothy J. Cornell. 2013. Introduction: Q. Fabius Pictor. In The fragments of the Roman historians. Vol. 1. Edited by Timothy J. Cornell, 161–163. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                The introduction to Fabius Pictor includes a detailed discussion of the evidence for his life.

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                                                • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                  A full-length study of the Annales Maximi that includes an extensive discussion of Fabius Pictor (pp. 225–284), setting out what is now the standard interpretation of his life and family background. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                  • Münzer, Friedrich. 1909. Q. Fabius (126) Pictor. In Pauly’s Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Vol. 6.2. Edited by Georg Wissowa, 1836–1841. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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                                                    Sets out all the evidence for Fabius Pictor’s life and career, but without any precise reconstruction of his ancestry.

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                                                    • Oakley, Stephen P. 1997–2005. A commentary on Livy, Books VI–X. 4 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                      A major scholarly achievement and the starting point for any serious study of Livy and his sources (Vol. 1, Introduction and Book VI, 1997; Vol. 2, Books VII and VIII, 1998; Vol. 3, Book IX, 2005; Vol. 4, Book X, 2005). Fabius Pictor’s life and work are discussed in Vol. 2, pp. 711–712. Elsewhere, Oakley suggests that his date of birth was between 255 and 250 (Vol. 1, p. 22), and Vol. 3, p. 290) that the Pictores may have been descended from M. Fabius Dorsuo, cos. 345, rather than M. Fabius Ambustus, cos. I 360, as Frier contends.

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                                                      • Verbrugghe, Gerald P. 1980. Three notes on Fabius Pictor and his history. In ΦΙΛΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ: Miscellanea di studi classici in onore di Eugenio Manni. Vol. 6. Edited by M. J. Fontana, M. T. Piraino, and F. P. Rizzo, 2159–2173. Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider.

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                                                        The first of the three notes (“prosopography,” pp. 2160–2164) accepts and expands Frier’s reconstruction of Fabius’s life and background.

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                                                        • Zimmermann, Rudolf Chr. W. 1933. Zu Fabius Pictor. Klio 26:248–266.

                                                          DOI: 10.1524/klio.1933.26.26.248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          This paper offers (pp. 261–266) the speculation (in spite of seemingly contrary evidence in Cic. Tusc. 1.4 and Val. Max. 8.14.6) that C. Fabius Pictor, the painter, was a freed slave of Greek origin, and that he passed on his love of Greek culture to his descendants, including the historian, his grandson or great-grandson.

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                                                          Time of Writing

                                                          The only certain indication of when Fabius was writing is Livy’s statement (22.7.4 = Fabius FRHist 1 F23) that he recorded the number of dead at Trasimene, which must mean that the relevant part of his history was composed after 217, but it is probable that he also included an account of his visit to the Delphic Oracle in 216. Apart from that, all is conjecture, much of it based on speculation about what inspired him to write and what his purpose might have been (see Political and Cultural Context, Purpose and Intended Readership). Some have argued that he began writing during the crisis of the Second Punic War (Hanell 1956, Alföldi 1965, Frier 1979, Chassignet 1996), others that he did so only after the war had ended (Gelzer 1933, Badian 1966). Some remain undecided (Momigliano 1960, Scholz 2000). It has also been suggested that Fabius might have begun writing much earlier, after Rome’s victory in the First Punic War, and that most of his work was complete when the Second Punic War began, whereupon he continued writing to cover at least the first years of the war (Zimmermann 1933, Kierdorf 2002). How far the work extended beyond 216 is unknown (see Title and Scope).

                                                          • Alföldi, Andreas. 1965. Early Rome and the Latins. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                                            Alföldi’s wide-ranging discussion of Fabius Pictor and his influence on the historical tradition (pp. 123–175) includes the suggestion that he wrote his history immediately after his return from Greece in 216 BCE. Pictor’s statements on contemporary events “are much more easily understood when it is realized that they were written in the heat of the gigantic struggle, and not when it was over” (p. 170, n. 1).

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                                                            • Badian, Ernst. 1966. The early historians. In Latin historians. Edited by T. A. Dorey, 1–38. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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                                                              An assessment of Fabius Pictor’s political aims (pp. 3–5) leads Badian to argue forcefully against the idea that the work was composed during the war, and to link it to Rome’s new policy toward the Greek world in the years after Hannibal’s defeat.

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                                                              • Chassignet, Martine. 1996. L’annalistique romaine. Vol. 1, Les annales des pontifes et l’annalistique ancienne (fragments). Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                                                A lucid discussion of the problem, concluding that the work was probably composed between 216 and 209 (pp. lvi–lviii).

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                                                                • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                  At pp. 237–246, Frier presents a series of detailed arguments suggesting (but, he admits, not proving) that Fabius wrote his history during the war, probably around 210. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                  • Gelzer, Matthias. 1933. Römische Politik bei Fabius Pictor. Hermes 68:129–166.

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                                                                    Gelzer’s assessment of Fabius’s political purpose starts from the assumption that he was writing after the end of the Second Punic War. For a specific statement to this effect, see p. 132, n. 2. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 51–92; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 77–129.

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                                                                    • Hanell, Krister.1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                      An important discussion of the origins of Roman historiography. For Fabius Pictor, see pp. 160–170. Hanell questions the idea that Fabius’s work included the whole of the Second Punic War, and suggests instead that it was published during the war itself (p. 163), but the suggestion is taken further in the discussion following Hanell’s paper (pp. 176–178). Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                      • Kierdorf, Wilhelm. 2002. Anfänge und Grundlagen der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Klio 84:400–413.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1524/klio.2002.84.2.400Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A clear and convincing statement (pp. 401–403) of the hypothesis that Fabius Pictor could have written most of his work during the 220s, but then continued it to include the early years of the Hannibalic War, down to 216 BCE.

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                                                                        • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1960. Linee per una valutazione di Fabio Pittore. Rendiconti Accademia dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 8, 15.7–12: 310–320.

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                                                                          The general thrust of this paper is that by writing history, Fabius Pictor was responding to fundamental changes in the world of his time. Momigliano acknowledges that we do not know when Fabius was writing, but he characteristically points out that the dates offered by modern scholars depend on their interpretations of Fabius’s aims. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 55–68.

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                                                                          • Scholz, Udo W. 2000. Q. Fabius Pictor. Würzburger Jahrbücher für Altertumswissenschaft, n.s., 24:139–149.

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                                                                            This article examines the evidence for the date of composition, but concludes that no clear-cut answer is possible.

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                                                                            • Zimmermann, Rudolf Chr. W. 1933. Zu Fabius Pictor. Klio 26:248–266.

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                                                                              Argues (pp. 261–262) that much of Fabius Pictor’s work, down to and including his account of the First Punic War, had been published before the outbreak of the Hannibalic War.

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                                                                              Political and Cultural Context

                                                                              Fabius Pictor’s decision to write history has been seen as a reaction to the new situation in which Rome found itself as a growing Mediterranean power having to engage directly with other cultures. That he wrote in Greek is itself a sign of the profound influence of Hellenism on Roman life in the last decades of the 3rd century BCE. Historical writing was a Greek practice, and the language of historiography was Greek. In choosing to write the history of his city in Greek, Fabius was doing what others in non-Greek Mediterranean societies had done before him, including Berossus for Babylonia and Manetho for Egypt (Momigliano 1960, Momigliano 1990, Dillery 2002). It is also likely that he was responding to Greek accounts of the First Punic War, which had been written from a Carthaginian point of view (Hanell 1956). It was once fashionable to believe that literary Latin was insufficiently developed in Pictor’s time for a major historical work in prose (e.g., Lewis 1855, Peter 1914; revived by Badian 1966, cited under General Overviews), but this seems unlikely in the age of Plautus, and early examples of prose literature suggest that Fabius could have written in Latin if he had wanted to (Zimmermann 1933), but deliberately chose to write in Greek because he was applying the methods of Greek historiography to the past of Rome (Momigliano 1960, Momigliano 1990).

                                                                              • Dillery, John. 2002. Quintus Fabius Pictor and Greco-Roman historiography at Rome. In Vertis in Usum: Studies in honour of Edward Courtney. Edited by Cynthia Damon, John F. Miller, and K. Sara Myers, 1–23. Munich: K. G. Saur.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1515/9783110956924.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A detailed exploration of the similarities and differences between Fabius Pictor and other non-Greeks who wrote histories of their own countries in Greek.

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                                                                                • Hanell, Krister. 1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                  Hanell argues that the first Roman ventures into historical writing were made during the Punic Wars in response to Greek accounts of Rome, particularly those of Hieronymus, Timaeus, and Philinus. Philinus’s pro-Carthaginian account of the First Punic War inspired Naevius’s patriotic epic on the same theme, and was also one of the factors that prompted Fabius to take up the pen, although he cast his net wider and aimed to give a complete account of the Roman past—one that would eclipse earlier Greek efforts. Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                                  • Lewis, George Cornewall. 1855. An inquiry into the credibility of the early Roman history. 2 vols. London: John W. Parker.

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                                                                                    A famously skeptical account, arguing that the Roman historians could not have had access to reliable information about the earliest centuries of Roman history. Fabius Pictor is discussed in Vol. 1, pp. 77–86. On p. 82 we are told the Fabius wrote in Greek “because the native or vulgar tongue was in too rude a state for regular prose composition.”

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                                                                                    • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1960. Linee per una valutazione di Fabio Pittore. Rendiconti Accademia dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 8, 15.7–12, 310–320.

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                                                                                      A classic article that sets the beginnings of Roman historiography in the context of fundamental changes affecting Roman culture. It pays particular attention to religious events in the late 3rd century that reveal a society struggling to come to terms with its own past. On p. 312 (1966, p. 57), Momigliano suggests that Fabius could have written in Latin if he had wanted, but preferred to write in Greek, and thus to follow the example of Berossus and Manetho. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 55–68.

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                                                                                      • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1990. The classical foundations of modern historiography. Sather Classical Lectures 54. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                        A posthumously published version of lectures actually delivered in 1961–1962 (i.e., shortly after the publication of Momigliano 1960). The chapter on Fabius Pictor (pp. 80–108) gives much the same information in English, but adds some further details.

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                                                                                        • Peter, Hermann. 1914. Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae. Vol. 1. 2d ed. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

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                                                                                          On pp. lxxv–lxxvi, Peter asserts the then prevailing view that Fabius wrote in Greek because it was the language of literary culture, and that literary Latin was not yet advanced enough for sustained historical prose.

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                                                                                          • Zimmermann, Rudolf Chr. W. 1933. Zu Fabius Pictor. Klio 26:248–266.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1524/klio.1933.26.26.248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This article starts by rejecting Peter’s view that a history in Latin would have been unthinkable in Fabius Pictor’s time, and argues that Latin literature was already well developed, including prose as well as verse. This lays the ground for the theory that Fabius published his work in two versions (see Language).

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                                                                                            Purpose and Intended Readership

                                                                                            It is widely held that Fabius Pictor wrote in Greek because he wanted to explain Roman history and institutions to the Greek world (Münzer 1909, Hanell 1956, Gabba 1967). Some have taken this idea much further, arguing that he had an overtly political purpose, namely to win over Greek public opinion at a time when Rome had become heavily involved in Greek affairs (Gelzer 1933, Badian 1966, Erdkamp 2008; contra Momigliano 1960). Others have maintained that he was writing mainly or even exclusively for a Roman audience (Gruen 1984). The majority view, however, is that he was aiming to make his view of Rome’s past widely available, both at home and abroad (e.g., Frier 1979); it has also been suggested that he was keen to address readers in Sicily and Magna Graecia in particular (Kierdorf 2002), an effort that achieved some success, to judge by the Tauromenium inscription.

                                                                                            • Badian, Ernst. 1966. The early historians. In Latin historians. Edited by T. A. Dorey, 1–38. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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                                                                                              Fabius’s purpose in addressing the Greeks was to explain and justify the Senate’s policy once it had decided to intervene in the Greek East. For this reason, Badian concludes (pp. 4–5) that Fabius must have started writing after 201 BCE.

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                                                                                              • Erdkamp, Paul. 2008. Polybius II.24: Roman manpower and Greek propaganda. Ancient Society 38:137–152.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.2143/AS.38.0.2033273Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                According to Erdkamp, Fabius’s account of Roman and Italian forces at the time of the Gallic invasion of 225 BCE (see Military Resources of Rome and Its Allies) was included for propagandist reasons, in order to persuade Greek readers that Rome and its Italian allies were willing and able to defend civilization against the threat of barbarism.

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                                                                                                • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                  Frier suggests that Fabius had a variety of motives for writing (and for writing in Greek): he was addressing both Greek and Roman readers, the former to familiarize them with Rome’s venerable past, the latter to vindicate the reputation of his cousin, Fabius Maximus Cunctator, and to justify the policies of the Senatorial nobility more generally (pp. 280–284). Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                  • Gabba, Emilio. 1967. Considerazioni sulla tradizione letteraria sulle origini della repubblica. In Les origines de la république romaine. By Andreas Alföldi, Frank E. Brown, Emilio Gabba, et al., 135–169. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 13. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                    The main thrust of this important paper is that Fabius Pictor’s account of Roman history was largely inspired by the efforts of earlier Greek historians, and that the shape of his narrative and the material he chose to include were determined by the interests of his intended Greek readers. Reprinted in Gabba’s Roma arcaica: Storia e storiografia (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2000), 25–50.

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                                                                                                    • Gelzer, Matthias. 1933. Römische Politik bei Fabius Pictor. Hermes 68:129–166.

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                                                                                                      Gelzer’s influential paper argues in detail that Fabius set out to explain and justify Rome’s foreign policy, in particular in its dealings with the Greeks. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 51–92; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 77–129.

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                                                                                                      • Gruen, Erich S. 1984. The Hellenistic world and the coming of Rome. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                        A groundbreaking study of Roman imperialism seen from a Greek point of view and against the background of Hellenistic institutions and practices. Gruen rejects the idea that Fabius and his Greek-writing successors were trying to explain Rome and its actions to a Greek readership; in fact, the target audience was mainly the cultivated Roman elite (pp. 253–255).

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                                                                                                        • Hanell, Krister. 1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                          An influential statement of the view that Fabius was presenting Greek readers with an explanation of Roman history and institutions, and in particular seeking to justify Roman actions in the struggle against Carthage. Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                                                          • Kierdorf, Wilhelm. 2002. Anfänge und Grundlagen der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Klio 84:400–413.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1524/klio.2002.84.2.400Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            The contention that Fabius began writing in the period between the two Punic Wars (see Time of Writing) leads Kierdorf to conclude (p. 411) that the Greek readers he was targeting cannot have been those of metropolitan Greece, but rather those of Sicily and Magna Graecia, who were now subject to Roman rule.

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                                                                                                            • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1960. Linee per una valutazione di Fabio Pittore. Rendiconti Accademia dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 8, 15.7–12, 310–320.

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                                                                                                              Momigliano reacts strongly against Gelzer’s theory of Fabius as a propagandist, and argues (pp. 326–327) that it is not only unsupported by evidence but also unlikely. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 55–68.

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                                                                                                              • Münzer, Friedrich. 1909. Q. Fabius (126) Pictor. In Pauly’s Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Vol. 6.2. Edited by Georg Wissowa, 1836–1841. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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                                                                                                                Münzer argues (col. 1938) that Fabius wrote in Greek mainly because he was addressing Greek readers.

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                                                                                                                The Work

                                                                                                                Language

                                                                                                                Fabius Pictor published his work in Greek. His reasons for doing so are disputed (see Political and Cultural Context, Purpose and Intended Readership), but the fact itself is beyond dispute. It is implied by the Taormina inscription, and is explicitly stated by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.6.2 = Fabius FRHist 1 T12) and by Cicero, who refers to Graeci annales (de div. 1.43 = Fabius FRHist 1 T10). But it is also certain that some testimonia (e.g., Cicero, de leg. 1.6 = Fabius FRHist 1 T9) refer to, and some quotations (e.g., Quintilian, Inst. 1.6.12 = Fabius FRHist 1 F4d; Gellius 5.4.3 = Fabius FRHist 1 31) are taken from, a work in Latin. These puzzling facts can be variously explained. The most economical solution is that Fabius Pictor wrote a historical work that circulated in two versions, one being a translation of the other (Hanell 1956, Momigliano 1960). One suggestion is that Fabius produced a draft in Latin that either he himself or an assistant then translated into Greek (Leo 1913, D’Ippolito 1998). Alternatively, Fabius’s original Greek text was translated into Latin, either by Fabius himself (Zimmermann 1933, Branchini 1961) or by a later hand (e.g., Scholz 2000). A more radical theory maintains that the Latin history was a different work altogether, by a different Fabius Pictor, possibly the grandson of Rome’s first historian (Münzer 1909, Gelzer 1934, Frier 1979).

                                                                                                                • Branchini, Franca. 1961. Note su Fabio Pittore. Athenaeum 39:358–361.

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                                                                                                                  Presents strong reasons for thinking that the histories in Greek and Latin attributed to Fabius Pictor must be different versions of the same work, and that Pictor himself was the author of both. Branchini further points out that except in one or two cases it is impossible to tell which of the two versions is the source of any particular quotation.

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                                                                                                                  • D’Ippolito, Federico Maria. 1998. Fabio Pittore rivisitato. Atene e Roma 43:142–155.

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                                                                                                                    Offers a reasoned argument in support of Leo’s view that Fabius Pictor wrote his work in Latin, and that it was subsequently translated into Greek (see Leo 1913).

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                                                                                                                    • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                                      Frier rejects the idea of a Latin translation, and instead assigns the Latin annales to N. Fabius Pictor, but does so “without much conviction” (pp. 250–251). He also frankly acknowledges the fact—actually the principal weakness of his case—that the idea of two different historical works by two different Fabii Pictores is unknown to the ancient sources. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                                      • Gelzer, Matthias. 1934. Der Anfang römischer Geschichtsschreibung. Hermes 69:46–55.

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                                                                                                                        As part of his general argument that Fabius and his Greek-writing successors were “pragmatic” historians in contrast to the later “annalists,” Gelzer reasserts the view of Peter and Münzer that the Latin Annals were a different work by a later Fabius. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 93–103; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 130–143.

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                                                                                                                        • Hanell, Krister. 1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                                          Hanell maintains that the Greek and Latin histories were versions of the same work, supporting his case with the argument that both shared the same chronology, dating the Gallic sack of Rome in 384 BCE (pp. 161–163). Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                                                                          • Leo, Friedrich. 1913. Geschichte der römischen Literatur 1: Die archaische Literatur. Berlin: Weidmann.

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                                                                                                                            A classic history of Roman literature; for Fabius Pictor, see pp. 85–88. Leo makes the bold suggestion that the Latin version was Fabius’s original draft on which the Greek version was based—and that it was preserved by his family and at some point made publicly available (p. 86, n. 1).

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                                                                                                                            • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1960. Linee per una valutazione di Fabio Pittore. Rendiconti Accademia dei Lincei. Classe di Scienze morali, storiche e filologiche, ser. 8, 15.7–12, 310–320.

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                                                                                                                              An influential statement of the case for thinking that the Latin fragments are taken from a translation of Fabius Pictor (p. 312; 1966, pp. 56–57). Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 55–68.

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                                                                                                                              • Münzer, Friedrich. 1909. Ser.(?) Fabius (128) Pictor. In Pauly’s Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Vol. 6.2. Edited by Georg Wissowa, 1842–1844. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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                                                                                                                                This article develops Peter’s 1870 theory (see Peter 1914, cited under Editions of the Fragments) that the Latin Annals were a different work by a different Fabius Pictor, identified as the historian’s grandson, the author of a work on pontifical law. The praenomen Ser(vius), queried by Münzer, is now thought to have been N(umerius); see Frier 1979, p. 232.

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                                                                                                                                • Scholz, Udo W. 2000. Q. Fabius Pictor. Würzburger Jahrbücher für Altertumswissenschaft, n.s., 24:139–149.

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                                                                                                                                  One of many scholars to suggest that the Latin Annals were a later translation of Fabius’s Greek text; the idea that the translation was undertaken by his grandson is an attempt to compromise with the Münzer-Gelzer position.

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                                                                                                                                  • Zimmermann, Rudolf Chr. W. 1933. Zu Fabius Pictor. Klio 26:248–266.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1524/klio.1933.26.26.248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Although notorious for its suggestion that Fabius Pictor was descended from a freed slave (see citation under Biographica: Ancestry and Public Career), this article is mostly given over to a well-argued critique of the theory of two different works by two different Fabii Pictores, and to the assertion that Fabius Pictor himself published his work in two versions, one Greek and one Latin.

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                                                                                                                                    Title and Scope

                                                                                                                                    The Greek title of Fabius Pictor’s work is not known. Admittedly, Diodorus Siculus (7.5.4 = Fabius FRHist 1 F3) describes it asῬωμαίων πράξεις (Deeds of the Romans), and Dionysius (7.71.1 = Fabius FRHist 1 F15) asῬωμαϊκά (Roman Affairs), but these may be descriptions of the work’s contents, rather than formal titles. Cicero (De div. 1.43 = Fabius FRHist 1 T9) refers to it as Graeci annales, a Latin paraphrase that incidentally shows that by his time annales had become the standard term in Latin for a work of history. Pliny, too, refers to Fabius Pictor’s annales (nat. 10.71, 14.89 = Fabius FRHist 1 F20, F25), meaning his historical work, although it is possible that he was using the Latin version and using its formal title. The Latin version of Fabius’s work is called annales by Gellius (5.4.1 = Fabius FRHist 1 F31), and res gestae by Nonius (835L = Fabius FRHist 1 F4e), but once again it cannot be certain that either was a formal title. In general, see Frier 1979. It seems that the work covered all of Roman history from the beginning to the lifetime of the author (Dion. Hal. 1.6.2 = Fabius FRHist 1 T12). The Tauromenium inscription gives a summary of the early part of the work, and shows that it began with the arrival of Heracles in Italy; the text breaks off with the foundation of the city, but it is possible that it went on to include a summary of Fabius’s whole work (Battistoni 2006). Fabius went down at least as far as 216 BCE (see Time of Writing), but probably not much further (Zimmermann 1933, Frier 1979), although a different view is taken by Hoyos 2001.

                                                                                                                                    • Battistoni, Filippo. 2006. The ancient pinakes from Tauromenium: Some new readings. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 157:169–180.

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                                                                                                                                      Battistoni makes the important point that, although the surviving fragment of the Tauromenium inscription offers a résumé of Fabius Pictor’s first book, “the other books might have followed in the part now lost” (p. 178).

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                                                                                                                                      • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                                                        The question of Fabius’s title, and of the titles of other early Roman historical works, is considered on pp. 216–218. Frier also offers similar arguments to those of Zimmermann to reach the conclusion that Fabius Pictor was prevented by death from taking his account further than the events of 214 BCE (pp. 236–237). Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                                                        • Hoyos, Dexter. 2001. Polybius and the papyrus: The persuasiveness of P. Rylands III 491. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 134:71–79.

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                                                                                                                                          This article offers a reconsideration of PRyl. 491, a historical fragment dealing with events of 203, and suggests that it does not, as previously thought, represent a pro-Carthaginian point of view. Hoyos rejects the idea that Fabius’s narrative went no further than c. 214 BCE—an argument from silence—and offers the conjecture that the papyrus contains part of an epitome of Fabius Pictor; if so, it would follow that his account went on at least until 203. This view has not won wide acceptance.

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                                                                                                                                          • Zimmermann, Rudolf Chr. W. 1933. Zu Fabius Pictor. Klio 26:248–266.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1524/klio.1933.26.26.248Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Zimmermann points out that Livy does not cite Fabius Pictor for events after 217, even on occasions where a reference to him might have been expected, and infers that his account ended probably around 214 (pp. 262–263).

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                                                                                                                                            Internal Architecture

                                                                                                                                            Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.6.2 = Fabius FRHist 1 T12) says that Fabius wrote a detailed account of his own time, but gave only a brief summary of the earlier period after the foundation of Rome. This has given rise to a widely held theory that his work was organized in three sections: full on the prehistory of the city down to the foundation, a summary of events down to (probably) the First Punic War, followed by an extended narrative of his own lifetime. This tripartite “hour-glass” structure has been variously interpreted in detail. Some (e.g., Gelzer 1954, Gabba 1967) have suggested on the basis of the surviving fragments that the first period included the age of the kings, even though Dionysius clearly states that the summary part started “after the foundation.” Timpe, however, has argued that in ancient historiography the “foundation” (ktisis) of a city included much of its early history, and that in the case of Rome the story of the ktisis was taken by Fabius to extend as far as the middle of the 5th century (Timpe 1972). But this interpretation is rejected by others (Petzold 1993, Northwood 2007, Rich 2018), and the argument that the surviving fragments suggest a comparatively full account of the archaic period is methodologically unsound (Vitucci 1966). Moreover the whole idea of a tripartite “hour-glass” structure is questioned by Frier 1979 and Rich 2018. The work was divided into books (Polyb. 3.9.3 = Fabius FRHist 1 T6), but the distribution of material is unclear. The foundation story was in Book 1 (Origo gentis Romanae 20.1 = Fabius FRHist 1 F4c, Nonius 835L = Fabius FRHist 1 F4e), and Book 4 featured the first plebeian consul (366 BCE Varr.): Gellius 5.4.3 = Fabius FRHist 1 F31. However, attempts to reconstruct the architecture of the whole work on the basis of this evidence are entirely speculative (Beloch 1926, Verbrugghe 1980).

                                                                                                                                            • Beloch, Karl Julius. 1926. Römische Geschichte bis zum Beginn der punischen Kriege. Berlin: De Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1515/9783111473659Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              In his discussion of Fabius’s work, Beloch offers a speculative reconstruction of the distribution of material into ten or twelve books (pp. 99–100).

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                                                                                                                                              • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                                                                In his reconstruction of the work (pp. 255–260), Frier strongly criticizes the widely held view that it was divided into three narrative stages, and admits only that its scale expanded as it approached the writer’s own lifetime. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                                                                • Gabba, Emilio. 1967. Considerazioni sulla tradizione letteraria sulle origini della repubblica. In Les origines de la république romaine. By Andreas Alföldi, Frank E. Brown, Emilio Gabba, et al., 135–169. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 13. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                                                                  An influential statement of the case for reconstructing Fabius Pictor’s history as a work divided into three narrative sections—full on the origins to the end of the monarchy, brief and sketchy on the early Republic, and expanding once again into a detailed account of events from the later 4th century onward. Gabba argues that this scheme was already present in earlier Greek accounts of Rome, which Fabius followed closely. Reprinted in Gabba’s Roma arcaica: Storia e storiografia (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2000), 25–50.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Gelzer, Matthias. 1954. Nochmals über den Anfang der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Hermes 82:342–348.

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                                                                                                                                                    From Dionysius’ description of the work, and from the fragments, Gelzer infers that Fabius wrote a detailed account of Rome’s early history down to the beginning of the Republic, followed by a brief summary of the following period to the outbreak of the First Punic War; at this point he reverted to a full-scale narrative. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 104–110; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 144–153.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Northwood, Simon. 2007. Quintus Fabius Pictor: Was he an annalist? In Corolla Cosmo Rodewald. Edited by Nicholas V. Sekunda, 97–114. Monograph Series Akanthina 2. Gdansk, Poland: Foundation for the Development of Gdansk Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                      This article strongly criticizes the view (Gelzer, et al.) that Fabius wrote a detailed account of early Roman history to the end of the monarchy or even to the Decemvirate, followed by a summary of events to the time of the Punic Wars. Northwood argues (pp. 101–104) that this reconstruction depends on a mistaken reading of Dionysius and a misuse of the evidence of the fragments.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Petzold, Karl-Ernst. 1993. Zur Geschichte der römischen Annalistik. In Livius: Aspekte seines Werkes. Edited by Wolfgang Schuller, 151–188. Xenia 31. Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz.

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                                                                                                                                                        Petzold’s account of early Roman historiography deals with Fabius Pictor on pp. 161–167, and in particular with the structure of his work. Petzold accepts that it had an “hour-glass” shape, but rejects Timpe’s idea that Fabius’ detailed account of the ktisis extended to the Decemvirate (pp. 163–165). Reprinted in Karl-Ernst Petzold, Geschichtsdenken und Geschichtsschreibung: Kleine Schriften zur griechischen und römischen Geschichte (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1999), 184–221.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Rich, John. 2018. Fabius Pictor, Ennius and the origins of Roman annalistic historiography. In Omnium Annalium Monumenta: Historical writing and historical evidence in Republican Rome. Edited by Kaj Sandberg and Christopher Smith, 26–82. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                          Rich reiterates Northwood’s criticisms and questions the whole idea that Fabius’s work had an “hour-glass” shape.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Timpe, Dieter. 1972. Fabius Pictor und die Anfänge der römischen Historiographie. In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Vol. 1.2. Edited by Hildegard Temporini, 928–969. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                            Timpe’s article mainly deals with the shape of Fabius Pictor’s work, and contains an elaborate defense of the tripartite “hour-glass” theory. He argues that Greek foundation histories (Ktiseis) normally extended beyond a city’s actual foundation and included its early constitutional development (esp. pp. 932–940); for Fabius the “foundation” of Rome would have included its early history down to the Decemvirate. The idea that Rome’s formative political development ended with the Decemvirate was later taken up by Polybius, Cato, and Cicero.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Verbrugghe, Gerald P. 1980. Three notes on Fabius Pictor and his history. In ΦΙΛΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ: Miscellanea di studi classici in onore di Eugenio Manni. Vol. 6. Edited by M. J. Fontana, M. T. Piraino, and F. P. Rizzo, 2157–2173. Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider.

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                                                                                                                                                              The second of Verbrugghe’s three notes discusses the architecture of the work, with heavy reliance on Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1.6.1–2 (= Fabius FRHist 1 T12). On pp. 2167–2169 he offers an imaginary reconstruction of a work divided into seven or eight books.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Vitucci, Giovanni. 1966. Ancora su Fabio Pittore. Helikon 6:401–410.

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                                                                                                                                                                In an article discussing various aspects of Fabius’s work, Vitucci makes the important point (pp. 409–410) that one cannot reconstruct its internal architecture from the surviving fragments, which constitute a biased sample of the original work reflecting wholly and exclusively the interests of the citing sources.

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                                                                                                                                                                Narrative Format

                                                                                                                                                                There has been much debate about the format of Fabius’s account, particularly whether it adopted an “annalistic” structure—that is, whether it narrated events year by year under the heading of the annually elected magistrates, in the manner of Livy and other so-called annalists. Gelzer famously maintained that the early Roman historians writing in Greek rejected the annalistic format, which would not have appealed to the Greek readers they were hoping to attract (and to persuade: see Purpose and Intended Readership). He argued instead that they wrote “pragmatic history,” as advocated by Polybius, and that Fabius’s summary of early Republican history merely covered the main points and did not list the magistrates of each year (Gelzer 1934, restated in Gelzer 1954). He and others (e.g., Wiseman 1979) suggest that the first proper annalists (i.e., historians setting out the events year by year) wrote in the later 2nd century. But the majority view is that Fabius did arrange his material annalistically, at least for the later part of his work (Walbank 1945, Bömer 1953, Frier 1979, Oakley 1997–2005). Northwood 2007 gives a thorough review of the question, but concludes that no firm answer is possible. Rich 2011 maintains that Fabius’s account was annalistic from the start of the Republic, but the author modified this view in Rich 2018. On the theory that Diodorus Siculus’s list of Roman magistrates was drawn from Fabius Pictor, see Chronology.

                                                                                                                                                                • Bömer, Franz. 1953. Thematik und Krise der römischen Geschichtsschreibung im 2. Jahrhundert v. Chr. Historia 2:189–209.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Bömer takes issue with Gelzer’s interpretation of early Roman historiography, and contends that the year-by-year (“annalistic”) method of narrating the history of the Republic was a continuous tradition going back to Fabius Pictor.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Frier’s account of the annalistic tradition (pp. 201–284) maintains that it began with Fabius Pictor, who adopted the format of his principal documentary source, the annales maximi, and narrated events year by year under the heading of the chief magistrates. Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Gelzer, Matthias. 1934. Der Anfang römischer Geschichtsschreibung. Hermes 69:46–55.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Gelzer’s thesis is that Fabius Pictor and his Greek-writing successors wrote “pragmatic” history in the manner approved by Polybius, and that the annalists emerged only in the later 2nd century. Fabius’s account of the Republic to the Punic Wars was written “summarily” (κεφαλαιωδ̑ω̑ς), which in Gelzer’s view would rule out an annalistic format; annalistic writing would also have alienated Fabius’s Greek readers. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 93–103; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 130–143.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Gelzer, Matthias. 1954. Nochmals über den Anfang der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Hermes 82:342–348.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A restatement of Gelzer 1934, with a response to the criticisms of Bömer 1953. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 104–110; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 144–153.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Northwood, Simon. 2007. Quintus Fabius Pictor: Was he an annalist? In Corolla Cosmo Rodewald. Edited by Nicholas V. Sekunda, 97–114. Monograph Series Akanthina 2. Gdansk, Poland: Foundation for the Development of Gdansk Univ.

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                                                                                                                                                                          A full discussion of the issue, rejecting Gelzer’s theory but acknowledging that the converse cannot be proved.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Oakley, Stephen P. 1997–2005. A Commentary on Livy, Books VI–X. 4 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                            In vol. 4, pp. 475–476, Oakley offers arguments in support of the view he had earlier taken for granted (Vol. 1, pp. 22–24), that Fabius was the first annalist, and against the counter-arguments of Gelzer 1934 and Wiseman 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Rich, John. 2011. Structuring Roman history: The consular year and the roman historical tradition. Histos 5:1–43.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A detailed discussion of the origins of the Roman practice of organizing historical narrative around the consular year. Rich argues that Fabius Pictor adopted an annalistic arrangement from the start of the Republic (pp. 15–17).

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Rich, John. 2018. Fabius Pictor, Ennius and the origins of Roman annalistic historiography. In Omnium Annalium Monumenta: Historical writing and historical evidence in Republican Rome. Edited by Kaj Sandberg and Christopher Smith, 26–82. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                In his discussion of Fabius Pictor (pp. 55–66), Rich modifies his earlier view (in Rich 2011) and maintains that Fabius’s account of the early Republic was selective, becoming fully annalistic only when it reached the age of the Samnite Wars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Walbank, Frank W. 1945. Polybius, Philinus, and the First Punic War. Classical Quarterly 39:1–18.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800029785Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  This article is mainly concerned with Polybius’s sources for the First Punic War, but, in an addendum (pp. 15–18), Walbank offers a critique of Gelzer’s theory of the origins of Roman historiography (Gelzer 1934) and argues that Fabius probably wrote year-by-year annals.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wiseman, Timothy Peter. 1979. Clio’s cosmetics: Three studies in Greco-Roman literature. Leicester, UK: Leicester Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    In his account of the origins of Roman historiography (pp. 9–26), Wiseman contends that L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi (cos. 133 BCE) was the first historian to write annales—that is, a work organized year by year under the headings of the chief annual magistrates.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Particular Topics

                                                                                                                                                                                    Chronology

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dionysius tells us that Fabius Pictor dated the foundation of the city in the first year of the eighth Olympiad—that is, in 748–747 BCE (Dion. Hal. 1.74.1 = Fabius FRHist 1 F5). This dating implied a lapse of several centuries since the time of Aeneas and the Trojan War, and the Tauromenium inscription shows that Fabius was aware of this. How he explained it, and whether his account included a list of kings of Alba, is disputed (see discussion in Grandazzi 2008). In addition, we have no idea why Fabius (or his younger contemporary, Cincius Alimentus) chose to place the foundation in the 8th century BCE, but in acknowledging a long interval since the fall of Troy, Fabius was preceded by Timaeus, whose work he probably knew (see Sources and Models). On this, and on wider questions concerning the foundation date, see de Cazanove 1992 and Feeney 2007. An 8th-century foundation date probably also meant that in Fabius’s work the regal period occupied between 240 and 244 years (Mommsen 1859, Leuze 1909)—an impossibly long time for the reigns of just seven kings. As a result, his chronology for the later regal period ended in absurdity, as Dionysius gleefully pointed out (4.6–7; 4.30.2–3; 4.64.2–3 = Fabius FRHist 1 F8, 11, 13). On this matter, see de Cazanove 1988. Fabius’s version of a 4th-century BCE chronology can be reconstructed from Polybius’s account of the Gallic invasions (2.18–19), which is generally believed to depend on Fabius Pictor (see Gallic Invasions), and can be shown to be compatible with Fabius FRHist 1 F31 (Hanell 1956). Mommsen famously argued that Diodorus Siculus took his references to Roman history from Fabius Pictor, including a complete list of eponymous magistrates going back to the start of the Republic (Mommsen 1859, Mommsen 1879; developed further by Leuze 1909), but this view was heavily criticized (Meyer 1882, Beloch 1926) and is no longer accepted. See also Verbrugghe 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Beloch, Karl Julius. 1926. Römische Geschichte bis zum Beginn der punischen Kriege. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      In his discussion of Diodorus’s Roman source (pp. 107–132), Beloch rejects the “Fabius-hypothesis” that Mommsen had made famous, and opts instead for a 1st-century annalist writing in Latin, probably either Claudius Quadrigarius or Licinius Macer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • de Cazanove, Olivier. 1988. La chronologie des Bacchiades et celle des rois étrusques de Rome. Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome—Antiquité 100.2: 615–648.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        The traditional story of the Tarquins implies an impossible chronology, as Dionysius of Halicarnassus noted (4.6–7); Dionysius aimed his criticisms at Fabius and opted instead for the modified version of Piso, who inserted an extra generation between the two Tarquins. In de Cazanove’s view this modification is both artificial and arbitrary, but the chronological implications of Fabius’s version only became clear later, when historians learned that Greek chronography dated the exile of the Corinthian Demaratus (supposedly the father of the Elder Tarquin) around 657 BCE.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • de Cazanove, Olivier. 1992. La détermination chronographique de la durée de la période royale à Rome. In La Rome des premiers siècles: Légende et histoire (Actes de la Table Ronde en l’honneur de Massimo Pallottino). 69–98. Florence: Olschki.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          De Cazanove challenges the assumption of 19th-century scholars (especially Mommsen) that Fabius and other Roman historians calculated the date of the foundation by counting back from the beginning of the Republic. The evidence does not support this hypothetical notion. While admitting that their methods were probably artificial, de Cazanove shows that we do not know how the Romans calculated the length of the regal period or the interval from Aeneas to Romulus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Feeney, Denis. 2007. Caesar’s calendar: Ancient time and the beginnings of history. Sather Classical Lectures 65. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251199.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now the standard account of Roman chronography, Feeney’s influential study discusses Fabius Pictor’s date for the foundation (pp. 95–100), and suggests that he owed much to Diocles of Peparethos (see Foundation Story), including a full list of kings of Alba.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Grandazzi, Alexandre. 2008. Alba Longa, histoire d’une légende: Recherches sur l’archéologie, la religion, les traditions de l’ancien Latium. Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d’Athènes et de Rome 336. Rome: École Française de Rome.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.4000/books.efr.2192Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              This detailed monograph provides a thorough, systematic, and up-to-date analysis of the Alban king-list (pp. 771–890), concluding that Alba played a primary role in the development of the foundation legend, and that the king-list was probably present in the earliest historians, including Fabius Pictor (discussed on pp. 785–790).

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hanell, Krister. 1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                This paper shows (pp. 161–163) that Polybius’s account of the Gallic invasions (2.18–23) has the same chronology as the fragment quoted by Gellius 5.4.3 (on which, see Verbrugghe 2008); Hanell concludes that the fragment must be from a Latin version of Fabius Pictor (see Language), and that Fabius must be the source of Polybius (see Gallic Invasions). Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Leuze, Oskar. 1909. Die römische Jahrzählung: Ein Versuch, ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung su ermitteln. Tübingen, Germany: J. C. B. Mohr.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A detailed study of the dating systems of the ancient sources, from Fabius Pictor to the Capitoline Fasti. Leuze accepts and further elaborates Mommsen’s theory that the list of consuls in Diodorus is based on Fabius (esp. pp. 44–78), and then argues that Fabius allocated 244 years to the regal period, and thus arrived at his foundation date (pp. 79–91).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Meyer, Eduard. 1882. Untersuchungen über Diodor’s römische Geschichte. Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 37:612–627.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meyer rejects Mommsen’s theory that Diodorus depends on Fabius by showing that Diodorus used a Latin source. If he had followed Fabius, he would have used the Greek version, which would not have garbled the Roman names in the way that Diodorus does.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mommsen, Theodor. 1859. Die römische Chronologie bis auf Caesar. 2d ed. Berlin: Weidmann.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mommsen’s seminal work on the Roman dating system takes for granted Niebuhr’s view that the list of consuls in Diodorus was taken from Fabius Pictor (pp. 125–128), and that Fabius allocated a period of 240 years to the kings (pp. 127–128, 134–135).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mommsen, Theodor. 1879. Fabius und Diodor. In Römische Forschungen. Vol. 2. By Theodor Mommsen, 221–296. Berlin: Weidmann.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        A detailed analysis of the Roman notices in Diodorus (including the list of consuls from 486 to 302 BCE), and a clear statement of the case that they are taken from Fabius Pictor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Verbrugghe, Gerald P. 2008. Eighteenth (duodevicesimus) or Twenty-Second (duoetvicesimus)? Twenty-Second but duovicesimus (Gell. 5.4.1–5 and Non. s.v. duodevicesimo p. 100M). Mnemosyne 61:436–450.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1163/156852507X235218Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This article sorts out the textual problems in a passage of Aulus Gellius that contains a fragment of Fabius Pictor (FRHist 1 F31), and has an important bearing on his 4th-century chronology. In particular, Verbrugghe argues against Leuze that Fabius’s dating of the first plebeian consul in the twenty-second year after the Gallic sack is incompatible with Diodorus’s chronology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Foundation Story

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The most extensive fragment of Fabius’s work tells the story of the birth and upbringing of Romulus and Remus. It comes in two principal versions, preserved by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1.75.4–84.1 = Fabius FRHist 1 F4a) and Plutarch (Romulus 3.1–6.9 = Fabius FRHist 1 F4b). Plutarch tells the whole story, from the quarrel between Numitor and Amulius to the death of the latter at the hands of the twins, while Dionysius mentions Fabius (among others) as his source at the point where Amulius orders the death of the newborn infants, and from then on covers the same ground. Despite minor differences, these sources tell the same story in considerable detail, but also appear to be acknowledging Fabius Pictor as no more than the originator of a generally accepted historical tradition. It is hard, therefore, to decide how much of what they tell us is actually taken from Fabius, and what his account was really like (on this problem, see Poucet 1976 and Verbrugghe 1981). A further complication arises from Plutarch’s statement that Fabius was preceded by Diocles of Peparethos, who was the first to make the Roman foundation legend known to the Greek world. Plutarch says that Fabius followed Diocles “for the most part,” but it is difficult to know exactly what this means. It is most probable that Diocles was the first Greek writer to tell the story of the twins in a form that would have been recognizable to Fabius, who may have referred to Diocles in his text (Momigliano 1943). But there is no way of knowing which aspects, if any, of the account that Plutarch attributes to Fabius might go back to Diocles, an obscure figure who is otherwise virtually unknown (Beck 2010). A striking feature of the story as told by both Plutarch and Dionysius is its theatrical character, which has prompted scholars to suggest that Fabius wrote his history in a dramatic style (Alföldi 1965); something similar is evident also in fragments concerning Tarpeia (Dion. Hal. 2.38.2–40.2 = Fabius FRHist 1 F7) and Coriolanus (Livy 2.40.10–11 = Fabius FRHist 1 F16), and further encourages the idea that Fabius was influenced by the Greek penchant for “tragic history” (on which see Walbank 1960). It has also been argued that the foundation story might have been shaped by stage performances, and that Fabius’s account reflected this (Wiseman 1994, Wiseman 1998).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Alföldi, Andreas. 1965. Early Rome and the Latins. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alföldi’s negative assessment of Fabius Pictor includes a section (pp. 147–159) outlining a series of romantic episodes that (he thinks) were introduced into the Roman historical tradition by Fabius Pictor under the influence of Hellenistic “tragic” historiography.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Beck, Hans. 2010. Diokles of Peparethos. In Brill’s New Jacoby. Edited by Ian Worthington. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              The most recent edition of the testimonia and fragments of Diocles of Peparethos, with English translation and commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1943. Review of Emanuele Ciaceri: Le origini di Roma (Milan-Rome 1937). Journal of Roman Studies 33:101–103.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                This book review includes an important discussion of Diocles of Peparethos, with a survey of previous research (p. 102). Momigliano refers to a letter from Mommsen to Wilamowitz containing the suggestion that Diocles was quoted by Fabius. Reprinted in Arnaldo Momigliano, Secondoo Contributo alla storia degli dtudi classici (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 401–407.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Poucet, Jacques. 1976. Fabius Pictor et Denys d’Halicarnasse: “Les enfances de Romulus et de Rémus.” Historia 25:201–216.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This article points out that when a classical author quotes several sources, as Dionysius does here, it is impossible to reconstruct the characteristics of any one of them. The passage is not really a “fragment” of Fabius, but rather a summary of what the Roman historians, from Fabius onward, had written. Fabius is cited, not as the actual source of the story, but simply as “le chef de file de la version annalistique.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Verbrugghe, Gerald P. 1981. Fabius Pictor’s “Romulus and Remus.” Historia 30:236–238.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This short paper takes issue with Poucet 1976, and argues that it is possible to reconstruct genuine Fabian material from Dionysius, in particular by comparing him with Plutarch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Walbank, Frank W. 1960. History and tragedy. Historia 9:216–234.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A major discussion of “tragic history,” the type of melodramatic writing that Polybius strongly deprecated and that Fabius Pictor is thought to have written (although Walbank does not discuss Fabius specifically). Walbank argues that the use of theatrical narrative was characteristic of Greek historiography from the beginning, not a particular or recent invention of the Hellenistic period. Reprinted in Frank W. Walbank, Selected Papers: Studies in Greek and Roman History and Historiography (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985), 224–241.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wiseman, Timothy Peter. 1994. The origins of Roman historiography. In Historiography and imagination: Eight essays on Roman culture. By Timothy Peter Wiseman, 1–22. Exeter, UK: Univ. of Exeter Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This paper outlines the theory that before historiography, Roman historical memory was perpetuated by the performance of plays on historical themes, something that is reflected in the accounts of the historians. Fabius’s version of the foundation story is cited as an important illustration of the point.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wiseman, Timothy Peter. 1998. Roman drama and Roman history. Exeter, UK: Univ. of Exeter Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A collection of essays that develop the idea first set out in Wiseman 1994. The first chapter shows that the theory was a revival of a 19th-century romantic idea that can be traced back to Leopold von Ranke, who in 1849 suggested that Dionysius’s account of the twins (i.e., the passage that is attributed to Fabius Pictor) had originally appeared as a stage play.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Gallic Invasions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In his second book, Polybius recounts the events of 225 BCE, in which the Gauls invaded Italy and were defeated by the Romans at the Battle of Telamon (2.25–35). This was a war in which Fabius Pictor himself took part (FRHist 1 T1), and his account of it would have been available to Polybius. Some have argued that the significance of the event was exaggerated by Polybius, who was misled by Fabius Pictor into thinking that Roman policy in the 230s and 220s was determined by fear of a Gallic invasion (Erdkamp 2009; contra Eckstein 2012). It is overwhelmingly likely that Polybius made use of Fabius’s firsthand narrative of the war itself, even if it is true that “not one word of Fabius’ account can be certainly identified in Polybius” (Williams 2001), and he may also have consulted other sources in addition to Fabius (Bung 1950, 151–155). There must also be a strong presumption that Polybius’ account of previous Gallic invasions (2.18–23) is based on Fabius (Beloch 1926, Gelzer 1933, Walbank 1957–1979), although Fabius’s presence is less evident in Polybius’s ethno-geographical description of Cisalpine Gaul (2.14–17), which is probably based on Polybius’s own personal knowledge (Walbank 1957–1979, Williams 2001).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Beloch, Karl Julius. 1926. Römische Geschichte bis zum Beginn der punischen Kriege. Berlin: De Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beloch’s analysis of the sources for early Roman history has an important chapter dedicated to “The Gallic Wars in Polybius” (pp. 132–143). He shows conclusively that the succession of Gallic wars, with the precise indications of the intervals between them, must be taken from a Roman annalistic source, almost certainly to be identified as Fabius Pictor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bung, Peter. 1950. Q. Fabius Pictor, der erste römische Annalist: Untersuchungen über Aufbau, Stil und Inhalt seines Geschichtswerkes an Hand von Polybius I–II. Inaugural diss., Universität Köln.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bung’s thesis emphasizes the need for caution when attempting to use Polybius to characterize the work of Fabius Pictor. He challenges Gelzer’s picture of Fabius as a “pragmatic” historian (see Narrative Format), and also rejects the idea that Polybius reproduces the format of Fabius’ text. On pp. 151–155, Bung argues that Polybius’s account of earlier Gallic wars (2.18–23) made use of other sources besides Polybius.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Eckstein, Arthur M. 2012. Polybius, the Gallic crisis, and the Ebro Treaty. Classical Philology 107:206–229.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eckstein reacts against Erdkamp (see Erdkamp 2009) and similar revisionists by arguing that Polybius accepted much of Fabius’s narrative of the events of 226–225 not because he was gullible, but because it accorded with the facts as he saw them, and that there are good grounds for thinking that he was right to do so.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Erdkamp, Paul. 2009. Polybius, the Ebro Treaty, and the Gallic invasion of 225 B.C.E. Classical Philology 104:495–510.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Erdkamp’s view, Polybius was misled by Fabius Pictor’s suggestion that the Romans made a treaty with Hasdrubal in 226 (the “Ebro Treaty”) because they were preoccupied with a longstanding fear of the Gauls. In fact, there was no such fear; they were actually preparing for war against Carthage, but were surprised by the Gallic invasion in 225, which caused them to sign the Ebro Treaty, a patched-up agreement that must be dated after the Gauls had invaded.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gelzer, Matthias. 1933. Römische Politik bei Fabius Pictor. Hermes 68:129–166.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gelzer argues that Fabius Pictor’s strong political opinions are reproduced in the passages of Polybius that depend on him. Polybius’s account of the Gallic wars (analyzed on pp. 147–156) not only draws exclusively on Fabius, but also reproduces his views, and in particular the hostile picture of Gaius Flaminius, whose radical agrarian law of 232 BCE provoked the hostility of the Gauls. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 51–92; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 77–129.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Walbank, Frank W. 1957–1979. A historical commentary on Polybius. 3 vols. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Walbank’s monumental commentary is the indispensable starting point for all serious research on Polybius (Vol. 1, Commentary on Books I–VI, 1957; Vol. 2, Commentary on Books VII–XVIII, 1967; Vol. 3, Commentary on Books XIX–XL, 1979). His discussion of Polybius’s account of Rome’s relations with the Gauls (Vol. 1, pp. 172–214) begins by noting that the account of the geography of Cisalpine Gaul (“a minor masterpiece”) is based mainly on Polybius’s own observations (pp. 172–173), and then acknowledges that the summary account of earlier Gallic wars is probably derived from Fabius Pictor (pp. 184).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Williams, Jonathan H. C. 2001. Beyond the Rubicon: Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This book studies the history of relations between Rome and the Gauls of northern Italy, and how they are represented in the surviving sources. Polybius features prominently (see pp. 58–66 for discussion of his description of Cisalpine Gaul), and Fabius is taken to be his source for the history of the 4th- and 3rd-century Gallic invasions and the wars of 225–222 BCE (pp. 19, 150–157, and passim).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Military Resources of Rome and Its Allies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fabius Pictor is generally regarded as the source of Polybius’s remarkable description (2.24) of the forces that Rome was able to call upon, both from her own citizens and from her Italian allies, when confronting the Gauls in 225 BCE. Polybius explains that the Romans had instructed their allies to provide lists of men of military age (2.23.9), and the resulting figures, broken down in detail by Polybius, must ultimately be based on official records available in Rome. Similar figures are given in sources dependent on Livy’s lost Book 20, which crucially name Fabius Pictor as their principal authority (Livy per. 20, Eutropius 3.5, Orosius 4.13.6–7 = FRHist 1 F21a–c). As Mommsen recognized, this makes it virtually certain that Polybius was also reliant on Fabius, who had compiled the figures from a variety of official documents in the Roman archives (Mommsen 1879; cf. Bispham and Cornell 2013). It is widely held that the totals presented in our sources (over 770,000 in Polybius; also Diodorus 25.13, Pliny, nat. 3.138; rounded up to 800,000 in Eutropius, Orosius, and the periocha) have been exaggerated by more than 20 percent thanks to an elementary error (Beloch 1886, Walbank 1957–1979, Brunt 1971). If so, this would amount to proof that Fabius Pictor was the source of Polybius—and of the error. Mommsen, however, accepted the figures as correct, and is now followed by Lo Cascio 2001; even so, it remains overwhelmingly probable that Fabius was the source of Polybius 2.24.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Beloch, Julius.1886. Die Bevölkerung der griechisch-römischen Welt. Historische Beiträge zur Bevölkerungslehre 1. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A fundamental study of the population of the classical world. Beloch recognized that Polybius’s figures for Roman and Italian manpower in 225 BCE can only be made compatible with other data (e.g., the recorded census totals for Roman citizens at the same period) on the assumption that his source (Fabius Pictor) failed to realize that the men under arms were included in the figure for men available to serve (pp. 361–365).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bispham, Edward H., and Timothy J. Cornell. 2013. Q. Fabius Pictor. In The fragments of the Roman historians. Vols. 1–3. Edited by Timothy J. Cornell. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In their introduction (Vol. 1, pp. 175–176) Bispham and Cornell use the example of the manpower figures in Polybius 2.24 to show that Fabius Pictor made use of archival sources. Their commentary on FRHist 1 F21 (Vol. 3, pp. 36–38) discusses the figures in detail.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brunt, Peter Astbury. 1971. Italian Manpower 225 BC–AD 14. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The standard modern account of ancient Italian demography begins with a careful analysis of Polybius’ figures for available manpower in 225 BCE. Brunt accepts and develops Beloch’s view that Fabius Pictor made the elementary error of separating the men already serving in the legions from those capable of service, and counted them twice (see Beloch 1886).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lo Cascio, Elio. 2001. Recruitment and the size of the Roman population from the third to the first century BCE. In Debating Roman demography. Edited by Walter Scheidel, 111–137. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This article is one of a number of studies in which Lo Cascio argues that the population of Roman Italy was much higher than the orthodox view (e.g., Beloch 1886, Brunt 1971) maintains. On pp. 129–133, Lo Cascio rejects the idea that Polybius’s account of Italian forces in 225 BCE (2.24) contains an elementary error, and returns to Mommsen’s opinion that the figures Fabius had compiled are accurate and believable (see Mommsen 1879).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mommsen, Theodor. 1879. Das Verzeichnis der italischen Wehrfähigen aus dem Jahre 529 der Stadt. In Römische Forschungen. Vol. 2. By Theodor Mommsen, 382–406. Berlin: Weidmann.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A reprint, with substantial additions and revisions, of an article originally published in Hermes 11 (1876): 49–60. Mommsen’s analysis of the Italian manpower figures in Polybius 2.24 shows that they must be based on Fabius Pictor, who had compiled them from official records. He argues that they are broadly accurate and should be taken at face value.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Walbank, Frank W. 1957–1979. A historical commentary on Polybius. 3 vols. 1979. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In his commentary on Polybius 2.24, Walbank concludes that the account of Roman and Italian forces in 225 BCE goes back through Fabius to official Roman archives (Vol. 1, p. 196–199). Walbank agrees with Beloch that the totals need to be adjusted to take account of Fabius’s misunderstanding of the figures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Punic Wars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Polybius says (1.14.1) that the two most highly regarded accounts of the First Punic War are those of Philinus and Fabius Pictor, but he observes that they were biased, the former in favor of the Carthaginians, the latter of the Romans. It is generally agreed that Polybius made exclusive use of these two sources, but which he is following at any particular point is disputed (see Walbank 1957–1979). In his account of the Second Punic War (which is complete only to the end of Book 5), Polybius no doubt continued to use Fabius, but he must have supplemented him with other sources. At 3.8–9, Polybius criticizes Fabius’s account of the causes of the Second Punic War. Fabius had apparently claimed that responsibility for the war had lain with the Barcid family, and with Hannibal in particular. Hannibal’s attack on Saguntum was carried out against the wishes of the Carthaginian government and all its leading citizens. Even before that he had been ruling Spain on his own authority, in succession to his brother-in-law Hasdrubal, who after failing to set up a monarchy at Carthage had created an independent Barcid fiefdom in Spain (Polybius, loc. cit. = Fabius FRHist 1 F22). Fabius’s interpretation has been criticized, not only by Polybius but also by modern historians (e.g., Walbank 1957–1979). Others incline toward Fabius’s interpretation, by stressing opposition to Hannibal at Carthage (Gelzer 1933), and by endorsing Fabius’s view that Hannibal was effectively ruling an independent Barcid empire in Spain (Schwarte 1983). That Polybius underestimated political divisions in the ruling class of Carthage is quite probable, and it may be that the Barcids had acquired an unprecedented degree of freedom to initiate policy in Spain (see, e.g., Hoyos 1994, Hoyos 2003). In suggesting that Hannibal had acted against the wishes of the home government, Fabius may have been following the line taken by his cousin, Q. Fabius Maximus, who had urged the Senate, after the fall of Saguntum, to send an embassy to Carthage to find out if Hannibal’s actions had the approval of the Carthaginians, and if possible to avoid war by persuading them to disown him (Dio fr. 55; Zonaras 8.22; Silius Italicus, Punica 1.675–89). For this interpretation, see Pédech 1964, Rich 1996, Hoyos 1998, Brizzi 2009.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Brizzi, Giovanni. 2009. Gli schieramenti politici a Cartagine nell’età delle guerre puniche. In ‘Partiti’ e fazioni nell’esperienza politica romana. Edited by Giuseppe Zecchini, 49–74. Milan: Vita e Pensiero.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This paper examines party differences in Carthage, which Brizzi argues matched those in Rome, where a hawkish element in the Senate was opposed by a peace party led by Fabius Maximus Verrucosus. The views of the latter group were shared by Fabius Pictor, whose interpretation of the causes of the war can be understood accordingly.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gelzer, Matthias. 1933. Römische Politik bei Fabius Pictor. Hermes 68:129–166.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        According to Gelzer (pp. 156–163), Fabius was essentially correct to argue that Hannibal acted on his own and against the wishes of the Carthaginian Senate. Gelzer argues that when Roman envoys went to Carthage in the winter of 220–219 (Polyb. 3.15.12) they were given assurances that Hannibal was acting against orders, and that this must have been recorded by Fabius. Reprinted in Gelzer’s Kleine Schriften III (Weisbaden: Steiner, 1964), 51–92; Also in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 77–129.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hoyos, Dexter. 1994. Punic “proconsuls” and Punic politics, 237–218 BC. Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 137: 246–274.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hoyos takes issue with Fabius’s view that the Barcids ruled Spain on their own account and independently of the government at home. In fact, they were elected officials who governed in the same way as other Carthaginian provincial commanders, even if they maintained a considerable degree of de facto freedom to make decisions, not unlike Roman proconsuls. Even so, the extent and power of Carthage’s dominion in Spain, and the fact that the governorship remained in the same family for decades, created an unprecedented situation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hoyos, Dexter. 1998. Unplanned Wars: The Origins of the First and Second Punic Wars. Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte 50. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This book provides a detailed examination of the causes of the Punic Wars, and is generally favourable to Fabius Pictor’s interpretation of the origins of the Hannibalic War.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hoyos, Dexter. 2003. Hannibal’s dynasty: Power and politics in the western Mediterranean 247–183 BC. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.4324/9780203417829Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This book, aimed partly at general readers, covers the history of the Barcid family and its role in Carthaginian politics. Hoyos restates and amplifies the points made in Hoyos 1994, and in particular dismisses Fabius Pictor’s suggestion that Hasdrubal had staged an unsuccessful coup d’état in 229 in an attempt to make himself king (pp. 75–78).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pédech, Paul. 1964. La méthode historique de Polybe. Collection d’études anciennes, publiée sous le patronage de l’Association Guillaume Budé. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A fully detailed examination of Polybius’s historical methods, and especially of his theory of historical causation. In a long chapter on the causes of war in Polybius (pp. 99–203), Pédech suggests that Fabius Pictor’s interpretation reflected that of the peace party in the Senate, led by his kinsman Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (pp. 180–181).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rich, John. 1996. The origins of the Second Punic War. In The Second Punic War: A reappraisal. Edited by Tim Cornell, Boris Rankov, and Philip Sabin, 1–37. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies Supplement 67. London: Institute of Classical Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A thorough discussion and analysis of all possible causes of the Second Punic War, with a fully documented survey of previous scholarship.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Schwarte, Karl-Heinz 1983. Der Ausbruch des zweiten punischen Krieges—Rechtsfrage und Überlieferung. Historia Einzelschriften 43. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Schwarte’s monograph accepts Fabius Pictor’s interpretation of events but carries it to extremes by suggesting that the Barcids’ Spanish dominion was in fact an independent state and was treated as such by both Rome and Carthage down to 218.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Walbank, Frank W. 1957–1979. A historical commentary on Polybius. 3 vols. 1979. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Walbank provides an important critical discussion of Polybius’ use of Fabius Pictor as a source for the First Punic War (Vol. 1, pp. 64–65, with further references). His note on Polybius 3.8.1–9.5 rejects Fabius’s explanation of the cause of the Hannibalic War and Gelzer’s interpretation of it in Gelzer 1933 (Vol. 1, pp. 310–311). He suggests that it may reflect the attitude of the anti-Barcine party after the war, which tried to lay the blame on Hannibal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sources and Models

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fabius was undoubtedly well versed in Greek culture, and there are many indications that his work was profoundly Greek in character as well as in language (Dillery 2009; on its “dramatic” features, see Foundation Story). It is reasonable to assume that he had read what Greek historians had had to say about Rome’s past, although the only source actually named in any of the fragments is the obscure Diocles of Peparethos (see Foundation Story). But he must have read other Greek historians, and particularly Timaeus, the leading historian of the western Greeks and the first to perceive the historical importance of Rome (Momigliano 1977, Momigliano 1990 [cited under Political and Cultural Context]—but note the qualifications of Pearson 1987 and Baron 2013; for the fragments, see Champion 2010). Fragments of Timaeus that have a bearing on the history of Rome suggest topics on which Fabius might have found information in Timaeus, but exactly what he took from him can only be conjectured (e.g., Momigliano 1963; on Timaeus’s date for the foundation of Rome, see Chronology). Even less can be said about what, if anything, Fabius took from other literary sources, such as the monograph on the First Punic War by Philinus of Acragas, or the Latin epic on the same subject by Cn. Naevius (Hanell 1956, Bömer 1952). Indeed, it is not certain that their works would have been available to Fabius Pictor, since we know no more about when they were written than we do about the date of his work (see Time of Writing). Apart from these, Fabius must have used nonliterary sources, including archival documents (for a clear example, see Polybius 2.24 and Fabius Pictor FRHist 1 F21, discussed in Military Resources of Rome and Its Allies), and above all the chronicle kept by the Pontifex Maximus known as the Annales Maximi (Frier 1979, Rich 2013). Otherwise, Roman historical memory would have been preserved by oral tradition (in general, see Ungern-Sternberg 2011; for the Roman tradition of pre-literary drama, see Foundation Story); in the records, both written and oral, of the great aristocratic families (Flower 1996), and above all in the family archives of the Fabii—the surviving tradition is replete with episodes involving members of the Fabian gens (see Influence and Reception).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Baron, Christopher A. 2013. Timaeus of Tauromenium and Hellenistic historiography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This monograph on Timaeus has a section on “Timaeus and Rome” (pp. 43–52), which offers a judicious discussion of the relevant fragments and qualifies somewhat Momigliano’s suggestion that Timaeus foresaw the future greatness of Rome (see Momigliano 1977).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bömer, Franz. 1952. Naevius und Fabius Pictor. Symbolae Osloenses 29:34–53.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bömer speculates on the possible relationship between Naevius and Fabius Pictor, arguing that the former wrote first and influenced the latter.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Champion, Craige B. 2010. Timaeus. In Brill’s New Jacoby. Edited by Ian Worthington. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The most recent edition of the fragments of Timaeus, with English translation and commentary.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dillery, John. 2009. Roman historians and the Greeks: Audiences and models. In The Cambridge companion to the Roman historians. Edited by Andrew Feldherr, 77–107. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This account of early Roman historiography, and particularly of the historians who wrote in Greek, has an important discussion of the work of Fabius Pictor (pp. 78–90), which stresses in particular the fact that “it was imbued with a Greek perspective and method” (p. 83).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Flower, Harriet I. 1996. Ancestor masks and aristocratic power in Roman culture. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flower’s influential monograph discusses the ways in which Roman aristocratic families celebrated their ancestors and advertised their achievements in public—thus providing a context for the formation and transmission of family-centered historical tradition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Frier, Bruce W. 1979. Libri Annales Pontificum Maximorum: The origins of the annalistic tradition. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome 27. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frier’s fundamental study of the pontifical chronicle known as the Annales Maximi (which Frier believes was published in book form under Augustus) examines its influence on literary historiography, and particularly on Fabius Pictor, for whom it must have been the “major documentary source” (pp. 269–271). Frier offers a general discussion of Fabius’s possible sources (pp. 260–278). Reprinted in 1999, with a new introduction (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hanell, Krister. 1956. Zur Problematik der älteren römischen Geschichtsschreibung. In Histoire et historiens dans l’antiquité. By Kurt Latte, Jacqueline de Romilly, Kurt von Fritz, et al., 149–170. Entretiens sur l’antiquité classique 4. Geneva, Switzerland: Fondation Hardt.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In his account of the beginnings of Roman historiography, Hanell stresses the importance of the First Punic War as the event that inspired Philinus, Naevius, and Fabius Pictor, who are each discussed in turn (pp. 152–167). Reprinted in Viktor Pöschl, ed., Römische Geschichtsschreibung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969), 292–311.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1963. Timeo, Fabio Pittore e il primo censimento di Servio Tullio. In Miscellanea di studi alessandrini in memoria di Augusto Rostagni. Edited by Emile Rostain, 180–187. Turin, Italy: Bottega d’Erasmo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momigliano argues that Fabius’s account of the first census carried out by King Servius Tullius was responding to the interpretation of an earlier historian, most probably Timaeus, who is otherwise known to have written about Servius Tullius. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 648–656.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1977. Athens in the third century B.C. and the discovery of Rome in the histories of Timaeus of Tauromenium. In Essays in ancient and modern historiography. By Arnaldo Momigliano, 37–66. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This classic article sets Timaeus against the background of the political and cultural atmosphere of early-3rd-century Athens, where he spent many years in exile. Momigliano claims that his isolated circumstances allowed Timaeus to view the history of the western Mediterranean with new eyes, and in particular to grasp the significance of the newly emerging power of Rome. Reissued in 2003 with a new foreword by Anthony Grafton (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press). Originally published in Italian in Rivista storica italiana 71 (1959): 529–556. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Terzo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1966), 23–53.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pearson, Lionel. 1987. The Greek historians of the West: Timaeus and his predecessors. Atlanta: Scholars.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pearson offers a careful survey of the western Greek historians, including Timaeus (pp. 37–51), but is reluctant to subscribe to Momigliano’s theory that he recognized what the rise of Rome portended (p. 51). Published by Scholars Press for the American Philological Association.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Rich, John. 2013. Annales Maximi. In The fragments of the Roman historians. Vols. 1–3. Edited by Timothy J. Cornell. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The most recent edition of the fragments of the Annales Maximi, with an introduction (Vol. 1, pp. 149–59), text and English translation (Vol. 2, pp. 10–31), and commentary (Vol. 3, pp. 3–12).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ungern-Sternberg, Jürgen von. 2011. The tradition on early Rome and oral history. In Greek and Roman historiography. Edited by John Marincola, 119–149. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In this discussion of the primary sources for early Roman history, Ungern-Sternberg argues that Fabius Pictor should be seen not so much as a beginning (the creator or first organizer of the historical record), but as “the termination point of an oral tradition,” which was then fixed in writing for the first time. The structure of this preexisting tradition (on which Ungern-Sternberg follows Timpe 1972, cited under Internal Architecture) is shown to be comparable to that of oral traditions in general, as studied by social anthropologists. Originally published in German in Vergangenheit in mündlichen Überlieferung, edited by J. von Ungern-Sternberg and H. Reinau (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1988), 237–265.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Influence and Reception

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As the first history of Rome, Fabius’s work was read and used by his successors. Polybius depended heavily on him (see Gallic Invasions, Military Resources of Rome and Its Allies and Punic Wars), and his work was still being read centuries later, particularly by Greek historians. Dionysius of Halicarnassus certainly, and Plutarch probably, made direct use of him, but whether he was used by Diodorus is more controversial (see Chronology). But the availability of a Latin version also made the work easily accessible to Roman readers and attracted antiquarians and grammarians (see Language). He is quoted six times by Livy, who had certainly consulted him at firsthand (Northwood 2000). Cicero regarded him as the founding father of Roman historiography (De Oratore 2.51–53; De Legibus 1.6), a judgment echoed by Dionysius (1.6.2), and for this reason alone it is possible to argue that the historiography of western Europe was born with him (Momigliano 1990). On the other hand, it has been argued that his work was rapidly superseded by his successors and that direct knowledge of it was restricted to only a narrow circle of readers (Münzer 1909, Verbrugghe 1980). Even so, it must be acknowledged that many of the basic elements of the received narrative of Roman history go back to him, whether he merely collected and shaped a preexisting tradition, or played a more creative role by inventing much of it (as argued by Alföldi 1965; contra Momigliano 1965, Momigliano 1967). One aspect that he should probably be credited with, at least in part, is the very prominent role played by members of the Fabian clan in the early history of Rome. Much of this could be based on family tradition, and may have been introduced into the tradition by Fabius Pictor (Bispham and Cornell 2013; but note the caution of Richardson 2012). Finally, Buszard 2015 makes the important observation that the Greek text of Fabius Pictor must have had a profound and lasting influence on the vocabulary and phraseology of subsequent histories of Rome in Greek.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Alföldi, Andreas. 1965. Early Rome and the Latins. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Alföldi argued that much of what we read in our sources on early Rome was deliberately invented for political purposes by Fabius Pictor, whose fabrications were subsequently accepted and repeated by succeeding generations of historians.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bispham, Edward H., and Timothy J. Cornell. 2013. Q. Fabius Pictor. In The fragments of the Roman historians. Vols. 1–3. Edited by Timothy J. Cornell. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In their introduction (Vol. 1, pp. 176–178), the authors outline a series of historical episodes in which the Fabii feature prominently and which have the appearance of family traditions. It is suggested that many, if not all, of these were introduced into the historical tradition by Fabius Pictor, who will have made use of the records of his own family.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Buszard, Bradley. 2015. The nature and provenance of the Greek translations of Fabius Pictor. Classical Philology 110:22–53.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1086/678679Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In this refreshingly original article, Buszard starts from the problem that Greek historians faced when writing about Rome, namely that of finding the appropriate words and phrases to translate the specialized language of Roman historical discourse, not only technical terms but also the vocabulary of social relations, politics, religion, and warfare. His argument is that by writing in Greek, Fabius Pictor must have had a major influence on the development of the language of Greek historical writing about Rome.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1965. Did Fabius Pictor lie? New York Review of Books 5.3: 19–22.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A response to Alföldi 1965, taking issue in particular with his attack on Fabius Pictor. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography (Oxford: Blackwell, 1977), 99–105.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1967. Review of A. Alföldi, Early Rome and the Latins (1965). Journal of Roman Studies 57:211–216.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/299354Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Momigliano’s detailed scholarly review of Alföldi 1965 gives an extremely critical assessment of the whole work, but in particular of its portrayal of Fabius Pictor. Reprinted in Momigliano’s Quarto Contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1969), 487–499.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Momigliano, Arnaldo. 1990. The classical foundations of modern historiography. Sather Classical Lectures 54. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Momigliano’s groundbreaking analysis of the classical roots of modern Western historiography contends that Fabius Pictor created the tradition of patriotic history that found its greatest expression in Livy and, through him, provided a model for historians of the modern nation state (pp. 80–108).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Münzer, Friedrich. 1909. Q. Fabius (126) Pictor. In Pauly’s Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Vol. 6.2. Edited by Georg Wissowa, 1836–1841. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Münzer’s view that Fabius’s work had a contemporary political purpose implies that it had little to offer later generations of readers (col. 1838). It was cited by only a small number of later authors, and as it was rapidly absorbed and superseded by later annalists it ceased to have much direct influence on the development of the historical tradition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Northwood, Simon. 2000. Livy and the early annalists. In Studies in Latin literature and Roman history. Vol. 10. Edited by Carl Deroux, 45–55. Brussels: Latomus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Northwood presents a cogent case against the traditional view that Livy knew of Fabius Pictor only through secondary intermediaries, and shows, on the contrary, that his references to him cannot be explained unless Livy consulted his text at firsthand.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Richardson, James H. 2012. The Fabii and the Gauls: Studies in historical thought and historiography in Republican Rome. Historia Einzelschriften 222. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This monograph deals with episodes in early Republican history in which members of the Fabian gens played a prominent part, especially (but not only) the Gallic sack. Richardson mentions Fabius Pictor only occasionally (see index, s.v.), and plays down his influence, making the valid point that Fabian episodes, even if ultimately drawn from family tradition, were not necessarily introduced into the tradition by Fabius Pictor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Verbrugghe, Gerald P. 1980. Three notes on Fabius Pictor and his history. In ΦΙΛΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ: Miscellanea di studi classici in onore di Eugenio Manni. Vol. 6. Edited by M. J. Fontana, M. T. Piraino, and F. P. Rizzo, 2159–2173. Rome: Giorgio Bretschneider.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The third of Verbrugghe’s three notes (pp. 2169–2173) offers a cautious assessment of Fabius Pictor’s influence on later historiography, and claims that he was not widely read.

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