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The Rise and Fall of States According to Greek Authors is a masterful survey of the manner in which Greek historians, from Herodotus to Polybius, explained the conditions of a state’s success and the dangers of power. Both the differences and the similarities among the major authors’ ideas are carefully analyzed: the changing notions of excess, or hybris; the common stress on public morality; and the value of goodwill and union.
The first woman to be elected to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres and the first woman to hold a professorship at the College de France, Jacqueline de Romilly has serves as director of the Department of Greek at the Sorbonne and had lectured at numerous universities and institutions of learning around the world. The author or editor of numerous volumes concerning Thucydides, Jacqueline de Romilly has in recent years become increasingly interested in the history of moral and political ideas.