Prof. Christopher Krebs : An Idea of History, a History of an Idea: Polybius, Asellio, and Caesar.
Tuesday, May 20
Lunch will be provided at 1:00 PM and the talk will begin promptly at 1:15 PM.
The influence of Polybius' novel concept of "pragmatic history" on Roman Republican Historians, long considered beyond doubt, has more recently been doubted. Prof. Krebs will look at Sempronius Asellio and suggest, first, that there is conclusive evidence for his adaptation of the Polybian model, second, that Asellio entitled his work programmatically "Res Gestae" to highlight his (novel) adaptation, and, third, that therewith he contributes to what Prof. Krebs considers a (now buried) tradition of contrastive and programmatic titulature which Roman historians employed to position themselves in the burgeoning field of historiography.
Christopher B. Krebs studied classics and philosophy in Berlin, Kiel (1st Staatsexamen 2000, Ph. D. 2003), and Oxford (M. St. 2002). He was a lecturer at University College (Oxford) and an assistant (2004-09) and then associate professor (2009-12) at the department of the Classics at Harvard, before he joined the Classics department at Stanford. His publications include Negotiatio Germaniae and A most dangerous book. He is currently preparing a commentary on Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum 7 as well as an intellectual history of the late Roman Republic (with W.W. Norton); he is also co-editing the Cambridge Companion to Caesar.