What do you get when you cross an effective, courageous, and resolute political reformer, with a corrupt and intractable plutocracy oblivious to decline of the middle class?
I’ll tell you what you get.
You get the revolution you deserve.
You get a century of mob rule and civil war.
You get to watch the end of Anacyclosis.
Best of all, you also get Polybius to update the Histories to include Anacyclosis in the first place.
In word and thought, the Greek historian Polybius is the individual most closely connected with the cycle of political evolution, Anacyclosis.
But it’s not that simple. The leading Polybius expert F. W. Walbank tells us the source of Anacyclosis – Book VI – actually contains two different strands of thought. One is the EARLIER strand describing the idea of the mixed constitution, the other is the LATER strand describing the evolutionary sequence of Anacyclosis itself. Walbank makes his point plainly, stating that various contradictions contained in Book VI between the two strands are (in Polybius on the Roman Constitution, The Classical Quarterly, July-October 1943):