Polybius (204?-122 B.C.), Greek historian, was born at Megalopolis, and was the son of Lycortas the statesman. He became connected with politics in his youth, and was one of the thousand hostages carried off by the Romans after the conquest of Macedonia in 167 B.C. He formed the acquaintance of Scipio, the destroyer of Carthage, who aided him in his historical studies.
Polybius returned to Greece in 151 B.C., and soon after that was again with Scipio, returning finally after the Romans had conquered it. Though he has been reproached with deserting his country, it is certain that he rendered it great service on account of his influence with the Romans. His great work is a history of Greece and Rome between 220 and 146 B.C. in forty books, of which only four or five remain, except in fragments. It is accurate, impartial, and admirably written, and has been often translated.