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A quote from Polybius?

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Dániel Boros

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I am trying to find out whether the following quote is authentic, and if not where it came from:

"A good general not only sees the way to victory, he also knows when victory is impossible."



It was claimed that this quote came from Polybius's Hsitories, but I could not find it in the works that are still available for us: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0234


I also have no idea who quoted it first in modern times.


Any help is much appreciated.



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Can't give you a definite answer.


Did you search for an exact match in Perseus?  Different translators might phrase the remark differently, so not finding it this way wouldn't prove that it's inauthentic.  On the other hand, a lot of familiar quotes are inaccurate or simply fabricated ("Let them eat cake,," "Play it again, Sam," Chief Seattle, Hitler, Caesar, Lincoln and so on and on).  A quick web search shows that a lot of sources quote it briefly, but none that I looked at gave a citation.  I'd rate it provisionally as a fake, subject to revision if you ever find in in Polybius.

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