That of Stephen) - and indeed elsewhere, too - are not " free compositions " of our author, the mere outcome of dramatic idealization such as ancient historians like Thucydides or Polybius allowed themselves.
Polybius describes his triumphal progress (v.
Only Gaza withstood him, as it withstood Alexander; and Polybius (xvi.
Some modern writers have supposed Pytheas to have been sent out, at public expense, in command of an expedition organized by the republic of Massilia; but there is no ancient authority for this, and Polybius, who had unquestionably seen the original work, expressly states that he had undertaken the voyage in a private capacity and with limited means.
All that we know concerning the voyage of Pytheas (apart from detached notices) is contained in a brief passage of Polybius, cited by Strabo, in which he tells us that Pytheas, according to his own statement, had not only visited Britain, but had personally explored a large part of it ("travelled all over it on foot," according to one reading of the text in Strabo, bk.