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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER VI - Struggle of the Italians against Rome


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Page 20

But these obstacles might be surmounted by an energetic will; and both the contending parties construed the summons of the Tarentine envoys that they should desist from the strife as meant in earnest. The Samnites, as the weaker, showed themselves ready to comply with it; the Romans replied by hoisting the signal for battle.

Reason and honour dictated to the Tarentines the propriety of now following up the haughty injunction of their envoys by a declaration of war against Rome; but in Tarentum neither reason nor honour characterized the government, and they had simply been trifling in a very childish fashion with very serious matters.

No declaration of war against Rome took place; in its stead they preferred to support the oligarchical party in the Sicilian towns against Agathocles of Syracuse who had at a former period been in the Tarentine service and had been dismissed in disgrace, and following the example of Sparta, they sent a fleet to the island--a fleet which would have rendered better service in the Campanian seas (440).

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