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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 27

The Samnites were still in arms when this occurred; there was nothing to prevent the Spartan from coming to their aid and casting the weight of his numerous army and his military skill into the scale in favour of freedom for the cities and peoples of Italy. But Tarentum did not act as Rome would in similar circumstances have acted; and prince Cleonymus himself was far from being an Alexander or a Pyrrhus. He was in no hurry to undertake a war in which he might expect more blows than booty, but preferred to make common cause with the Lucanians against Metapontum, and made himself comfortable in that city, while he talked of an expedition against Agathocles of Syracuse and of liberating the Sicilian Greeks.

Thereupon the Samnites made peace; and when after its conclusion Rome began to concern herself more seriously about the south-east of the peninsula--in token of which in the year 447 a Roman force levied contributions, or rather reconnoitred by order of the government, in the territory of the Sallentines--the Spartan -condottiere- embarked with his mercenaries and surprised the island of Corcyra, which was admirably situated as a basis for piratical expeditions against Greece and Italy.

Thus abandoned by their general, and at the same time deprived of their allies in central Italy, the Tarentines and their Italian allies, the Lucanians and Sallentines, had now no course left but to solicit an accommodation with Rome, which appears to have been granted on tolerable terms. Soon afterwards (451) even an incursion of Cleonymus, who had landed in the Sallentine territory and laid siege to Uria, was repulsed by the inhabitants with Roman aid.

Consolidation of the Roman Rule in Central Italy

The victory of Rome was complete; and she turned it to full account. It was not from magnanimity in the conquerors--for the Romans knew nothing of the sort--but from shrewd and far-seeing calculation that terms so moderate were granted to the Samnites, the Tarentines, and the more distant peoples generally. The first and main object was not so much to compel southern Italy as quickly as possible to recognize formally the Roman supremacy, as to supplement and complete the subjugation of central Italy, for which the way had been prepared by the military roads and fortresses already established in Campania and Apulia during the last war, and by that means to separate the northern and southern Italians into two masses cut off in a military point of view from direct contact with each other.

To this object accordingly the next undertakings of the Romans were with consistent energy directed. Above all they used, or made, the opportunity for getting rid of the confederacies of the Aequi and the Hernici which had once been rivals of the Roman single power in the region of the Tiber and were not yet quite set aside. In the same year, in which the peace with Samnium took place (450), the consul Publius Sempronius Sophus waged war on the Aequi; forty townships surrendered in fifty days; the whole territory with the exception of the narrow and rugged mountain valley, which still in the present day bears the old name of the people (Cicolano), passed into the possession of the Romans, and here on the northern border of the Fucine lake was founded the fortress Alba with a garrison of 6000 men, thenceforth forming a bulwark against the valiant Marsi and a curb for central Italy; as was also two years afterwards on the upper Turano, nearer to Rome, Carsioli --both as allied communities with Latin rights.

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