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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 VII - Struggle between Pyrrhus and Rome, and Union of Italy


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Page 20

Pyrrhus Summoned to Italy

The parties in the city were almost equally balanced. At length the ascendency remained with the national party--a result, that was due partly to the justifiable predilection which led them, if they must yield to a master at all, to prefer a Greek to a barbarian, but partly also to the dread of the demagogues that Rome, notwithstanding the moderation now forced upon it by circumstances, would not neglect on a fitting opportunity to exact vengeance for the outrages perpetrated by the Tarentine rabble.

The city, accordingly, came to terms with Pyrrhus. He obtained the supreme command of the troops of the Tarentines and of the other Italians in arms against Rome, along with the right of keeping a garrison in Tarentum. The expenses of the war were, of course, to be borne by the city. Pyrrhus, on the other hand, promised to remain no longer in Italy than was necessary; probably with the tacit reservation that his own judgment should fix the time during which he would be needed there. Nevertheless, the prey had almost slipped out of his hands.

While the Tarentine envoys--the chiefs, no doubt, of the war party--were absent in Epirus, the state of feeling in the city, now hard pressed by the Romans, underwent a change. The chief command was already entrusted to Agis, a man favourable to Rome, when the return of the envoys with the concluded treaty, accompanied by Cineas the confidential minister of Pyrrhus, again brought the war party to the helm.

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