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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 26

Battle near Heraclea

With a view to cover the Tarentine colony of Heraclea, the king had taken up a position with his own and the Tarentine troops between that city and Pandosia (3) (474).

3. Near the modern Anglona; not to be confounded with the better known town of the same name in the district of Cosenza.

The Romans, covered by their cavalry, forced the passage of the Siris, and opened the battle with a vehement and successful cavalry charge; the king, who led his cavalry in person, was thrown from his horse, and the Greek horsemen, panic-struck by the disappearance of their leader, abandoned the field to the squadrons of the enemy.

Pyrrhus, however, put himself at the head of his infantry, and began a fresh and more decisive engagement. Seven times the legions and the phalanx met in shock of battle, and still the conflict was undecided. Then Megacles, one of the best officers of the king, fell, and, because on this hotly-contested day he had worn the king's armour, the army for the second time believed that the king had fallen; the ranks wavered; Laevinus already felt sure of the victory and threw the whole of his cavalry on the flank of the Greeks. But Pyrrhus, marching with uncovered head through the ranks of the infantry, revived the sinking courage of his troops.

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