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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 29

Attempts at Peace

Pyrrhus offered peace to the Romans. He was too sagacious a soldier not to recognize the precariousness of his footing, and too skilled a statesman not to profit opportunely by the moment which placed him in the most favourable position for the conclusion of peace. He now hoped that under the first impression made by the great battle on the Romans he should be able to secure the freedom of the Greek towns in Italy, and to call into existence between them and Rome a series of states of the second and third order as dependent allies of the new Greek power; for such was the tenor of his demands: the release of all Greek towns--and therefore of the Campanian and Lucanian towns in particular--from allegiance to Rome, and restitution of the territory taken from the Samnites, Daunians, Lucanians, and Bruttians, or in other words especially the surrender of Luceria and Venusia. If a further struggle with Rome could hardly be avoided, it was not desirable at any rate to begin it till the western Greeks should be united under one ruler, till Sicily should be acquired and perhaps Africa be conquered.

Provided with such instructions, the Thessalian Cineas, the confidential minister of Pyrrhus, went to Rome. That dexterous negotiator, whom his contemporaries compared to Demosthenes so far as a rhetorician might be compared to a statesman and the minister of a sovereign to a popular leader, had orders to display by every means the respect which the victor of Heraclea really felt for his vanquished opponents, to make known the wish of the king to come to Rome in person, to influence men's minds in the king's favour by panegyrics which sound so well in the mouth of an enemy, by earnest flatteries, and, as opportunity offered, also by well-timed gifts--in short to try upon the Romans all the arts of cabinet policy, as they had been tested at the courts of Alexandria and Antioch.

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