Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 37

Relations of Sicily, Syracuse, and Carthage-- Pyrrhus Invited to Syracuse

After the death of Agathocles (465) the Greeks of Sicily were without any leading power. While in the several Greek cities incapable demagogues and incapable tyrants were replacing each other, the Carthaginians, the old rulers of the western point, were extending their dominion unmolested. After Agrigentum had surrendered to them, they believed that the time had come for taking final steps towards the end which they had kept in view for centuries, and for reducing the whole island under their authority; they set themselves to attack Syracuse.

That city, which formerly by its armies and fleets had disputed the possession of the island with Carthage, had through internal dissension and the weakness of its government fallen so low that it was obliged to seek for safety in the protection of its walls and in foreign aid; and none could afford that aid but king Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus was the husband of Agathocles's daughter, and his son Alexander, then sixteen years of age, was Agathocles's grandson.

Both were in every respect natural heirs of the ambitious schemes of the ruler of Syracuse; and if her freedom was at an end, Syracuse might find compensation in becoming the capital of a Greek empire of the West. So the Syracusans, like the Tarentines, and under similar conditions, voluntarily offered their sovereignty to king Pyrrhus (about 475); and by a singular conjuncture of affairs everything seemed to concur towards the success of the magnificent plans of the Epirot king, based as they primarily were on the possession of Tarentum and Syracuse.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :