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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 43

Pyrrhus Master of Sicily

The landing of Pyrrhus on the island, which, in spite of the Carthaginian fleet, had taken place without interruption, had changed at once the aspect of matters there. He had immediately relieved Syracuse, had in a short time united under his sway all the free Greek cities, and at the head of the Sicilian confederation had wrested from the Carthaginians nearly their whole possessions.

It was with difficulty that the Carthaginians could, by the help of their fleet which at that time ruled the Mediterranean without a rival, maintain themselves in Lilybaeum; it was with difficulty, and amidst constant assaults, that the Mamertines held their ground in Messana. Under such circumstances, agreeably to the treaty of 475, it would have been the duty of Rome to lend her aid to the Carthaginians in Sicily, far rather than that of Carthage to help the Romans with her fleet to conquer Tarentum; but on the side of neither ally was there much inclination to secure or to extend the power of the other.

Carthage had only offered help to the Romans when the real danger was past; they in their turn had done nothing to prevent the departure of the king from Italy and the fall of the Carthaginian power in Sicily. Indeed, in open violation of the treaties Carthage had even proposed to the king a separate peace, offering, in return for the undisturbed possession of Lilybaeum, to give up all claim to her other Sicilian possessions and even to place at the disposal of the king money and ships of war, of course with a view to his crossing to Italy and renewing the war against Rome.

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