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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 45

The Sicilian Government of Pyrrhus

The real weakness of the position of Pyrrhus lay in his faulty internal policy. He governed Sicily as he had seen Ptolemy rule in Egypt: he showed no respect to the local constitutions; he placed his confidants as magistrates over the cities whenever, and for as long as, he pleased; he made his courtiers judges instead of the native jurymen; he pronounced arbitrary sentences of confiscation, banishment, or death, even against those who had been most active in promoting his coming thither; he placed garrisons in the towns, and ruled over Sicily not as the leader of a national league, but as a king.

In so doing he probably reckoned himself according to oriental-Hellenistic ideas a good and wise ruler, and perhaps he really was so; but the Greeks bore this transplantation of the system of the Diadochi to Syracuse with all the impatience of a nation that in its long struggle for freedom had lost all habits of discipline; the Carthaginian yoke very soon appeared to the foolish people more tolerable than their new military government.

The most important cities entered into communications with the Carthaginians, and even with the Mamertines; a strong Carthaginian army ventured again to appear on the island; and everywhere supported by the Greeks, it made rapid progress. In the battle which Pyrrhus fought with it fortune was, as always, with the "Eagle"; but the circumstances served to show what the state of feeling was in the island, and what might and must ensue, if the king should depart.

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