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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 55

Decline of the Roman Naval Power

Rome itself was not exempt from a similar fate; its own waters were likewise commanded by foreign fleets. It was indeed from the first a maritime city, and in the period of its vigour never was so untrue to its ancient traditions as wholly to neglect its war marine or so foolish as to desire to be a mere continental power. Latium furnished the finest timber for ship-building, far surpassing the famed growths of Lower Italy; and the very docks constantly maintained in Rome are enough to show that the Romans never abandoned the idea of possessing a fleet of their own.

During the perilous crises, however, which the expulsion of the kings, the internal disturbances in the Romano-Latin confederacy, and the unhappy wars with the Etruscans and Celts brought upon Rome, the Romans could take but little interest in the state of matters in the Mediterranean; and, in consequence of the policy of Rome directing itself more and more decidedly to the subjugation of the Italian continent, the growth of its naval power was arrested. There is hardly any mention of Latin vessels of war up to the end of the fourth century, except that the votive offering from the Veientine spoil was sent to Delphi in a Roman vessel (360).

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