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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 64

Quaestors of the Fleet-- Variance between Rome and Carthage

A comprehensive measure with that view was the institution of four quaestors of the fleet (-quaestores classici-) in 487: of whom the first was stationed at Ostia the port of Rome; the second, stationed at Cales then the capital of Roman Campania, had to superintend the ports of Campania and Magna Graecia; the third, stationed at Ariminum, superintended the ports on the other side of the Apennines; the district assigned to the fourth is not known.

These new standing officials were intended to exercise not the sole, but a conjoint, guardianship of the coasts, and to form a war marine for their protection. The objects of the Roman senate--to recover their independence by sea, to cut off the maritime communications of Tarentum, to close the Adriatic against fleets coming from Epirus, and to emancipate themselves from Carthaginian supremacy--were very obvious.

Their already explained relations with Carthage during the last Italian war discover traces of such views. King Pyrrhus indeed compelled the two great cities once more--it was for the last time --to conclude an offensive alliance; but the lukewarmness and faithlessness of that alliance, the attempts of the Carthaginians to establish themselves in Rhegium and Tarentum, and the immediate occupation of Brundisium by the Romans after the termination of the war, show clearly how much their respective interests already came into collision.

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