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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 7

And yet a wondrous charm attaches to the name of the Epirot--a peculiar sympathy, evoked certainly in some degree by his chivalrous and amiable character, but still more by the circumstance that he was the first Greek that met the Romans in battle. With him began those direct relations between Rome and Greece, on which the whole subsequent development of ancient, and an essential part of modern, civilization are based.

The struggle between phalanxes and cohorts, between a mercenary army and a militia, between military monarchy and senatorial government, between individual talent and national vigour --this struggle between Rome and Hellenism was first fought out in the battles between Pyrrhus and the Roman generals; and though the defeated party often afterwards appealed anew to the arbitration of arms, every succeeding day of battle simply confirmed the decision.

But while the Greeks were beaten in the battlefield as well as in the senate-hall, their superiority was none the less decided on every other field of rivalry than that of politics; and these very struggles already betokened that the victory of Rome over the Greeks would be different from her victories over Gauls and Phoenicians, and that the charm of Aphrodite only begins to work when the lance is broken and the helmet and shield are laid aside.

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