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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


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

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 II - The War between Rome and Carthage Concerning Sicily


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Page 27

They chose, in the first instance, the former plan of operations. In the year after the battle of Mylae (495) the consul Lucius Scipio captured the port of Aleria in Corsica--we still possess the tombstone of the general, which makes mention of this deed--and made Corsica a naval station against Sardinia. An attempt to establish a footing in Ulbia on the northern coast of that island failed, because the fleet wanted troops for landing. In the succeeding year (496) it was repeated with better success, and the open villages along the coast were plundered; but no permanent establishment of the Romans took place.

Nor was greater progress made in Sicily. Hamilcar conducted the war with energy and adroitness, not only by force of arms on sea and land, but also by political proselytism. Of the numerous small country towns some every year fell away from the Romans, and had to be laboriously wrested afresh from the Phoenician grasp; while in the coast fortresses the Carthaginians maintained themselves without challenge, particularly in their headquarters of Panormus and in their new stronghold of Drepana, to which, on account of its easier defence by sea, Hamilcar had transferred the inhabitants of Eryx.

A second great naval engagement off the promontory of Tyndaris (497), in which both parties claimed the victory, made no change in the position of affairs. In this way no progress was made, whether in consequence of the division and rapid change of the chief command of the Roman troops, which rendered the concentrated management of a series of operations on a small scale exceedingly difficult, or from the general strategical relations of the case, which certainly, as the science of war then stood, were unfavourable to the attacking party in general,(5) and particularly so to the Romans, who were still on the mere threshold of scientific warfare. Meanwhile, although the pillaging of the Italian coasts had ceased, the commerce of Italy suffered not much less than it had done before the fleet was built.

5. Cf. II. VII. Last Struggles in Italy

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