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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 49

A Fleet Built by the Romans - Victory of Catulus at the Island Aegusa

The Roman senate, however, persevered in its inaction; the desponding party for once had the majority there. At length a number of sagacious and high-spirited men determined to save the state even without the interposition of the government, and to put an end to the ruinous Sicilian war. Successful corsair expeditions, if they had not raised the courage of the nation, had aroused energy and hope in a portion of the people; they had already joined together to form a squadron, burnt down Hippo on the African coast, and sustained a successful naval conflict with the Carthaginians off Panormus.

By a private subscription--such as had been resorted to in Athens also, but not on so magnificent a scale--the wealthy and patriotic Romans equipped a war fleet, the nucleus of which was supplied by the ships built for privateering and the practised crews which they contained, and which altogether was far more carefully fitted out than had hitherto been the case in the shipbuilding of the state.

This fact --that a number of citizens in the twenty-third year of a severe war voluntarily presented to the state two hundred ships of the line, manned by 60,000 sailors--stands perhaps unparalleled in the annals of history.

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