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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 V - The War under Hannibal to the Battle of Cannae


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 41

Alliance between Carthage and Syracuse

In Sicily king Hiero had during the years of peace maintained a policy of neutrality, so far as he could do so with safety, and he had shown a disposition to accommodate the Carthaginians during the perilous crises after the peace with Rome, particularly by sending supplies of corn. There is no doubt that he saw with the utmost regret a renewed breach between Carthage and Rome; but he had no power to avert it, and when it occurred he adhered with well-calculated fidelity to Rome.

But soon afterwards (in the autumn of 538) death removed the old man after a reign of fifty-four years. The grandson and successor of the prudent veteran, the young and incapable Hieronymus, entered at once into negotiations with the Carthaginian diplomatists; and, as they made no difficulty in consenting to secure to him by treaty, first, Sicily as far as the old Carthagino-Sicilian frontier, and then, when he rose in the arrogance of his demands, the possession even of the whole island, he entered into alliance with Carthage, and ordered the Syracusan fleet to unite with the Carthaginian which had come to threaten Syracuse.

The position of the Roman fleet at Lilybaeum, which already had to deal with a second Carthaginian squadron stationed near the Aegates, became all at once very critical, while at the same time the force that was in readiness at Rome for embarkation to Sicily had, in consequence of the defeat at Cannae, to be diverted to other and more urgent objects.

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