Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 45

Duty required that the senate, which now of course understood its task better than when it recalled half the army of Regulus from Africa, should take into its hands the management of affairs, and should oppose such mischievous proceedings; but when the first of those two defeats had for the moment placed the rudder in its hands, it too had hardly acted in a manner unbiassed by the interests of party. Little as Quintus Fabius may be compared with these Roman Cleons, he had yet conducted the war not as a mere military leader, but had adhered to his rigid attitude of defence specially as the political opponent of Gaius Flaminius; and in the treatment of the quarrel with his subordinate, had done what he could to exasperate at a time when unity was needed.

The consequence was, first, that the most important instrument which the wisdom of their ancestors had placed in the hands of the senate just for such cases--the dictatorship--broke down in his hands; and, secondly--at least indirectly--the battle of Cannae. But the headlong fall of the Roman power was owing not to the fault of Quintus Fabius or Gaius Varro, but to the distrust between the government and the governed--to the variance between the senate and the burgesses. If the deliverance and revival of the state were still possible, the work had to begin at home with the re-establishment of unity and of confidence.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :