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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 VI - The War under Hannibal from Cannae to Zama


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Page 51

Yet notwithstanding these difficulties as to men and money the Romans were able--slowly indeed and by exerting all their energies, but still surely--to recover what they had so rapidly lost; to increase their armies yearly, while those of the Phoenicians were diminishing; to gain ground year by year on the Italian allies of Hannibal, the Campanians, Apulians, Samnites, and Bruttians, who neither sufficed, like the Roman fortresses in Lower Italy, for their own protection nor could be adequately protected by the weak army of Hannibal; and finally, by means of the method of warfare instituted by Marcus Marcellus, to develop the talent of their officers and to bring into full play the superiority of the Roman infantry.

Hannibal might doubtless still hope for victories, but no longer such victories as those on the Trasimene lake and on the Aufidus; the times of the citizen-generals were gone by. No course was left to him but to wait till either Philip should execute his long-promised descent or his own brothers should join him from Spain, and meanwhile to keep himself, his army, and his clients as far as possible free from harm and in good humour.

We hardly recognize in the obstinate defensive system which he now began the same general who had carried on the offensive with almost unequalled impetuosity and boldness; it is marvellous in a psychological as well as in a military point of view, that the same man should have accomplished the two tasks set to him--tasks so diametrically opposite in their character--with equal completeness.

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