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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 VII - The West from the Peace of Hannibal to the Close of the Third Period


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Page 13

As early as 561 Carthage found herself suddenly assailed under frivolous pretexts, and saw the richest portion of her territory, the province of Emporiae on the Lesser Syrtis, partly plundered by the Numidians, partly even seized and retained by them. Encroachments of this kind were multiplied; the level country passed into the hands of the Numidians, and the Carthaginians with difficulty maintained themselves in the larger places.

Within the last two years alone, the Carthaginians declared in 582, seventy villages had been again wrested from them in opposition to the treaty. Embassy after embassy was despatched to Rome; the Carthaginians adjured the Roman senate either to allow them to defend themselves by arms, or to appoint a court of arbitration with power to enforce their award, or to regulate the frontier anew that they might at least learn once for all how much they were to lose; otherwise it were better to make them Roman subjects at once than thus gradually to deliver them over to the Libyans.

But the Roman government, which already in 554 had held forth a direct prospect of extension of territory to their client, of course at the expense of Carthage, seemed to have little objection that he should himself take the booty destined for him; they moderated perhaps at times the too great impetuosity of the Libyans, who now retaliated fully on their old tormentors for their former sufferings; but it was in reality for the very sake of inflicting this torture that the Romans had assigned Massinissa as a neighbour to Carthage.

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