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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 16

The Roman government, just then on the point of beginning its critical war with the great-king of Asia, observed the progress of these events, as may easily be conceived, with apprehension; it was no imaginary danger that the Carthaginian fleet might land in Italy and a second war under Hannibal might spring up there, while the Roman legions fighting in Asia Minor. We can scarcely, therefore, censure the Romans for sending an embassy to Carthage (in 559) which was presumably charged to demand the surrender of Hannibal.

The spiteful Carthaginian oligarchs, who sent letter after letter to Rome to denounce to the national foe the hero who had overthrown them as having entered into secret communications with the powers unfriendly to Rome, were contemptible, but their information was probably correct; and, true as it was that that embassy involved a humiliating confession of the dread with which the simple shofete of Carthage inspired so powerful a people, and natural and honourable as it was that the proud conqueror of Zama should take exception in the senate to so humiliating a step, still that confession was nothing but the simple truth, and Hannibal was of a genius so extraordinary, that none but sentimental politicians in Rome could tolerate him longer at the head of the Carthaginian state.

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