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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 21

It was not the policy of the Romans to have direct possessions of their own in Africa; they preferred to rear a state there, which should not be of sufficient importance to be able to dispense with Roman protection, and yet should be sufficiently strong to keep down the power of Carthage now that it was restricted to Africa, and to render all freedom of movement impossible for the tortured city.

They found what they sought among the native princes. About the time of the Hannibalic war the natives of North Africa were subject to three principal kings, each of whom, according to the custom there, had a multitude of princes bound to follow his banner; Bocchar king of the Mauri, who ruled from the Atlantic Ocean to the river Molochath (now Mluia, on the boundary between Morocco and the French territory); Syphax king of the Massaesyli, who ruled from the last-named point to the "Perforated Promontory," as it was called (Seba Rus, between Jijeli and Bona), in what are now the provinces of Oran and Algiers; and Massinissa king of the Massyli, who ruled from the Tretum Promontorium to the boundary of Carthage, in what is now the province of Constantine.

The most powerful of these, Syphax king of Siga, had been vanquished in the last war between Rome and Carthage and carried away captive to Rome, where he died in captivity. His wide dominions were mainly given to Massinissa; although Vermina the son of Syphax by humble petition recovered a small portion of his father's territory from the Romans (554), he was unable to deprive the earlier ally of the Romans of his position as the privileged oppressor of Carthage.

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