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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 29

Wars between the Romans and Spaniards

These natives, full of restlessness and fond of war--full of the spirit of the Cid and of Don Quixote--were now to be tamed and, if possible, civilized by the Romans. In a military point of view the task was not difficult. It is true that the Spaniards showed themselves, not only when behind the walls of their cities or under the leadership of Hannibal, but even when left to themselves and in the open field of battle, no contemptible opponents; with their short two-edged sword which the Romans subsequently adopted from them, and their formidable assaulting columns, they not unfrequently made even the Roman legions waver.

Had they been able to submit to military discipline and to political combination, they might perhaps have shaken off the foreign yoke imposed on them. But their valour was rather that of the guerilla than of the soldier, and they were utterly void of political judgment. Thus in Spain there was no serious war, but as little was there any real peace; the Spaniards, as Caesar afterwards very justly pointed out to them, never showed themselves quiet in peace or strenuous in war.

Easy as it was for a Roman general to scatter a host of insurgents, it was difficult for the Roman statesman to devise any suitable means of really pacifying and civilizing Spain. In fact, he could only deal with it by palliative measures; because the only really adequate expedient, a comprehensive Latin colonization, was not accordant with the general aim of Roman policy at this period.

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