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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 VIII - The Eastern States and the Second Macedonian War


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In consequence of bold and successful opposition to these Gallic hordes, Attalus, a wealthy citizen of Pergamus, received the royal title from his native city and bequeathed it to his posterity. This new court was in miniature what that of Alexandria was on a great scale. Here too the promotion of material interests and the fostering of art and literature formed the order of the day, and the government pursued a cautious and sober cabinet policy, the main objects of which were the weakening the power of its two dangerous continental neighbours, and the establishing an independent Greek state in the west of Asia Minor.

A well-filled treasury contributed greatly to the importance of these rulers of Pergamus. They advanced considerable sums to the kings of Syria, the repayment of which afterwards formed part of the Roman conditions of peace. They succeeded even in acquiring territory in this way; Aegina, for instance, which the allied Romans and Aetolians had wrested in the last war from Philip's allies, the Achaeans, was sold by the Aetolians, to whom it fell in terms of the treaty, to Attalus for 30 talents (7300 pounds).

But, notwithstanding the splendour of the court and the royal title, the commonwealth of Pergamus always retained something of the urban character; and in its policy it usually went along with the free cities. Attalus himself, the Lorenzo de' Medici of antiquity, remained throughout life a wealthy burgher; and the family life of the Attalid house, from which harmony and cordiality were not banished by the royal title, formed a striking contrast to the dissolute and scandalous behaviour of more aristocratic dynasties.

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