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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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Page 14

Sparta, Elis, Messene

The policy of the weaker states in the Peloponnesus, Messene, and Sparta, was determined by their ancient enmity to the Achaean league --an enmity specially fostered by disputes regarding their frontiers --and their tendencies were Aetolian and anti-Macedonian, because the Achaeans took part with Philip. The only one of these states possessing any importance was the Spartan military monarchy, which after the death of Machanidas had passed into the hands of one Nabis.

With ever-increasing hardihood Nabis leaned on the support of vagabonds and itinerant mercenaries, to whom he assigned not only the houses and lands, but also the wives and children, of the citizens; and he assiduously maintained connections, and even entered into an association for the joint prosecution of piracy, with the great refuge of mercenaries and pirates, the island of Crete, where he possessed some townships.

His predatory expeditions by land, and the piratical vessels which he maintained at the promontory of Malea, were dreaded far and wide; he was personally hated for his baseness and cruelty; but his rule was extending, and about the time of the battle of Zama he had even succeeded in gaining possession of Messene.

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