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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 19

But he was at the same time one of the most arrogant and flagitious characters, which that shameless age produced. He was in the habit of saying that he feared none save the gods; but it seemed almost as if his gods were those to whom his admiral Dicaearchus regularly offered sacrifice--Godlessness (-Asebeia-) and Lawlessness (-Paranomia-). The lives of his advisers and of the promoters of his schemes possessed no sacredness in his eyes, nor did he disdain to pacify his indignation against the Athenians and Attalus by the destruction of venerable monuments and illustrious works of art; it is quoted as one of his maxims of state, that "whoever causes the father to be put to death must also kill the sons."

It may be that to him cruelty was not, strictly, a delight; but he was indifferent to the lives and sufferings of others, and relenting, which alone renders men tolerable, found no place in his hard and stubborn heart. So abruptly and harshly did he proclaim the principle that no promise and no moral law are binding on an absolute king, that he thereby interposed the most serious obstacles to the success of his plans.

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