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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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This sturdy vigour and unimpaired national spirit were turned to peculiarly good account by the Macedonians, as the most powerful and best organized of the states of northern Greece.

There, no doubt, absolutism had emerged in opposition to the old constitution, which to some extent recognized different estates; but sovereign and subject by no means stood towards each other in Macedonia as they stood in Asia and Egypt, and the people still felt itself independent and free.

In steadfast resistance to the public enemy under whatever name, in unshaken fidelity towards their native country and their hereditary government, and in persevering courage amidst the severest trials, no nation in ancient history bears so close a resemblance to the Roman people as the Macedonians; and the almost miraculous regeneration of the state after the Gallic invasion redounds to the imperishable honour of its leaders and of the people whom they led.


The second of the great states, Asia, was nothing but Persia superficially remodelled and Hellenized--the empire of "the king of kings," as its master was wont to call himself in a style characteristic at once of his arrogance and of his weakness--with the same pretensions to rule from the Hellespont to the Punjab, and with the same disjointed organization; an aggregate of dependent states in various degrees of dependence, of insubordinate satrapies, and of half-free Greek cities.

In Asia Minor more especially, which was nominally included in the empire of the Seleucidae, the whole north coast and the greater part of the eastern interior were practically in the hands of native dynasties or of the Celtic hordes that had penetrated thither from Europe; a considerable portion of the west was in the possession of the kings of Pergamus, and the islands and coast towns were some of them Egyptian, some of them free; so that little more was left to the great-king than the interior of Cilicia, Phrygia, and Lydia, and a great number of titular claims, not easily made good, against free cities and princes--exactly similar in character to the sovereignty of the German emperor, in his day, beyond his hereditary dominions.

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