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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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The Lagidae never tried to found a universal empire, and never dreamt of conquering India; but, by way of compensation, they drew the whole traffic between India and the Mediterranean from the Phoenician ports to Alexandria, and made Egypt the first commercial and maritime state of this epoch, and the mistress of the eastern Mediterranean and of its coasts and islands. It is a significant fact, that Ptolemy III. Euergetes voluntarily restored all his conquests to Seleucus Callinicus except the seaport of Antioch.

Partly by this means, partly by its favourable geographical situation, Egypt attained, with reference to the two continental powers, an excellent military position either for defence or for attack. While an opponent even in the full career of success was hardly in a position seriously to threaten Egypt, which was almost inaccessible on any side to land armies, the Egyptians were able by sea to establish themselves not only in Cyrene, but also in Cyprus and the Cyclades, on the Phoenico-Syrian coast, on the whole south and west coast of Asia Minor and even in Europe on the Thracian Chersonese.

By their unexampled skill in turning to account the fertile valley of the Nile for the direct benefit of the treasury, and by a financial system--equally sagacious and unscrupulous --earnestly and adroitly calculated to foster material interests, the court of Alexandria was constantly superior to its opponents even as a moneyed power.

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