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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 IX - The War with Antiochus of Asia


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 53

With all that ambition and all that national susceptibility the whole nation was, from the highest to the lowest, pervaded by the most thorough sense of impotence. Every one was constantly listening to learn the sentiments of Rome, the liberal man no less than the servile; they thanked heaven, when the dreaded decree was not issued; they were sulky, when the senate gave them to understand that they would do well to yield voluntarily in order that they might not need to be compelled; they did what they were obliged to do, if possible, in a way offensive to the Romans, "to save forms"; they reported, explained, postponed, evaded, and, when all this would no longer avail, yielded with a patriotic sigh.

Their proceedings might have claimed indulgence at any rate, if not approval, had their leaders been resolved to fight, and had they preferred the destruction of the nation to its bondage; but neither Philopoemen nor Lycortas thought of any such political suicide--they wished, if possible, to be free, but they wished above all to live. Besides all this, the dreaded intervention of Rome in the internal affairs of Greece was not the arbitrary act of the Romans, but was always invoked by the Greeks themselves, who, like boys, brought down on their own heads the rod which they feared.

The reproach repeated -ad nauseam- by the erudite rabble in Greek and post-Greek times--that the Romans had been at pains to stir up internal discord in Greece--is one of the most foolish absurdities which philologues dealing in politics have ever invented. It was not the Romans that carried strife to Greece--which in truth would have been "carrying owls to Athens"--but the Greeks that carried their dissensions to Rome.

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