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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 X - The Third Macedonian War


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Page 46

Intervention in the Syro-Egyptian War

With Syria and Egypt the Romans could go to work more summarily. War had broken out between them; and Coelesyria and Palaestina formed once more the subject of dispute. According to the assertion of the Egyptians, those provinces had been ceded to Egypt on the marriage of the Syrian Cleopatra: this however the court of Babylon, which was in actual possession, disputed.

Apparently the charging of her dowry on the taxes of the Coelesyrian cities gave occasion to the quarrel, and the Syrian side was in the right; the breaking out of the war was occasioned by the death of Cleopatra in 581, with which at latest the payments of revenue terminated. The war appears to have been begun by Egypt; but king Antiochus Epiphanes gladly embraced the opportunity of once more--and for the last time--endeavouring to achieve the traditional aim of the policy of the Seleucidae, the acquisition of Egypt, while the Romans were employed in Macedonia. Fortune seemed favourable to him.

The king of Egypt at that time, Ptolemy VI, Philometor, the son of Cleopatra, had hardly passed the age of boyhood and had bad advisers; after a great victory on the Syro-Egyptian frontier Antiochus was able to advance into the territories of his nephew in the same year in which the legions landed in Greece (583), and soon had the person of the king in his power.

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