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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 55

The Romans always asserted that they did not pursue a policy of conquest, and that they were always the party assailed; and this was something more, at any rate, than a mere phrase. They were in fact driven to all their great wars with the exception of that concerning Sicily--to those with Hannibal and Antiochus, no less than to those with Philip and Perseus--either by a direct aggression or by an unparalleled disturbance of the existing political relations; and hence they were ordinarily taken by surprise on their outbreak.

That they did not after victory exhibit the moderation which they ought to have done in the interest more especially of Italy itself; that the retention of Spain, for instance, the undertaking of the guardianship of Africa, and above all the half-fanciful scheme of bringing liberty everywhere to the Greeks, were in the light of Italian policy grave errors, is sufficiently clear. But the causes of these errors were, on the one hand a blind dread of Carthage, on the other a still blinder enthusiasm for Greek liberty; so little did the Romans exhibit during this period the lust of conquest, that they, on the contrary, displayed a very judicious dread of it.

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