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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 XIV - Literature and Art


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Page 98

Cato, who like a good financier checked the calculation, no doubt drew attention in this instance to the incongruity; but he does not appear to have proposed any mode of getting over the difficulty--the list of the Alban kings, which was afterwards inserted with this view, certainly did not proceed from him.

The same uncritical spirit, which prevailed in the early history, prevailed also to a certain extent in the representation of historical times. The accounts certainly without exception bore that strong party colouring, for which the Fabian narrative of the commencement of the second war with Carthage is censured by Polybius with the calm severity characteristic of him.

Mistrust, however, is more appropriate in such circumstances than reproach. It is somewhat ridiculous to expect from the Roman contemporaries of Hannibal a just judgment on their opponents; but no conscious misrepresentation of the facts, except such as a simple-minded patriotism of itself involves, has been proved against the fathers of Roman history.

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