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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


IV. The Revolution

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 I - The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the Gracchi


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Page 116


Along with Crete, Cilicia soon began to become a second home for this buccaneering system. Piracy there not only gained ground owing to the impotence of the Syrian rulers, but the usurper Diodotus Tryphon, who had risen from a slave to be king of Syria (608-615), encouraged it by all means in his chief seat, the rugged or western Cilicia, with a view to strengthen his throne by the aid of the corsairs. The uncommonly lucrative character of the traffic with the pirates, who were at once the principal captors of, and dealers in slaves, procured for them among the mercantile public, even in Alexandria, Rhodes, and Delos, a certain toleration, in which the very governments shared at least by inaction.

The evil was so serious that the senate, about 611, sent its best man Scipio Aemilianus to Alexandria and Syria, in order to ascertain on the spot what could be done in the matter. But diplomatic representations of the Romans did not make weak governments strong; there was no other remedy but that of directly maintaining a fleet in these waters, and for this the Roman government lacked energy and perseverance. So all things just remained on the old footing; the piratic fleet was the only considerable naval power in the Mediterranean; the capture of men was the only trade that flourished there. The Roman government was an onlooker; but the Roman merchants, as the best customers in the slave market, kept up an active and friendly traffic with the pirate captains, as the most important wholesale dealers in that commodity, at Delos and elsewhere.

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