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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 87

And yet it by no means proceeded from the brutality of any single individual, least of all of Mummius, but was a measure deliberated and resolved on by the Roman senate. We shall not err, if we recognize it as the work of the mercantile party, which even thus early began to interfere in politics by the side of the aristocracy proper, and which in destroying Corinth got rid of a commercial rival. If the great merchants of Rome had anything to say in the regulation of Greece, we can understand why Corinth was singled out for punishment, and why the Romans not only destroyed the city as it stood, but also prohibited any future settlement on a site so pre-eminently favourable for commerce.

The Peloponnesian Argos thenceforth became the rendezvous for the Roman merchants, who were very numerous even in Greece. For the Roman wholesale traffic, however, Delos was of greater importance; a Roman free port as early as 586, it had attracted a great part of the business of Rhodes,(26) and now in a similar way entered on the heritage of Corinth.

26. Cf. III. X. Intervention in the Syro-Egyptian War

This island remained for a considerable time the chief emporium for merchandise going from the east to the west.(27)

27. A remarkable proof of this is found in the names employed to designate the fine bronze and copper wares of Greece, which in the time of Cicero were called indiscriminately "Corinthian" or "Delian" copper. Their designation in Italy was naturally derived not from the places of manufacture but from those of export (Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 2, 9); although, of course, we do not mean to deny that similar vases were manufactured in Corinth and Delos themselves.

In the third and more distant continent the Roman dominion exhibited a development more imperfect than in the African and Macedono-Greek countries, which were separated from Italy only by narrow seas.

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