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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 V - The Peoples of the North


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Let us first glance at the region between the western Alps and the Pyrenees. The Romans had for long commanded this part of the coast of the Mediterranean through their client city of Massilia, one of the oldest, most faithful, and most powerful of the allied communities dependent on Rome. Its maritime stations, Agatha (Agde) and Rhoda (Rosas) to the westward, and Tauroentium (Ciotat), Olbia (Hyeres?), Antipolis (Antibes), and Nicaea (Nice) on the east secured the navigation of the coast as well as the land-route from the Pyrenees to the Alps; and its mercantile and political connections reached far into the interior.

An expedition into the Alps above Nice and Antibes, directed against the Ligurian Oxybii and Decietae, was undertaken by the Romans in 600 partly at the request of the Massiliots, partly in their own interest; and after hot conflicts, some of which were attended with much loss, this district of the mountains was compelled to furnish thenceforth standing hostages to the Massiliots and to pay them a yearly tribute. It is not improbable that about this same period the cultivation of the vine and olive, which flourished in this quarter after the model set by the Massiliots, was in the interest of the Italian landholders and merchants simultaneously prohibited throughout the territory beyond the Alps dependent on Massilia.(1)

1. If Cicero has not allowed himself to fall into an anachronism when he makes Africanus say this as early as 625 (de Rep. iii. 9), the view indicated in the text remains perhaps the only possible one. This enactment did not refer to Northern Italy and Liguria, as the cultivation of the vine by the Genuates in 637 (III. XII. Culture Of Oil and Wine, and Rearing of Cattle, note) proves; and as little to the immediate territory of Massilia (Just. xliii 4; Posidon. Fr. 25, Mull.; Strabo, iv. 179). The large export of wine and oil from Italy to the region of the Rhone in the seventh century of the city is well known.

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