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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 VIII - The East and King Mithradates


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Page 19

The fall of Sinope, the decline of Rhodes, completed the isolation of the Greeks on the northern shore of the Black Sea. A vivid picture of their position with reference to the roving barbarians is given to us by an inscription of Olbia (near Oczakow not far from the mouth of the Dnieper), which apparently may be placed not long before the time of Mithradates.

The citizens had not only to send annual tribute to the court-camp of the barbarian king, but also to make him a gift when he encamped before the town or even simply passed by, and in a similar way to buy off minor chieftains and in fact sometimes the whole horde with presents; and it fared ill with them if the gift appeared too small. The treasury of the town was bankrupt and they had to pledge the temple-jewels.

Meanwhile the savage tribes were thronging without in front of the gates; the territory was laid waste, the field-labourers were dragged away en masse, and, what was worst of all, the weaker of their barbarian neighbours, the Scythians, sought, in order to shelter themselves from the pressure of the more savage Celts, to obtain possession of the walled town, so that numerous citizens were leaving it and the inhabitants already contemplated its entire surrender.

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