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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 II - Rule of the Sullan Restoration


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Page 24

A more favourable moment could hardly be hoped for, and after all it was always better to declare war than to let it be declared against him. In 679 Nicomedes III Philopator king of Bithynia, died, and as the last of his race--for a son borne by Nysa was, or was said to be, illegitimate--left his kingdom by testament to the Romans, who delayed not to take possession of this region bordering on the Roman province and long ago filled with Roman officials and merchants. At the same time Cyrene, which had been already bequeathed to the Romans in 658,(10) was at length constituted a province, and a Roman governor was sent thither (679).

10. Cf. IV. VIII. Cyrene Roman

These measures, in connection with the attacks carried out about the same time against the pirates on the south coast of Asia Minor, must have excited apprehensions in the king; the annexation of Bithynia in particular made the Romans immediate neighbours of the Pontic kingdom; and this, it may be presumed, turned the scale. The king took the decisive step and declared war against the Romans in the winter of 679-680.

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