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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 64

Cretan War

So far however as the Cretans were concerned, a disgrace like that endured off Cydonia seemed even to the degenerate Romans of this age as if it could be answered only by a declaration of war. Yet the Cretan envoys, who in the year 684 appeared in Rome with the request that the prisoners might be taken back and the old alliance reestablished, had almost obtained a favourable decree of the senate; what the whole corporation termed a disgrace, the individual senator was ready to sell for a substantial price.

It was not till a formal resolution of the senate rendered the loans of the Cretan envoys among the Roman bankers non-actionable-- that is, not until the senate had incapacitated itself for undergoing bribery--that a decree passed to the effect that the Cretan communities, if they wished to avoid war, should hand over not only the Roman deserters but the authors of the outrage perpetrated off Cydonia--the leaders Lasthenes and Panares--to the Romans for befitting punishment, should deliver up all ships and boats of four or more oars, should furnish 400 hostages, and should pay a fine of 4000 talents (975,000 pounds).

When the envoys declared that they were not empowered to enter into such terms, one of the consuls of the next year was appointed to depart on the expiry of his official term for Crete, in order either to receive there what was demanded or to begin the war.

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