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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 65

Metellus Subdues Crete

Accordingly in 685 the proconsul Quintus Metellus appeared in the Cretan waters. The communities of the island, with the larger towns Gortyna, Cnossus, Cydonia at their head, were resolved rather to defend themselves in arms than to submit to those excessive demands. The Cretans were a nefarious and degenerate people,(23) with whose public and private existence piracy was as intimately associated as robbery with the commonwealth of the Aetolians; but they resembled the Aetolians in valour as in many other respects, and accordingly these two were the only Greek communities that waged a courageous and honourable struggle for independence.

23. Cf. IV. I. Crete

At Cydonia, where Metellus landed his three legions, a Cretan army of 24,000 men under Lasthenes and Panares was ready to receive him; a battle took place in the open field, in which the victory after a hard struggle remained with the Romans. Nevertheless the towns bade defiance from behind their walls to the Roman general; Metellus had to make up his mind to besiege them in succession. First Cydonia, in which the remains of the beaten army had taken refuge, was after a long siege surrendered by Panares in return for the promise of a free departure for himself.

Lasthenes, who had escaped from the town, had to be besieged a second time in Cnossus; and, when this fortress also was on the point of falling, he destroyed its treasures and escaped once more to places which still continued their defence, such as Lyctus, Eleuthera, and others. Two years (686, 687) elapsed, before Metellus became master of the whole island and the last spot of free Greek soil thereby passed under the control of the dominant Romans; the Cretan communities, as they were the first of all Greek commonwealths to develop the free urban constitution and the dominion of the sea, were also to be the last of all those Greek maritime states that formerly filled the Mediterranean to succumb to the Roman continental power.

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