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Messene and Rhegium For misfortunes befell Messene and Rhegium, the cities The story of the Mamertines at Messene, and the Roman garrison atRhegium, the cities The story of the Mamertines at Messene, and the Roman garrison at Rhegium, Dio. Cassius fr. built on either side of the Strait, peculiar in their nature and alike in their circumstances. Not long before theRhegium, Dio. Cassius fr. built on either side of the Strait, peculiar in their nature and alike in their circumstances. Not long before the period we are now describing some Campanian mercenaries of Agathocles, having for some time cast greedy eyes upon Messene, owing to its beau
The speed with which they became masters of a fair territory2. Rhegium, Livy Ep. 12.
and city found ready imitators of their conduct.
The people of Rhegium, when Pyrrhus was crossing to Italy, felt a double anxiety. They were
dismayed at the thought of his approach, and at the e obtained their co-operation, they
broke faith with the people of Rhegium, enamoured of the
pleasant site of the town and the private wealth they
could to vindicate their good faith in the eyes of the allies.
The territory and town they at once handed over to the people
The Rise of Hiero II But the Mamertines (for this was the name which the Effect of the fall of the rebellious garrison of Rhegium on the Mamertines. Campanians gave themselves after they became masters of Messene), as long as they enjoyed the alliance of the Roman captors of Rhegium, not only exercised absolute control over their Rhegium, not only exercised absolute control over their own town and district undisturbed, but about the neighbouring territory also gave no little trouble to the Carthaginians and Syracusans, and levied tribute from many parts of Sicily. But when they were deprived of this support, the captors of Rhegium being now invested and besieged, they were themselves promptly forced back into thRhegium being now invested and besieged, they were themselves promptly forced back into the town again by the Syracusans, under circumstances which I will now detail. Not long before this the military forces of the SyracusansThe rise of Hiero. He is elected General by the army, B. C. 275-274. had quarrelled with the citizens, and while stationed near Merganè elected commanders from their own body. These were Artemidorus
The Mamertines and Rome Thus were the Mamertines first deprived of support Some of the conquered Mamertines appeal to Rome for help. from Rhegium, and then subjected, from causes which I have just stated, to a complete defeat on their own account. Thereupon some of them betook themselves to the protection of the Carthaginians, and
d manifest. A little while ago they
had put some of their own citizens to death, with the extreme
penalties of the law, for having broken faith with the people
of Rhegium: and now so soon afterwards
to assist the Mamertines, who had done precisely the same to Messene as well as Rhegium,
involved a breach of equity very hard to
involved a breach of equity very hard to
justify. The motives of the Romans in acceding to this prayer,—jealousy of the growing power of Carthage.
But while fully alive to these points,
they yet saw that Carthaginian aggrandisement
was not confined to Libya, but had embraced many districts in Iberia as well; and that Carthage was, besides,
mistress of all the islands in the S
The Hannibalian War — The Recovery of Tarentum THE distance from the strait and town of Rhegium to B.C. 209, Coss. Q. Fabius Maximus V. Q. Fulvius Flaccus IV. Tarentum is more than two thousand stades; and that portion of the shore of Italy is entirely destitute of harbours, except those of Tarentum: I mean the coast facing the Sicilian sea, and verging towards Greece, which contains the most populous barbarian tribes as well as the most famous of the Greek cities. For the Bruttii, Lucani, some portions of the Daunii, the Cabalii, and several others, occupy this quarter of Italy. So again this coast is lined by the Greek cities of Rhegium, Caulon, Locri, Croton, Metapontum, and Thurii: so that voyagers from Sicily or from Greece to any one of these cities are compelled to drop anchor in the harbours of Tarentum; and the exchange and commerce with all who occupy this coast of Italy take place in this city. One may judge of the excellence of its situation from the prosperity attained