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1 The argument of the Macedonian ambassadors in XXXI. xxix should be compared.
2 B.C. 193
3 See the note to sect. 13 below.
4 B.C. 193
5 While there is a manifest fallacy in the argument, from our standpoint, it is sound from the Roman view-point. Roman law recognized possessio, the unchallenged occupancy of property for a certain definite period (cf. the note to xii. 2 above), as a means of acquiring a good title to it. The Greek cities of Italy and Sicily, once conquered, had never effectively established their independence or transferred their allegiance to another state, i.e. had never challenged Roman possessio. Zmyrna, Lampsacus, Miletus, Ephesus, and other cities on the coast had at various times effectively asserted their independence or transferred their allegiance after their conquest by Seleucus about 281 B.C.: cf. XXXIII. xxxviii-xl. They had therefore challenged the possessio of Antiochus, and this partially accidental circumstance constitutes the basis for the distinction. A non-Roman might not accept the premise. Sulpicius is clear-headed enough to see that the acceptance of the position adopted by Antiochus would jeopardize the liberation of Greece, for if Rome granted to the successors of Seleucus the right of reconquest she would be compelled to grant it also to the successors of Philip, and this would undo her work in Greece and threaten her ascendancy.
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