previous next

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 were for putting themselves and their citadel into their hands; while others set about sending an embassy to Rome to offer a surrender of their city, and to beg assistance on the ground of the ties of race which united them. The Romans were long in doubt. The inconsistency of sending such aid seemed 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 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 Sardinian and Tyrrhenian seas: they were beginning, therefore, to be exceedingly anxious lest, if the Carthaginians became masters of Sicily also, they should find them very dangerous and formidable neighbours, surrounding them as they would on every side, and occupying a position which commanded all the coasts of Italy. Now it was clear that, if the Mamertines did not obtain the assistance they asked for, the Carthaginians would very soon reduce Sicily. For should they avail themselves of the voluntary offer of Messene and become masters of it, they were certain before long to crush Syracuse also, since they were already lords of nearly the whole of the rest of Sicily. The Romans saw all this, and felt that it was absolutely necessary not to let Messene slip, or allow the Carthaginians to secure what would be like a bridge to enable them to cross into Italy.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sicily (Italy) (3)
Rome (Italy) (3)
Rhegium (Italy) (3)
Messene (Greece) (3)
Italy (Italy) (2)
Carthage (Tunisia) (2)
Syracuse (Italy) (1)
Spain (Spain) (1)
Libya (Libya) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: