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Treaties Between Rome and Carthage

Seeing that such treaties exist and are preserved to
Misstatement of Philinus.
this day, engraved on brass in the treasury of the Aediles in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, the historian Philinus certainly does give us some reason to be surprised at him. Not at his ignorance of their existence: for even in our own day those Romans and Carthaginians, whose age placed them nearest to the times, and who had the reputation of taking the greatest interest in public affairs, were unaware of it. But what is surprising is, that he should have ventured on a statement exactly opposite: "That there was a treaty between Rome and Carthage, in virtue of which the Romans were bound to keep away from the whole of Sicily, the Carthaginians from the whole of Italy; and that the Romans broke the treaty and their oath when they first crossed over to Sicily." Whereas there does not exist, nor ever has existed, any such written compact at all. Yet this assertion he makes in so many words in his second book. I referred to this in the preface of my work, but reserved a more detailed discussion of it to this place; which was necessary, because the assertion of Philinus has misled a considerable number of people on this point. I have nothing to say if a man chooses to attack the Romans for crossing into Sicily, on the grounds of their having taken the Mamertines into alliance at all; or in having thus acted in answer to their request, after these men's treachery to Rhegium as well as Messene: but if any one supposes that in so crossing they broke oaths or treaties, he is manifestly ignorant of the truth.

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