The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5)

The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5)

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Excerpt: ...and Tyrrhene seas. The expeditions directed against the Dalmatian and Ligurian coasts at this epoch aimed especially at the suppression of piracy in the two Italian seas; for the same reason the Balearic islands were occupied in 631.(41) But in the Mauretanian and Greek waters the inhabitants along the coast and the mariners were left to settle matters with the corsairs in one way or another, as they best could; for Roman policy adhered to the principle of troubling itself as little as possible about these more remote regions. The disorganized and bankrupt commonwealths in the states along the coast thus left to themselves naturally became places of refuge for the corsairs; and there was no want of such, especially in Asia. Crete A bad pre-eminence in this respect belonged to Crete, which, from its favourable situation and the weakness or laxity of the great states of the west and east, was the only one of all the Greek settlements that had preserved its independence. Roman commissions doubtless came and went to this island, but accomplished still less there than they did even in Syria and Egypt. It seemed almost as if fate had left liberty to the Cretans only in order to show what was the result of Hellenic independence. It was a dreadful picture. The old Doric rigour of the Cretan institutions had become, just as in Tarentum, changed into a licentious democracy, and the chivalrous spirit of the inhabitants into a wild love of quarrelling and plunder; a respectable Greek himself testifies, that in Crete alone nothing was accounted disgraceful that was lucrative, and even the Apostle Paul quotes with approval the saying of a Cretan poet, -Kretes aei pseustai, kaka theria, gasteres argai-. Perpetual civil wars, notwithstanding the Roman efforts to bring about peace, converted one flourishing township after another on the old "island of the hundred cities" into heaps of ruins. Its inhabitants roamed as robbers at home and abroad, by land and by...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 878 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 44mm | 1,538g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236717171
  • 9781236717177