The construction of the coast road, the Via Severiana, from Ostia to Tarracina, added to the importance of the place; and the beauty of the promontory with its luxuriant flora and attractive view had made it frequented by the Romans as early as 200 B.C. Galba and Domitian possessed country houses here.
But to the outer world these passes first became known when the Romans traversed them in order to conquer the world beyond.
It was threatened by Tigranes, king of Armenia, who then held the Syrian Empire, but a bribe and the imminence of the Romans (Jos.
One of them was involved in war with the Romans in 24 and 23 B.C.; the land was invaded by C. Petronius, who took the fortress Premis or Ibrim, and sacked the capital (then Napata); the emperor Augustus, however, ordered the evacuation of the country without even demanding tribute.
It is believed that this mina divided by 12 unciae by the Romans is the origin of the Arabic ratl of 12 ukiyas, or 5500 grains (33), which is said to have been sent by Harun al-Rashid to Charlemagne, and so to have originated the French monetary pound of 5666 grains.
His greatest success, however, was gained in the Eternal City itself; for he contrived, after many vicissitudes, to induce the Romans to annul their republican constitution and acknowledge the papal supremacy, even in municipal matters.
He also attempted to regain for the Romans the custody of the high priest's vestments; but the Jews appealed to the emperor against the revival of this advertisement of their servitude.
This is only one of the many Greek legends adopted by the Romans for the purpose of connecting places in Italy with others of likesounding name in Greece.
Besides valuable contingents of the celebrated Balearic slingers, the Romans derived from their new conquest mules (from Minorca), edible snails, sinope and pitch.
By the Romans it was used on the Danube (18), two weights of the first legion there showing 8610; and this is the mina of 20 unciae (8400) named by Roman writers.