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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


IV. The Revolution

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome


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Page 8

The tribunals did not interfere. The popular party, justly fearing that its leaders Gaius Gracchus, Flaccus, and Carbo, whether guilty or not, might be involved in the prosecution, opposed with all its might the institution of an inquiry; and the aristocracy, which lost in Scipio quite as much an antagonist as an ally, was not unwilling to let the matter sleep. The multitude and men of moderate views were shocked; none more so than Quintus Metellus, who had disapproved of Scipio's interference against reform, but turned away with horror from such confederates, and ordered his four sons to carry the bier of his great antagonist to the funeral pile. The funeral was hurried over; with veiled head the last of the family of the conqueror of Zama was borne forth, without any one having been previously allowed to see the face of the deceased, and the flames of the funeral pile consumed with the remains of the illustrious man the traces at the same time of the crime.

The history of Rome presents various men of greater genius than Scipio Aemilianus, but none equalling him in moral purity, in the utter absence of political selfishness, in generous love of his country, and none, perhaps, to whom destiny has assigned a more tragic part. Conscious of the best intentions and of no common abilities, he was doomed to see the ruin of his country carried out before his eyes, and to repress within him every earnest attempt to save it, because he clearly perceived that he should only thereby make the evil worse; doomed to the necessity of sanctioning outrages like that of Nasica, and at the same time of defending the work of the victim against his murderers.

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