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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

CHAPTER IV - The Rule of the Restoration


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Page 41

Cancelling of the Second Treaty - Metellus Appointed to the Command - Renewal of the War

The senate in the first place cancelled the second treaty of peace-- to surrender to the enemy the commander who had concluded it, as was done some thirty years before, seemed according to the new ideas of the sanctity of treaties no longer necessary--and determined, this time in all earnest, to renew the war. The supreme command in Africa was entrusted, as was natural, to an aristocrat, but yet to one of the few men of quality who in a military and moral point of view were equal to the task. The choice fell on Quintus Metellus.

He was, like the whole powerful family to which he belonged, in principle a rigid and unscrupulous aristocrat; as a magistrate, he, no doubt, reckoned it honourable to hire assassins for the good of the state and would presumably have ridiculed the act of Fabricius towards Pyrrhus as unpractical knight errantry, but he was an inflexible administrator accessible neither to fear nor to corruption, and a judicious and experienced warrior.

In this respect he was so far free from the prejudices of his order that he selected as his lieutenants not men of rank, but the excellent officer Publius Rutilius Rufus, who was esteemed in military circles for his exemplary discipline and as the author of an altered and improved system of drill, and the brave Latin farmer's son Gaius Marius, who had risen from the pike.

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