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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 V - The Peoples of the North


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Page 40

Marius Commander-in-Chief

Of more importance than this measure of revenge was the question how the dangerous war beyond the Alps was to be further carried on, and first of all to whom the supreme command in it was to be committed. With an unprejudiced treatment of the matter it was not difficult to make a fitting choice.

Rome was doubtless, in comparison with earlier times, not rich in military notabilities; yet Quintus Maximus had commanded with distinction in Gaul, Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Quintus Minucius in the regions of the Danube, Quintus Metellus, Publius Rutilius Rufus, Gaius Marius in Africa; and the object proposed was not to defeat a Pyrrhus or a Hannibal, but again to make good the often-tried superiority of Roman arms and Roman tactics in opposition to the barbarians of the north--an object which required no genius, but merely a stern and capable soldier.

But it was precisely a time when nothing was so difficult as the unprejudiced settlement of a question of administration. The government was, as it could not but be and as the Jugurthine war had already shown, so utterly bankrupt in public opinion, that its ablest generals had to retire in the full career of victory, whenever it occurred to an officer of mark to revile them before the people and to get himself as the candidate of the opposition appointed by the latter to the head of affairs.

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