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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 52

But at that period it was considerations of political partisanship rather than of military merit which attached the glory of having saved Rome from the Cimbri and Teutones entirely to the name of Marius. Catulus was a polished and clever man, so graceful a speaker that his euphonious language sounded almost like eloquence, a tolerable writer of memoirs and occasional poems, and an excellent connoisseur and critic of art; but he was anything but a man of the people, and his victory was a victory of the aristocracy.

The battles of the rough farmer on the other hand, who had been raised to honour by the common people and had led the common people to victory, were not merely defeats of the Cimbri and Teutones, but also defeats of the government: there were associated with them hopes far different from that of being able once more to carry on mercantile transactions on the one side of the Alps or to cultivate the fields without molestation on the other.

Twenty years had elapsed since the bloody corpse of Gaius Gracchus had been flung into the Tiber; for twenty years the government of the restored oligarchy had been endured and cursed; still there had risen no avenger for Gracchus, no second master to prosecute the building which he had begun. There were many who hated and hoped, many of the worst and many of the best citizens of the state: was the man, who knew how to accomplish this vengeance and these wishes, found at last in the son of the day-labourer of Arpinum? Were they really on the threshold of the new much-dreaded and much-desired second revolution?

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