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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 VI - The Attempt of Marius at Revolution and the Attempt of Drusus at Reform


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Page 17

The senate was or seemed so powerless and helpless, so hated and despised, that Marius conceived himself scarcely to need any other support in opposing it than his immense popularity, but hoped in case of necessity to find such a support, notwithstanding the dissolution of the army, in the soldiers discharged and waiting for their rewards. It is probable that Marius, looking to Gracchus' easy and apparently almost complete victory and to his own resources far surpassing those of Gracchus, deemed the overthrow of a constitution four hundred years old, and intimately bound up with the manifold habits and interests of the body-politic arranged in a complicated hierarchy, a far easier task than it was.

But any one, who looked more deeply into the difficulties of the enterprise than Marius probably did, might reflect that the army, although in the course of transition from a militia to a body of mercenaries, was still during this state of transition by no means adapted for the blind instrument of a coup d'etat, and that an attempt to set aside the resisting elements by military means would have probably augmented the power of resistance in his antagonists. To mix up the organized armed force in the struggle could not but appear at the first glance superfluous and at the second hazardous; they were just at the beginning of the crisis, and the antagonistic elements were still far from having reached their last, shortest, and simplest expression.

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