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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 19

But, if the democratic party was no longer what it had been under Gaius Gracchus, the leaders of the intervening period were now as far beneath their party as Gaius Gracchus had been exalted above it. This was implied in the nature of the case.

Until there should emerge a man having the boldness like Gaius Gracchus to grasp at the supremacy of the state, the leaders could only be stopgaps: either political novices, who gave furious vent to their youthful love of opposition and then, when duly accredited as fiery declaimers and favourite speakers, effected with more or less dexterity their retreat to the camp of the government party; or people who had nothing to lose in respect of property and influence, and usually not even anything to gain in respect of honour, and who made it their business to obstruct and annoy the government from personal exasperation or even from the mere pleasure of creating a noise.

To the former sort belonged, for instance, Gaius Memmius(5) and the well-known orator Lucius Crassus, who turned the oratorical laurels which they had won in the ranks of the opposition to account in the sequel as zealous partisans of the government.

5. Cf. IV. IV. Treaty between Rome and Numidia

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