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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 28

Opposition of the Whole Aristocracy

He knew neither the art of gaining his antagonists, nor that of keeping his own party in subjection. The opposition against him and his comrades was even of itself sufficiently considerable; for not only did the government party belong to it in a body, but also a great part of the burgesses, who guarded with jealous eyes their exclusive privileges against the Italians; and by the course which things took the whole class of the wealthy was also driven over to the government. Saturninus and Glaucia were from the first masters and servants of the proletariate and therefore not at all on a good footing with the moneyed aristocracy, which had no objection now and then to keep the senate in check by means of the rabble, but had no liking for street-riots and violent outrages.

As early as the first tribunate of Saturninus his armed bands had their skirmishes with the equites; the vehement opposition which his election as tribune for 654 encountered shows clearly how small was the party favourable to him. It should have been the endeavour of Marius to avail himself of the dangerous help of such associates only in moderation, and to convince all and sundry that they were destined not to rule, but to serve him as the ruler. As he did precisely the contrary, and the matter came to look quite as if the object was to place the government in the hands not of an intelligent and vigorous master, but of the mere -canaille-, the men of material interests, terrified to death at the prospect of such confusion, again attached themselves closely to the senate in presence of this common danger. While Gaius Gracchus, clearly perceiving that no government could be overthrown by means of the proletariate alone, had especially sought to gain over to his side the propertied classes, those who desired to continue his work began by producing a reconciliation between the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.

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