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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 29

Variance between Marius and the Demogogues

But the ruin of the enterprise was brought about, still more rapidly than by this reconciliation of enemies, through the dissension which the more than ambiguous behaviour of Marius necessarily produced among its promoters. While the decisive proposals were brought forward by his associates and carried after a struggle by his soldiers, Marius maintained an attitude wholly passive, just as if the political leader was not bound quite as much as the military, when the brunt of battle came, to present himself everywhere and foremost in person. Nor was this all; he was terrified at, and fled from the presence of, the spirits which he had himself evoked.

When his associates resorted to expedients which an honourable man could not approve, but without which in fact the object of their efforts could not be attained, he attempted, in the fashion usual with men whose ideas of political morality are confused, to wash his hands of participation in those crimes and at the same time to profit by their results. There is a story that the general once conducted secret negotiations in two different rooms of his house, with Saturninus and his partisans in the one, and with the deputies of the oligarchy in the other, talking with the former of striking a blow against the senate, and with the latter of interfering against the revolt, and that under a pretext which was in keeping with the anxiety of the situation he went to and fro between the two conferences--a story as certainly invented, and as certainly appropriate, as any incident in Aristophanes.

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