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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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His voice remained harsh and loud, and his look wild, as if he still saw before him Libyans or Cimbrians, and not well- bred and perfumed colleagues. That he was superstitious like a genuine soldier of fortune; that he was induced to become a candidate for his first consulship, not by the impulse of his talents, but primarily by the utterances of an Etruscan -haruspex-; and that in the campaign with the Teutones a Syrian prophetess Martha lent the aid of her oracles to the council of war,--these things were not, in the strict sense, unaristocratic: in such matters, then as at all times, the highest and lowest strata of society met.

But the want of political culture was unpardonable; it was commendable, no doubt, that he had the skill to defeat the barbarians, but what was to be thought of a consul who was so ignorant of constitutional etiquette as to appear in triumphal costume in the senate! In other respects too the plebeian character clung to him. He was not merely--according to aristocratic phraseology--a poor man, but, what was worse, frugal and a declared enemy of all bribery and corruption. After the manner of soldiers he was not nice, but was fond of his cups, especially in his later years; he knew not the art of giving feasts, and kept a bad cook.

It was likewise awkward that the consular understood nothing but Latin and had to decline conversing in Greek; that he felt the Greek plays wearisome might pass--he was presumably not the only one who did so--but to confess to the feeling of weariness was naive. Thus he remained throughout life a countryman cast adrift among aristocrats, and annoyed by the keenly-felt sarcasms and still more keenly--felt commiseration of his colleagues, which he had not the self-command to despise as he despised themselves.

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