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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 VII - The Revolt of the Italian Subjects, and the Sulpician Revolution


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Page 13

Preparations for General Revolt against Rome

The last hope that the Italians might obtain admission to Roman citizenship by agreement was buried with Marcus Drusus. A measure, which that conservative and energetic man had not been able under the most favourable circumstances to induce his own party to adopt, was not to be gained at all by amicable means. The Italians had no course left save to submit patiently or to repeat once more, and if possible with their united strength, the attempt which had been crushed in the bud five-and-thirty years before by the destruction of Fregellae--so as by force of arms either to destroy Rome and succeed to her heritage, or at least to compel her to grant equality of rights.

The latter resolution was no doubt a resolution of despair; as matters stood, the revolt of the isolated urban communities against the Roman government might well appear still more hopeless than the revolt of the American colonies against the British empire; to all appearance the Roman government might with moderate attention and energy of action prepare for this second insurrection the fate of its predecessor. But was it less a resolution of despair, to sit still and allow things to take their course? When they recollected how the Romans had been in the habit of behaving in Italy without provocation, what could they expect now that the most considerable men in every Italian town had or were alleged to have had--the consequences on either supposition being pretty much the same--an understanding with Drusus, which was immediately directed against the party now victorious and might well be characterized as treason? All those who had taken part in this secret league, all in fact who might be merely suspected of participation, had no choice left save to begin the war or to bend their neck beneath the axe of the executioner.

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