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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 55

Decay of Military Discipline

With these elements of political convulsion was combined the rapidly spreading decay of decorous soldierly habits and of military discipline. The seeds, which were sown by the enrolment of the proletariate in the army, developed themselves with alarming rapidity during the demoralizing insurrectionary war, which compelled Rome to admit to the service every man capable of bearing arms without distinction, and which above all carried political partizanship directly into the headquarters and into the soldiers' tent.

The effects soon appeared in the slackening of all the bonds of the military hierarchy. During the siege of Pompeii the commander of the Sullan besieging corps, the consular Aulus Postumius Albinus, was put to death with stones and bludgeons by his soldiers, who believed themselves betrayed by their general to the enemy; and Sulla the commander-in-chief contented himself with exhorting the troops to efface the memory of that occurrence by their brave conduct in presence of the enemy.

The authors of that deed were the marines, from of old the least respectable of the troops. A division of legionaries raised chiefly from the city populace soon followed the example thus given. Instigated by Gaius Titius, one of the heroes of the market-place, it laid hands on the consul Cato. By an accident he escaped death on this occasion; Titius was arrested, but was not punished. When Cato soon afterwards actually perished in a combat, his own officers, and particularly the younger Gaius Marius, were--whether justly or unjustly, cannot be ascertained--designated as the authors of his death.

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