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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 80

Of the armies, the one on which the matter chiefly depended was that of the north, as the greater part of the Campanian army was destined to depart for Asia. Sulla got the command of the former entrusted by decree of the people to his devoted colleague Quintus Rufus, and procured the recall of the former general Gnaeus Strabo in such a manner as to spare as far as possible his feelings--the more so, because the latter belonged to the equestrian party and his passive attitude during the Sulpician troubles had occasioned no small anxiety to the aristocracy. Rufus arrived at the army and took the chief command in Strabo's stead; but a few days afterwards he was killed by the soldiers, and Strabo returned to the command which he had hardly abdicated.

He was regarded as the instigator of the murder; it is certain that he was a man from whom such a deed might be expected, that he reaped the fruits of the crime, and that he punished the well-known originators of it only with words. The removal of Rufus and the commandership of Strabo formed a new and serious danger for Sulla; yet he did nothing to deprive the latter of his command. Soon afterwards, when his consulship expired, he found himself on the one hand urged by his successor Cinna to depart at length for Asia where his presence was certainly urgently needed, and on the other hand cited by one of the new tribunes before the bar of the people; it was clear to the dullest eye, that a new attack on him and his party was in preparation, and that his opponents wished his removal.

Sulla had no alternative save either to push the matter to a breach with Cinna and perhaps with Strabo and once more to march on Rome, or to leave Italian affairs to take their course and to remove to another continent. Sulla decided--whether more from patriotism or more from indifference, will never be ascertained--for the latter alternative; handed over the corps left behind in Samnium to the trustworthy and experienced soldier, Quintus Metellus Pius, who was invested in Sulla's stead with the proconsular commandership-in-chief over Lower Italy; gave the conduct of the siege of Nola to the propraetor Appius Claudius; and in the beginning of 667 embarked with his legions for the Greek East.

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