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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 VIII - The East and King Mithradates


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Page 48

Position of the Romans

The position of the Roman government began to be critical. Asia Minor and Greece were wholly, Macedonia to a considerable extent, in the enemy's hands; by sea the Pontic flag ruled without a rival. Then there was the Italian insurrection, which, though baffled on the whole, still held the undisputed command of wide districts of Italy; the barely hushed revolution, which threatened every moment to break out afresh and more formidably; and, lastly, the alarming commercial and monetary crisis(13) occasioned by the internal troubles of Italy and the enormous losses of the Asiatic capitalists, and the want of trustworthy troops.

13. Cf. IV. VII. Economic Crisis

The government would have required three armies, to keep down the revolution in Rome, to crush completely the insurrection in Italy, and to wage war in Asia; it had but one, that of Sulla; for the northern army was, under the untrustworthy Gnaeus Strabo, simply an additional embarrassment. Sulla had to choose which of these three tasks he would undertake; he decided, as we have seen, for the Asiatic war.

It was no trifling matter--we should perhaps say, it was a great act of patriotism--that in this conflict between the general interest of his country and the special interest of his party the former retained the ascendency; and that Sulla, in spite of the dangers which his removal from Italy involved for his constitution and his party, landed in the spring of 667 on the coast of Epirus.

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