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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 57

Slight Effect of the Victory - Sulla and Flaccus

It was a great victory, but the results were trifling, partly because of the want of a fleet, partly because the Roman conqueror, instead of pursuing the vanquished, was under the necessity in the first instance of protecting himself against his own countrymen. The sea was still exclusively covered by Pontic squadrons, which now showed themselves even to the westward of the Malean promontory; even after the battle of Chaeronea Archelaus landed troops on Zacynthus and made an attempt to establish himself on that island.

Moreover Lucius Flaccus had in the meanwhile actually landed with two legions in Epirus, not without having sustained severe loss on the way from storms and from the war-vessels of the enemy cruising in the Adriatic; his troops were already in Thessaly; thither Sulla had in the first instance to turn. The two Roman armies encamped over against each other at Melitaea on the northern slope of Mount Othrys; a collision seemed inevitable.

But Flaccus, after he had opportunity of convincing himself that Sulla's soldiers were by no means inclined to betray their victorious leader to the totally unknown democratic commander-in chief, but that on the contrary his own advanced guard began to desert to Sulla's camp, evaded a conflict to which he was in no respect equal, and set out towards the north, with the view of getting through Macedonia and Thrace to Asia and there paving the way for further results by subduing Mithradates.

That Sulla should have allowed his weaker opponent to depart without hindrance, and instead of following him should have returned to Athens, where he seems to have passed the winter of 668-9, is in a military point of view surprising. We may suppose perhaps that in this also he was guided by political motives, and that he was sufficiently moderate and patriotic in his views willingly to forgo a victory over his countrymen, at least so long as they had still the Asiatics to deal with, and to find the most tolerable solution of the unhappy dilemma in allowing the armies of the revolution in Asia and of the oligarchy in Europe to fight against the common foe.

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