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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 IX - Cinna and Sulla


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Page 13

It was a severe loss also, when after a combat unfavourable to the troops of the government Ariminum was occupied by the insurgents and thus the important communication between Rome and the valley of the Po, whence men and supplies were expected, was interrupted. Scarcity and famine set in. The large populous city numerously garrisoned with troops was but inadequately supplied with provisions; and Marius in particular took care to cut off its supplies more and more. He had already blocked up the Tiber by a bridge of ships; now by the capture of Antium, Lanuvium, Aricia, and other townships he gained control over the means of land communication still open, and at the same time appeased temporarily his revenge by causing all the citizens, wherever resistance was offered, to be put to the sword with the exception of those who had possibly betrayed to him the town.

Contagious diseases followed on the distress and committed dreadful ravages among the masses of soldiers densely crowded round the capital; of Strabo's veteran army 11,000, and of the troops of Octavius 6000 are said to have fallen victims to them. Yet the government did not despair; and the sudden death of Strabo was a fortunate event for it. He died of the pestilence;(3) the masses, exasperated on many grounds against him, tore his corpse from the bier and dragged it through the streets. The remnant of his troops was incorporated by the consul Octavius with his army.

3. "-Ad flatus sidere-," as Livy (according to Obsequens, 56) expresses it, means "seized by the pestilence" (Petron. Sat. 2; Plin. H. N. ii. 41, 108; Liv. viii. 9, 12), not "struck by lightning," as later writers have misunderstood it.

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