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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 24

Cinna and Sulla - Italy and the Provinces in Favour of the Government

The same union of the mightiest plenitude of power with the most utter impotence and incapacity in those who held it, was apparent in the warfare waged by the revolutionary government against the oligarchy--a warfare on which withal its existence primarily depended. In Italy it ruled with absolute sway. Of the old burgesses a very large portion were on principle favourable to democratic views; and the still greater mass of quiet people, while disapproving the Marian horrors, saw in an oligarchic restoration simply the commencement of a second reign of terror by the opposite party. The impression of the outrages of 667 on the nation at large had been comparatively slight, as they had chiefly affected the mere aristocracy of the capital; and it was moreover somewhat effaced by the three years of tolerably peaceful government that ensued. Lastly the whole mass of the new burgesses--three-fifths perhaps of the Italians--were decidedly, if not favourable to the present government, yet opposed to the oligarchy.

Like Italy, most of the provinces adhered to the oligarchy-- Sicily, Sardinia, the two Gauls, the two Spains. In Africa Quintus Metellus, who had fortunately escaped the murderers, made an attempt to hold that province for the Optimates; Marcus Crassus, the youngest son of the Publius Crassus who had perished in the Marian massacre, resorted to him from Spain, and reinforced him by a band which he had collected there. But on their quarrelling with each other they were obliged to yield to Gaius Fabius Hadrianus, the governor appointed by the revolutionary government. Asia was in the hands of Mithradates; consequently the province of Macedonia, so far as it was in the power of Sulla, remained the only asylum of the exiled oligarchy. Sulla's wife and children who had with difficulty escaped death, and not a few senators who had made their escape, sought refuge there, so that a sort of senate was soon formed at his head-quarters.

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