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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 29

Difficult Position of Sulla

Against this Italian force Sulla had nothing to place in the scale except his five legions, which, even including some contingents levied in Macedonia and the Peloponnesus, probably amounted to scarce 40,000 men. It is true that this army had been, during its seven years' conflicts in Italy, Greece, and Asia, weaned from politics, and adhered to its general--who pardoned everything in his soldiers, debauchery, brutality, even mutiny against their officers, required nothing but valour and fidelity towards their general, and set before them the prospect of the most extravagant rewards in the event of victory--with all that soldierly enthusiasm, which is the more powerful that the noblest and the meanest passions often combine to produce it in the same breast.

The soldiers of Sulla voluntarily according to the Roman custom swore mutual oaths that they would stand firmly by each other, and each voluntarily brought to the general his savings as a contribution to the costs of the war. But considerable as was the weight of this solid and select body of troops in comparison with the masses of the enemy, Sulla saw very well that Italy could not be subdued with five legions if it remained united in resolute resistance.

To settle accounts with the popular party and their incapable autocrats would not have been difficult; but he saw opposed to him and united with that party the whole mass of those who desired no oligarchic restoration with its terrors, and above all the whole body of new burgesses--both those who had been withheld by the Julian law from taking part in the insurrection, and those whose revolt a few years before had brought Rome to the brink of ruin.

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