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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 X - The Sullan Constitution


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And at the present moment, when the last crisis had swept away almost all the leading men of the senate, the vigour and intelligence requisite for such an enterprise were less than ever to be found there. How thoroughly useless was the pure aristocratic blood, and how little doubt Sulla had as to its worthlessness, is shown by the fact that, with the exception of Quintus Metellus who was related to him by marriage, he selected all his instruments out of what was previously the middle party and the deserters from the democratic camp--such as Lucius Flaccus, Lucius Philippus, Quintus Ofella, Gnaeus Pompeius. Sulla was as much in earnest about the re-establishment of the old constitution as the most vehement aristocratic emigrant; he understood however, not perhaps to the full extent--for how in that case could he have put hand to the work at all?--but better at any rate than his party, the enormous difficulties which attended this work of restoration.

Comprehensive concessions so far as concession was possible without affecting the essence of oligarchy, and the establishment of an energetic system of repression and prevention, were regarded by him as unavoidable; and he saw clearly that the senate as it stood would refuse or mutilate every concession, and would parliamentarily ruin every systematic reconstruction. If Sulla had already after the Sulpician revolution carried out what he deemed necessary in both respects without asking much of their advice, he was now determined, under circumstances of far more severe and intense excitement, to restore the oligarchy--not with the aid, but in spite, of the oligarchs--by his own hand.

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