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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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It was urged even by contemporaries in vindication of Sulla that a king is better than a bad constitution,(2) and presumably the title of dictator was only chosen to indicate that, as the former dictatorship implied a reassumptionwith various limitations,(3) so this new dictatorship involved a complete reassumption, of the regal power.

2. -Satius est uti regibus quam uti malis legibus- (Ad Herenn. ii. 36).

3. Cf. II. I. The Dictator, II. II. The Valerio-Horatian Laws, II. III. Limitation of the Dictatorship

Thus, singularly enough, the course of Sulla here also coincided with that on which Gaius Gracchus had entered with so wholly different a design. In this respect too the conservative party had to borrow from its opponents; the protector of the oligarchic constitution had himself to come forward as a tyrant, in order to avert the ever-impending -tyrannis-. There was not a little of defeat in this last victory of the oligarchy.

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