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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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Page 55

Impression Produced by the Sullan Reorganization - Opposition of the Officers

Such was the constitution which Lucius Cornelius Sulla gave to the commonwealth of Rome. The senate and equestrian order, the burgesses and proletariate, Italians and provincials, accepted it as it was dictated to them by the regent, if not without grumbling, at any rate without rebelling: not so the Sullan officers. The Roman army had totally changed its character. It had certainly been rendered by the Marian reform more ready for action and more militarily useful than when it did not fight before the walls of Numantia; but it had at the same time been converted from a burgess- force into a set of mercenaries who showed no fidelity to the state at all, and proved faithful to the officer only if he had the skill personally to gain their attachment.

The civil war had given fearful evidence of this total revolution in the spirit of the army: six generals in command, Albinus,(45) Cato,(46) Rufus,(47) Flaccus,(48) Cinna,(49) and Gaius Carbo,(50) had fallen during its course by the hands of their soldiers: Sulla alone had hitherto been able to retain the mastery of the dangerous crew, and that only, in fact, by giving the rein to all their wild desires as no Roman general before him had ever done.

45. Cf. IV. VII. Decay of Military Discipline

46. Cf. IV. VII. Economic Crisis

47. Cf. IV. VII. Strabo

48. Cf. IV. VIII. Flaccus Arrives in Asia

49. Cf. IV. IX. Death of Cinna

50. Cf. IV. IX. Nola

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