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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 62

Passionate was his homage to the wine-cup, still more passionate to women; even in his later years he was no longer the regent, when after the business of the day was finished he took his place at table. A vein of irony--we might perhaps say of buffoonery--pervaded his whole nature. Even when regent he gave orders, while conducting the public sale of the property of the proscribed, that a donation from the spoil should be given to the author of a wretched panegyric which was handed to him, on condition that the writer should promise never to sing his praises again. When he justified before the burgesses the execution of Ofella, he did so by relating to the people the fable of the countryman and the lice.

He delighted to choose his companions among actors, and was fond of sitting at wine not only with Quintus Roscius--the Roman Talma--but also with far inferior players; indeed he was himself not a bad singer, and even wrote farces for performance within his own circle. Yet amidst these jovial Bacchanalia he lost neither bodily nor mental vigour, in the rural leisure of his last years he was still zealously devoted to the chase, and the circumstance that he brought the writings of Aristotle from conquered Athens to Rome attests withal his interest in more serious reading.

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