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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 72

Immoral and Superficial Nature of the Sullan Restoration

It is not, however, the statesman alone who has a voice in judging the dead; and with justice outraged human feeling will never reconcile itself to what Sulla did or suffered others to do. Sulla not only established his despotic power by unscrupulous violence, but in doing so called things by their right name with a certain cynical frankness, through which he has irreparably offended the great mass of the weakhearted who are more revolted at the name than at the thing, but through which, from the cool and dispassionate character of his crimes, he certainly appears to the moral judgment more revolting than the criminal acting from passion.

Outlawries, rewards to executioners, confiscations of goods, summary procedure with insubordinate officers had occurred a hundred times, and the obtuse political morality of ancient civilization had for such things only lukewarm censure; but it was unexampled that the names of the outlaws should be publicly posted up and their heads publicly exposed, that a set sum should be fixed for the bandits who slew them and that it should be duly entered in the public account-books, that the confiscated property should be brought to the hammer like the spoil of an enemy in the public market, that the general should order a refractory officer to be at once cut down and acknowledge the deed before all the people. This public mockery of humanity was also a political error; it contributed not a little to envenom later revolutionary crises beforehand, and on that account even now a dark shadow deservedly rests on the memory of the author of the proscriptions.

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