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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 I - Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Sertorius


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Marcus Crassus cannot, any more than Pompeius, be reckoned among the unconditional adherents of the oligarchy. He is a personage highly characteristic of this epoch. Like Pompeius, whose senior he was by a few years, he belonged to the circle of the high Roman aristocracy, had obtained the usual education befitting his rank, and had like Pompeius fought with distinction under Sulla in the Italian war. Far inferior to many of his peers in mental gifts, literary culture, and military talent, he outstripped them by his boundless activity, and by the perseverance with which he strove to possess everything and to become all-important. Above all, he threw himself into speculation.

Purchases of estates during the revolution formed the foundation of his wealth; but he disdained no branch of gain; he carried on the business of building in the capital on a great scale and with prudence; he entered into partnership with his freedmen in the most varied undertakings; he acted as banker both in and out of Rome, in person or by his agents; he advanced money to his colleagues in the senate, and undertook-- as it might happen--to execute works or to bribe the tribunals on their account. He was far from nice in the matter of making profit. On occasion of the Sullan proscriptions a forgery in the lists had been proved against him, for which reason Sulla made no more use of him thenceforward in the affairs of state: he did not refuse to accept an inheritance, because the testamentary document which contained his name was notoriously forged; he made no objection, when his bailiffs by force or by fraud dislodged the petty holders from lands which adjoined his own.

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