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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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Page 39

Pompeius Extorts the Command in Spain

The oligarchy was thus victorious over Lepidus; but it found itself compelled by the dangerous turn of the Sertorian war to concessions, which violated the letter as well as the spirit of the Sullan constitution. It was absolutely necessary to send a strong army and an able general to Spain; and Pompeius indicated, very plainly, that he desired, or rather demanded, this commission. The pretension was bold. It was already bad enough that they had allowed this secret opponent again to attain an extraordinary command in the pressure of the Lepidian revolution; but it was far more hazardous, in disregard of all the rules instituted by Sulla for the magisterial hierarchy, to invest a man who had hitherto filled no civil office with one of the most important ordinary provincial governorships, under circumstances in which the observance of the legal term of a year was not to be thought of.

The oligarchy had thus, even apart from the respect due to their general Metellus, good reason to oppose with all earnestness this new attempt of the ambitious youth to perpetuate his exceptional position. But this was not easy. In the first place, they had not a single man fitted for the difficult post of general in Spain. Neither of the consuls of the year showed any desire to measure himself against Sertorius; and what Lucius Philippus said in a full meeting of the senate had to be admitted as too true--that, among all the senators of note, not one was able and willing to command in a serious war.

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