Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 51

Collapse of the Power of Sertorius

But this comparison was more ingenious than accurate. Sertorius was far from being strong enough to renew the gigantic enterprise of Hannibal. He was lost if he left Spain, where all his successes were bound up with the peculiarities of the country and the people; and even there he was more and more compelled to renounce the offensive. His admirable skill as a leader could not change the nature of his troops. The Spanish militia retained its character, untrustworthy as the wave or the wind; now collected in masses to the number of 150,000, now melting away again to a mere handful. The Roman emigrants, likewise, continued insubordinate, arrogant, and stubborn.

Those kinds of armed force which require that a corps should keep together for a considerable time, such as cavalry especially, were of course very inadequately represented in his army. The war gradually swept off his ablest officers and the flower of his veterans; and even the most trustworthy communities, weary of being harassed by the Romans and maltreated by the Sertorian officers, began to show signs of impatience and wavering allegiance. It is remarkable that Sertorius, in this respect also like Hannibal, never deceived himself as to the hopelessness of his position; he allowed no opportunity for bringing about a compromise to pass, and would have been ready at any moment to lay down his staff of command on the assurance of being allowed to live peacefully in his native land. But political orthodoxy knows nothing of compromise and conciliation. Sertorius might not recede or step aside; he was compelled inevitably to move on along the path which he had once entered, however narrow and giddy it might become.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :