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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 II - Rule of the Sullan Restoration


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Page 42

He was unpopular, as a decided adherent of the oligarchy; unpopular, because he had vigorously checked the monstrous usury of the Roman capitalists in Asia Minor; unpopular, on account of the toils and fatigues which he inflicted on his troops; unpopular, because he demanded strict discipline in his soldiers and prevented as far as possible the pillage of the Greek towns by his men, but withal caused many a waggon and many a camel to be laden with the treasures of the east for himself; unpopular too on account of his manner, which was polished, haughty, Hellenizing, not at all familiar, and inclining, wherever it was possible, to ease and pleasure.

There was no trace in him of the charm which weaves a personal bond between the general and the soldier. Moreover, a large portion of his ablest soldiers had every reason to complain of the unmeasured prolongation of their term of service. His two best legions were the same which Flaccus and Fimbria had led in 668 to the east;(14) notwithstanding that shortly after the battle of Cabira they had been promised their discharge well earned by thirteen campaigns, Lucullus now led them beyond the Euphrates to face a new incalculable war--it seemed as though the victors of Cabira were to be treated worse than the vanquished of Cannae.(15)

14. Cf. IV. VIII. Flaccus Arrives in Asia

15. Cf. III. V. Attitude of the Romans, Cf. III. VI. The African Expedition of Scipio

It was in fact more than rash that, with troops so weak and so much out of humour, a general should at his own hand and, strictly speaking, at variance with the constitution, undertake an expedition to a distant and unknown land, full of rapid streams and snow-clad mountains--a land which from the very vastness of its extent rendered any lightly-undertaken attack fraught with danger. The conduct of Lucullus was therefore much and not unreasonably censured in Rome; only, amidst the censure the fact should not have been concealed, that the perversity of the government was the prime occasion of this venturesome project of the general, and, if it did not justify it, rendered it at least excusable.

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