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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 5


But the predatory raids of the Thracians and Dardani, confined as they were to a small part of the empire, were far less injurious to the state and to individuals than the evil of piracy, which was continually spreading farther and acquiring more solid organization. The commerce of the whole Mediterranean was in its power. Italy could neither export its products nor import grain from the provinces; in the former the people were starving, in the latter the cultivation of the corn-fields ceased for want of a vent for the produce.

No consignment of money, no traveller was longer safe: the public treasury suffered most serious losses; a great many Romans of standing were captured by the corsairs, and compelled to pay heavy sums for their ransom, if it was not even the pleasure of the pirates to execute on individuals the sentence of death, which in that case was seasoned with a savage humour. The merchants, and even the divisions of Roman troops destined for the east, began to postpone their voyages chiefly to the unfavourable season of the year, and to be less afraid of the winter storms than of the piratical vessels, which indeed even at this season did not wholly disappear from the sea.

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