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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 61

Farther Retreat to Asia Minor

The soldiers obeyed the order to march; but, when they reached the point where the routes to Armenia and Cappadocia diverged, the bulk of the army took the latter, and proceeded to the province of Asia. There the Fimbrians demanded their immediate discharge; and although they desisted from this at the urgent entreaty of the commander-in-chief and the other corps, they yet persevered in their purpose of disbanding if the winter should come on without an enemy confronting them; which accordingly was the case. Mithradates not only occupied once more almost his whole kingdom, but his cavalry ranged over all Cappadocia and as far as Bithynia; king Ariobarzanes sought help equally in vain from Quintus Marcius, from Lucullus, and from Glabrio.

It was a strange, almost incredible issue for a war conducted in a manner so glorious. If we look merely to military achievements, hardly any other Roman general accomplished so much with so trifling means as Lucullus; the talent and the fortune of Sulla seemed to have devolved on this his disciple. That under the circumstances the Roman army should have returned from Armenia to Asia Minor uninjured, is a military miracle which, so far as we can judge, far excels the retreat of Xenophon; and, although mainly doubtless to be explained by the solidity of the Roman, and the inefficiency of the Oriental, system of war, it at all events secures to the leader of this expedition an honourable name in the foremost rank of men of military capacity.

If the name of Lucullus is not usually included among these, it is to all appearance simply owing to the fact that no narrative of his campaigns which is in a military point of view even tolerable has come down to us, and to the circumstance that in everything and particularly in war, nothing is taken into account but the final result; and this, in reality, was equivalent to a complete defeat. Through the last unfortunate turn of things, and principally through the mutiny of the soldiers, all the results of an eight years' war had been lost; in the winter of 687-688 the Romans again stood exactly at the same spot as in the winter of 679-680.

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