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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 68

Servile Disturbances

We have already described how the senate restored by Sulla carried out its guardianship of the frontier in Macedonia, its discipline over the client kings of Asia Minor, and lastly its marine police; the results were nowhere satisfactory. Nor did better success attend the government in another and perhaps even more urgent matter, the supervision of the provincial, and above all of the Italian, proletariate. The gangrene of a slave-proletariate Gnawed at the vitals of all the states of antiquity, and the more so, the more vigorously they had risen and prospered; for the power and riches of the state regularly led, under the existing circumstances, to a disproportionate increase of the body of slaves. Rome naturally suffered more severely from this cause than any other state of antiquity.

Even the government of the sixth century had been under the necessity of sending troops against the gangs of runaway herdsmen and rural slaves. The plantation-system, spreading more and more among the Italian speculators had infinitely increased the dangerous evil: in the time of the Gracchan and Marian crises and in close connection with them servile revolts had taken place at numerous points of the Roman empire, and in Sicily had even grown into two bloody wars (619-622 and 652-654;(24)).

24. Cf. IV. II. The First Sicilian Slave War, IV. IV. Revolts of the Slaves

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