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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 7

Organization of Piracy

Piracy had totally changed its character. The pirates were no longer bold freebooters, who levied their tribute from the large Italo-Oriental traffic in slaves and luxuries, as it passed through the Cretan waters between Cyrene and the Peloponnesus--in the language of the pirates the "golden sea"; no longer even armed slave-catchers, who prosecuted "war, trade, and piracy" equally side by side; they formed now a piratical state, with a peculiar esprit de corps, with a solid and very respectable organization, with a home of their own and the germs of a symmachy, and doubtless also with definite political designs.

The pirates called themselves Cilicians; in fact their vessels were the rendezvous of desperadoes and adventurers from all countries--discharged mercenaries from the recruiting-grounds of Crete, burgesses from the destroyed townships of Italy, Spain, and Asia, soldiers and officers from the armies of Fimbria and Sertorius, in a word the ruined men of all nations, the hunted refugees of all vanquished parties, every one that was wretched and daring--and where was there not misery and outrage in this unhappy age? It was no longer a gang of robbers who had flocked together, but a compact soldier- state, in which the freemasonry of exile and crime took the place of nationality, and within which crime redeemed itself, as it so often does in its own eyes, by displaying the most generous public spirit.

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