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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 76

To remedy the severely felt want of cavalry and of arms, he tried with the help of the herds of horses seized in Lower Italy to train and discipline a cavalry, and, so soon as he got the port of Thurii into his hands, to procure from that quarter iron and copper, doubtless through the medium of the pirates. But in the main matters he was unable to induce the wild hordes whom he led to pursue any fixed ulterior aims. Gladly would he have checked the frantic orgies of cruelty, in which the robbers indulged on the capture of towns, and which formed the chief reason why no Italian city voluntarily made common cause with the insurgents; but the obedience which the bandit-chief found in the conflic ceased with the victory, and his representations and entreaties were in vain.

After the victories obtained in the Apennine in 682 the slave army was free to move in any direction. Spartacus himself is said to have intended to cross the Alps, with a view to open to himself and his followers the means of return to their Celtic or Thracian home: if the statement is well founded, it shows how little the conqueror overrated his successes and his power. When his men refused so speedily to turn their backs on the riches of Italy, Spartacus took the route for Rome, and is said to have meditated blockading the capital.

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