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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 77

The troops, however, showed themselves also averse to this desperate but yet methodical enterprise; they compelled their leader, when he was desirous to be a general, to remain a mere captain of banditti and aimlessly to wander about Italy in search of plunder. Rome might think herself fortunate that the matter took this turn; but even as it was, the perplexity was great. There was a want of trained soldiers as of experienced generals; Quintus Metellus and Gnaeus Pompeius were employed in Spain, Marcus Lucullus in Thrace, Lucius Lucullus in Asia Minor; and none but raw militia and, at best, mediocre officers were available.

The extraordinary supreme command in Italy was given to the praetor Marcus Crassus, who was not a general of much reputation, but had fought with honour under Sulla and had at least character; and an army of eight legions, imposing if not by its quality, at any rate by its numbers, was placed at his disposal. The new commander-in-chief began by treating the first division, which again threw away its arms and fled before the banditti, with all the severity of martial law, and causing every tenth man in it to be executed; whereupon the legions in reality grew somewhat more manly. Spartacus, vanquished in the next engagement, retreated and sought to reach Rhegium through Lucania.

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