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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 III - The Fall of the Oligarchy and the Rule of Pompeius


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 11

Coalition of the Military Chiefs and the Democracy

Pompeius and the democrats thus found themselves urged into coalition. Personal dislikings were probably not wanting on either side: it was not possible that the victorious general could love the street orators, nor could these hail with pleasure as their chief the executioner of Carbo and Brutus; but political necessity outweighed at least for the moment all moral scruples.

The democrats and Pompeius, however, were not the sole parties to the league. Marcus Crassus was in a similar situation with Pompeius. Although a Sullan like the latter, his politics were quite as in the case of Pompeius preeminently of a personal kind, and by no means those of the ruling oligarchy; and he too was now in Italy at the head of a large and victorious army, with which he had just suppressed the rising of the slaves. He had to choose whether he would ally himself with the oligarchy against the coalition, or enter that coalition: he chose the latter, which was doubtless the safer course.

With his colossal wealth and his influence on the clubs of the capital he was in any case a valuable ally; but under the prevailing circumstances it was an incalculable gain, when the only army, with which the senate could have met the troops of Pompeius, joined the attacking force. The democrats moreover, who were probably somewhat uneasy at their alliance with that too powerful general, were not displeased to see a counterpoise and perhaps a future rival associated with him in the person of Marcus Crassus.

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