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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


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Page 27

But now the burgesses were to invest any private man at their pleasure not merely with the extraordinary authority of the supreme magistracy, but also with a sphere of office definitely settled by them. That the senate had to choose this man from the ranks of the consulars, was a mitigation only in form; for the selection was left to it simply because there was really no choice, and in presence of the vehemently excited multitude the senate could entrust the chief command of the seas and coasts to no other save Pompeius alone. But more dangerous still than this negation in principle of the senatorial control was its practical abolition by the institution of an office of almost unlimited military and financial powers.

While the office of general was formerly restricted to a term of one year, to a definite province, and to military and financial resources strictly measured out, the new extraordinary office had from the outset a duration of three years secured to it--which of course did not exclude a farther prolongation; had the greater portion of all the provinces, and even Italy itself which was formerly free from military jurisdiction, subordinated to it; had the soldiers, ships, treasures of the state placed almost without restriction at its disposal. Even the primitive fundamental principle in the state-law of the Roman republic, which we have just mentioned-- that the highest military and civil authority could not be conferred without the co-operation of the burgesses--was infringed in favour of the new commander-in-chief.

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