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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 29

Pompeius and the Gabinian Laws

These measures of a man who had just given so striking proofs of his vacillation and weakness surprise us by their decisive energy. Nevertheless the fact that Pompeius acted on this occasion more resolutely than during his consulate is very capable of explanation. The point at issue was not that he should come forward at once as monarch, but only that he should prepare the way for the monarchy by a military exceptional measure, which, revolutionary as it was in its nature, could still be accomplished under the forms of the existing constitution, and which in the first instance carried Pompeius so far on the way towards the old object of his wishes, the command against Mithradates and Tigranes. Important reasons of expediency also might be urged for the emancipation of the military power from the senate.

Pompeius could not have forgotten that a plan designed on exactly similar principles for the suppression of piracy had a few years before failed through the mismanagement of the senate, and that the issue of the Spanish war had been placed in extreme jeopardy by the neglect of the armies on the part of the senate and its injudicious conduct of the finances; he could not fail to see what were the feelings with which the great majority of the aristocracy regarded him as a renegade Sullan, and what fate was in store for him, if he allowed himself to be sent as general of the government with the usual powers to the east.

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