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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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But when an esteemed Siceliot, because he had not been ready to help the governor in a crime, was by the latter condemned to death in his absence and unheard; when even Roman burgesses, if they were not equites or senators, were in the provinces no longer safe from the rods and axes of the Roman magistrate, and the oldest acquisition of the Roman democracy--security of life and person--began to be trodden under foot by the ruling oligarchy; then even the public in the Forum at Rome had an ear for the complaints regarding its magistrates in the provinces, and regarding the unjust judges who morally shared the responsibility of such misdeeds.

The opposition of course did not omit to assail its opponents in--what was almost the only ground left to it--the tribunals. The young Gaius Caesar, who also, so far as his age allowed, took zealous part in the agitation for the re-establishment of the tribunician power, brought to trial in 677 one of the most respected partisans of Sulla the consular Gnaeus Dolabella, and in the following year another Sullan officer Gaius Antonius; and Marcus Cicero in 684 called to account Gaius Verres, one of the most wretched of the creatures of Sulla, and one of the worst scourges of the provincials.

Again and again were the pictures of that dark period of the proscriptions, the fearful sufferings of the provincials, the disgraceful state of Roman criminal justice, unfolded before the assembled multitude with all the pomp of Italian rhetoric, and with all the bitterness of Italian sarcasm, and the mighty dead as well as his living instruments were unrelentingly exposed to their wrath and scorn. The re-establishment of the full tribunician power, with the continuance of which the freedom, might, and prosperity of the republic seemed bound up as by a charm of primeval sacredness, the reintroduction of the "stern" equestrian tribunals, the renewal of the censorship, which Sulla had set aside, for the purifying of the supreme governing board from its corrupt and pernicious elements, were daily demanded with a loud voice by the orators of the popular party.

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