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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 IV - Pompeius and the East


The Original Greek New Testament

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Page 29

The death of Mithradates was looked on by the Romans as equivalent to a victory: the messengers who reported to the general the catastrophe appeared crowned with laurel, as if they had a victory to announce, in the Roman camp before Jericho. In him a great enemy was borne to the tomb, a greater than had ever yet withstood the Romans in the indolent east. Instinctively the multitude felt this: as formerly Scipio had triumphed even more over Hannibal than over Carthage, so the conquest of the numerous tribes of the east and of the great-king himself was almost forgotten in the death of Mithradates; and at the solemn entry of Pompeius nothing attracted more the eyes of the multitude than the pictures, in which they saw king Mithradates as a fugitive leading his horse by the rein and thereafter sinking down in death between the dead bodies of his daughters.

Whatever judgment may be formed as to the idiosyncrasy of the king, he is a figure of great significance--in the full sense of the expression--for the history of the world. He was not a personage of genius, probably not even of rich endowments; but he possessed the very respectable gift of hating, and out of this hatred he sustained an unequal conflict against superior foes throughout half a century, without success doubtless, but with honour. He became still more significant through the position in which history had placed him thanthrough his individual character. As the forerunner of the national reaction of the Orientals against the Occidentals, he opened the new conflict of the east against the west; and the feeling remained with the vanquished as with the victors, that his death was not so much the end as the beginning.

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