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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 V - The Struggle of Parties During the Absence of Pompeius


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Page 10

Personal Attacks

The democratic reaction manifested still greater vehemence in all personal questions, wherever it could and dared. Prudence indeed enjoined it not to urge the restoration of the estates confiscated by Sulla to their former owners, that it might not quarrel with its own allies and at the same time fall into a conflict with material interests, for which a policy with a set purpose is rarelya match; the recall of the emigrants was too closely connected with this question of property not to appear quite as unadvisable. On the other hand great exertions were made to restore to the children of the proscribed the political rights withdrawn from them (691), and the heads of the senatorial party were incessantly subjected to personal attacks. Thus Gaius Memmius set on foot a process aimed at Marcus Lucullus in 688. Thus they allowed his more famous brother to wait for three years before the gates of the capital for his well-deserved triumph (688-691). Quintus Rex and the conqueror of Crete Quintus Metellus were similarly insulted.

It produced a still greater sensation, when the young leader of the democracy Gaius Caesar in 691 not merely presumed to compete with the two most distinguished men of the nobility, Quintus Catulus and Publius Servilius the victor of Isaura, in the candidature for the supreme pontificate, but even carried the day among the burgesses. The heirs of Sulla, especially his son Faustus, found themselves constantly threatened with an action for the refunding of the public moneys which, it was alleged, had been embezzled by the regent. They talked even of resuming the democratic impeachments suspended in 664 on the basis of the Varian law.(7)

7. Cf. IV. VII. Bestowal of Latin Rights on the Italian Celts

The individuals who had taken part in the Sullan executions were, as may readily be conceived, judicially prosecuted with the utmost zeal. When the quaestor Marcus Cato, in his pedantic integrity, himself made a beginning by demanding back from them the rewards which they had received for murder as property illegally alienated from the state (689), it can excite no surprise that in the following year (690) Gaius Caesar, as president of the commission regarding murder, summarily treated the clause in the Sullan ordinance, which declared that a proscribed person might be killed with impunity, as null and void, and caused the most noted of Sulla's executioners, Lucius Catilina, Lucius Bellienus, Lucius Luscius to be brought before his jurymen and, partially, to be condemned.

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