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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 V - The Struggle of Parties During the Absence of Pompeius


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There was among the younger men a single exception; it was Marcus Porcius Cato (born in 659), a man of the best intentions and of rare devotedness, and yet one of the most Quixotic and one of the most cheerless phenomena in this age so abounding in political caricatures. Honourable and steadfast, earnest in purpose and in action, full of attachment to his country and to its hereditary constitution, but dull in intellect and sensuously as well as morally destitute of passion, he might certainly have made a tolerable state-accountant.

But unfortunately he fell early under the power of formalism, and swayed partly by the phrases of the Stoa, which in their abstract baldness and spiritless isolation were current among the genteel world of that day, partly by the example of his great-grandfather whom he deemed it his especial task to reproduce, he began to walk about in the sinful capital as a model burgess and mirror of virtue, to scold at the times like the old Cato, to travel on foot instead of riding, to take no interest, to decline badges of distinction as a soldier, and to introduce the restoration of the good old days by going after the precedent of king Romulus without a shirt.

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