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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 4

Democratic Attacks

To continue the conflict with this aristocracy brought little honour. Of course the attacks of the democracy on the vanquished foe did not on that account cease. The pack of the Populares threw themselves on the broken ranks of the nobility like the sutlers on a conquered camp, and the surface at least of politics was by this agitation ruffled into high waves of foam. The multitude entered into the matter the more readily, as Gaius Caesar especially kept them in good humour by the extravagant magnificence of his games (689)--in which all the equipments, even the cages of the wild beasts, appeared of massive silver--and generally by a liberality which was all the more princely that it was based solely on the contraction of debt. The attacks on the nobility were of the most varied kind.

The abuses of aristocratic rule afforded copious materials; magistrates and advocates who were liberal or assumed a liberal hue, like Gaius Cornelius, Aulus Gabinius, Marcus Cicero, continued systematically to unveil the most offensive and scandalous aspects of the Optimate doings and to propose laws against them. The senate was directed to give access to foreign envoys on set days, with the view of preventing the usual postponement of audiences. Loans raised by foreign ambassadors in Rome were declared non-actionable, as this was the only means of seriously checking the corruptions which formed the order of the day in the senate (687).

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