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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 41

Catilina was wedged in on both sides, and his supplies came to an end; nothing was left but to throw himself on the nearest foe, which was Antonius. In a narrow valley enclosed by rocky mountains the conflict took place between the insurgents and the troops of Antonius, which the latter, in order not to be under the necessity of at least personally performing execution on his former allies, had under a pretext entrusted for this day to a brave officer who had grown gray under arms, Marcus Petreius. The superior strength of the government army was of little account, owing to the nature of the field of battle. Both Catilina and Petreius placed their most trusty men in the foremost ranks; quarter was neither given nor received.

The conflict lasted long, and many brave men fell on both sides; Catilina, who before the beginning of the battle had sent back his horse and those of all his officers, showed on this day that nature had destined him for no ordinary things, and that he knew at once how to command as a general and how to fight as a soldier. At length Petreius with his guard broke the centre of the enemy, and, after having overthrown this, attacked the two wings from within. This decided the victory. The corpses of the Catilinarians--there were counted 3000 of them--covered, as it were in rank and file, the ground where they had fought; the officers and the general himself had, when all was lost, thrown themselves headlong on the enemy and thus sought and found death (beginning of 692). Antonius was on account of this victory stamped by the senate with the title of Imperator, and new thanksgiving-festivals showed that the government and the governed were beginning to become accustomed to civil war.

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