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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 VI - Retirement of Pompeius and Coalition of the Pretenders


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» Contents of this Chapter

Pompeius in the East ||| The Opponents of the Future Monarchy ||| Mission of Nepos to Rome - Pompeius in Relation to the Parties ||| Rupture between Pompeius and the Aristocracy ||| Retirement of Pompeius ||| Pompeius without Influence ||| Rise of Caesar ||| Second Coalition of Pompeius, Crassus, and Caesar ||| Change in the Position of Caesar ||| Caesar Consul - Caesar's Agrarian Law ||| Opposition of the Aristocracy ||| Proposals before the Burgesses ||| The Agrarian Law Carried - Passive Resistance of the Aristocracy ||| Caesar Governor of the Two Gauls ||| Measures Adopted by the Allies for Their Security ||| Situation of the Aristocracy ||| Cato and Cicero Removed ||| Clodius

Pompeius in the East

When Pompeius, after having transacted the affairs committed to his charge, again turned his eyes homeward, he found for the second time the diadem at his feet. For long the development of the Roman commonwealth had been tending towards such a catastrophe; it was evident to every unbiassed observer, and had been remarked a thousand times, that, if the rule of the aristocracy should be brought to an end, monarchy was inevitable. The senate had now been overthrown at once by the civic liberal opposition and by the power of the soldiery; the only question remaining was to settle the persons, names, and forms for the new order of things; and these were already clearly enough indicated in the partly democratic, partly military elements of the revolution.

The events of the last five years had set, as it were, the final seal on this impending transformation of the commonwealth. In the newly-erected Asiatic provinces, which gave regal honours to their organizer as the successor of Alexander the Great, and already received his favoured freedmen like princes, Pompeius had laid the foundations of his dominion, and found at once the treasures, the army, and the halo of glory which the future prince of the Roman state required. The anarchist conspiracy, moreover, in the capital, and the civil war connected with it, had made it palpably clear to every one who studied political or even merely material interests, that a government without authority and without military power, such as that of the senate, exposed the state to the equally ludicrous and formidable tyranny of political sharpers, and that a change of constitution, which should connect the military power more closely with the government, was an indispensable necessity if social order was to be maintained. So the ruler had arisen in the east, the throne had been erected in Italy; to all appearance the year 692 was the last of the republic, the first of monarchy.

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