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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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His tarrying the whole winter of 691-692 in Asia had proximately the injurious consequence, that the aristocracy, which of course accelerated the campaign against Catilina as it best could, had meanwhile got rid of his bands, and had thus set aside the most feasible pretext for keeping together the Asiatic legions in Italy. For a man of the type of Pompeius, who for want of faith in himself and in his star timidly clung in public life to formal right, and with whom the pretext was nearly of as much importance as the motive, this circumstance was of serious weight.

He probably said to himself, moreover, that, even if he dismissed his army, he did not let it wholly out of his hand, and could in case of need still raise a force ready for battle sooner at any rate than any other party-chief; that the democracy was waiting in submissive attitude for his signal, and that he could deal with the refractory senate even without soldiers; and such further considerations as suggested themselves, in which there was exactly enough of truth to make them appear plausible to one who wished to deceive himself.

Once more the very peculiar temperament of Pompeius naturally turned the scale. He was one of those men who are capable it may be of a crime, but not of insubordination; in a good as in a bad sense, he was thoroughly a soldier. Men of mark respect the law as a moral necessity, ordinary men as a traditional everyday rule; for this very reason military discipline, in which more than anywhere else law takes the form of habit, fetters every man not entirely self-reliant as with a magic spell.

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