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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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For Pompeius such a coalition was certainly a political suicide. His weight hitherto in the state rested on the fact, that he was the only party-leader who at the same time disposed of legions-- which, though now dissolved, were still in a certain sense at his disposal. The plan of the democracy was directed to the very object of depriving him of this preponderance, and of placing by his side in their own chief a military rival. Never could he consent to this, and least of all personally help to a post of supreme command a man like Caesar, who already as a mere political agitator had given him trouble enough and had just furnished the most brilliant proofs also of military capacity in Spain.

But on the other hand, in consequence of the cavilling opposition of the senate and the indifference of the multitude to Pompeius and Pompeius' wishes, his position, particularly with reference to his old soldiers, had become so painful and so humiliating, that people might well expect from his character to gain him for such a coalition at the price of releasing him from that disagreeable situation. And as to the so-called equestrian party, it was to be found on whatever side the power lay; and as a matter of course it would not let itself be long waited for, if it saw Pompeius and the democracy combining anew in earnest. It happened moreover, that on account of Cato's severity-- otherwise very laudable--towards the lessees of the taxes, the great capitalists were just at this time once more at vehement variance with the senate.

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