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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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Page 26

Proposals before the Burgesses

Of course all the proposals were now brought before the burgesses. Without deviating far from the truth, Caesar could tell the multitude that the senate had scornfully rejected most rational and most necessary proposals submitted to it in the most respectful form, simply because they came from the democratic consul. When he added that the aristocrats had contrived a plot to procure the rejection of the proposals, and summoned the burgesses, and more especially Pompeius himself and his old soldiers, to stand by him against fraud and force, this too was by no means a mere invention.

The aristocracy, with the obstinate weak creature Bibulus and the unbending dogmatical fool Cato at their head, in reality intended to push the matter to open violence. Pompeius, instigated by Caesar to proclaim his position with reference to the pending question, declared bluntly, as was not his wont on other occasions, that if any one should venture to draw the sword, he too would grasp his, and in that case would not leave the shield at home; Crassus expressed himself to the same effect The old soldiers of Pompeius were directed to appear on the day of the vote-- which in fact primarily concerned them--in great numbers, and with arms under their dress, at the place of voting.

The nobility however left no means untried to frustrate the proposals of Caesar. On each day when Caesar appeared before the people, his colleague Bibulus instituted the well-known political observations of the weather which interrupted all public business;(7) Caesar did not trouble himself about the skies, but continued to prosecute his terrestrial occupation.

7. Cf. IV. XII. Oriental Religions in Italy

The tribunician veto was interposed; Caesar contented himself with disregarding it. Bibulus and Cato sprang to the rostra, harangued the multitude, and instigated the usual riot; Caesar ordered that they should be led away by lictors from the Forum, and took care that otherwise no harm should befall them--it was for his interest that the political comedy should remain such as it was.

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