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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 33

At first there had been a hope that the clause of the agrarian law, which as usual required all the senators to take an oath to the new law on pain of forfeiting their political rights, would induce its most vehement opponents to banish themselves, after the example of Metellus Numidicus,(11) by refusing the oath.

11. Cf. IV. VI. Violent Proceedings in the Voting

But these did not show themselves so complaisant; even the rigid Cato submitted to the oath, and his Sanchos followed him. A second, far from honourable, attempt to threaten the heads of the aristocracy with criminal impeachments on account of an alleged plot for the murder of Pompeius, and so to drive them into exile, was frustrated by the incapacity of the instruments; the informer, one Vettius, exaggerated and contradicted himself so grossly, and the tribune Vatinius, who directed the foul scheme, showed his complicity with that Vettius so clearly, that it was found advisable to strangle the latter in prison and to let the whole matter drop.

On this occasion however they had obtained sufficient evidence of the total disorganization of the aristocracy and the boundless alarm of the genteel lords: even a man like Lucius Lucullus had thrown himself in person at Caesar's feet and publicly declared that he found himself compelled by reason of his great age to withdraw from public life.

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