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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 7

On the other hand, the first act with which Caesar began his praetorship was to call Quintus Catulus to account for the moneys alleged to have been embezzled by him at the rebuilding of the Capitoline temple, and to transfer the completion of the temple to Pompeius. This was a masterstroke. Catulus had already been building at the temple for fifteen years, and seemed very much disposed to die as he had lived superintendent of the Capitoline buildings; an attack on this abuse of a public commission--an abuse covered only by the reputation of the noble commissioner--was in reality entirely justified and in a high degree popular.

But when the prospect was simultaneously opened up to Pompeius of being allowed to delete the name of Catulus and engrave his own on this proudest spot of the first city of the globe, there was offered to him the very thing which most of all delighted him and did no harm to the democracy--abundant but empty honour; while at the same time the aristocracy, which could not possibly allow its best man to fall, was brought into the most disagreeable collision with Pompeius.

Meanwhile Nepos had brought his proposals concerning Pompeius before the burgesses. On the day of voting Cato and his friend and colleague, Quintus Minucius, interposed their veto. When Nepos did not regard this and continued the reading out, a formal conflict took place; Cato and Minucius threw themselves on their colleague and forced him to stop; an armed band liberated him, and drove the aristocratic section from the Forum; but Cato and Minucius returned, now supported likewise by armed bands, and ultimately maintained the field of battle for the government.

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