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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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Retirement of Pompeius

Pompeius had every reason to be content with the turn which things had taken. The way to the throne now lay necessarily through civil war; and he owed it to Cato's incorrigible perversity that he could begin this war with good reason. After the illegal condemnation of the adherents of Catilina, after the unparalleled acts of violence against the tribune of the people Metellus, Pompeius might wage war at once as defender of the two palladia of Roman public freedom-- the right of appeal and the inviolability of the tribunate of the people--against the aristocracy, and as champion of the party of order against the Catilinarian band.

It seemed almost impossible that Pompeius should neglect this opportunity and with his eyes open put himself a second time into the painful position, in which the dismissal of his army in 684 had placed him, and from which only the Gabinian law had released him. But near as seemed the opportunity of placing the white chaplet around his brow, and much as his own soul longed after it, when the question of action presented itself, his heart and his hand once more failed him.

This man, altogether ordinary in every respect excepting only his pretensions, would doubtless gladly have placed himself beyond the law, if only he could have done so without forsaking legal ground. His very lingering in Asia betrayed a misgiving of this sort. He might, had he wished, have very well arrived in January 692 with his fleet and army at the port of Brundisium, and have received Nepos there.

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