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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 VIII - The Joint Rule of Pompeius and Caesar


The Original Greek New Testament

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Page 12

Pompeius stood towards his former adjutant precisely as after the Gabinio-Manilian laws the latter had stood towards him. Caesar was now the hero of the day and the master of the most powerful Roman army; Pompeius was an ex-general who had once been famous. It is true that no collision had yet occurred between father-in-law and son-in-law, and the relation was externally undisturbed; but every political alliance is inwardly broken up, when the relative proportions of the power of the parties are materially altered. While the quarrel with Clodius was merely annoying, the change in the position of Caesar involved a very serious danger for Pompeius; just as Caesar and his confederates had formerly sought a military support against him, he found himself now compelled to seek a military support against Caesar, and, laying aside his haughty privacy, to come forward as a candidate for some extraordinary magistracy, which would enable him to hold his place by the side of the governor of the two Gauls with equal and, if possible, with superior power.

His tactics, like his position, were exactly those of Caesar during the Mithradatic war. To balance the military power of a superior but still remote adversary by the obtaining of a similar command, Pompeius required in the first instance the official machinery of government. A year and a half ago this had been absolutely at his disposal. The regents then ruled the state both by the comitia, which absolutely obeyed them as the masters of the street, and by the senate, which was energetically overawed by Caesar; as representative of the coalition in Rome and as its acknowledged head, Pompeius would have doubtless obtained from the senate and from the burgesses any decree which he wished, even if it were against Caesar's interest. But by the awkward quarrel with Clodius, Pompeius had lost the command of the streets, and could not expect to carry a proposal in his favour in the popular assembly. Things were not quite so unfavourable for him in the senate; but even there it was doubtful whether Pompeius after that long and fatal inaction still held the reins of the majority firmly enough in hand to procure such a decree as he needed.

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