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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

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 13

The Republican Opposition among the Public

The position of the senate also, or rather of the nobility generally, had meanwhile undergone a change. From the very fact of its complete abasement it drew fresh energy. In the coalition of 694 various things had come to light, which were by no means as yet ripe for it. The banishment of Cato and Cicero-- which public opinion, however much the regents kept themselves in the background and even professed to lament it, referred with unerring tact to its real authors--and the marriage-relationship formed between Caesar and Pompeius suggested to men's minds with disagreeable clearness monarchical decrees of banishment and family alliances. The larger public too, which stood more aloof from political events, observed the foundations of the future monarchy coming more and more distinctly into view.

From the moment when the public perceived that Caesar's object was not a modification of the republican constitution, but that the question at stake was the existence or non-existence of the republic, many of the best men, who had hitherto reckoned themselves of the popular party and honoured in Caesar its head, must infallibly have passed over to the opposite side. It was no longer in the saloons and the country houses of the governing nobilityalone that men talked of the "three dynasts," of the "three- headed monster." The dense crowds of people listened to the consular orations of Caesar without a sound of acclamation or approval; not a hand stirred to applaud when the democratic consul entered the theatre. But they hissed when one of the tools of the regents showed himself in public, and even staid men applauded when an actor utteredan anti-monarchic sentence or an allusion against Pompeius. Nay, when Cicero was to be banished, a great number of burgesses-- it is said twenty thousand--mostly of the middle classes, put on mourning after the example of the senate. "Nothing is now more popular," it is said in a letter of this period, "than hatred of the popular party."

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