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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 15

Increasing Importance of the Senate

If Rome had had a representative constitution, the discontent of the burgesses would have found its natural expression in the elections, and have increased by so expressing itself; under the existing circumstances nothing was left for those true to the constitution but to place themselves under the senate, which, degraded as it was, still appeared the representative and champion of the legitimate republic. Thus it happened that the senate, now when it had been overthrown, suddenly found at its disposal an army far more considerable and far more earnestly faithful, than when in its power and splendour it overthrew the Gracchi and under the protection of Sulla's sword restored the state.

The aristocracy felt this; it began to bestir itself afresh. Just at this time Marcus Cicero, after having bound himself to join the obsequious party in the senate and not only to offer no opposition, but to work with all his might for the regents, had obtained from them permission to return. Although Pompeius in this matter only made an incidental concession to the oligarchy, and intended first of all to play a trick on Clodius, and secondly to acquire in the fluent consular a tool rendered pliant by sufficient blows, the opportunity afforded by the return of Cicero was embraced for republican demonstrations, just as his banishment had been a demonstration against the senate. With all possible solemnity, protected moreover against the Clodians by the band of Titus Annius Milo, the two consuls, following out a resolution of the senate, submitted a proposal to the burgesses to permit the return of the consular Cicero, and the senate called on all burgesses true to the constitution not to be absent from the vote. An unusual number of worthy men, especially from the country towns, actually assembled in Rome on the day of voting (4 Aug. 697). The journey of the consular from Brundisium to the capital gave occasion to a series of similar, but not less brilliant manifestations of public feeling. The new alliance between the senate and the burgesses faithful to the constitution was on this occasion as it were publicly proclaimed, and a sort of review of the latter was held, the singularly favourable result of which contributed not a little to revive the sunken courage of the aristocracy.

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