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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 IX - Death of Crassus - Rupture between the Joint Rulers


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Page 27

To this was added another consideration at least as important. It was characteristic of Pompeius, even when he had formed a resolve, not to be able to find his way to its execution. While he knew perhaps how to conduct war but certainly not how to declare it, the Catonian party, although assuredly unable to conduct it, was very able and above all very ready to supply grounds for the war against the monarchy on the point of being founded.

According to the intention of Pompeius, while he kept himself aloof, and in his peculiar way, now talked as though he would immediately depart for his Spanish provinces, now made preparations as though he would set out to take over the command on the Euphrates, the legitimate governing board, namely the senate, were to break with Caesar, to declare war against him, and to entrust the conduct of it to Pompeius, who then, yielding to the general desire, was to come forward as the protector of the constitution against demagogico- monarchical plots, as an upright man and champion of the existing order of things against the profligates and anarchists, as the duly-installed general of the senate against the Imperator of the street, and so once more to save his country.

Thus Pompeius gained by the alliance with the conservatives both a second army in addition to his personal adherents, and a suitable war-manifesto-- advantages which certainly were purchased at the high price of coalescing with those who were in principle opposed to him. Of the countless evils involved in this coalition, there was developed in the meantime only one--but that already a very grave one-- that Pompeius surrendered the power of commencing hostilities against Caesar when and how he pleased, and in this decisive point made himself dependent on all the accidents and caprices of an aristocratic corporation.

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