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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 30

Their League with Pompeius

The conclusion of the alliance between Pompeius and the Catonian party was effected with comparative rapidity. Already during the dictatorship of Pompeius a remarkable approximation had taken place between them. The whole behaviour of Pompeius in the Milonian crisis, his abrupt repulse of the mob that offered him the dictatorship, his distinct declaration that he would accept this office only from the senate, his unrelenting severity against disturbers of the peace of every sort and especially against the ultra-democrats, the surprising complaisance with which he treated Cato and those who shared his views, appeared as much calculated to gain the men of order as they were offensive to the democrat Caesar.

On the other hand Cato and his followers, instead of combating with their wonted sternness the proposal to confer the dictatorship on Pompeius, had made it with immaterial alterations of form their own; Pompeius had received the undivided consulship primarily from the hands of Bibulus and Cato. While the Catonian party and Pompeius had thus at least a tacit understanding as early as the beginning of 702, the alliance might be held as formally concluded, when at the consular elections for 703 there was elected not Cato himself indeed, but--along with an insignificant man belonging to the majority of the senate--one of the most decided adherents of Cato, Marcus Claudius Marcellus.

Marcellus was no furious zealot and still less a genius, but a steadfast and strict aristocrat, just the right man to declare war if war was to be begun with Caesar. As the case stood, this election, so surprising after the repressive measures adopted immediately before against the republican opposition, can hardly have occurred otherwise than with the consent, or at least under the tacit permission, of the regent of Rome for the time being. Slowly and clumsily, as was his wont, but steadily Pompeius moved onward to the rupture.

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