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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 36

Attempt to Shorten Caesar's Governorship

While in this way the shortening of Caesar's governorship was only aimed at indirectly, the regulations issued at the same time as to the governorships sought the same object directly. The ten years for which the governorship had been secured to Caesar, in the last instance through the law proposed by Pompeius himself in concert with Crassus, ran according to the usual mode of reckoning from 1 March 695 to the last day of February 705. As, however, according to the earlier practice, the proconsul or propraetor had the right of entering on his provincial magistracy immediately after the termination of his consulship or praetorship, the successor of Caesar was to be nominated, not from the urban magistrates of 704, but from those of 705, and could not therefore enter before 1st Jan. 706.

So far Caesar had still during the last ten months of the year 705 a right to the command, not on the ground of the Pompeio-Licinian law, but on the ground of the old rule that a command with a set term still continued after the expiry of the term up to the arrival of the successor. But now, since the new regulation of 702 called to the governorships not the consuls and praetors going out, but those who had gone out five years ago or more, and thus prescribed an interval between the civil magistracy and the command instead of the previous immediate sequence, there was no longer any difficulty in straightway filling up from another quarter every legally vacant governorship, and so, in the case in question, bringing about for the Gallic provinces the change of command on the 1st March 705, instead of the 1st Jan. 706.

The pitiful dissimulation and procrastinating artifice of Pompeius are after a remarkable manner mixed up, in these arrangements, with the wily formalism and the constitutional erudition of the republican party. Years before these weapons of state-law could be employed, they had them duly prepared, and put themselves in a condition on the one hand to compel Caesar to the resignation of his command from the day when the term secured to him by Pompeius' own law expired, that is from the 1st March 705, by sending successors to him, and on the other hand to be able to treat as null and void the votes tendered for him at the elections for 706. Caesar, not in a position to hinder these moves in the game, kept silence and left things to their own course.

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