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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 46

Declaration of War

The coalition, defeated in the senate, was in the most painful position. The Catonian section had undertaken to push matters to a rupture and to carry the senate along with them, and now saw their vessel stranded after a most vexatious manner on the sandbanks of the indolent majority. Their leaders had to listen in their conferences to the bitterest reproaches from Pompeius; he pointed out emphatically and with entire justice the dangers of the seeming peace; and, though it depended on himself alone to cut the knot by rapid action, his allies knew very well that they could never expect this from him, and that it was for them, as they had promised, to bring matters to a crisis.

After the champions of the constitution and of senatorial government had already declared the constitutional rights of the burgesses and of the tribunes of the people to be meaningless formalities,(22) they now found themselves driven by necessity to treat the constitutional decision; of the senate itself in a similar manner and, as the legitimate government would not let itself be saved with its own consent, to save it against its will.

22. Cf. V. IX. Debates as to Caesar's Recall

This was neither new nor accidental; Sulla(23) and Lucullus(24) had been obliged to carry every energetic resolution conceived by them in the true interest of the government with a high hand irrespective of it, just as Cato and his friends now proposed to do; the machinery of the constitution was in fact utterly effete, and the senate was now--as the comitia had been for centuries--nothing but a worn-out wheel slipping constantly out of its track.

23. Cf. IV. X. The Restoration

24. Cf. V. II. Beginning of the Armenian War

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