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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 48

The Ultimatum of Caesar

Caesar had completely attained the object of devolving the initiative of civil war on his opponents. He had, while himself keeping on legal ground, compelled Pompeius to declare war, and to declare it not as representative of the legitimate authority, but as general of an openly revolutionary minority of the senate which overawed the majority. This result was not to be reckoned of slight importance, although the instinct of the masses could not and did not deceive itself for a moment as to the fact that the war concerned other things than questions of formal law. Now, when war was declared, it was Caesar's interest to strike a blow as soon as possible. The preparations of his opponents were just beginning and even the capital was not occupied.

In ten or twelve days an army three times as strong as the troops of Caesar that were in Upper Italy could be collected at Rome; but still it was not impossible to surprise the city undefended, or even perhaps by a rapid winter campaign to seize all Italy, and to shut off the best resources of his opponents before they could make them available. The sagacious and energetic Curio, who after resigning his tribunate (10 Dec. 704) had immediately gone to Caesar at Ravenna, vividly represented the state of things to his master; and it hardly needed such a representation to convince Caesar that longer delay now could only be injurious.

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