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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 X - Brundisium, Ilerda, Pharsalus, and Thapsus


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Page 102

The Roman army of occupation also, which had been essentially denationalized by its long abode in Egypt and the many intermarriages between the soldiers and Egyptian women, and which moreover numbered a multitude of the old soldiers of Pompeius and runaway Italian criminals and slaves in its ranks, was indignant at Caesar, by whose orders it had been obliged to suspend its action on the Syrian frontier, and at his handful of haughty legionaries. The tumult even at the landing, when the multitude saw the Roman axes carried into the old palace, and the numerous cases in which his soldiers were assassinated in the city, had taught Caesar the immense danger in which he was placed with his small force in presence of that exasperated multitude.

But it was difficult to return on account of the north-west winds prevailing at this season of the year, and the attempt at embarkation might easily become a signal for the outbreak of the insurrection; besides, it was not the nature of Caesar to take his departure without having accomplished his work. He accordingly ordered up at once reinforcements from Asia, and meanwhile, till these arrived, made a show of the utmost self-possession. Never was there greater gaiety in his camp than during this rest at Alexandria; and while the beautiful and clever Cleopatra was not sparing of her charms in general and least of all towards her judge, Caesar also appeared among all his victories to value most those won over beautiful women. It was a merry prelude to graver scenes. Under the leadership of Achillas and, as was afterwards proved, by the secret orders of the king and his guardian, the Roman army of occupation stationed in Egypt appeared unexpectedly in Alexandria; and as soon as the citizens saw that it had come to attack Caesar, they made common cause with the soldiers.

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