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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 103

Caesar in Alexandria

With a presence of mind, which in some measure justifies his earlier foolhardiness, Caesar hastily collected his scattered men; seized the persons of the king and his ministers; entrenched himself in the royal residence and the adjoining theatre; and gave orders, as there was no time to place in safety the war-fleet stationed in the principal harbour immediately in front of the theatre, that it should be set on fire and that Pharos, the island with the light-tower commanding the harbour, should be occupied by means of boats. Thus at least a restricted position for defence was secured, and the way was kept open to procure supplies and reinforcements.

At the same time orders were issued to the commandant of Asia Minor as well as to the nearest subject countries, the Syrians and Nabataeans, the Cretans and the Rhodians, to send troops and ships in all haste to Egypt. The insurrection at the head of which the princess Arsinoe and her confidant the eunuch Ganymedes had placed themselves, meanwhilehad free course in all Egypt and in the greater part of the capital. In the streets of the latter there was daily fighting, but without success either on the part of Caesar in gaining freer scope and breaking through to the fresh water lake of Marea which lay behind the town, where he could have provided himself with water and forage, or on the part of the Alexandrians in acquiring superiority over the besieged and depriving them of all drinking water; for, when the Nile canals in Caesar's part of the town had been spoiled by the introduction of salt water, drinkable water was unexpectedly found in wells dug on the beach.

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