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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 125

His attempt to capture Hadrumetum strongly occupied by the enemy miscarried; but Caesar possessed himself of the two seaports not far distant from each other, Ruspina (Monastir near Susa) and Little Leptis. Here he entrenched himself; but his position was so insecure, that he kept his cavalry in the ships and the ships ready for sea and provided with a supply of water, in order to re-embark at any moment if he should be attacked by a superior force. This however was not necessary, for just at the right time the ships that had been driven out of their course arrived (3 Jan. 708).

On the very following day Caesar, whose army in consequence of the arrangements made by the Pompeians suffered from want of corn, undertook with three legions an expedition into the interior of the country, but was attacked on the march not far from Ruspina by the corps which Labienus had brought up to dislodge Caesar from the coast. As Labienus had exclusively cavalry and archers, and Caesar almost nothing but infantry of the line, the legions were quickly surrounded and exposed to the missiles of the enemy, without being able to retaliate or to attack with success. No doubt the deploying of the entire line relieved once more the flanks, and spirited charges saved the honour of their arms; but a retreat was unavoidable, and had Ruspina not been so near, the Moorish javelin would perhaps have accomplished the same result here as the Parthian bow at Carrhae.

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