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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 129

The African towns declared, wherever they could venture to do so, for Caesar; among the Gaetulians and the Libyans, who served in numbers among the light troops and even in the legions, desertion was spreading. But Scipio with all the obstinacy characteristic of folly persevered in his plan, marched with all his force from Utica to appear before the towns of Ruspina and Little Leptis occupied by Caesar, furnished Hadrumetum to the north and Thapsus to the south (on the promontory Ras Dimas) with strong garrisons, and in concert with Juba, who likewise appeared before Ruspina with all his troops not required by the defence of the frontier, offered battle repeatedly to the enemy. But Caesar was resolved to wait for his veteran legions.

As these one after another arrived and appeared on the scene of strife, Scipio and Juba lost the desire to risk a pitched battle, and Caesar had no means of compelling them to fight owing to their extraordinary superiority in light cavalry. Nearly two months passed away in marches and skirmishes in the neighbourhood of Ruspina and Thapsus, which chiefly had relation to the finding out of the concealed store-pits (silos) common in the country, and to the extension of posts. Caesar, compelled by the enemy's horsemen to keep as much as possible to the heights or even to cover his flanks by entrenched lines, yet accustomed his soldiers gradually during this laborious and apparently endless warfare to the foreign mode of fighting. Friend and foe hardly recognized the rapid general in the cautious master of fence who trained his men carefully and not unfrequently in person; and they became almost puzzled by the masterly skill which displayed itself as conspicuously in delay as in promptitude of action.

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