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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 131

The covering force was cut down, the left wing of the enemy was broken, and the whole line was overthrown. The defeat was the more destructive, as the new camp of the beaten army was not yet ready, and the old one was at a considerable distance; both were successively captured almost without resistance. The mass of the defeated army threw away their arms and sued for quarter; but Caesar's soldiers were no longer the same who had readily refrained from battle before Ilerda and honourably spared the defenceless at Pharsalus. The habit of civil war and the rancour left behind by the mutiny asserted their power in a terrible manner on the battlefield of Thapsus.

If the hydra with which they fought always put forth new energies, if the army was hurried from Italy to Spain, from Spain to Macedonia, from Macedonia to Africa, and if the repose ever more eagerly longed for never came, the soldier sought, and not wholly without cause, the reason of this state of things in the unseasonable clemency of Caesar. He had sworn to retrieve the general's neglect, and remained deaf to the entreaties of his disarmed fellow-citizens as well as to the commands of Caesar and the superior officers. The fifty thousand corpses that covered the battle-field of Thapsus, among whom were several Caesarian officers known as secret opponents of the new monarchy, and therefore cut down on this occasion by their own men, showed how the soldier procures for himself repose. The victorious army on the other hand numbered no more than fifty dead (6 April 708).

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