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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 30

Threats of the Emigrants - The Mass of Quiet People Gained for Caesar

But, if the aristocracy had previously refused to listen to any reconciliation, the unexpected emigration of a kind so disgraceful had raised their wrath to madness, and the wild vengeance breathed by the beaten contrasted strangely with the placability of the victor. The communications regularly coming from the camp of the emigrants to their friends left behind in Italy were full of projects for confiscations and proscriptions, of plans for purifying the senate and the state, compared with which the restoration of Sulla was child's play, and which even the moderate men of their own party heard with horror. The frantic passion of impotence, the wise moderation of power, produced their effect.

The whole mass, in whose eyes material interests were superior to political, threw itself into the arms of Caesar. The country towns idolized "the uprightness, the moderation, the prudence" of the victor; and even opponents conceded that these demonstrations of respect were meant in earnest. The great capitalists, farmers of the taxes, and jurymen, showed no special desire, after the severe shipwreck which had befallen the constitutional party in Italy, to entrust themselves farther to the same pilots; capital came once more to the light, and "the rich lords resorted again to their daily task of writing their rent-rolls."

Even the great majority of the senate, at least numerically speaking--for certainly but few of the nobler and more influential members of the senate were included in it--had notwithstanding the orders of Pompeius and of the consuls remained behind in Italy, and a portion of them even in the capital itself; and they acquiesced in Caesar's rule. The moderation of Caesar, well calculated even in its very semblance of excess, attained its object: the trembling anxiety of the propertied classes as to the impending anarchy was in some measure allayed. This was doubtless an incalculable gain for the future; the prevention of anarchy, and of the scarcely less dangerous alarm of anarchy, was the indispensable preliminary condition to the future reorganization of the commonwealth.

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