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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 32

Passive Resistance of the Senate to Caesar

Very soon he experienced remarkable treatment in this respect at the hands of the senate. Caesar had begun the struggle to liberate the overawed senate from its oppressors. This was done; consequently he wished to obtain from the senate approval of what had been done, and full powers for the continuance of the war. for this purpose, when Caesar appeared before the capital (end of March) the tribunes of the people belonging to his party convoked for him the senate (1 April). The meeting was tolerably numerous, but the more notable of the very senators that remained in Italy were absent, including even the former leader of the servile majority Marcus Cicero and Caesar's own father-in-law Lucius Piso; and, what was worse, those who did appear were not inclined to enter into Caesar's proposals.

When Caesar spoke of full power to continue the war, one of the only two consulars present, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a very timid man who desired nothing but a quiet death in his bed, was of opinion that Caesar would deserve well of his country if he should abandon the thought of carrying the war to Greece and Spain. When Caesar thereupon requested the senate at least to be the medium of transmitting his peace proposals to Pompeius, they were not indeed opposed to that course in itself, but the threats of the emigrants against the neutrals had so terrified the latter, that no one was found to undertake the message of peace. Through the disinclination of the aristocracy to help the erection of the monarch's throne, and through the same inertness of the dignified corporation, by means of which Caesar had shortly before frustrated the legal nomination of Pompeius as generalissimo in the civil war, he too was now thwarted when making a like request. Other impediments, moreover, occurred.

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