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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 38

Caesar Cut Off

When the floods came on with the melting of the snow, these temporary bridges were swept away; and, as they had no vessels for the passage of the highly swollen rivers and under such circumstance the restoration of the bridges could not for the present be thought of, the Caesarian army was confined to the narrow space between the Cinca and the Sicoris, while the left bank of the Sicoris and with it the road, by which the army communicated with Gaul and Italy, were exposed almost undefended to the Pompeians, who passed the river partly by the town-bridge, partly by swimming after the Lusitanian fashion on skins.

It was the season shortly before harvest; the old produce was almost used up, the new was not yet gathered, and the narrow stripe of land between the two streams was soon exhausted. In the camp actual famine prevailed--the -modius- of wheat cost 50 -denarii- (1 pound 16 shillings)--and dangerous diseases broke out; whereas on the left bank there were accumulated provisions and varied supplies, as well as troops of all sorts--reinforcements from Gaul of cavalry and archers, officers and soldiers from furlough, foraging parties returning--in all a mass of 6000 men, whom the Pompeians attacked with superior force and drove with great loss to the mountains, while the Caesarians on the right bank were obliged to remain passive spectators of the unequal conflict.

The communications of the army were in the hands of the Pompeians; in Italy the accounts from Spain suddenly ceased, and the suspicious rumours, which began to circulate there, were not so very remote from the truth. Had the Pompeians followed up their advantage with some energy, they could not have failed either to reduce under their power or at least to drive back towards Gaul the mass scarcely capable of resistance which was crowded together on the left bank of the Sicoris, and to occupy this bank so completely that not a man could cross the river without their knowledge. But both points were neglected; those bands were doubtless pushed aside with loss but neither destroyed nor completely beaten back, and the prevention of the crossing of the river was left substantially to the river itself,

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