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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 71

Junction of Caesar's Army

Antonius and Caesar were no doubt still some four days' march from each other, separated by Dyrrhachium and the whole army of the enemy; but Antonius happily effected the perilous march round about Dyrrhachium through the passes of the Graba Balkan, and was received by Caesar, who had gone to meet him, on the right bank of the Apsus. Pompeius, after having vainly attempted to prevent the junction of the two armies of the enemy and to force the corps of Antonius to fight by itself, took up a new position at Asparagium on the river Genusus (Skumbi), which flows parallel to the Apsus between the latter and the town of Dyrrhachium, and here remained once more immoveable. Caesar felt himself now strong enough to give battle; but Pompeius declined it.

On the other hand Caesar succeeded in deceiving his adversary and throwing himself unawares with his better marching troops, just as at Ilerda, between the enemy's camp and the fortress of Dyrrhachium on which it rested as a basis. The chain of the Graba Balkan, which stretching in a direction from east to west ends on the Adriatic in the narrow tongue of land at Dyrrhachium, sends off--fourteen miles to the east of Dyrrhachium--in a south-westerly direction a lateral branch which likewise turns in the form of a crescent towards the sea, and the main chain and lateral branch of the mountains enclose between themselves a small plain extending round a cliff on the seashore.

Pompeius now took up his camp, and, although Caesar's army kept the land route to Dyrrhachium closed against him, he yet with the aid of his fleet remained constantly in communication with the town and was amply and easily provided from it with everything needful; while among the Caesarians, notwithstanding strong detachments to the country lying behind, and notwithstanding all the exertions of the general to bring about an organized system of conveyance and thereby a regular supply, there was more than scarcity, and flesh, barley, nay even roots had very frequently to take the place of the wheat to which they were accustomed.

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