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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 77

On what had hitherto been the theatre of war he found himself in presence of an impregnable defensive position, and unable to strike a serious blow either against Dyrrhachium or against the hostile army; on the other hand it depended now solely on Pompeius whether he should proceed to attack under the most favourable circumstances an antagonist already in grave danger as to his means of subsistence. The war had arrived at a crisis. Hitherto Pompeius had, to all appearance, played the game of war without special plan, and only adjusted his defence according to the exigencies of each attack; and this was not to be censured, for the protraction of the war gave him opportunity of making his recruits capable of fighting, of bringing up his reserves, and of bringing more fully into play the superiority of his fleet in the Adriatic.

Caesar was beaten not merely in tactics but also in strategy. This defeat had not, it is true, that effect which Pompeius not without reason expected; the eminent soldierly energy of Caesar's veterans did not allow matters to come to an immediate and total breaking up of the army by hunger and mutiny. But yet it seemed as if it depended solely on his opponent by judiciously following up his victory to reap its full fruits.

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