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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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Pompeius also had no desire for peace. Had he been a man who deserved to hold the position which he occupied, we might suppose him to have perceived that he who aspires to a crown cannot return to the beaten track of ordinary existence, and that there is accordingly no place left on earth for one who has failed. But Pompeius was hardly too noble-minded to ask a favour, which the victor would have been perhaps magnanimous enough not to refuse to him; on the contrary, he was probably too mean to do so. Whether it was that he could not make up his mind to trust himself to Caesar, or that in his usual vague and undecided way, after the first immediate impression of the disaster of Pharsalus had vanished, be began again to cherish hope, Pompeius was resolved to continue the struggle against Caesar and to seek for himself yet another battle-field after that of Pharsalus.

Military Effects of the Battle - The Leaders Scattered

Thus, however much Caesar had striven by prudence and moderation to appease the fury of his opponents and to lessen their number, the struggle nevertheless went on without alteration. But the leading men had almost all taken part in the fight at Pharsalus; and, although they all escaped with the exception of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was killed in the flight, they were yet scattered in all directions, so that they were unable to concert a common plan for the continuance of the campaign. Most of them found their way, partly through the desolate mountains of Macedonia and Illyria, partly by the aid of the fleet, to Corcyra, where Marcus Cato commanded the reserve left behind.

Here a sort of council of war took place under the presidency of Cato, at which Metellus Scipio, Titus Labienus, Lucius Afranius, Gnaeus Pompeius the younger and others were present; but the absence of the commander-in-chief and the painful uncertainty as to his fate, as well as the internal dissensions of the party, prevented the adoption of any common resolution, and ultimately each took the course which seemed to him the most suitable for himself or for the common cause. It was in fact in a high degree difficult to say among the many straws to which they might possibly cling which was the one that would keep longest above water.

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