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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 94

Hostilities of Robbers and Pirates

That the vanquished should withdraw and renounce the new monarchy, was at least the natural and so far the truest expression of their desperate position. The mountains and above all the sea had been in those times ever since the memory of man the asylum not only of all crime, but also of intolerable misery and of oppressed right; it was natural for Pompeians and republicans to wage a defiant war against the monarchy of Caesar, which had ejected them, in the mountains and on the seas, and especially natural for them to take up piracy on a greater scale, with more compact organization, and with more definite aims. Even after the recall of the squadrons that had come from the east they still possessed a very considerable fleet of their own, while Caesar was as yet virtually without vessels of war; and their connection with the Dalmatae who had risen in their own interest against Caesar,(38) and their control over the most important seas and seaports, presented the most advantageous prospects for a naval war, especially on a small scale.

38. Cf. V. X. Caesar's Fleet and Army in Illyricum Destroyed

As formerly Sulla's hunting out of the democrats had ended in the Sertorian insurrection, which was a conflict first waged by pirates and then by robbers and ultimately became a very serious war, so possibly, if there was in the Catonian aristocracy or among the adherents of Pompeius as much spirit and fire as in the Marian democracy, and if there was found among them a true sea-king, a commonwealth independent of the monarchy of Caesar and perhaps a match for it might arise on the still unconquered sea.

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