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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 98

Death of Pompeius

Achillas the general of the royal troops and some of the former soldiers of Pompeius went off in a boat to his vessel; and invited him to come to the king and, as the water was shallow, to enter their barge. As he was stepping ashore, the military tribune Lucius Septimius stabbed him from behind, under the eyes of his wife and son who were compelled to be spectators of the murder from the deck of their vessel, without being able to rescue or revenge (28 Sept. 706). On the same day, on which thirteen years before he had entered the capital in triumph over Mithradates,(39) the man, who for a generation had been called the Great and for years had ruled Rome, died on the desert sands of the inhospitable Casian shore by the hand of one of his old soldiers.

39. Cf. V. IV. Aggregate Results

A good officer but otherwise of mediocre gifts of intellect and of heart, fate had with superhuman constancy for thirty years allowed him to solve all brilliant and toilless tasks; had permitted him to pluck all laurels planted and fostered by others; had brought him face to face with all the conditions requisite for obtaining the supreme power--only in order to exhibit in his person an example of spurious greatness, to which history knows no parallel. Of all pitiful parts there is none more pitiful than that of passing for more than one really is; and it is the fate of monarchy that this misfortune inevitably clings to it, for barely once in a thousand years does there arise among the people a man who is a king not merely in name, but in reality. If this disproportion between semblance and reality has never perhaps been so abruptly marked as in Pompeius, the fact may well excite grave reflection that it was precisely he who in a certain sense opened the series of Roman monarchs.

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