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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 XI - The Old Republic and the New Monarchy


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Page 149

To say nothing of the formally Italian towns in Spain and southern Gaul, we need only recall the numerous troops of burgesses raised by Sertorius and Pompeius in Spain, by Caesar in Gaul, by Juba in Numidia, by the constitutional party in Africa, Macedonia, Greece, Asia Minor, and Crete; the Latin lyre--ill-tuned doubtless-- on which the town-poets of Corduba as early as the Sertorian war sang the praises of the Roman generals; and the translations of Greek poetry valued on account of their very elegance of language, which the earliest extra-Italian poet of note, the Transalpine Publius Terentius Varro of the Aude, published shortly after Caesar's death.

On the other hand the interpenetration of the Latin and Greek character was, we might say, as old as Rome. On occasion of the union of Italy the conquering Latin nation had assimilated to itself all the other conquered nationalities, excepting only the Greek, which was received just as it stood without any attempt at external amalgamation. Wherever the Roman legionary went, the Greek schoolmaster, no less a conqueror in his own way, followed; at an early date we find famous teachers of the Greek language settled on the Guadalquivir, and Greek was as well taught as Latin in the institute of Osca. The higher Roman culture itself was in fact nothing else than the proclamation of the great gospel of Greek manners and art in the Italian idiom; against the modest pretension of the civilizing conquerors to proclaim it first of all in their own language to the barbarians of the west the Hellene at least could not loudly protest. Already the Greek every where-- and, most decidedly, just where the national feeling was purest and strongest, on the frontiers threatened by barbaric denationalization, e. g. in Massilia, on the north coast of the Black Sea, and on the Euphrates and Tigris--descried the protector and avenger of Hellenism in Rome; and in fact the foundation of towns by Pompeius in the far east resumed after an interruption of centuries the beneficent work of Alexander.

The idea of an Italo-Greek empire with two languages and a single nationality was not new--otherwise it would have been nothing but a blunder; but the development of it from floating projects to a firmly-grasped conception, from scattered initial efforts to the laying of a concentrated foundation, was the work of the third and greatest of the democratic statesmen of Rome.

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