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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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» Contents of this Chapter

Page 179

Caesar and His Works

Such were the foundations of the Mediterranean monarchy of Caesar. For the second time in Rome the social question had reached a crisis, at which the antagonisms not only appeared to be, but actually were, in the form of their exhibition, insoluble and, in the form of their expression, irreconcilable. On the former occasion Rome had been saved by the fact that Italy was merged in Rome and Rome in Italy, and in the new enlarged and altered home those old antagonisms were not reconciled, but fell into abeyance. Now Rome was once more saved by the fact that the countries of the Mediterranean were merged in it or became prepared for merging; the war between the Italian poor and rich, which in the old Italy could only end with the destruction of the nation, had no longer a battle-field or a meaning in the Italy of three continents.

The Latin colonies closed the gap which threatened to swallow up the Roman community in the fifth century; the deeper chasm of the seventh century was filled by the Transalpine and transmarine colonizations of Gaius Gracchus and Caesar. For Rome alone history not merely performed miracles, but also repeated its miracles, and twice cured the internal crisis, which in the state itself was incurable, by regenerating the state. There was doubtless much corruption in this regeneration; as the union of Italy was accomplished over the ruins of the Samnite and Etruscan nations, so the Mediterranean monarchy built itself on the ruins of countless states and tribes once living and vigorous; but it was a corruption out of which sprang a fresh growth, part of which remains green at the present day. What was pulled down for the sake of the new building, was merely the secondary nationalities which had long since been marked out for destruction by the levelling hand of civilization. Caesar, wherever he came forward as a destroyer, only carried out the pronounced verdict of historical development; but he protected the germs of culture, where and as he found them, in his own land as well as among the sister nation of the Greeks.

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