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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 29

Caesar's work was necessary and salutary, not because it was or could be fraught with blessing in itself, but because-- with the national organization of antiquity, which was based on slavery and was utterly a stranger to republican-constitutional representation, and in presence of the legitimate urban constitution which in the course of five hundred years had ripened into oligarchic absolutism-- absolute military monarchy was the copestone logically necessary and the least of evils. When once the slave-holding aristocracy in Virginia and the Carolinas shall have carried matters as far as their congeners in the Sullan Rome, Caesarism will there too be legitimized at the bar of the spirit of history;(6) where it appears under other conditions of development, it is at once a caricature and a usurpation.

6. When this was written--in the year 1857--no one could foresee how soon the mightiest struggle and most glorious victory as yet recorded in human annals would save the United States from this fearful trial, and secure the future existence of an absolute self-governing freedom not to be permanently kept in check by any local Caesarism.

But history will not submit to curtail the true Caesar of his due honour, because her verdict may in the presence of bad Caesars lead simplicity astray and may give to roguery occasion for lying and fraud. She too is a Bible, and if she cannot any more than the Bible hinder the fool from misunderstanding and the devil from quoting her, she too will be able to bear with, and to requite, them both.

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