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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 31

This dictatorship, both in its first ephemeral and in its second enduring tenure, was not that of the old constitution, but--what was coincident with this merely in the name--the supreme exceptional office as arranged by Sulla;(9) an office, the functions of which were fixed, not by the constitutional ordinances regarding the supreme single magistracy, but by special decree of the people, to such an effect that the holder received, in the commission to project laws and to regulate the commonwealth, an official prerogative de jure unlimited which superseded the republican partition of powers.

9. Cf. IV. X. Executions

Those were merely applications of this general prerogative to the particular case, when the holder of power was further entrusted by separate acts with the right of deciding on war and peace without consulting the senate and the people, with the independent disposal of armies and finances, and with the nomination of the provincial governors. Caesar could accordingly de jure assign to himself even such prerogatives as lay outside of the proper functions of the magistracy and even outside of the province of state-powers at all;(10) and it appears almost as a concession on his part, that he abstained from nominating the magistrates instead of the Comitia and limited himself to claiming a binding right of proposal for a proportion of the praetors and of the lower magistrates; and that he moreover had himself empowered by special decree of the people for the creation of patricians, which was not at all allowable according to use and wont.

10. The formulation of that dictatorship appears to have expressly brought into prominence among other things the "improvement of morals"; but Caesar did not hold on his own part an office of this sort (Staatsrecht, ii. 3 705).

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