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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 64

Officers of ordinary bravery and efficiency were stared at as prodigies; as to Pompeius especially, his contemporaries practised a military idolatry which in every respect compromised them. The staff, as a rule, gave the signal for desertion and for mutiny; in spite of the culpable indulgence of the commanders proposals for the cashiering of officers of rank were daily occurrences. We still possess the picture-- drawn not without irony by Caesar's own hand--of the state of matters at his own headquarters when orders were given to march against Ariovistus, of the cursing and weeping, and preparing of testaments, and presenting even of requests for furlough. In the soldiery not a trace of the better classes could any longer be discovered.

Legally the general obligation to bear arms still subsisted; but the levy, if resorted to alongside of enlisting, took place in the most irregular manner; numerous persons liable to serve were wholly passed over, while those once levied were retained thirty years and longer beneath the eagles. The Roman burgess-cavalry now merely vegetated as a sort of mounted noble guard, whose perfumed cavaliers and exquisite high-bred horses only played a part in the festivals of the capital; the so-called burgess-infantry was a troop of mercenaries swept together from the lowest ranks of the burgess-population; the subjects furnished the cavalry and the light troops exclusively, and came to be more and more extensively employed also in the infantry.

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