Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 65

The posts of centurions in the legions, on which in the mode of warfare of that time the efficiency of the divisions essentially depended, and to which according to the national military constitution the soldier served his way upward with the pike, were now not merely regularly conferred according to favour, but were not unfrequently sold to the highest bidder. In consequence of the bad financial management of the government and the venality and fraud of the great majority of the magistrates, the payment of the soldiers was extremely defective and irregular.

The necessary consequence of this was, that in the ordinary course of things the Roman armies pillaged the provincials, mutinied against their officers, and ran off in presence of the enemy; instances occurred where considerable armies, such as the Macedonian army of Piso in 697,(33) were without any proper defeat utterly ruined, simply by this misconduct.

33. Cf. V. VII. Macedonia ff.

Capable leaders on the other hand, such as Pompeius, Caesar, Gabinius, formed doubtless out of the existing materials able and effective, and to some extent exemplary, armies; but these armies belonged far more to their general than to the commonwealth. The still more complete decay of the Roman marine--which, moreover, had remained an object of antipathy to the Romans and had never been fully nationalized-- scarcely requires to be mentioned. Here too, on all sides, everything that could be ruined at all had been reduced to ruin under the oligarchic government.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :