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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 72

Absence of Corps of Guards

The true criterion also of the military state--the development of, and the privileged position assigned to, the corps of guards-- is not to be met with in the case of Caesar. Although as respects the army on active service the institution of a special bodyguard for the general had been already long in existence,(38) in Caesar's system this fell completely into the background; his praetorian cohort seems to have essentially consisted merely of orderly officers or non-military attendants, and never to have been in the proper sense a select corps, consequently never an object of jealousy to the troops of the line.

38. Cf. IV. VI. Political Significance of the Marian Military Reform

While Caesar even as general practically dropped the bodyguard, he still, less as king tolerated a guard round his person. Although constantly beset by lurking assassins and well aware of it, he yet rejected the proposal of the senate to institute a select guard; dismissed, as soon as things grew in some measure quiet, the Spanish escort which he had made use of at first in the capital; and contented himself with the retinue of lictors sanctioned by traditional usage for the Roman supreme magistrates.

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