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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 XII - Religion, Culture, Literature, and Art


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Page 76

The author of this vindication writes, as he himself says, entirely as an officer and carefully avoids extending his military report to the hazardous departments of political organization and administration. His incidental and partisan treatise cast in the form of a military report is itself a piece of history like the bulletins of Napoleon, but it is not, and was not intended to be, a historical work in the true sense of the word; the objective form which the narrative assumes is that of the magistrate, not that of the historian. But in this modest character the work is masterly and finished, more than any other in all Roman literature.

The narrative is always terse and never scanty, always simple and never careless, always of transparent vividness and never strained or affected. The language is completely pure from archaisms and from vulgarisms-- the type of the modern -urbanitas-. In the Books concerning the Civil War we seem to feel that the author had desired to avoid war and could not avoid it, and perhaps also that in Caesar's soul, as in every other, the period of hope was a purer and fresher one than that of fulfilment; but over the treatise on the Gallic war there is diffused a bright serenity, a simple charm, which are no less unique in literature than Caesar is in history.

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