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The History of Rome, Book V The Establishment of the Military Monarchy   By: (1817-1903)

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The Establishment of the Military Monarchy



Translated with the Sanction of the Author


William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D. Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow

A New Edition Revised throughout and Embodying Recent Additions


BOOK V: The Establishment of the Military Monarchy


I. Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Sertorius

II. Rule of the Sullan Restoration

III. The Fall of the Oligarchy and the Rule of Pompeius

IV. Pompeius and the East

V. The Struggle of Parties during the Absence of Pompeius

VI. Retirement of Pompeius and Coalition of the Pretenders

VII. The Subjugation of the West

VIII. The Joint Rule of Pompeius and Caesar

IX. Death of Crassus Rupture between the Joint Rulers

X. Brundisium, Ilerda, Pharsalus, and Thapsus

XI. The Old Republic and the New Monarchy

XII. Religion, Culture, Literature, and Art


The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

Wie er sich sieht so um und um, Kehrt es ihm fast den Kopf herum, Wie er wollt' Worte zu allem finden? Wie er mocht' so viel Schwall verbinden? Wie er mocht' immer muthig bleiben So fort und weiter fort zu schreiben?


Chapter I

Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Sertorius

The Opposition Jurists Aristocrats Friendly to Reform Democrats

When Sulla died in the year 676, the oligarchy which he had restored ruled with absolute sway over the Roman state; but, as it had been established by force, it still needed force to maintain its ground against its numerous secret and open foes. It was opposed not by any single party with objects clearly expressed and under leaders distinctly acknowledged, but by a mass of multifarious elements, ranging themselves doubtless under the general name of the popular party, but in reality opposing the Sullan organization of the commonwealth on very various grounds and with very different designs. There were the men of positive law who neither mingled in nor understood politics, but who detested the arbitrary procedure of Sulla in dealing with the lives and property of the burgesses. Even during Sulla's lifetime, when all other opposition was silent, the strict jurists resisted the regent; the Cornelian laws, for example, which deprived various Italian communities of the Roman franchise, were treated in judicial decisions as null and void; and in like manner the courts held that, where a burgess had been made a prisoner of war and sold into slavery during the revolution, his franchise was not forfeited. There was, further, the remnant of the old liberal minority in the senate, which in former times had laboured to effect a compromise with the reform party and the Italians, and was now in a similar spirit inclined to modify the rigidly oligarchic constitution of Sulla by concessions to the Populares. There were, moreover, the Populares strictly so called, the honestly credulous narrow minded radicals, who staked property and life for the current watchwords of the party programme, only to discover with painful surprise after the victory that they had been fighting not for a reality, but for a phrase. Their special aim was to re establish the tribunician power, which Sulla had not abolished but had divested of its most essential prerogatives, and which exercised over the multitude a charm all the more mysterious, because the institution had no obvious practical use and was in fact an empty phantom the mere name of tribune of the people, more than a thousand years later, revolutionized Rome.

Transpadanes Freedmen Capitalists Proletarians of the Capital The Dispossessed The Proscribed and Their Adherents

There were, above all, the numerous and important classes whom the Sullan restoration had left unsatisfied, or whose political or private interests it had directly injured. Among those who for such reasons belonged to the opposition ranked the dense and prosperous population of the region between the Po and the Alps, which naturally regarded the bestowal of Latin rights in 665(1) as merely an instalment of the full Roman franchise, and so afforded a ready soil for agitation... Continue reading book >>

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