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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The History of
Rome, Book IV, by Theodor Mommsen, Translated
by William Purdie Dickson
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: The History of Rome, Book IV
Author: Theodor Mommsen
Release Date: September 13, 2004 [eBook
#10704] Most recently updated March 16, 2005
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)
E-text prepared by David Ceponis
Note: A compilation of all five volumes of this work
is also available individually in the Project
Gutenberg library. See
The original German version of this work,
Roemische Geschichte, Viertes Buch: Die
Revolution, is in the Project Gutenberg E-Library
as E-book #3063. See HISTORY OF
The Revolution
Translated with the Sanction of the Author
William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D.
Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow
Preparer's Note
This work contains many literal citations of and
references to words, sounds, and alphabetic
symbols drawn from many languages, including
Gothic and Phoenician, but chiefly Latin and
Greek. This English language Gutenberg edition,
constrained within the scope of 7-bit ASCII code,
adopts the following orthographic conventions:
1) Words and phrases regarded as "foreign
imports", italicized in the original text published in
1903; but which in the intervening century havebecome "naturalized" into English; words such as
"de jure", "en masse", etc. are not given any
special typographic distinction.
2) Except for Greek, all literally cited non-English
words that do not refer to texts cited as academic
references, words that in the source manuscript
appear italicized, are rendered with a single
preceding, and a single following dash; thus, -xxxx-
3) Greek words, first transliterated into Roman
alphabetic equivalents, are rendered with a
preceding and a following double-dash; thus, —
xxxx—. Note that in some cases the root word
itself is a compound form such as xxx-xxxx, and is
rendered as —xxx-xxx—
4) Simple non-ideographic references to vocalic
sounds, single letters, or alphabeic dipthongs; and
prefixes, suffixes, and syllabic references are
represented by a single preceding dash; thus, -x,
or -xxx.
5) The following refers particularly to the complex
discussion of alphabetic evolution in Ch. XIV:
Measuring And Writing). Ideographic references,
meaning pointers to the form of representation
itself rather than to its content, are represented as
-"id:xxxx"-. "id:" stands for "ideograph", and
indicates that the reader should form a mental
picture based on the "xxxx" following the colon.
"xxxx" may represent a single symbol, a word, or
an attempt at a picture composed of ASCII
characters. E. g. —"id:GAMMA gamma"—
indicates an uppercase Greek gamma-form
Followed by the form in lowercase. Some such
exotic parsing as this is necessary to explain
alphabetic development because a single symbol
may have been used for a number of sounds in a
number of languages, or even for a number of
sounds in the same language at different times.
Thus, -"id:GAMMA gamma" might very well refer to
a Phoenician construct that in appearanceresembles the form that eventually stabilized as an
uppercase Greek "gamma" juxtaposed to another
one of lowercase. Also, a construct such as
—"id:E" indicates a symbol that in graphic form
most closely resembles an ASCII uppercase "E",
but, in fact, is actually drawn more crudely.
6) The numerous subheading references, of the
form "XX. XX. Topic" found in the appended
section of endnotes are to be taken as "proximate"
rather than topical indicators. That is, the
information contained in the endnote indicates
primarily the location in the main text of the closest
indexing "handle", a subheading, which may or
may not echo congruent subject matter.
The reason for this is that in the translation from an
original paged manuscript to an unpaged
"cyberscroll", page numbers are lost. In this edition
subheadings are the only remaining indexing
"handles" of sub-chapter scale. Unfortunately, in
some stretches of text these subheadings may be
as sparse as merely one in three pages.
Therefore, it would seem to make best sense to
save the reader time and temper by adopting a
shortest path method to indicate the desired
7) Dr. Mommsen has given his dates in terms of
Roman usage, A.U.C.; that is, from the founding of
Rome, conventionally taken to be 753 B. C. To the
end of each volume is appended a table of
conversion between the two systems.CONTENTS
BOOK IV: The Revolution
I. The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the
II. The Reform Movement and Tiberius Gracchus
III. The Revolution and Gaius Gracchus
IV. The Rule of the Restoration
V. The Peoples of the North
VI. The Attempt of Marius at Revolution and the
of Drusus at Reform
VII. The Revolt of the Italian Subjects, and the
VIII. The East and King Mithradates
IX. Cinna and Sulla
X. The Sullan Constitution
XI. The Commonwealth and Its Economy
XII. Nationality, Religion, and Education
XIII. Literature and ArtBOOK FOURTH
The Revolution
"-Aber sie treiben's toll;
Ich furcht', es breche."
Nicht jeden Wochenschluss
Macht Gott die Zeche-.
Goethe.Chapter I
The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the
The Subjects
With the abolition of the Macedonian monarchy the
supremacy of Rome not only became an
established fact from the Pillars of Hercules to the
mouths of the Nile and the Orontes, but, as if it
were the final decree of fate, it weighed on the
nations with all the pressure of an inevitable
necessity, and seemed to leave them merely the
choice of perishing in hopeless resistance or in
hopeless endurance. If history were not entitled to
insist that the earnest reader should accompany
her through good and evil days, through
landscapes of winter as well as of spring, the
historian might be tempted to shun the cheerless
task of tracing the manifold and yet monotonous
turns of this struggle between superior power and
utter weakness, both in the Spanish provinces
already annexed to the Roman empire and in the
African, Hellenic, and Asiatic territories which were
still treated as clients of Rome. But, however
unimportant and subordinate the individual conflicts
may appear, they have collectively a deep
historical significance; and, in particular, the state
of things in Italy at this period only becomes
intelligible in the light of the reaction which the
provinces exercised over the mother-country.
Except in the territories which may be regarded as
natural appendages of Italy—in which, however,
the natives were still far from being completely
subdued, and, not greatly to the credit of Rome,
Ligurians, Sardinians, and Corsicans were
continually furnishing occasion for "village
triumphs"—the formal sovereignty of Rome at thecommencement of this period was established only
in the two Spanish provinces, which embraced the
larger eastern and southern portions of the
peninsula beyond the Pyrenees. We have
already(1) attempted to describe the state of
matters in the peninsula. Iberians and Celts,
Phoenicians, Hellenes, and Romans were there
confusedly intermingled. The most diverse kinds
and stages of civilization subsisted there
simultaneously and at various points crossed each
other, the ancient Iberian culture side by side with
utter barbarism, the civilized relations of
Phoenician and Greek mercantile cities side by
side with an incipient process of Latinizing, which
was especially promote by the numerous Italians
employed in the silver mines and by the large
standing garrison. In this respect the Roman
township of Italica (near Seville) and the Latin
colony of Carteia (on the bay Of Gibraltar) deserve
mention—the latter being the first transmarine
urban community of Latin tongue and Italian
constitution. Italica was founded by the elder
Scipio, before he left Spain (548), for his veterans
who were inclined to remain in the peninsula—
probably, however, not as a burgess-community,
but merely as a market-place.(2) Carteia was
founded in 583 and owed its existence to the
multitude of camp-children—the offspring of
Roman soldiers and Spanish slaves—who grew up
as slaves de jure but as free Italians de facto, and
were now manumitted on behalf of the state and
constituted, along with the old inhabitants of
Carteia, into a Latin colony. For nearly thirty years
after the organizing of the province of the Ebro by
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (575, 576)(3) the
Spanish provinces, on the whole, enjoyed the
blessings of peace undisturbed, although mention
is made of one or two expeditions against the
Celtiberians and Lusitanians.
Lusitanian War
But more serious events occurred in 600. The
Lusitanians, under the leadership of a chief calledPunicus, invaded the Roman territory, defeated the
two Roman governors who had united to oppose
them, and slew a great number of their troops. The
Vettones (between the Tagus and the Upper
Douro) were thereby induced to make common
cause with the Lusitanians; and these, thus
reinforced, were enabled to extend their excursions
as far as the Mediterranean, and to pillage even
the territory of the Bastulo-Phoenicians not far
from the Roman capital New Carthage
(Cartagena). The Romans at home took the matter
seriously enough to resolve on sending a consul to
Spain, a step which had not been taken since 559;
and, in order to accelerate the despatch of aid,
they even made the new consuls enter on office
two months and a half before the legal time. For
this reason the day for the consuls entering on
office was shifted from the 15th of March to the 1st
of January; and thus was established the beginning
of the year, which we still make use of at the
present day. But, before the consul Quintus Fulvius
Nobilior with his army arrived, a very serious
encounter took place on the right bank of the
Tagus between the praetor Lucius Mummius,
governor of Further Spain, and the Lusitanians,
now led after the fall of Punicus by his successor
Caesarus (601). Fortune was at first favourable to
the Romans; the Lusitanian army was broken and
their camp was taken. But the Romans, partly
already fatigued by their march and partly broken
up in the disorder of the pursuit, were at length
completely beaten by their already vanquished
antagonists, and lost their own camp in addition to
that of the enemy, as well as 9000 dead.
Celtiberian War
The flame of war now blazed up far and wide. The
Lusitanians on the left bank of the Tagus, led by
Caucaenus, threw themselves on the Celtici
subject to the Romans (in Alentejo), and took away
their town Conistorgis. The Lusitanians sent the
standards taken from Mummius to the Celtiberians
at once as an announcement of victory and as a

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