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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


I. The Period Anterior to the Abolition of the 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 III - The Settlements of the Latins


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Latin Settlements

No accounts have been preserved of the mode in which the settlements of the Latins took place in the district which has since borne their name; and we are left to gather what we can almost exclusively from a posteriori inference regarding them. Some knowledge may, however, in this way be gained, or at any rate some conjectures that wear an aspect of probability.


The Roman territory was divided in the earliest times into a number of clan-districts, which were subsequently employed in the formation of the earliest "rural wards" (-tribus rusticae-). Tradition informs us as to the -tribus Claudia-, that it originated from the settlement of the Claudian clansmen on the Anio; and that the other districts of the earliest division originated in a similar manner is indicated quite as certainly by their names. These names are not, like those of the districts added at a later period, derived from the localities, but are formed without exception from the names of clans; and the clans who thus gave their names to the wards of the original Roman territory are, so far as they have not become entirely extinct (as is the case with the -Camilii-, -Galerii-, -Lemonii-, -Pollii-, -Pupinii-, -Voltinii-), the very oldest patrician families of Rome, the -Aemilii-, -Cornelii-, -Fabii-, -Horatii-, -Menenii-, -Papirii-, -Romilii-, -Sergii-, -Voturii-. It is worthy of remark, that not one of these clans can be shown to have taken up its settlement in Rome only at a later epoch. Every Italian, and doubtless also every Greek, canton must, like the Roman, have been divided into a number of groups associated at once by locality and by clanship; such a clan-settlement is the "house" (--oikia--) of the Greeks, from which very frequently the --komai-- and --demoi-- originated among them, like the tribus in Rome. The corresponding Italian terms "house" -vicus-or "district" (-pagus-, from -pangere-) indicate, in like manner, the joint settlement of the members of a clan, and thence come by an easily understood transition to signify in common use hamlet or village. As each household had its own portion of land, so the clan-household or village had a clan-land belonging to it, which, as will afterwards be shown, was managed up to a comparatively late period after the analogy of household--land, that is, on the system of joint-possession. Whether it was in Latium itself that the clan-households became developed into clan-villages, or whether the Latins were already associated in clans when they immigrated into Latium, are questions which we are just as little able to answer as we are to determine what was the form assumed by the management on joint account, which such an arrangement required, (4) or how far, in addition to the original ground of common ancestry, the clan may have been based on the incorporation or co-ordination from without of individuals not related to it by blood.

4. In Slavonia, where the patriarchal economy is retained up to the present day, the whole family, often to the number of fifty or even a hundred persons, remains together in the same house under the orders of the house-father (Goszpodar) chosen by the whole family for life. The property of the household, which consists chiefly in cattle, is administered by the house-father; the surplus is distributed according to the family-branches. Private acquisitions by industry and trade remain separate property. Instances of quitting the household occur, in the case even of men, e. g. by marrying into a stranger household (Csaplovies, -Slavonien-, i. 106, 179). --Under such circumstances, which are probably not very widely different from the earliest Roman conditions, the household approximates in character to the community.

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