Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/2-01-constitution-magistrate.asp?pg=2

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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

THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

II. From the Abolition of the Monarchy in Rome to the Union of Italy

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 I - Change of the Constitution - Limitation of the Power of the Magistrate

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 2

From the times of the Tarquins down to those of the Gracchi the cry of the party of progress in Rome was not for limitation of the power of the state, but for limitation of the power of the magistrates: nor amidst that cry was the truth ever forgotten, that the people ought not to govern, but to be governed.

This struggle was carried on within the burgess-body. Side by side with it another movement developed itself--the cry of the non-burgesses for equality of political privileges. Under this head are included the agitations of the plebeians, the Latins, the Italians, and the freedmen, all of whom--whether they may have borne the name of burgesses, as did the plebeians and the freedmen, or not, as was the case with the Latins and Italians--were destitute of, and desired, political equality.

A third distinction was one of a still more general nature; the distinction between the wealthy and the poor, especially such as had been dispossessed or were endangered in possession. The legal and political relations of Rome led to the rise of a numerous class of farmers--partly small proprietors who were dependent on the mercy of the capitalist, partly small temporary lessees who were dependent on the mercy of the landlord--and in many instances deprived individuals as well as whole communities of the lands which they held, without affecting their personal freedom. By these means the agricultural proletariate became at an early period so powerful as to have a material influence on the destinies of the community. The urban proletariate did not acquire political importance till a much later epoch.

On these distinctions hinged the internal history of Rome, and, as may be presumed, not less the history--totally lost to us--of the other Italian communities. The political movement within the fully-privileged burgess-body, the warfare between the excluded and excluding classes, and the social conflicts between the possessors and the non-possessors of land--variously as they crossed and interlaced, and singular as were the alliances they often produced --were nevertheless essentially and fundamentally distinct.

First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

 

Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/2-01-constitution-magistrate.asp?pg=2