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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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


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 II - The Tribunate of the Plebs and the Decemvirate


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Page 23

Further Dissensions

Now that civil war was organized, it pursued its course. The parties stood face to face as if drawn up for battle, each under its leaders. Restriction of the consular and extension of the tribunician power were the objects contended for on the one side; the annihilation of the tribunate was sought on the other. Legal impunity secured for insubordination, refusal to enter the ranks for the defence of the land, impeachments involving fines and penalties directed specially against magistrates who had violated the rights of the commons or who had simply provoked their displeasure, were the weapons of the plebeians; and to these the patricians opposed violence, concert with the public foes, and occasionally also the dagger of the assassin.

Hand-to-hand conflicts took place in the streets, and on both sides the sacredness of the magistrate's person was violated. Many families of burgesses are said to have migrated, and to have sought more peaceful abodes in neighbouring communities; and we may well believe it. The strong patriotism of the people is obvious from the fact, not that they adopted this constitution, but that they endured it, and that the community, notwithstanding the most vehement convulsions, still held together.

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