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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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The intention of the legislator, when instead of mortgaging he prescribed the immediate transfer of the property to the creditor with a view to prevent insolvency and to devolve the burdens of the state on the real holders of the soil,(3) was evaded by the rigorous system of personal credit, which might be very suitable for merchants, but ruined the farmers.

3. Cf. I. VI. Character of the Roman Law

The free divisibility of the soil always involved the risk of an insolvent agricultural proletariate; and under such circumstances, when all burdens were increasing and all means of deliverance were foreclosed, distress and despair could not but spread with fearful rapidity among the agricultural middle class.

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