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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 VII - Struggle between Pyrrhus and Rome, and Union of Italy


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Page 82

Moderation of the Government

But the Roman senate had the wisdom not to overlook the fact, that the only means of giving permanence to despotism is moderation on the part of the despots. On that account there was left with, or conferred on, the dependent communities an autonomy, which included a shadow of independence, a special share in the military and political successes of Rome, and above all a free communal constitution--so far as the Italian confederacy extended, there existed no community of Helots.

On that account also Rome from the very first, with a clear-sightedness and magnanimity perhaps unparalleled in history, waived the most dangerous of all the rights of government, the right of taxing her subjects. At the most tribute was perhaps imposed on the dependent Celtic cantons: so far as the Italian confederacy extended, there was no tributary community.

On that account, lastly, while the duty of bearing arms was partially devolved on the subjects, the ruling burgesses were by no means exempt from it; it is probable that the latter were proportionally far more numerous than the body of the allies; and in that body, again, probably the Latins as a whole were liable to far greater demands upon them than the non-Latin allied communities. There was thus a certain reasonableness in the appropriation by which Rome ranked first, and the Latins next to her, in the distribution of the spoil acquired in war.

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