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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 VIII - Law, Religion, Military System, Economic Condition, Nationality


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In this way the Roman criminal procedure was completely void of principle, and was degraded into the sport and instrument of political parties; which can the less be excused, seeing that this procedure, while especially applied to political crimes proper, was applicable also to others, such as murder and arson.

The evil was aggravated by the clumsiness of that procedure, which, in concert with the haughty republican contempt for non-burgesses, gave rise to a growing custom of tolerating, side by side with the more formal process, a summary criminal, or rather police, procedure against slaves and common people.

Here too the passionate strife regarding political processes overstepped natural limits, and introduced institutions which materially contributed to estrange the Romans step by step from the idea of a fixed moral order in the administration of justice.

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