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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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Page 15

The legend associated with it, that two youths of superhuman size and beauty had been seen fighting on the battle-field in the ranks of the Romans and immediately after the battle watering their foaming steeds in the Roman Forum at the fountain of luturna, and announcing the great victory, bears a stamp thoroughly un-Roman, and was beyond doubt at a very early period modelled on the appearance of the Dioscuri--similar down to its very details--in the famous battle fought about a century before between the Crotoniates and Locrians at the river Sagras.

The Delphic Apollo too was not only consulted--as was usual with all peoples that felt the influence of Greek culture--and presented moreover after special successes, such as the capture of Veii, with a tenth of the spoil (360), but also had a temple built for him in the city (323, renewed 401). The same honour was towards the close of this period accorded to Aphrodite (459), who was in some enigmatical way identified with the old Roman garden goddess, Venus;(18) and to Asklapios or Aesculapius, who was obtained by special request from Epidaurus in the Peloponnesus and solemnly conducted to Rome (463).

18. Venus probably first appears in the later sense as Aphrodite on occasion of the dedication of the temple consecrated in this year (Liv. x. 31; Becker, Topographie, p. 472).

Isolated complaints were heard in serious emergencies as to the intrusion of foreign superstition, presumably the art of the Etruscan -haruspices- (as in 326); but in such cases the police did not fail to take proper cognisance of the matter.

In Etruria on the other hand, while the nation stagnated and decayed in political nullity and indolent opulence, the theological monopoly of the nobility, stupid fatalism, wild and meaningless mysticism, the system of soothsaying and of mendicant prophecy gradually developed themselves, till they reached the height at which we afterwards find them.

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