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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 34

But as the net proceeds even of retail business flowed for the most part into the coffers of the great houses, no industrial and commercial middle-class arose to an extent corresponding to that increase. As little were the great merchants and great manufacturers marked off as a distinct class from the great landlords. On the one hand, the latter were from ancient times(34) simultaneously traders and capitalists, and combined in their hands lending on security, trafficking on a great scale, the undertaking of contracts, and the executing of works for the state.

34. Cf. I. XIII. Etrusco-Attic, and Latino-Sicilian Commerce, II. II. Rising Power of the Capitalists

On the other hand, from the emphatic moral importance which in the Roman commonwealth attached to the possession of land, and from its constituting the sole basis of political privileges--a basis which was infringed for the first time only towards the close of this epoch (35)--it was undoubtedly at this period already usual for the fortunate speculator to invest part of his capital in land. It is clear enough also from the political privileges given to freedmen possessing freeholds,(36) that the Roman statesmen sought in this way to diminish the dangerous class of the rich who had no land.

35. Cf. II. III. The Burgess Body

36. Cf. II. III. The Burgess Body

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