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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 37

Building-- Impulse Given to It

In respect to buildings the regal period, particularly the epoch of the great conquests, probably accomplished more than the first two centuries of the republic. Structures like the temples on the Capitol and on the Aventine and the great Circus were probably as obnoxious to the frugal fathers of the city as to the burgesses who gave their task-work; and it is remarkable that perhaps the most considerable building of the republican period before the Samnite wars, the temple of Ceres in the Circus, was a work of Spurius Cassius (261) who in more than one respect, sought to lead the commonwealth back to the traditions of the kings.

The governing aristocracy moreover repressed private luxury with a rigour such as the rule of the kings, if prolonged, would certainly not have displayed. But at length even the senate was no longer able to resist the superior force of circumstances. It was Appius Claudius who in his epoch-making censorship (442) threw aside the antiquated rustic system of parsimonious hoarding, and taught his fellow-citizens to make a worthy use of the public resources. He began that noble system of public works of general utility, which justifies, if anything can justify, the military successes of Rome even from the point of view of the welfare of the nations, and which even now in its ruins furnishes some idea of the greatness of Rome to thousands on thousands who have never read a page of her history. To him the Roman state was indebted for its great military road, and the city of Rome for its first aqueduct.

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