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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 39

Embellishment of the City

The style of living also among the citizens now was altered. About the time of Pyrrhus silver plate began to make its appearance on Roman tables, and the chroniclers date the disappearance of shingle roofs in Rome from 470.(40)

40. We have already mentioned the censorial stigma attached to Publius Cornelius Rufinus (consul 464, 477) for his silver plate.(Cf. II. VIII. Police) The strange statement of Fabius (in Strabo, v. p. 228) that the Romans first became given to luxury (--aisthesthae tou plouton--) after the conquest of the Sabines, is evidently only a historical version of the same matter; for the conquest of the Sabines falls in the first consulate of Rufinus.

The new capital of Italy gradually laid aside its village-like aspect, and now began to embellish itself. It was not yet indeed customary to strip the temples in conquered towns of their ornaments for the decoration of Rome; but the beaks of the galleys of Antium were displayed at the orator's platform in the Forum(41) and on public festival days the gold-mounted shields brought home from the battle-fields of Samnium were exhibited along the stalls of the market.(42)

41. Cf. II. V. Colonizations in the Land of the Volsci

42. Cf. II. VI. Last Campaigns in Samnium

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