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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 51

Appius Claudius

No doubt, even now Greek individual development asserted its claims by the side of that levelling system; and the genius and force which it exhibited bear, no less than the tendency to which it opposed itself, the full stamp of that great age. We can name but a single man in connection with it; but he was, as it were, the incarnation of the idea of progress. Appius Claudius (censor 442; consul 447, 458), the great-great-grandson of the decemvir, was a man of the old nobility and proud of the long line of his ancestors; but yet it was he who set aside the restriction which confined the full franchise of the state to the freeholders,(50) and who broke up the old system of finance.(51)

50. Cf. II. III. The Burgess-Body

51. Cf. II. VIII. Impulse Given to It

From Appius Claudius date not only the Roman aqueducts and highways, but also Roman jurisprudence, eloquence, poetry, and grammar. The publication of a table of the -legis actiones-, speeches committed to writing and Pythagorean sentences, and even innovations in orthography, are attributed to him. We may not on this account call him absolutely a democrat or include him in that opposition party which found its champion in Manius Curius;(52) in him on the contrary the spirit of the ancient and modern patrician kings predominated --the spirit of the Tarquins and the Caesars, between whom he forms a connecting link in that five hundred years' interregnum of extraordinary deeds and ordinary men.

52. Cf. II. III. New Opposition

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