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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


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

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 XI - The Government and the Governed


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Formation of New Parties ||| Germs of the Nobility in the Patriciate ||| Patricio-Plebian Nobility ||| The Nobility in Possession of the Senate ||| The Nobility in Possession of the Equestrian Centuries ||| Separation of the Orders in the Theatre ||| The Censorship a Prop of the Nobility ||| Remodelling of the Constitution According to the Views of the Nobility - Inadequate Number of Magistrates ||| Election of Officers in the Comitia ||| Restrictions on the Election of Consuls and Censors ||| Family Government ||| Government of the Nobility - Internal Administration ||| Decline in the Administration ||| As to Military Discipline and Administration of Justice ||| As to the Management of Finances ||| Italian Subjects - Passive Burgesses ||| Dediticii ||| Allies ||| Latins ||| Roman Franchise More Difficult of Acquisition ||| The Provinces ||| Position of the Governors ||| Control over the Governors - Supervision of the Senate over the Provinces and Their Governors ||| The Opposition - Character of the Roman Burgess-Body ||| Rise of a City Rabble ||| Systematic Corruption of the Multitude - Distributions of Grain ||| Festivals ||| Squandering of the Spoil ||| Decline of Warlike Spirit ||| Title-Hunting ||| The Party of Reform - Cato ||| Police Reform ||| Assignations of Land ||| Reforms in the Military Service ||| Reform of the Centuries ||| Results of the Efforts at Reform ||| Demagogism ||| Abolition of the Dictatorship ||| Election of Priests by the Community ||| Interference of the Community in War and Administration ||| Interference of the Community with the Finances ||| Nullity of the Comitia ||| Disorganisation of Government

Formation of New Parties

The fall of the patriciate by no means divested the Roman commonwealth of its aristocratic character. We have already(1) indicated that the plebeian party carried within it that character from the first as well as, and in some sense still more decidedly than, the patriciate; for, while in the old body of burgesses an absolute equality of rights prevailed, the new constitution set out from a distinction between the senatorial houses who were privileged in point of burgess rights and of burgess usufructs, and the mass of the other citizens. Immediately, therefore, on the abolition of the patriciate and the formal establishment of civic equality, a new aristocracy and a corresponding opposition were formed; and we have already shown how the former engrafted itself as it were on the fallen patriciate, and how, accordingly, the first movements of the new party of progress were mixed up with the last movements of the old opposition between the orders.(2)

1. Cf. II. III. New Aristocracy

2. Cf. II. III. New Opposition

The formation of these new parties began in the fifth century, but they assumed their definite shape only in the century which followed. The development of this internal change is, as it were, drowned amidst the noise of the great wars and victories, and not merely so, but the process of formation is in this case more withdrawn from view than any other in Roman history.

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