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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

Page 15

Thus a line of demarcation more and more insurmountable was drawn between the subalterns, who gained their promotion from the general by punctual and brave service, and the staff, which obtained its privileged position by canvassing the burgesses.(14)

14. Cf. II. VIII. Officers

With a view to check simply the worst abuses in this respect and to prevent young men quite untried from holding these important posts, it became necessary to require, as a preliminary to the bestowal of staff appointments, evidence of a certain number of years of service. Nevertheless, when once the military tribunate, the true pillar of the Roman military system, was laid down as the first stepping-stone in the political career of the young aristocrats, the obligation of service inevitably came to be frequently eluded, and the election of officers became liable to all the evils of democratic canvassing and of aristocratic exclusiveness.

It was a cutting commentary on the new institution, that in serious wars (as in 583) it was found necessary to suspend this democratic mode of electing officers, and to leave once more to the general the nomination of his staff.

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