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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 21

Government of the Nobility - Internal Administration

The government bore the stamp of this gradual change in the spirit of the governing class. It is true that the administration of external affairs was still dominated at this epoch by that consistency and energy, by which the rule of the Roman community over Italy had been established. During the severe disciplinary times of the war as to Sicily the Roman aristocracy had gradually raised itself to the height of its new position; and if it unconstitutionally usurped for the senate functions of government which by right foil to be shared between the magistrates and the comitia alone, it vindicated the step by its certainly far from brilliant, but sure and steady, pilotage of the vessel of the state during the Hannibalic storm and the complications thence arising, and showed to the world that the Roman senate was alone able, and in many respects alone deserved, to rule the wide circle of the Italo-Greek states.

But admitting the noble attitude of the ruling Roman senate in opposition to the outward foe --an attitude crowned with the noblest results--we may not overlook the fact, that in the less conspicuous, and yet far more important and far more difficult, administration of the internal affairs of the state, both the treatment of the existing arrangements and the new institutions betray an almost opposite spirit, or, to speak more correctly, indicate that the opposite tendency has already acquired the predominance in this field.

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