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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 22

Decline in the Administration

In relation, first of all, to the individual burgess the government was no longer what it had been. The term "magistrate" meant a man who was more than other men; and, if he was the servant of the community, he was for that very reason the master of every burgess. But the tightness of the rein was now visibly relaxed. Where coteries and canvassing flourish as they did in the Rome of that age, men are chary of forfeiting the reciprocal services of their fellows or the favour of the multitude by stern words and impartial discharge of official duty.

If now and then magistrates appeared who displayed the gravity and the sternness of the olden time, they were ordinarily, like Cotta (502) and Cato, new men who had not sprung from the bosom of the ruling class. It was already something singular, when Paullus, who had been named commander-in-chief against Perseus, instead of tendering his thanks in the usual manner to the burgesses, declared to them that he presumed they had chosen him as general because they accounted him the most capable of command, and requested them accordingly not to help him to command, but to be silent and obey.

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