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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 35

Roman Franchise More Difficult of Acquisition

Lastly, in the case of non-burgesses--communities as well as individuals--admission to the Roman franchise was almost completely foreclosed. The earlier course incorporating the subject communities in that of Rome had been dropped about 400, that the Roman burgess body might not be too much decentralized by its undue extension; and therefore communities of half-burgesses were instituted.(29)

29. Cf. II. VII. Non-Latin Allied Communities

Now the centralization of the community was abandoned, partly through the admission of the half-burgess communities to the full franchise, partly through the accession of numerous more remote burgess-colonies to its ranks; but the older system of incorporation was not resumed with reference to the allied communities. It cannot be shown that after the complete subjugation of Italy even a single Italian community exchanged its position as an ally for the Roman franchise; probably none after that date in reality acquired it Even the transition of individual Italians to the Roman franchise was confined almost solely to the case of magistrates of the Latin communities(30) and, by special favour, of individual non-burgesses admitted to share it at the founding of burgess-colonies.(31)

30. Cf. III. VII. Latins

31. Thus, as is well known, Ennius of Rudiae received burgess-rights from one of the triumvirs, Q. Fulvius Nobilior, on occasion of the founding of the burgess-colonies of Potentia and Pisaurum (Cic. Brut. 20, 79); whereupon, according to the well-known custom, he adopted the -praenomen- of the latter. The non-burgesses who were sent to share in the foundation of a burgess-colony, did not, at least in tin's epoch, thereby acquire -de jure- Roman citizenship, although they frequently usurped it (Liv. xxxiv. 42); but the magistrates charged with the founding of a colony were empowered, by a clause in the decree of the people relative to each case, to confer burgess-rights on a limited number of persons (Cic. pro Balb. 21, 48).

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