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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 39

Position of the Governors

Punishment followed in the steps of wrong. The new provincial system necessitated the appointment of governors, whose position was absolutely incompatible not only with the welfare of the provinces, but with the Roman constitution. As the Roman community in the provinces took the place of the former ruler of the land, so their governor appeared there in the king's stead; the Sicilian praetor, for example, resided in the palace of Hiero at Syracuse. It is true, that by right the governor nevertheless ought to administer his office with republican honesty and frugality.

Cato, when governor of Sardinia, appeared in the towns subject to him on foot and attended by a single servant, who carried his coat and sacrificial ladle; and, when he returned home from his Spanish governorship, he sold his war-horse beforehand, because he did not hold himself entitled to charge the state with the expenses of its transport.

There is no question that the Roman governors--although certainly but few of them pushed their conscientiousness, like Cato, to the verge of being niggardly and ridiculous--made in many cases a powerful impression on the subjects, more especially on the frivolous and unstable Greeks, by their old- fashioned piety, by the reverential stillness prevailing at their repasts, by their comparatively upright administration of office and of justice, especially by their proper severity towards the worst bloodsuckers of the provincials--the Roman revenue-farmers and bankers--and in general by the gravity and dignity of their deportment.

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