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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 40

The provincials found their government comparatively tolerable. They had not been pampered by their Carthaginian stewards and Syracusan masters, and they were soon to find occasion for recalling with gratitude the present rods as compared with the coming scorpions: it is easy to understand how, in later times, the sixth century of the city appeared as the golden era of provincial rule. But it was not practicable for any length of time to be at once republican and king. Playing the part of governors demoralized the Roman ruling class with fearful rapidity.

Haughtiness and arrogance towards the provincials were so natural in the circumstances, as scarcely to form matter of reproach against the individual magistrate. But already it was a rare thing--and the rarer, because the government adhered rigidly to the old principle of not paying public officials --that a governor returned with quite clean hands from his province; it was already remarked upon as something singular that Paullus, the conqueror of Pydna, did not take money.

The bad custom of delivering to the governor "honorary wine" and other "voluntary" gifts seems as old as the provincial constitution itself, and may perhaps have been a legacy from the Carthaginians; even Cato in his administration of Sardinia in 556 had to content himself with regulating and moderating such contributions.

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