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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 58

Decline of Warlike Spirit

How much the military discipline and the martial spirit of the burgesses suffered from this conversion of war into a traffic in plunder, may be traced in the campaigns against Perseus; and the spread of cowardice was manifested in a way almost scandalous during the insignificant Istrian war (in 576).

On occasion of a trifling skirmish magnified by rumour to gigantic dimensions, the land army and the naval force of the Romans, and even the Italians, ran off homeward, and Cato found it necessary to address a special reproof to his countrymen for their cowardice. In this too the youth of quality took precedence.

Already during the Hannibalic war (545) the censors found occasion to visit with severe penalties the remissness of those who were liable to military service under the equestrian census. Towards the close of this period (574?) a decree of the people prescribed evidence of ten years' service as a qualification for holding any public magistracy, with a view to compel the sons of the nobility to enter the army.

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