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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 65

The ruling lords, no doubt, looked down with a lofty disdain on the ignoble growler, and believed, not without reason, that they were far superior; but fashionable corruption in and out of the senate secretly trembled in the presence of the old censor of morals with his proud republican bearing, of the scar-covered veteran from the Hannibalic war, and of the highly influential senator and the idol of the Roman farmers. He publicly laid before his noble colleagues, one after another, his list of their sins; certainly without being remarkably particular as to the proofs, and certainly also with a peculiar relish in the case of those who had personally crossed or provoked him.

With equal fearlessness he reproved and publicly scolded the burgesses for every new injustice and every fresh disorder. His vehement attacks provoked numerous enemies, and he lived in declared and irreconcilable hostility with the most powerful aristocratic coteries of the time, particularly the Scipios and Flaminini; he was publicly accused forty-four times. But the farmers --and it is a significant indication how powerful still in the Roman middle class was the spirit which had enabled them to survive the day of Cannae--never allowed the unsparing champion of reform to lack the support of their votes.

Indeed when in 570 Cato and his like-minded patrician colleague, Lucius Flaccus, solicited the censorship, and announced beforehand that it was their intention when in that office to undertake a vigorous purification of the burgess-body through all its ranks, the two men so greatly dreaded were elected by the burgesses notwithstanding all the exertions of the nobility; and the latter were obliged to submit, while the great purgation actually took place and erased among others the brother of Africanus from the roll of the equites, and the brother of the deliverer of the Greeks from the roll of the senate.

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