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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


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Page 74

Thus this reform did not introduce a new principle into the constitution, but only brought into general application the principle that had long regulated the working of the practically more frequent and more important form of the burgess-assemblies. Its democratic, but by no means demagogic, tendency is clearly apparent in the position which it took up towards the proper supports of every really revolutionary party, the proletariate and the freedmen. For that reason the practical significance of this alteration in the order of voting regulating the primary assemblies must not be estimated too highly.

The new law of election did not prevent, and perhaps did not even materially impede, the contemporary formation of a new politically privileged order. It is certainly not owing to the mere imperfection of tradition, defective as it undoubtedly is, that we are nowhere able to point to a practical influence exercised by this much- discussed reform on the course of political affairs. An intimate connection, we may add, subsisted between this reform, and the already-mentioned abolition of the Roman burgess-communities -sine suffragio-, which were gradually merged in the community of full burgesses.

The levelling spirit of the party of progress suggested the abolition of distinctions within the middle class, while the chasm between burgesses and non-burgesses was at the same time widened and deepened.

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