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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 75

Results of the Efforts at Reform

Reviewing what the reform party of this age aimed at and obtained, we find that it undoubtedly exerted itself with patriotism and energy to check, and to a certain extent succeeded in checking, the spread of decay--more especially the falling off of the farmer class and the relaxation of the old strict and frugal habits--as well as the preponderating political influence of the new nobility. But we fail to discover any higher political aim.

The discontent of the multitude and the moral indignation of the better classes found doubtless in this opposition their appropriate and powerful expression; but we do not find either a clear insight into the sources of the evil, or any definite and comprehensive plan of remedying it. A certain want of thought pervades all these efforts otherwise so deserving of honour, and the purely defensive attitude of the defenders forebodes little good for the sequel.

Whether the disease could be remedied at all by human skill, remains fairly open to question; the Roman reformers of this period seem to have been good citizens rather than good statesmen, and to have conducted the great struggle between the old civism and the new cosmopolitanism on their part after a somewhat inadequate and narrow-minded fashion.

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