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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 83

But the weakening of the government and the weakening of the community itself were among the lesser dangers that sprang from this demagogism. Still more directly the factious violence of individual ambition pushed itself forward under the aegis of the constitutional rights of the burgesses. That which formally issued forth as the will of the supreme authority in the state was in reality very often the mere personal pleasure of the mover; and what was to be the fate of a commonwealth in which war and peace, the nomination and deposition of the general and his officers, the public chest and the public property, were dependent on the caprices of the multitude and its accidental leaders?

The thunder-storm had not yet burst; but the clouds were gathering in denser masses, and occasional peals of thunder were already rolling through the sultry air. It was a circumstance, moreover, fraught with double danger, that the tendencies which were apparently most opposite met together at their extremes both as regarded ends and as regarded means. Family policy and demagogism carried on a similar and equally dangerous rivalry in patronizing and worshipping the rabble. Gaius Flaminius was regarded by the statesmen of the following generation as the initiator of that course from which proceeded the reforms of the Gracchi and--we may add--the democratico-monarchical revolution that ensued.

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