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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 XII - The Management of Land and of Capital


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Page 17

Not only were the masses of grain which the state sold off to the lessees of the tenths beyond doubt acquired under ordinary circumstances by these so cheaply that, when re-sold, they could be disposed of under the price of production; but it is probable that in the provinces, particularly in Sicily--in consequence partly of the favourable nature of the soil, partly of the extent to which wholesale farming and slave-holding were pursued on the Carthaginian system(10)--the price of production was in general considerably lower than in Italy, while the transport of Sicilian and Sardinian corn to Latium was at least as cheap as, if not cheaper than, its transport thither from Etruria, Campania, or even northern Italy.

10. III. I. The Carthaginian Dominion in Africa

In the natural course of things therefore transmarine corn could not but flow to the peninsula, and lower the price of the grain produced there. Under the unnatural disturbance of relations occasioned by the lamentable system of slave-labour, it would perhaps have been justifiable to impose a duty on transmarine corn for the protection of the Italian farmer; but the very opposite course seems to have been pursued, and with a view to favour the import of transmarine corn to Italy, a prohibitive system seems to have been applied in the provinces--for though the Rhodians were allowed to export a quantity of corn from Sicily by way of special favour, the export of grain from the provinces must probably, as a rule, have been free only as regarded Italy, and the transmarine corn must thus have been monopolized for the benefit of the mother-country.

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