Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 19

Revolution in Roman Agriculture

In a great industrial state, whose agriculture cannot feed its population, such a result might perhaps be regarded as useful or at any rate as not absolutely injurious; but a country like Italy, where manufactures were inconsiderable and agriculture was altogether the mainstay of the state, was in this way systematically ruined, and the welfare of the nation as a whole was sacrificed in the most shameful fashion to the interests of the essentially unproductive population of the capital, to which in fact bread could never become too cheap. Nothing perhaps evinces so clearly as this, how wretched was the constitution and how incapable was the administration of this so-called golden age of the republic.

Any representative system, however meagre, would have led at least to serious complaints and to a perception of the seat of the evil; but in those primary assemblies of the burgesses anything was listened to sooner than the warning voice of a foreboding patriot. Any government that deserved the name would of itself have interfered; but the mass of the Roman senate probably with well-meaning credulity regarded the low prices of grain as a real blessing for the people, and the Scipios and Flamininuses had, forsooth, more important things to do--to emancipate the Greeks, and to exercise the functions of republican kings. So the ship drove on unhindered towards the breakers.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware


Reference address :