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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 36

The conventional respectability of the Romans was especially apparent in the more and more strict enforcement of the rule, that no respectable man should allow himself to be paid for the performance of personal services. Accordingly, magistrates, officers, jurymen, guardians, and generally all respectable men entrusted with public functions, received no other recompense for the services which they rendered than, at most, compensation for their outlays; and not only so, but the services which acquaintances (-amici-) rendered to each other--such as giving security, representation in lawsuits, custody (-depositum-), lending the use of objects not intended to be let on hire (-commodatum-), the managing and attending to business in general (-procuratio-)--were treated according to the same principle, so that it was unseemly to receive any compensation for them and an action was not allowable even where a compensation had been promised.

How entirely the man was merged in the merchant, appears most distinctly perhaps in the substitution of a money-payment and an action at law for the duel --even for the political duel--in the Roman life of this period. The usual form of settling questions of personal honour was this: a wager was laid between the offender and the party offended as to the truth or falsehood of the offensive assertion, and under the shape of an action for the stake the question of fact was submitted in due form of law to a jury; the acceptance of such a wager when offered by the offended or offending party was, just like the acceptance of a challenge to a duel at the present day, left open in law, but was often in point of honour not to be avoided.

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