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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 40

It is true that this enactment was not called for by the senators; it was on the contrary a work of the democratic opposition, which perhaps desired in the first instance merely to prevent the evil of members of the governing class personally entering into dealings with the government. It may be, moreover, that the capitalists in this instance, as so often afterwards, made common cause with the democratic party, and seized the opportunity of diminishing competition by the exclusion of the senators.

The former object was, of course, only very imperfectly attained, for the system of partnership opened up to the senators ample facilities for continuing to speculate in secret; but this decree of the people drew a legal line of demarcation between those men of quality who did not speculate at all or at any rate not openly and those who did, and it placed alongside of the aristocracy which was primarily political an aristocracy which was purely moneyed--the equestrian order, as it was afterwards called, whose rivalries with the senatorial order fill the history of the following century.

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