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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 42

The Capitalists and Public Opinion

But above all the deep rooted immorality, which is inherent in an economy of pure capital, ate into the heart of society and of the commonwealth, and substituted an absolute selfishness for humanity and patriotism. The better portion of the nation were very keenly sensible of the seeds of corruption which lurked in that system of speculation; and the instinctive hatred of the great multitude, as well as the displeasure of the well-disposed statesman, was especially directed against the trade of the professional money-lender, which for long had been subjected to penal laws and still continued under the letter of the law amenable to punishment. In a comedy of this period the money-lender is told that the class to which he belongs is on a parallel with the -lenones- --

-Eodem hercle vos pono et paro; parissumi estis ibus.
Hi saltem in occultis locis prostant: vos in foro ipso.
Vos fenore, hi male suadendo et lustris lacerant homines.
Rogitationes plurimas propter vos populus scivit,
Quas vos rogatas rumpitis: aliquam reperitis rimam.
Quasi aquam ferventem frigidam esse, ita vos putatis leges.-

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