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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 XIII - Faith and Manners


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 25

In the choice of a wife he disapproved marrying for money, and recommended men to look to good descent; but he himself married in old age the daughter of one of his poor clients. Moreover he adopted views in regard to continence on the part of the husband similar to those which everywhere prevail in slave countries; a wife was throughout regarded by him as simply a necessary evil. His writings abound in invectives against the chattering, finery-loving, ungovernable fair sex; it was the opinion of the old lord that "all women are plaguy and proud," and that, "were men quit of women, our life might probably be less godless."

On the other hand the rearing of children born in wedlock was a matter which touched his heart and his honour, and the wife in his eyes existed strictly and solely for the children's sake. She nursed them ordinarily herself, or, if she allowed her children to be suckled by female slaves, she also allowed their children in return to draw nourishment from her own breast; one of the few traits, which indicate an endeavour to mitigate the institution of slavery by ties of human sympathy--the common impulses of maternity and the bond of foster-brotherhood. The old general was present in person, whenever it was possible, at the washing and swaddling of his children.

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