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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 30

But now women began to aspire to independence in respect to property, and, getting quit of the guardianship of their -agnati- by evasive lawyers' expedients --particularly through mock marriages--they took the management of their property into their own hands, or, in the event of being married, sought by means not much better to withdraw themselves from the marital power, which under the strict letter of the law was necessary.

The mass of capital which was collected in the hands of women appeared to the statesmen of the time so dangerous, that they resorted to the extravagant expedient of prohibiting by law the testamentary nomination of women as heirs (585), and even sought by a highly arbitrary practice to deprive women for the most part of the collateral inheritances which fell to them without testament.

In like manner the exercise of family jurisdiction over women, which was connected with that marital and tutorial power, became practically more and more antiquated. Even in public matters women already began to have a will of their own and occasionally, as Cato thought, "to rule the rulers of the world;" their influence was to be traced in the burgess-assembly, and already statues were erected in the provinces to Roman ladies.

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