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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 33

In consequence of this debauchery dice-playing, which had doubtless long been in use among the Romans, reached such proportions that it was necessary for legislation to interfere. The aversion to labour and the habit of idle lounging were visibly on the increase.(4) Cato proposed to have the market paved with pointed stones, in order to put a stop to the habit of idling; the Romans laughed at the jest and went on to enjoy the pleasure of loitering and gazing all around them.

4. A sort of -parabasis- in the -Curculio- of Plautus describes what went on in the market-place of the capital, with little humour perhaps, but with life-like distinctness.

-Conmonstrabo, quo in quemque hominem facile inveniatis loco,
Ne nimio opere sumat operam, si quis conventum velit
Vel vitiosum vel sine vitio, vel probum vel inprobum.
Qui perjurum convenire volt hominem, ito in comitium;
Qui mendacem et gloriosum, apud Cloacinae sacrum.
[Ditis damnosos maritos sub basilica quaerito.
Ibidem erunt scorta exoleta quique stipulari solent.]
Symbolarum conlatores apud forum piscarium.

In foro infumo boni homines atque dites ambulant;
In medio propter canalem ibi ostentatores meri.
Confidentes garrulique et malevoli supra lacum,
Qui alteri de nihilo audacter dicunt contumeliam
Et qui ipsi sat habent quod in se possit vere dicier.
Sub veteribus ibi sunt, qui dant quique accipiunt faenore.
Pone aedem Castoris ibi sunt, subito quibus credas male.

In Tusco vico ibi sunt homines, qui ipsi sese venditant.
In Velabro vel pistorem vel lanium vel haruspicem
Vel qui ipsi vorsant, vel qui aliis, ut vorsentur, praebeant.
Ditis damnosos maritos apud Leucadiam Oppiam.-

The verses in brackets are a subsequent addition, inserted after the building of the first Roman bazaar (570). The business of the baker (-pistor-, literally miller) embraced at this time the sale of delicacies and the providing accommodation for revellers (Festus, Ep. v. alicariae, p. 7, Mull.; Plautus, Capt. 160; Poen. i. a, 54; Trin. 407). The same was the case with the butchers. Leucadia Oppia may have kept a house of bad fame.

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