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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


IV. The Revolution

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 I - The Subject Countries Down to the Times of the Gracchi


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Page 84

Yet the Greek communities retained "freedom," that is, a formal sovereignty--reduced, doubtless, by the Roman hegemony to a name--which involved the property of the soil and the right to a distinct administration and jurisdiction of their own.(25) Some years later not only were the old confederacies again allowed to have a shadowy existence, but the oppressive restriction on the alienation of landed property was removed.

25. The question whether Greece did or did not become a Roman province in 608, virtually runs into a dispute about words. It is certain that the Greek communities throughout remained "free" (C. I. Gr. 1543, 15; Caesar, B. C. iii. 5; Appian, Mithr. 58; Zonar. ix. 31). But it is no less certain that Greece was then "taken possession of" by the Romans (Tac. Ann. xiv. 21; 1 Maccab. viii. 9, 10); that thenceforth each community paid a fixed tribute to Rome (Pausan. vii. 16, 6; comp. Cic. De Prov. Cons. 3, 5), the little island of Gyarus, for instance, paying 150 --drachmae-- annually (Strabo, x. 485); that the "rods and axes" of the Roman governor thenceforth ruled in Greece (Polyb. xxxviii. l. c.; comp. Cic. Verr. l. i. 21, 55), and that he thenceforth exercised the superintendence over the constitutions of the cities (C. I. Gr. 1543), as well as in certain cases the criminal jurisdiction (C. I. Gr. 1543; Plut. Cim. 2), just as the senate had hitherto done; and that, lastly, the Macedonian provincial era was also in use in Greece.

Between these facts there is no inconsistency, or at any rate none further than is involved in the position of the free cities generally, which are spoken of sometimes as if excluded from the province (e. g. Sueton. Cats., 25; Colum. xi. 3, 26), sometimes as assigned to it (e. g. Joseph. Ant. Jud. xiv. 4, 4). The Roman domanial possessions in Greece were, no doubt, restricted to the territory of Corinth and possibly some portions of Euboea (C. I. Gr. 5879), and there were no subjects in the strict sense there at all; yet if we look to the relations practically subsisting between the Greek communities and the Macedonian governor, Greece may be reckoned as included in the province of Macedonia in the same manner as Massilia in the province of Narbo or Dyrrhachium in that of Macedonia.

We find even cases that go much further: Cisalpine Gaul consisted after 665 of mere burgess or Latin communities and was yet made a province by Sulla, and in the time of Caesar we meet with regions which consisted exclusively of burgess-communities and yet by no means ceased to be provinces. In these cases the fundamental idea of the Roman -provinicia- comes out very clearly; it was primarily nothing but a "command," and all the administrative and judicial functions of the commandant were originally collateral duties and corollaries of his military position.

On the other hand, if we look to the formal sovereignty of the free communities, it must be granted that the position of Greece was not altered in point of constitutional law by the events of 608. It was a difference de facto rather than de jure, when instead of the Achaean league the individual communities of Achaia now appeared by the side of Rome as tributary protected states, and when, after the erection of Macedonia as a separate Roman province, the latter relieved the authorities of the capital of the superintendence over the Greek client-states. Greece therefore may or may not be regarded as a part of the "command" of Macedonia, according as the practical or the formal point of view preponderates; but the preponderance is justly conceded to the former.

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