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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 II - The Reform Movement and Tiberius Gracchus


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Page 13

Social Crisis

The crisis with which the Roman revolution was opened arose not out of this paltry political conflict, but out of the economic and social relations which the Roman government allowed, like everything else, simply to take their course, and which thus found opportunity to bring the morbid matter, that had been long fermenting, without hindrance and with fearful rapidity and violence to maturity. From a very early period the Roman economy was based on the two factors --always in quest of each other, and always at variance--the husbandry of the small farmer and the money of the capitalist.

The latter in the closest alliance with landholding on a great scale had already for centuries waged against the farmer-class a war, which seemed as though it could not but terminate in the destruction first of the farmers and thereafter of the whole commonwealth, but was broken off without being properly decided in consequence of the successful wars and the comprehensive and ample distribution of domains for which these wars gave facilities. It has already been shown(5) that in the same age, which renewed the distinction between patricians and plebeians under altered names, the disproportionate accumulation of capital was preparing a second assault on the farming system.

5. Cf. III. XII. Results

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