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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 58

For that reason in the previous period Cato and those who shared his views never brought such questions before the burgesses, but discussed them solely in the senate.(37)

37. Cf. III. IX. Nullity of the Comitia

For that reason contemporaries of Gracchus, the men of the Scipionic circle, described the Flaminian agrarian law of 522--the first step in that fatal career--as the beginning of the decline of Roman greatness. For that reason they allowed the author of the domain-distribution to fall, and saw in his dreadful end, as it were, a rampart against similar attempts in future, while yet they maintained and turned to account with all their energy the domain-distribution itself which he had carried through--so sad was the state of things in Rome that honest patriots were forced into the horrible hypocrisy of abandoning the evil-doer and yet appropriating the fruit of the evil deed.

For that reason too the opponents of Gracchus were in a certain sense not wrong, when they accused him of aspiring to the crown. For him it is a fresh impeachment rather than a justification, that he himself was probably a stranger to any such thought. The aristocratic government was so thoroughly pernicious, that the citizen, who was able to depose the senate and to put himself in its place, might perhaps benefit the commonwealth more than he injured it.

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