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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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» Contents of this Chapter

Page 6

Attempts at Reform - Permanent Criminal Commissions - Vote by Ballot - Exclusion of the Senators from the Equestrian Centuries - The Public Elections

It is true that now also there was no want of opposition, and it was even to a certain extent effectual. The administration of justice was improved. The administrative jurisdiction, which the senate exercised either of itself or, on occasion, by extraordinary commissions, over the provincial magistrates, was confessedly inadequate. It was an innovation with a momentous bearing on the whole public life of the Roman community, when in 605, on the proposal of Lucius Calpurnius Piso, a standing senatorial commission (-quaestio ordinaria-) was instituted to try in judicial form the complaints of the provincials against the Roman magistrates placed over them on the score of extortion.

An effort was made to emancipate the comitia from the predominant influence of the aristocracy. The panacea of Roman democracy was secret voting in the assemblies of the burgesses, which was introduced first for the elections of magistrates by the Gabinian law (615), then for the public tribunals by the Cassian law (617), lastly for the voting on legislative proposals by the Papirian law (623).

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