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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


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Page 18

Gracchus enacted that every burgess who should personally present himself in the capital should thenceforth be allowed monthly a definite quantity-- apparently 5 -modii- (1 1/4 bushel)--from the public stores, at 6 1/3 -asses- (3d.) for the -modius-, or not quite the half of a low average price;(10) for which purpose the public corn-stores were enlarged by the construction of the new Sempronian granaries.

10. Cf. III. XII. Prices of Italian Corn

This distribution--which consequently excluded the burgesses living out of the capital, and could not but attract to Rome the whole mass of the burgess- proletariate--was designed to bring the burgess-proletariate of the capital, which hitherto had mainly depended on the aristocracy, into dependence on the leaders of the movement-party, and thus to supply the new master of the state at once with a body-guard and with a firm majority in the comitia. For greater security as regards the latter, moreover, the order of voting still subsisting in the -comitia centuriata-, according to which the five property-classes in each tribe gave their votes one after another,(11) was done away; instead of this, all the centuries were in future to vote promiscuously in an order of succession to be fixed on each occasion by lot.

11. Cf. III. XI. Reform of the Centuries

While these enactments were mainly designed to procure for the new chief of the state by means of the city-proletariate the complete command of the capital and thereby of the state, the amplest control over the comitial machinery, and the possibility in case of need of striking terror into the senate and magistrates, the legislator certainly at the same time set himself with earnestness and energy to redress the existing social evils.

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