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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 23

These could not, like the tribunals of the people, be broken up by the intercession of a tribune, and there not only lay no appeal from them to the community, but their sentences were as little subject to be annulled by the community as those of the long-established civil jurymen. In the burgess-tribunals it had, especially in strictly political processes, no doubt long been the rule that the accused remained at liberty during his trial, and was allowed by surrendering his burgess-rights to save at least life and freedom; for the fine laid on property, as well as the civil condemnation, might still affect even the exiled.

But preliminary arrest and complete execution of the sentence remained in such cases at least legally possible, and were still sometimes carried into effect even against persons of rank; for instance, Lucius Hostilius Tubulus, praetor of 612, who was capitally impeached for a heinous crime, was refused the privilege of exile, arrested, and executed. On the other hand the judicial commissions, which originated out of the civil procedure, probably could not at the outset touch the liberty or life of the citizen, but at the most could only pronounce sentence of exile; this, which had hitherto been a mitigation of punishment accorded to one who was found guilty, now became for the first time a formal penalty This involuntary exile however, like the voluntary, left to the person banished his property, so far as it was not exhausted in satisfying claims for compensation and money-fines.

Lastly, in the matter of debt Gaius Gracchus made no alteration; but very respectable authorities assert that he held out to those in debt the hope of a diminution or remission of claims--which, if it is correct, must likewise be reckoned among those radically popular measures.

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