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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 30

It is not improbable that the selection of jurymen was chiefly made to fall on the same men who played the leading part in the great mercantile associations, particularly those farming the revenues in Asia and elsewhere, just because these had a very close personal interest in sitting in the courts; and, if the lists of jurymen and the societies of -publicani- thus coincided as regards their chiefs, we can all the better understand the significance of the counter-senate thus constituted.

The substantial effect of this was, that, while hitherto there had been only two authorities in the state--the government as the administering and controlling, and the burgesses as the legislative, authority--and the courts had been divided between them, now the moneyed aristocracy was not only united into a compact and privileged class on the solid basis of material interests, but also, as a judicial and controlling power, formed part of the state and took its place almost on a footing of equality by the side of the ruling aristocracy.

All the old antipathies of the merchants against the nobility could not but thenceforth find only too practical an expression in the sentences of the jurymen; above all, when the provincial governors were called to a reckoning, the senator had to await a decision involving his civic existence at the hands no longer as formerly of his peers, but of great merchants and bankers.

The feuds between the Roman capitalists and the Roman governors were transplanted from the provincial administration to the dangerous field of these processes of reckoning. Not only was the aristocracy of the rich divided, but care was taken that the variance should always find fresh nourishment and easy expression.

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