Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 31

Monarchical Government Substituted for That of the Senate

With his weapons--the proletariate and the mercantile class--thus prepared, Gracchus set about his main work, the overthrow of the ruling aristocracy. The overthrow of the senate meant, on the one hand, the depriving it of its essential functions by legislative alterations; and on the other hand, the ruining of the existing aristocracy by measures of a more personal and transient kind. Gracchus did both.

The function of administration, in particular, had hitherto belonged exclusively to the senate; Gracchus took it away, partly by settling the most important administrative questions by means of comitial laws or, in other words, practically through tribunician dictation, partly by restricting the senate as much as possible in current affairs, partly by taking business after the most comprehensive fashion into his own hands.

The measures of the former kind have been mentioned already: the new master of the state without consulting the senate dealt with the state-chest, by imposing a permanent and oppressive burden on the public finances in the distribution of corn; dealt with the domains, by sending out colonies not as hitherto by decree of the senate and people, but by decree of the people alone; and dealt with the provincial administration, by overturning through a law of the people the financial constitution given by the senate to the province of Asia and substituting for it one altogether different.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware


Reference address :