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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 32

One of the most important of the current duties of the senate--that of fixing at its pleasure the functions for the time being of the two consuls--was not withdrawn from it; but the indirect pressure hitherto exercised in this way over the supreme magistrates was limited by directing the senate to fix these functions before the consuls concerned were elected. With unrivalled activity, lastly, Gaius concentrated the most varied and most complicated functions of government in his own person.

He himself watched over the distribution of grain, selected the jurymen, founded the colonies in person notwithstanding that his magistracy legally chained him to the city, regulated the highways and concluded building- contracts, led the discussions of the senate, settled the consular elections--in short, he accustomed the people to the fact that one man was foremost in all things, and threw the lax and lame administration of the senatorial college into the shade by the vigour and versatility of his personal rule.

Gracchus interfered with the judicial omnipotence, still more energetically than with the administration, of the senate. We have already mentioned that he set aside the senators as jurymen; the same course was taken with the jurisdiction which the senate as the supreme administrative board allowed to itself in exceptional cases. Under severe penalties he prohibited-- apparently in his renewal of the law -de provocatione-(24)--the appointment of extraordinary commissions of high treason by decree of the senate, such as that which after his brother's murder had sat in judgment on his adherents.

24. This and the law -ne quis iudicio circumveniatur- may have been identical.

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