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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

Chapter VII - The Revolt of the Italian Subjects, and the Sulpician Revolution


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Page 23

It is evident from these arrangements-- and was, indeed a matter of course-that the Italians now no longer thought of wresting equality of rights from the Romans, but purposed to annihilate or subdue them and to form a new state. But it is also obvious that their constitution was nothing but a pure copy of that of Rome or, in other words, was the ancient polity handed down by tradition among the Italian nations from time immemorial:--the organization of a city instead of the constitution of a state, with primary assemblies as unwieldy and useless as the Roman comitia, with a governing corporation which contained within it the same elements of oligarchy as the Roman senate, with an executive administered in like manner by a plurality of coordinate supreme magistrates.

This imitation descended to the minutest details; for instance, the title of consul or praetor held by the magistrate in chief command was after a victory exchanged by the general of the Italians also for the title of Imperator. Nothing in fact was changed but the name; on the coins of the insurgents the same image of the gods appears, the inscription only being changed from Roma to Italia. This Rome of the insurgents was distinguished--not to its advantage--from the original Rome merely by the circumstance, that, while the latter had at any rate an urban development, and its unnatural position intermediate between a city and a state had formed itself at least in a natural way, the new Italia was nothing at all but a place of congress for the insurgents, and it was by a pure fiction of law that the inhabitants of the peninsula were stamped as burgesses of this new capital.

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