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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 54

The disability as regarded the right of voting gave the deeper offence, that it was--as the comitia were then constituted--politically absurd, and the hypocritical care of the government for the unstained purity of the electors appeared to every unprejudiced person ridiculous; but all these restrictions were dangerous, inasmuch as they invited every demagogue to carry his ulterior objects by taking up the more or less just demands of the new burgesses and of the Italians excluded from the franchise.

While accordingly the more clear-seeing of the aristocracy could not but find these partial and grudging concessions as inadequate as did the new burgesses and the excluded themselves, they further painfully felt the absence from their ranks of the numerous and excellent men whom the Varian commission of high treason had exiled, and whom it was the more difficult to recall because they had been condemned by the verdict not of the people but of the jury-courts; for, while there was little hesitation as to cancelling a decree of the people even of a judicial character by means of a second, the cancelling of a verdict of jurymen bythe people appeared to the betterportion of the aristocracy as a very dangerous precedent.

Thus neither the ultras nor the moderates were content with the issue of the Italian crisis. But still deeper indignation swelled the heart of the old man, who had gone forth to the Italian war with freshened hopes and had come back from it reluctantly, with the consciousness of having rendered new services and of having received in return new and most severe mortifications, with the bitter feeling of being no longer dreaded but despised by his enemies, with that gnawing spirit of vengeance in his heart, which feeds on its own poison. It was true of him also, as of the new burgesses and the excluded; incapable and awkward as he had shown himself to be, his popular name was still a formidable weapon in the hand of a demagogue.

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