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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 56

Economic Crisis - Murder of Asellio

To the political and military crisis thus beginning fell to be added the economic crisis--perhaps still more terrible--which set in upon the Roman capitalists in consequence of the Social war and the Asiatic troubles. The debtors, unable even to raise the interest due and yet inexorably pressed by their creditors, had on the one hand entreated from the proper judicial authority, the urban praetor Asellio, a respite to enable them to dispose of their possessions, and on the other hand had searched out once more the old obsolete laws as to usury(21) and, according to the rule established in olden times, had sued their creditors for fourfold the amount of the interest paid to them contrary to the law.

21. Cf. II. III. Laws Imposing Taxes

Asellio lent himself to bend the actually existing law into conformity with the letter, and put into shape in the usual way the desired actions for interest; whereupon the offended creditors assembled in the Forum under the leadership of the tribune of the people Lucius Cassius, and attacked and killed the praetor in front of the temple of Concord, just as in his priestly robes he was presenting a sacrifice--an outrage which was not even made a subject of investigation (665).

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