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THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

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 X - The Sullan Constitution

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» Contents of this Chapter

The Restoration ||| Sulla Regent of Rome ||| Executions ||| Proscription-Lists ||| Confiscations ||| Maintenance of the Burgess-Rights Previously Conferred ||| Punishments Inflicted on Particular Communities ||| Assignations to the Soldiers ||| The Cornelian Freedmen in Rome - Abolition of the Gracchan Institutions ||| Reorganization of the Senate - Its Complement Filled Up by Extraordinary Election - Admission to the Senate through the Quaestorship - Abolition of the Censorial Supervision of the Senate ||| Regulations As to the Burgesses ||| Co-optation Restored in the Priestly Colleges - Regulating of the Qualifications for Office ||| Weakening of the Tribunate of the People ||| Limitation of the Supreme Magistracy - Regulation of the Consular and Praetorian Functions before -- The Time of Sulla ||| Regulation of Their Functions by Sulla - Separation of the Political and Military Authority - Cisalpine Gaul Erected into a Province ||| Better Arrangement of Business - Increase of the Power of the Senate ||| Shelving of the Censorship ||| Regulation of the Finances ||| Reorganization of the Judicial System. - Previous Arrangements - Ordinary Procedure - Permanent and Special -Quaestiones- - Centumviral Court ||| Sullan -Quaestiones- ||| Police Laws - The Roman Municipal System ||| Relation of the -Municipium- to the State ||| Rise of the -Municipium- ||| Impression Produced by the Sullan Reorganization - Opposition of the Officers ||| Re-establishment of Constitutional Order - Sulla Resigns the Regency ||| Character of Sulla ||| Sulla's Political Career ||| Sulla and His Work ||| Value of the Sullan Constitution ||| Immoral and Superficial Nature of the Sullan Restoration ||| Sulla after His Retirement ||| Death of Sulla ||| His Funeral


The Restoration

About the time when the first pitched battle was fought between Romans and Romans, in the night of the 6th July 671, the venerable temple, which had been erected by the kings, dedicated by the youthful republic, and spared by the storms of five hundred years-- the temple of the Roman Jupiter in the Capitol--perished in the flames. It was no augury, but it was an image of the state of the Roman constitution. This, too, lay in ruins and needed reconstruction. The revolution was no doubt vanquished, but the victory was far from implying as a matter of course the restoration of the old government.

The mass of the aristocracy certainly was of opinion that now, after the death of the two revolutionary consuls, it would be sufficient to make arrangements for the ordinary supplemental election and to leave it to the senate to take such steps as should seem farther requisite for the rewarding of the victorious army, for the punishment of the most guilty revolutionists, and possibly also for the prevention of similar outbreaks. But Sulla, in whose hands the victory had concentrated for the moment all power, formed a more correct judgment of affairs and of men. The aristocracy of Rome in its best epoch had not risen above an adherence--partly noble and partly narrow--to traditional forms; how should the clumsy collegiate government of this period be in a position to carry out with energy and thoroughness a comprehensive reform of the state?

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