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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 X - The Sullan Constitution


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Page 17

The objects which Sulla aimed at in this colonization were of a varied kind. In the first place, he thereby redeemed the pledge given to his soldiers. Secondly, he in so doing adopted the idea, in which the reform-party and the moderate conservatives concurred, and in accordance with which he had himself as early as 666 arranged the establishment of a number of colonies-- the idea namely of augmenting the number of the small agricultural proprietors in Italy by a breaking up of the larger possessions on the part of the government; how seriously he had this at heart is shown by the renewed prohibition of the throwing together of allotments. Lastly and especially, he saw in these settled soldiers as it were standing garrisons, who would protect his new constitution along with their own right of property.

For this reason, where the whole territory was not confiscated, as at Pompeii, the colonists were not amalgamated with the urban-community, but the old burgesses and the colonists were constituted as two bodies of burgesses associated within the same enclosing wall. In other respects these colonial foundations were based, doubtless, like the older ones, on a decree of the people, but only indirectly, in so far as the regent constituted them by virtue of the clause of the Valerian law to that effect; in reality they originated from the ruler's plenitude of power, and so far recalled the freedom with which the former regal authority disposed of the state-property.

But, in so far as the contrast between the soldier and the burgess, which was in other instances done away by the very sending out of the soldiers or colonists, was intended to remain, and did remain, in force in the Sullan colonies even after their establishment, and these colonists formed, as it were, the standing array of the senate, they are not incorrectly designated, in contradistinction to the older ones, as military colonies.

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