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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 30

The further prerogative of the tribune to have dealings with the people at pleasure, partly for the purpose of bringing up accusations and especially of calling former magistrates to account at the bar of the people, partly for the purpose of submitting laws to the vote, had been the lever by which the Gracchi, Saturninus, and Sulpicius had revolutionized the state; it was not abolished, but its exercise was probably made dependent on a permission to be previously requested from the senate.(24)

24. To this the words of Lepidus in Sallust (Hist. i. 41, 11 Dietsch) refer: -populus Romanus excitus... iure agitandi-, to which Tacitus (Ann. iii. 27) alludes: -statim turbidis Lepidi rogationibus neque multo post tribunis reddita licentia quoquo vellent populum agitandi-. That the tribunes did not altogether lose the right of discussing matters with the people is shown by Cic. De Leg. iii. 4, 10 and more clearly by the -plebiscitum de Thermensibus-, which however in the opening formula also designates itself as issued -de senatus sententia-. That the consuls on the other hand could under the Sullan arrangements submit proposals to the people without a previous resolution of the senate, is shown not only by the silence of the authorities, but also by the course of the revolutions of 667 and 676, whose leaders for this very reason were not tribunes but consuls. Accordingly we find at this period consular laws upon secondary questions of administration, such as the corn law of 681, for which at other times we should have certainly found -plebiscita-.

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