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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 32

Limitation of the Supreme Magistracy - Regulation of the Consular and Praetorian Functions before -- The Time of Sulla

The consulship and praetorship also, although viewed by the aristocratic regenerator of Rome with a more favourable eye than the tribunate liable in itself to be regarded with suspicion, by no means escaped that distrust towards its own instruments which is throughout characteristic of oligarchy. They were restricted with more tenderness in point of form, but in a way very sensibly felt. Sulla here began with the partition of functions. At the beginning of this period the arrangement in that respect stood as follows.

As formerly there had devolved on the two consuls the collective functions of the supreme magistracy, so there still devolved on them all those official duties for which distinct functionaries had not been by law established. This latter course had been adopted with the administration of justice in the capital, in which the consuls, according to a rule inviolably adhered to, might not interfere, and with the transmarine provinces then existing--Sicily, Sardinia, and the two Spains--in which, while the consul might no doubt exercise his -imperium-, he did so only exceptionally.

In the ordinary course of things, accordingly, the six fields of special jurisdiction-- the two judicial appointments in the capital and the four transmarine provinces--were apportioned among the six praetors, while there devolved on the two consuls, by virtue of their general powers, the management of the non-judicial business of the capital and the military command in the continental possessions.

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