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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 41

Shelving of the Censorship

Lastly we have already observed that the highest of all magistracies, the censorship, though not formally abolished, was shelved in the same way as the dictatorship had previously been. Practically it might certainly be dispensed with. Provision was otherwise made for filling up the senate. From the time that Italy was practically tax-free and the army was substantially formed by enlistment, the register of those liable to taxation and service lost in the main its significance; and, if disorder prevailed in the equestrian roll or the list of those entitled to the suffrage, that disorder was probably not altogether unwelcome.

There thus remained only the current financial functions which the consuls had hitherto discharged when, as frequently happened, no election of censors had taken place, and which they now took as a part of their ordinary official duties. Compared with the substantial gain that by the shelving of the censorship the magistracy lost its crowning dignity, it was a matter of little moment and was not at all prejudicial to the sole dominion of the supreme governing corporation, that--with a view to satisfy the ambition of the senators now so much more numerous--the number of the pontifices and that of the augurs was increased from nine,(30) that of the custodiers of oracles from ten,(31) to fifteen each, and that of the banquet-masters from three(32) to seven.

30. Cf. II. III. Complete Opening Up of Magistracies and Priesthoods

31. Cf. II. III. Combination of The Plebian Aristocracy and The Farmers against The Nobility

32. Cf. III. XIII. Religious Economy

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