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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 49

The Roman polity especially adhered to this view with its peculiar tenacious consistency; even in the sixth century the dependent communities of Italy were either, in order to their keeping their municipal constitution, constituted as formally sovereign states of non-burgesses, or, if they obtained the Roman franchise, were--although not prevented from organizing themselves as collective bodies--deprived of properly municipal rights, so that in all burgess-colonies and burgess--municipia- even the administration of justice and the charge of buildings devolved on the Roman praetors and censors. The utmost to which Rome consented was to allow at least the most urgent lawsuits to be settled on the spot by a deputy (-praefectus-) of the praetor nominated from Rome.(40)

40. Cf. II. VII. Subject Communities

The provinces were similarly dealt with, except that the governor there came in place of the authorities of the capital. In the free, that is, formally sovereign towns the civil and criminal jurisdiction was administered by the municipal magistrates according to the local statutes; only, unless altogether special privileges stood in the way, every Roman might either as defendant or as plaintiff request to have his cause decided before Italian judges according to Italian law For the ordinary provincial communities the Roman governor was the only regular judicial authority, on whom devolved the direction of all processes. It was a great matter when, as in Sicily, in the event of the defendant being a Sicilian, the governor was bound by the provincial statute to give a native juryman and to allow him to decide according to local usage; in most of the provinces this seems to have depended on the pleasure of the directing magistrate.

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