Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 54

Whether it was the Julian law, or the censors of 668, or Sulla, that first arranged the details, cannot be determined: the entrusting of the censorial functions to the -duumviri- seems indeed to have been introduced after the analogy of the Sullan ordinance superseding the censorship, but may be equally well referred to the oldest Latin constitution to which also the censorship was unknown. In any case this municipal constitution-- inserted in, and subordinate to, the state proper--is one of the most remarkable and momentous products of the Sullan period, and of the life of the Roman state generally.

Antiquity was certainly as little able to dovetail the city into the state as to develop of itself representative government and other great principles of our modern state-life; but it carried its political development up to those limits at which it outgrows and bursts its assigned dimensions, and this was the case especially with Rome, which in every respect stands on the line of separation and connection between the old and the new intellectual worlds. In the Sullan constitution the primary assembly and the urban character of the commonwealth of Rome, on the one hand, vanished almost into a meaningless form; the community subsisting within the state on the other hand was already completely developed in the Italian -municipium-. Down to the name, which in such cases no doubt is the half of the matter, this last constitution of the free republic carried out the representative system and the idea of the state built upon the basis of the municipalities.

The municipal system in the provinces was not altered by this movement; the municipal authorities of the non-free towns continued-- special exceptions apart--to be confined to administration and police, and to such jurisdiction as the Roman authorities did not prefer to take into their own hands.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :