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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 68

Sulla and His Work

We do not mean that the Sullan constitution was a work of political genius, such as those of Gracchus and Caesar. There does not occur in it--as is, indeed, implied in its very nature as a restoration--a single new idea in statesmanship. All its most essential features-- admission to the senate by the holding of the quaestorship, the abolition of the censorial right to eject a senator from the senate, the initiative of the senate in legislation, the conversion of the tribunician office into an instrument of the senate for fettering the -imperium-, the prolonging of the duration of the supreme office to two years, the transference of the command from the popularly-elected magistrate to the senatorial proconsul or propraetor, and even the new criminal and municipal arrangements-- were not created by Sulla, but were institutions which had previously grown out of the oligarchic government, and which he merely regulated and fixed.

And even as to the horrors attaching to his restoration, the proscriptions and confiscations--are they, compared with the doings of Nasica, Popillius, Opimius, Caepio and so on, anything else than the legal embodiment of the customary oligarchic mode of getting rid of opponents? On the Roman oligarchy of this period no judgment can be passed save one of inexorable and remorseless condemnation; and, like everything, else connected with it, the Sullan constitution is completely involved in that condemnation.

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