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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 XI - The Commonwealth and its Economy


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Page 13

If the governor therefore needed grain, ships, slaves to man them, linen, leather, money, or aught else, he was no doubt absolutely at liberty in time of war--nor was it far otherwise in time of peace--to demand such supplies according to his discretion and exigencies from the subject- communities or the sovereign protected states; but these supplies were, like the Roman land-tax, treated legally as purchases or advances, and the value was immediately or afterwards made good by the Roman exchequer. Nevertheless these requisitions became, if not in the theory of state-law, at any rate practically, one of the most oppressive burdens of the provincials; and the more so, that the amount of compensation was ordinarily settled by the government or even by the governor after a one-sided fashion.

We meet indeed with several legislative restrictions on this dangerous right of requisition of the Roman superior magistrates: for instance, the rule already mentioned, that in Spain there should not be taken from the country people by requisitions for grain more than the twentieth sheaf, and that the price even of this should be equitably ascertained;(11) the fixing of a maximum quantity of grain to be demanded by the governor for the wants of himself and his retinue; the previous adjustment of a definite and high rate of compensation for the grain which was frequently demanded, at least from Sicily, for the wants of the capital.

11. Cf. III. VII. Administration of Spain

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