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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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Behind the brilliant screen of provincial reunions was concealed a very sensible decline of Roman power. While the whole ancient civilization was daily more and more distinctly embraced in the Roman state, and embodied there in forms of more general validity, the nations excluded from it began simultaneously beyond the Alps and beyond the Euphrates to pass from defence to aggression. On the battle- fields of Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae, of Chaeronea and Orchomenus, were heard the first peals of that thunderstorm, which the Germanic tribes and the Asiatic hordes were destined to bring upon the Italo- Greek world, and the last dull rolling of which has reached almost to our own times. But in internal development also this epoch bears the same character.

The old organization collapses irretrievably. The Roman commonwealth was planned as an urban community, which through its free burgess-body gave to itself rulers and laws; which was governed by these well-advised rulers within these legal limits with kingly freedom; and around which the Italian confederacy, as an aggregate of free urban communities essentially homogeneous and cognate with the Roman, and the body of extra-Italian allies, as an aggregate of Greek free cities and barbaric peoples and principalities--both more superintended, than domineered over, by the community of Rome--formed a double circle.

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