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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 29

Private Economics - Agriculture

In the private economics of this period hardly any new feature emerges; the advantages and disadvantages formerly set forth as incident to the social circumstances of Italy(25) were not altered, but merely farther and more distinctly developed.

25. Cf. III. XII. The Management of Land and of Capital

In agriculture we have already seen that the growing power of Roman capital was gradually absorbing the intermediate and small landed estates in Italy as well as in the provinces, as the sun sucks up the drops of rain. The government not only looked on without preventing, but even promoted this injurious division of the soil by particular measures, especially by prohibiting the production of wine and oil beyond the Alps with a view to favour the great Italian landlords and merchants.(26)

26. Cf. IV. V. Conflicts with the Ligurians. With this may be connected the remark of the Roman agriculturist, Saserna, who lived after Cato and before Varro (ap. Colum. i. 1, 5), that the culture of the vine and olive was constantly moving farther to the north.--The decree of the senate as to the translation of the treatise of Mago (Cf. IV. II. The Italian Farmers) belongs also to this class of measures.

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