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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 30

It is true that both the opposition and the section of the conservatives that entered into ideas of reform worked energetically to counteract the evil; the two Gracchi, by carrying out the distribution of almost the whole domain land, gave to the state 80,000 new Italian farmers; Sulla, by settling 120,000 colonists in Italy, filled up at least in part the gaps which the revolution and he himself had made in the ranks of the Italian yeomen. But, when a vessel is emptying itself by constant efflux, the evil is to be remedied not by pouring in even considerable quantities, but only by the establishment of a constant influx-- a remedy which was on various occasions attempted, but not with success.

In the provinces, not even the smallest effort was made to save the farmer class there from being bought out by the Roman speculators; the provincials, forsooth, were merely men, and not a party. The consequence was, that even the rents of the soil beyond Italy flowed more and more to Rome. Moreover the plantation- system, which about the middle of this epoch had already gained the ascendant even in particular districts of Italy, such as Etruria, had, through the co-operation of an energetic and methodical management and abundant pecuniary resources, attained to a state of high prosperity after its kind.

The production of Italian wine in particular, which was artificially promoted partly by the opening of forced markets in a portion of the provinces, partly by the prohibition of foreign wines in Italy as expressed for instance in the sumptuary law of 593, attained very considerable results: the Aminean and Falernian wine began to be named by the side of the Thasian and Chian, and the "Opimian wine" of 633, the Roman vintage "Eleven," was long remembered after the last jar was exhausted.

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