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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 36

It is likewise no wonder, that this capitalist oligarchy engaged in earnest and often victorious competition with the oligarchy of the nobles in internal politics. But it is also no wonder, that ruined men of wealth put themselves at the head of bands of revolted slaves,(31) and rudely reminded the public that the transition is easy from the haunts of fashionable debauchery to the robber's cave.

31. Cf. IV. IV. The Provinces

It is no wonder, that that financial tower of Babel, with its foundation not purely economic but borrowed from the political ascendency of Rome, tottered at every serious political crisis nearly in the same way as our very similar fabric of a paper currency. The great financial crisis, which in consequence of the Italo-Asiatic commotions of 664 f. set in upon the Roman capitalist-class, the bankruptcy of the state and of private persons, the general depreciation of landed property and of partnership-shares, can no longer be traced out in detail; but their general nature and their importance are placed beyond doubt by their results--the murder of the praetor by a band of creditors,(32) the attempt to eject from the senate all the senators not free of debt,(33) the renewal of the maximum of interest by Sulla,(34) the cancelling of 75 per cent of all debts by the revolutionary party.(35)

32. Cf. IV. VII. Economic Crisis

33. Cf. IV. VII. The Sulpician Laws

34. Cf. IV. VII. Legislation of Sulla

35. Cf. IV. IX. Government of Cinna

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