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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 4

The Prospect

The state of matters threatened to end in utter anarchy and in the inward and outward dissolution of the state. The political movement tended thoroughly towards the goal of despotism; the only point still in dispute was whether the close circle of the families of rank, or the senate of capitalists, or a monarch was to be the despot. The political movement followed thoroughly the paths that led to despotism; the fundamental principle of a free commonwealth-- that the contending powers should reciprocally confine themselves to indirect coercion--had become effete in the eyes of all parties alike, and on both sides the fight for power began to be carried on first by the bludgeon, and soon by the sword.

The revolution, at an end in so far as the old constitution was recognized by both sides as finally set aside and the aim and method of the new political development were clearly settled, had yet up to this time discovered nothing but provisional solutions for this problem of the reorganization of the state; neither the Gracchan nor the Sullan constitution of the community bore the stamp of finality. But the bitterest feature of this bitter time was that even hope and effort failed the clear-seeing patriot. The sun of freedom with all its endless store of blessings was constantly drawing nearer to its setting, and the twilight was settling over the very world that was still so brilliant.

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