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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 XII - Nationality, Religion, and Education


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Page 26

That the common man, for whose benefit the grandees thus surrendered their judgment, now despised this faith and sought his remedy elsewhere, was a matter of course and will be seen in the sequel. Thus then the Roman "high church" was ready, a sanctimonious body of priests and Levites, and an unbelieving people. The more openly the religion of the land was declared a political institution, the more decidedly the political parties regarded the field of the state-church as an arena for attack and defence; which was especially, in a daily-increasing measure, the case with augural science and with the elections to the priestly colleges.

The old and natural practice of dismissing the burgess-assembly, when a thunderstorm came on, had in the hands of the Roman augurs grown into a prolix system of various celestial omens and rules of conduct associated therewith; in the earlier portion of this period it was even directly enacted by the Aelian and Fufian law, that every popular assembly should be compelled to disperse if it should occur to any of the higher magistrates to look for signs of a thunderstorm in the sky; and the Roman oligarchy was proud of the cunning device which enabled them thenceforth by a single pious fraud to impress the stamp of invalidity on any decree of the people.

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