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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 29

Such scandals, it is true, sedate people could not approve; but there was no objection to men finding positive religion to be a folly in their familiar circle; the augurs might, when one saw another performing his functions, smile in each other's face without detriment to their religious duties. We learn to look favourably on the modest hypocrisy of kindred tendencies, when we compare with it the coarse shamelessness of the Roman priests and Levites.

The official religion was quite candidly treated as a hollow framework, now serviceable only for political machinists; in this respect with its numerous recesses and trapdoors it might and did serve either party, as it happened. Most of all certainly the oligarchy recognized its palladium in the state- religion, and particularly in the augural discipline; but the opposite party also made no resistance in point of principle to an institute, which had now merely a semblance of life; they rather regarded it, on the whole, as a bulwark which might pass from the possession of the enemy into their own.

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