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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 32

Secret Worships

But the unallowed and secret worships were naturally still more popular. As early as Cato's time the Chaldean horoscope-caster had begun to come into competition with the Etruscan -haruspex- and the Marsian bird-seer;(16) star-gazing and astrology were soon as much at home in Italy as in their dreamy native land.

16. Cf. III. XIV. Cato's Encyclopedia

In 615 the Roman -praetor peregrinus- directed all the Chaldeans to evacuate Rome and Italy within ten days. The same fate at the same time befel the Jews, who had admitted Italian proselytes to their sabbath. In like manner Scipio had to clear the camp before Numantia from soothsayers and pious impostors of every sort. Some forty years afterwards (657) it was even found necessary to prohibit human sacrifices.

The wild worship of the Cappadocian Ma, or, as the Romans called her, Bellona, to whom the priests in their festal processions shed their own blood as a sacrifice, and the gloomy Egyptian worships began to make their appearance; the former Cappadocian goddess appeared in a dream to Sulla, and of the later Roman communities of Isis and Osiris the oldest traced their origin to the Sullan period.

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