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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 XIII - Literature and Art


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» Contents of this Chapter

Page 57

Professional Sciences - Jurisprudence

In the professional sciences there was but little activity. Well as the Romans understood how to farm and how to calculate, physical and mathematical research gained no hold among them. The consequences of neglecting theory appeared practically in the low state of medical knowledge and of a portion of the military sciences. Of all the professional sciences jurisprudence alone was flourishing. We cannot trace its internal development with chronological accuracy. On the whole ritual law fell more and more into the shade, and at the end of this period stood nearly in the same position as the canon law at the present day.

The finer and more profound conception of law, on the other hand, which substitutes for outward criteria the motive springs of action within--such as the development of the ideas of offences arising from intention and from carelessness respectively, and of possession entitled to temporary protection--was not yet in existence at the time of the Twelve Tables, but was so in the age of Cicero, and probably owed its elaboration substantially to the present epoch.

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