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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


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

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 III - The Fall of the Oligarchy and the Rule of Pompeius


The Original Greek New Testament

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 36

The Manillian Law

One Gaius Manilius, an utterly worthless and insignificant man had when tribune of the people by his unskilful projects of legislation lost favour both with the aristocracy and with the democracy. In the hope of sheltering himself under the wing of the powerful general, if he should procure for the latter what every one knew that he eagerly desired but had not the boldness to ask, Manilius proposed to the burgesses to recall the governors Glabrio from Bithynia and Pontus and Marcius Rex from Cilicia, and to entrust their offices as well as the conduct of the war in the east, apparently without any fixed limit as to time and at any rate with the freest authority to conclude peace and alliance, to the proconsul of the seas and coasts in addition to his previous office (beg. of 688).

This occurrence very clearly showed how disorganized was the machinery of the Roman constitution, whenthe power of legislation was placed as respected the initiative inthe hands of any demagogue however insignificant, and as respected the final determination in the hands of the incapable multitude, while it at the same time was extended to the most important questions of administration. The Manilian proposal was acceptable to none of the political parties; yet it scarcely anywhere encountered serious resistance. The democratic leaders, for the same reasons which had forced them to acquiesce in the Gabinian law, could not venture earnestly to oppose the Manilian; they kept their displeasure and their fears to themselves and spoke in public for the general of the democracy.

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