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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 V - The Struggle of Parties During the Absence of Pompeius


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Page 7

As early as 686 Gaius Caesar travelled from place to place there for this purpose; in 689 Marcus Crassus as censor made arrangements to enrol the inhabitants directly in the burgess-roll--which was only frustrated by the resistance of his colleague; in the following censorships this attempt seems regularly to have been repeated. As formerly Gracchus and Flaccus had been the patrons of the Latins, so the present leaders of the democracy gave themselves forth as protectors of the Transpadanes, and Gaius Piso (consul in 687) had bitterly to regret that he had ventured to outrage one of these clients of Caesar and Crassus.

On the other hand the same leaders appeared by no means disposed to advocate the political equalization of the freedmen; the tribune of the people Gaius Manilius, who in a thinly attended assembly had procured the renewal (31 Dec. 687) of the Sulpician law as to the suffrage of freedmen,(4) was immediately disavowed by the leading men of the democracy, and with their consent the law was cancelled by the senate on the very day after its passing.

4. Cf. IV. VII. The Sulpician Laws

In the same spirit all the strangers, who possessed neither Roman nor Latin burgess- rights, were ejected from the capital by decree of the people in 689. It is obvious that the intrinsic inconsistency of the Gracchan policy--in abetting at once the effort of the excluded to obtain admission into the circle of the privileged, and the effort of the privileged to maintain their distinctive rights--had passed over to their successors; while Caesar and his friends on the one hand held forth to the Transpadanes the prospect of the franchise, they on the other hand gave their assent to the continuance of the disabilities of the freedmen, and to the barbarous setting aside of the rivalry which the industry and trading skill of the Greeks and Orientals maintained with the Italians in Italy itself.

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