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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 VII - The Subjugation of the West


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The Roman state remained a chaotic mass of countries without thorough occupation and without proper limits. Spain and the Graeco-Asiatic possessions were separated from the mother country by wide territories, of which barely the borders along the coast were subject to the Romans; on the north coast of Africa the domains of Carthage and Cyrene alone were occupied like oases; large tracts even of the subject territory, especially in Spain, were but nominally subject to the Romans. Absolutely nothing was done on the part of the government towards concentrating and rounding off their dominion, and the decay of the fleet seemed at length to dissolve the last bond of connection between the distant possessions.

The democracy no doubt attempted, so soon as it again raised its head, to shape its external policy in the spirit of Gracchus--Marius in particular cherished such ideas--but as it did not for any length of time attain the helm, its projects were left unfulfilled. It was not till the democracy practically took in hand the government on the overthrow of the Sullan constitution in 684, that a revolution in this respect occurred. First of all their sovereignty on the Mediterranean was restored--the most vital question for a state like that of Rome. Towards the east, moreover, the boundary of the Euphrates was secured by the annexation of the provinces of Pontus and Syria. But there still remained beyond the Alps the task of at once rounding off the Roman territory towards the north and west, and of gaining a fresh virgin soil there for Greek civilization and for the yet unbroken vigour of the Italic race.

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