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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
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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 XI - The Old Republic and the New Monarchy


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Page 100

A homely professional treatise of this period compares Italy to a great fruit-garden; and the pictures which a contemporary poet gives of his beautiful native land, where the well-watered meadow, the luxuriant corn-field, the pleasant vine-covered hill are fringed by the dark line of the olive-trees--where the "ornament" of the land, smiling in varied charms, cherishes the loveliest gardens in its bosom and is itself wreathed round by food-producing trees-- these descriptions, evidently faithful pictures of the landscape daily presented to the eye of the poet, transplant us into the most flourishing districts of Tuscany and Terra di Lavoro.

The pastoral husbandry, it is true, which for reasons formerly explained was always spreading farther especially in the south and south-east of Italy, was in every respect a retrograde movement; but it too participated to a certain degree in the general progress of agriculture; much was done for the improvement of the breeds, e. g. asses for breeding brought 60,000 sesterces (600 pounds), 100,000 (1000 pounds), and even 400,000 (4000 pounds). The solid Italian husbandry obtained at this period, when the general development of intelligence and abundance of capital rendered it fruitful, far more brilliant results than ever the old system of small cultivators could have given; and was carried even already beyond the bounds of Italy, for the Italian agriculturist turned to account large tracts in the provinces by rearing cattle and even cultivating corn.

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