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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 110


It will not be necessary to dwell longer on this confused picture, so monotonous in its variety; and the less so, that the Romans were far from original in this respect, and confined themselves to exhibiting a copy of the Graeco-Asiatic luxury still more exaggerated and stupid than their model. Plutos naturally devours his children as well as Kronos; the competition for all these mostly worthless objects of fashionable longing so forced up prices, that those who swam with the stream found the most colossal estate melt away in a short time, and even those, who only for credit's sake joined in what was most necessary, saw their inherited and firmly- established wealth rapidly undermined.

The canvass for the consulship, for instance, was the usual highway to ruin for houses of distinction; and nearly the same description applies to the games, the great buildings, and all those other pleasant, doubtless, but expensive pursuits. The princely wealth of that period is only surpassed by its still more princely liabilities; Caesar owed about 692, after deducting his assets, 25,000,000 sesterces (250,000 pounds); Marcus Antonius, at the age of twenty-four 6,000,000 sesterces (60,000 pounds), fourteen years afterwards 40,000,000 (400,000 pounds); Curio owed 60,000,000 (600,000 pounds); Milo 70,000,000 (700,000 pounds).

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