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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 119

As a compensation for these, Italy obtained on the one hand the proletariate of slaves and freedmen, on the other hand the craftsmen and traders flocking thither from Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, who flourished chiefly in the capital and still more in the seaport towns of Ostia, Puteoli, and Brundisium.(61)

61. Cf. IV. XII. Mixture of Peoples

In the largest and most important part of Italy however, even such a substitution of impure elements for pure; but the population was visibly on the decline. Especially was this true of the pastoral districts such as Apulia, the chosen land of cattle-breeding, which is called by contemporaries the most deserted part of Italy, and of the region around Rome, where the Campagna was annually becoming more desolate under the constant reciprocal action of the retrograde agriculture and the increasing malaria.

Labici, Gabii, Bovillae, once cheerful little country towns, were so decayed, that it was difficult to find representatives of them for the ceremony of the Latin festival. Tusculum, although still one of the most esteemed communities of Latium, consisted almost solely of some genteel families who lived in the capital but retained their native Tusculan franchise, and was far inferior in the number of burgesses entitled to vote even to small communities in the interior of Italy. The stock of men capable of arms in this district, on which Rome's ability to defend herself had once mainly depended, had so totally vanished, that people read with astonishment and perhaps with horror the accounts of the annals-- sounding fabulous in comparison with things as they stood-- respecting the Aequian and Volscian wars. Matters were not so bad everywhere, especially in the other portions of Central Italy and in Campania; nevertheless, as Varro complains, "the once populous cities of Italy," in general "stood desolate."

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