Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 123

Laws Respecting Luxury

Nor did he even think it beneath his dignity to issue a detailed law as to luxury--which, among other points, cut down extravagance in building at least in one of its most irrational forms, that of sepulchral monuments; restricted the use of purple robes and pearls to certain times, ages, and classes, and totally prohibited it in grown-up men; fixed a maximum for the expenditure of the table; and directly forbade a number of luxurious dishes.

Such ordinances doubtless were not new; but it was a new thing that the "master of morals" seriously insisted on their observance, superintended the provision-markets by means of paid overseers, and ordered that the tables of men of rank should be examined by his officers and the forbidden dishes on them should be confiscated. It is true that by such theoretical and practical instructions in moderation as the new monarchical police gave to the fashionable world, hardly more could be accomplished than the compelling luxury to retire somewhat more into concealment; but, if hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue, under the circumstances of the times even a semblance of propriety established by police measures was a step towards improvement not to be despised.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :