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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 125

First, the interest in arrear was struck off,(64) and that which was paid was deducted from the capital.

64. This is not stated by our authorities, but it necessarily follows from the permission to deduct the interest paid by cash or assignation (-si quid usurae nomine numeratum aut perscriptum fuisset-; Sueton. Caes. 42), as paid contrary to law, from the capital.

Secondly, the creditor was compelled to accept the moveable and immoveable property of the debtor in lieu of payment at the estimated value which his effects had before the civil war and the general depreciation which it had occasioned. The latter enactment was not unreasonable; if the creditor was to be looked on de facto as the owner of the property of his debtor to the amount of the sum due to him, it was doubtless proper that he should bear his share in the general depreciation of the property.

On the other hand the cancelling of the payments of interest made or outstanding-- which practically amounted to this, that the creditors lost, besides the interest itself, on an average 25 per cent of what they were entitled to claim as capital at the time of the issuing of the law--was in fact nothing else than a partial concession of that cancelling of creditors' claims springing out of loans, for which the democrats had clamoured so vehemently; and, however bad may have been the conduct of the usurers, it is not possible thereby to justify the retrospective abolition of all claims for interest without distinction.

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