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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 140

In the Client-States

In the client-states the forms of taxation were somewhat different, but the burdens themselves were if possible still worse, since in addition to the exactions of the Romans there came those of the native courts. In Cappadocia and Egypt the farmer as well as the king was bankrupt; the former was unable to satisfy the tax-collector, the latter was unable to satisfy his Roman creditor. Add to these the exactions, properly so called, not merely of the governor himself, but also of his "friends," each of whom fancied that he had as it were a draft on the governor and a title accordingly to come back from the province a made man.

The Roman oligarchy in this respect completely resembled a gang of robbers, and followed out the plundering of the provincials in a professional and business-like manner; capable members of the gang set to work not too nicely, for they had in fact to share the spoil with the advocates and the jurymen, and the more they stole, they did so the more securely. The notion of honour in theft too was already developed; the big robber looked down on the little, and the latter on the mere thief, with contempt; any one, who had been once for a wonder condemned, boasted of the high figure of the sums which he was proved to have exacted.

Such was the behaviour in the provinces of the successors of those men, who had been accustomed to bring home nothing from their administration but the thanks of the subjects and the approbation of their fellow-citizens.

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