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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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» Contents of this Chapter

Page 168

Religion of the Empire

We need scarcely say that in religion and in jurisprudence no thorough levelling could be thought of; yet with all toleration towards local faiths and municipal statutes the new state needed a common worship corresponding to the Italo-Greek nationality and a general code of law superior to the municipal statutes. It needed them; for de facto both were already in existence.

In the field of religion men had for centuries been busied in fusing together the Italian and Greek worships partly by external adoption, partly by internal adjustment of their respective conceptions of the gods; and owing to the pliant formless character of the Italian gods, there had been no great difficulty in resolving Jupiter into Zeus, Venus into Aphrodite, and so every essential idea of the Latin faith into its Greek counterpart.

The Italo-Greek religion stood forth in its outlines ready-made; how much in this very department men were conscious of having gone beyond the specifically Roman point of view and advanced towards an Italo-Greek quasi-nationality, is shown by the distinction made in the already-mentioned theology of Varro between the "common" gods, that is, those acknowledged by Romans and Greeks, and the special gods of the Roman community.

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