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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 174

The subsidiary application of the urban edict in the court of the -praetor peregrinus- at Rome and in the different provincial judicatures was entirely subject to the arbitrary pleasure of the individual presiding magistrates. It was evidently necessary to set aside definitely the old urban law, so far as it had not been transferred to the newer, and in the case of the latter to set suitable limits to its arbitrary alteration by each individual urban judge, possibly also to regulate its subsidiary application by the side of the local statutes. This was Caesars design, when he projected the plan for his code; for it could not have been otherwise. The plan was not executed; and thus that troublesome state of transition in Roman jurisprudence was perpetuated till this necessary reform was accomplished six centuries afterwards, and then but imperfectly, by one of the successors of Caesar, the Emperor Justinian.

Lastly, in money, measures, and weights the substantial equalization of the Latin and Greek systems had long been in progress. It was very ancient so far as concerned the definitions of weight and the measures of capacity and of length indispensable for trade and commerce,(109) and in the monetary system little more recent than the introduction of the silver coinage.(110)

109. Cf. I. XIV. Italian Measures ff.

110. Cf. III. XII. Coins and Moneys

But these older equations were not sufficient, because in the Greek world itself the most varied metrical and monetary systems subsisted side by side; it was necessary, and formed part doubtless of Caesar's plan, now to introduce everywhere in the new united empire, so far as this had not been done already, Roman money, Roman measures, and Roman weights in such a manner that they alone should be reckoned by in official intercourse, and that the non-Roman systems should be restricted to local currency or placed in a--once for all regulated--ratio to the Roman.(111)

111. Weights recently brought to light at Pompeii suggest the hypothesis that at the commencement of the imperial period alongside of the Roman pound the Attic mina (presumably in the ratio of 3: 4) passed current as a second imperial weight (Hermes, xvi. 311).

The action of Caesar, however, can only be pointed out in two of the most important of these departments, the monetary system and the calendar.

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