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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 75

Financial Administration

The regulation of financial matters occasioned comparatively little difficulty in consequence of the solid foundations which the immense magnitude of the empire and the exclusion of the system of credit supplied. If the state had hitherto found itself in constant financial embarrassment, the fault was far from chargeable on the inadequacy of the state revenues; on the contrary these had of late years immensely increased. To the earlier aggregate income, which is estimated at 200,000,000 sesterces (2,000,000 pounds), there were added 85,000,000 sesterces (850,000 pounds) by the erection of the provinces of Bithynia-Pontus and Syria; which increase, along with the other newly opened up or augmented sources of income, especially from the constantly increasing produce of the taxes on luxuries, far outweighed the loss of the Campanian rents.

Besides, immense sums had been brought from extraordinary sources into the exchequer through Lucullus, Metellus, Pompeius, Cato, and others. The cause of the financial embarrassments rather la partly in the increase of the ordinary and extraordinary expenditure, partly in the disorder of management. Under the former head, the distribution of corn to the multitude of the capital claimed almost exorbitant sums; through the extension given to it by Cato in 691(40) the yearly expenditure for that purpose amounted to 30,000,000 sesterces (300,000 pounds) and after the abolition in 696 of the compensation hitherto paid, it swallowed up even a fifth of the state revenues.

40. Cf. V. V. Total Defeat of the Democratic Party

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