Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

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


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 80

The newly-added taxes, such as those of the communities subdued in Illyria and above all of the Gallic communities--which latter together paid annually 40,000,000 sesterces (400,000 pounds)-- were fixed throughout on a low scale. It is true on the other hand that various towns such as Little Leptis in Africa, Sulci in Sardinia, and several Spanish communities, had their tribute raised by way of penalty for their conduct during the last war. The very lucrative Italian harbour-tolls abolished in the recent times of anarchy were re-established all the more readily, that this tax fell essentially on luxuries imported from the east.

To these new or revived sources of ordinary income were added the sums which accrued by extraordinary means, especially in consequence of the civil war, to the victor--the booty collected in Gaul; the stock of cash in the capital; the treasures taken from the Italian and Spanish temples; the sums raised in the shape of forced loan, compulsory present, or fine, from the dependent communities and dynasts, and the pecuniary penalties imposed in a similar way by judicial sentence, or simply by sending an order to pay, on individual wealthy Romans; and above all things the proceeds from the estate of defeated opponents.

How productive these sources of income were, we may learn from the fact, that the fine of the African capitalists who sat in the opposition-senate alone amounted to 100,000,000 sesterces (1,000,000 pounds) and the price paid by the purchasers of the property of Pompeius to 70,000,000 sesterces (700,000 pounds). This course was necessary, because the power of the beaten nobility rested in great measure on their colossal wealth and could only be effectually broken by imposing on them the defrayment of the costs of the war. But the odium of the confiscations was in some measure mitigated by the fact that Caesar directed their proceeds solely to the benefit of the state, and, instead of overlooking after the manner of Sulla any act of fraud in his favourites, exacted the purchase-money with rigour even from his most faithful adherents, e. g. from Marcus Antonius.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

Reference address :