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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 84

Social Condition of the Nation

But the task of breaking up the old parties and furnishing the new commonwealth with an appropriate constitution, an efficient army, and well-ordered finances, difficult as it was, was not the most difficult part of Caesar's work. If the Italian nation was really to be regenerated, it required a reorganization which should transform all parts of the great empire--Rome, Italy, and the provinces. Let us endeavour here also to delineate the old state of things, as well as the beginnings of a new and more tolerable time.

The Capital

The good stock of the Latin nation had long since wholly disappeared from Rome. It is implied in the very nature of the case, that a capital loses its municipal and even its national stamp more quickly than any subordinate community. There the upper classes speedily withdraw from urban public life, in order to find their home rather in the state as a whole than in a single city; there are inevitably concentrated the foreign settlers, the fluctuating population of travellers for pleasure or business, the mass of the indolent, lazy, criminal, financially and morally bankrupt, and for that very reason cosmopolitan, rabble.

All this preeminently applied to Rome. The opulent Roman frequently regarded his town-house merely as a lodging. When the urban municipal offices were converted into imperial magistracies; when the civic assembly became the assembly of burgesses of the empire; and when smaller self-governing tribal or other associations were not tolerated within the capital: all proper communal life ceased for Rome. From the whole compass of the widespread empire people flocked to Rome, for speculation, for debauchery, for intrigue, for training in crime, or even for the purpose of hiding there from the eye of the law.

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