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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 87

Anarchy of the Capital

The seed sown was bad, and the harvest corresponded. The system of clubs and bands in the sphere of politics, the worship of Isis and similar pious extravagances in that of religion, had their root in this state of things. People were constantly in prospect of a dearth, and not unfrequently in utter famine. Nowhere was a man less secure of his life than in the capital; murder professionally prosecuted by banditti was the single trade peculiar to it; the alluring of the victim to Rome was the preliminary to his assassination; no one ventured into the country in the vicinity of the capital without an armed retinue.

Its outward condition corresponded to this inward disorganization, and seemed a keen satire on the aristocratic government. Nothing was done for the regulation of the stream of the Tiber; excepting that they caused the only bridge, with which they still made shift,(47) to be constructed of stone at least as far as the Tiber-island.

47. Cf. IV. XII. The Finances and Public Buildings

As little was anything done toward the levelling of the city of the Seven Hills, except where perhaps the accumulation of rubbish had effected some improvement. The streets ascended and descended narrow and angular, and were wretchedly kept; the footpaths were small and ill paved.

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