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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 88

The ordinary houses were built of bricks negligently and to a giddy height, mostly by speculative builders on account of the small proprietors; by which means the former became vastly rich, and the latter were reduced to beggary. Like isolated islands amidst this sea of wretched buildings were seen the splendid palaces of the rich, which curtailed the space for the smaller houses just as their owners curtailed the burgess- rights of smaller men in the state, and beside whose marble pillars and Greek statues the decaying temples, with their images of the gods still in great part carved of wood, made a melancholy figure.

A police-supervision of streets, of river-banks, of fires, or of building was almost unheard of; if the government troubled itself at all about the inundations, conflagrations, and falls of houses which were of yearly occurrence, it was only to ask from the state- theologians their report and advice regarding the true import of such signs and wonders. If we try to conceive to ourselves a London with the slave-population of New Orleans, with the police of Constantinople, with the non-industrial character of the modern Rome, and agitated by politics after the fashion of the Paris in 1848, we shall acquire an approximate idea of the republican glory, the departure of which Cicero and his associates in their sulky letters deplore.

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