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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 91

The ranks of the existing proletariate were thinned on the one hand by the tribunals which were instructed to proceed with unrelenting rigour against the rabble, on the other hand by a comprehensive transmarine colonization; of the 80,000 colonists whom Caesar sent beyond the seas in the few years of his government, a very great portion must have been taken from the lower ranks of the population of the capital; most of the Corinthian settlers indeed were freedmen. When in deviation from the previous order of things, which precluded the freedmen from any urban honorary office, Caesar opened to them in his colonies the doors of the senate-house, this was doubtless done in order to gain those of them who were in better positions to favour the cause of emigration.

This emigration, however, must have been more than a mere temporary arrangement; Caesar, convinced like every other man of sense that the only true remedy for the misery of the proletariate consisted in a well-regulated system of colonization, and placed by the condition of the empire in a position to realize it to an almost unlimited extent, must have had the design of permanently continuing the process, and so opening up a constant means of abating an evil which was constantly reproducing itself. Measures were further taken to set bounds to the serious fluctuations in the price of the most important means of subsistence in the markets of the capital. The newly-organized and liberally-administered finances of the state furnished the means for this purpose, and two newly-nominated magistrates, the corn-aediles(49) were charged with the special supervision of the contractors and of the market of the capital.

49. Cf. V. XI. The State-Hierarchy

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