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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 XII - Religion, Culture, Literature, and Art


Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

State Religion ||| The Oriental Religions ||| Worship of Mithra ||| Worship of Isis ||| The New Pythagoreanism - Nigidius Figulus ||| Training of Youth - Sciences of General Culture at This Period ||| Greek Instruction - Alexandrinism ||| Latin Instruction ||| Germs of State Training-Schools ||| Language - The Vulgarism of Asia Minor ||| Roman Vulgarism - Hortensius - Reaction - The Rhodian School ||| Ciceronianism ||| The New Roman Poetry - Grammatical Science ||| Literary Effort - Greek Literati in Rome ||| Extent of the Literary Pursuits of the Romans ||| The Classicists and the Moderns ||| The Greek Alexandrinism ||| The Roman Alexandrinism ||| Dramatic Literature - Tragedy and Comedy Disappear ||| The Mime - Laberius ||| Dramatic Spectacles ||| Metrical Annals - Lucretius ||| The Greek Fashionable Poetry ||| Catullus ||| Poems in Prose - Romances - Varro's Aesthetic Writings ||| Varros' Models ||| Varro's Philosophico-Historical Essays ||| Varros' Menippean Satires ||| Historical Composition - Sisenna ||| Annals of the City ||| Valerius Antias ||| Universal History - Nepos ||| Literature Subsidiary to History - Caesar's Report ||| Correspondence - News-Sheet ||| Speeches - Decline of Political Oratory ||| Rise of A Literature of Pleadings - Cicero ||| His Character ||| Ciceronianism ||| Opposition to Ciceronianism - Calvus and His Associates ||| The Artificial Dialogue Applied to the Professional Sciences - Cicero's Dialogues ||| Professional Sciences. - Latin Philology - Varro ||| The Other Professional Sciences ||| Art - Architecture - Arts of Design ||| Dancing and Music ||| Incipient Influence of the Monarchy - Conclusion

State Religion

In the development of religion and philosophy no new element appeared during this epoch. The Romano-Greek state-religion and the Stoic state-philosophy inseparably combined with it were for every government--oligarchy, democracy or monarchy--not merely a convenient instrument, but quite indispensable for the very reason that it was just as impossible to construct the state wholly without religious elements as to discover any new state-religion fitted to take the place of the old. So the besom of revolution swept doubtless at times very roughly through the cobwebs of the augural bird-lore;(1) nevertheless the rotten machine creaking at every joint survived the earthquake which swallowed up the republic itself, and preserved its insipidity and its arrogance without diminution for transference to the new monarchy.

1. Cf. V. VIII. Clodius

As a matter of course, it fell more and more into disfavour with all those who preserved their freedom of judgment. Towards the state-religion indeed public opinion maintained an attitude essentially indifferent; it was on all sides recognized as an institution of political convenience, and no one specially troubled himself about it with the exception of political and antiquarian literati. But towards its philosophical sister there gradually sprang up among the unprejudiced public that hostility, which the empty and yet perfidious hypocrisy of set phrases never fails in the long run to awaken.

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