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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


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Page 79

Not as though there was any lack of orators or of the publishing of speeches delivered before the burgesses; on the contrary political authorship only now waxed copious, and it began to become a standing complaint at table that the host incommoded his guests by reading before them his latest orations. Publius Clodius had his speeches to the people issued as pamphlets, just like Gaius Gracchus; but two men may do the same thing without producing the same effect.

The more important leaders even of the opposition, especially Caesar himself, did not often address the burgesses, and no longer published the speeches which they delivered; indeed they partly sought for their political fugitive writings another form than the traditional one of -contiones-, in which respect more especially the writings praising and censuring Cato(33) are remarkable.

33. Cf. V. XI. Amnesty

This is easily explained. Gaius Gracchus had addressed the burgesses; now men addressed the populace; and as the audience, so was the speech. No wonder that the reputable political author shunned a dress which implied that he had directed his words to the crowd assembled in the market-place of the capital.

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