Whatever may be thought of it in other respects, I venture to hope that it may convey to the English reader a tolerably accurate impression of the contents and general spirit of the book."

In a new Library edition, which appeared in 1868, I incorporated all the additions and alterations which were introduced in the fourth edition of the German, some of which were of considerable importance; and I took the opportunity of revising the translation, so as to make the rendering more accurate and consistent.

Since that time no change has been made, except the issue in 1870 of an Index. But, as Dr. Mommsen was good enough some time ago to send to me a copy in which he had taken the trouble to mark the alterations introduced in the more recent editions of the original, I thought it due to him and to the favour with which the translation had been received that I should subject it to such a fresh revision as should bring it into conformity with the last form (eighth edition) of the German, on which, as I learn from him, he hardly contemplates further change. As compared with the first English edition, the more considerable alterations of addition, omission, or substitution amount, I should think, to well-nigh a hundred pages. I have corrected various errors in renderings, names, and dates (though not without some misgiving that others may have escaped notice or been incurred afresh); and I have still further broken up the text into paragraphs and added marginal headings.

The Index, which was not issued for the German book till nine years after the English translation was published, has now been greatly enlarged from its more recent German form, and has been, at the expenditure of no small labour, adapted to the altered paging of the English. I have also prepared, as an accompaniment to it, a collation of pagings, which will materially facilitate the finding of references made to the original or to the previous English editions.

I have had much reason to be gratified by the favour with which my translation has been received on the part alike of Dr. Mommsen himself and of the numerous English scholars who have made it the basis of their references to his work.(1) I trust that in the altered form and new dress, for which the book is indebted to the printers, it may still further meet the convenience of the reader.

September 1894.

Notes for Preface

1. It has, I believe, been largely in use at Oxford for the last thirty years; but it has not apparently had the good fortune to have come to the knowledge of the writer of an article on "Roman History" published in the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1886, which at least makes no mention of its existence, or yet of Mr. Baring-Gould, who in his Tragedy of the Caesars (vol. 1. p. 104f.) has presented Dr. Mommsen's well-known "character" of Caesar in an independent version. His rendering is often more spirited than accurate. While in several cases important words, clauses, or even sentences, are omitted, in others the meaning is loosely or imperfectly conveyed--e.g. in "Hellenistic" for "Hellenic"; "success" for "plenitude of power"; "attempts" or "operations" for "achievements"; "prompt to recover" for "ready to strike"; "swashbuckler" for "brilliant"; "many" for "unyielding"; "accessible to all" for "complaisant towards every one"; "smallest fibre" for "Inmost core"; "ideas" for "ideals"; "unstained with blood" for "as bloodless as possible"; "described" for "apprehended"; "purity" for "clearness"; "smug" for "plain" (or homely); "avoid" for "avert"; "taking his dark course" for "stealing towards his aim by paths of darkness"; "rose" for "transformed himself"; "checked everything like a praetorian domination" for "allowed no hierarchy of marshals or government of praetorians to come into existence"; and in one case the meaning is exactly reversed, when "never sought to soothe, where he could not cure, intractable evils" stands for "never disdained at least to mitigate by palliatives evils that were incurable."


The Varronian computation by years of the City is retained in the text; the figures on the margin indicate the corresponding year before the birth of Christ.

In calculating the corresponding years, the year 1 of the City has been assumed as identical with the year 753 B.C., and with Olymp. 6, 4; although, if we take into account the circumstance that the Roman solar year began with the 1st day of March, and the Greek with the 1st day of July, the year 1 of the City would, according to more exact calculation, correspond to the last ten months of 753 and the first two months of 752 B.C., and to the last four months of Ol. 6, 3 and the first eight of Ol. 6, 4.

The Roman and Greek money has uniformly been commuted on the basis of assuming the libral as and sestertius, and the denarius and Attic drachma, respectively as equal, and taking for all sums above 100 denarii the present value in gold, and for all sums under 100 denarii the present value in silver, of the corresponding weight. The Roman pound (=327.45 grammes) of gold, equal to 4000 sesterces, has thus, according to the ratio of gold to silver 1:15.5, been reckoned at 304 1/2 Prussian thalers [about 43 pounds sterling], and the denarius, according to the value of silver, at 7 Prussian groschen [about 8d.].(1)

Kiepert's map will give a clearer idea of the military consolidation of Italy than can be conveyed by any description.

1. I have deemed it, in general, sufficient to give the value of the Roman money approximately in round numbers, assuming for that purpose 100 sesterces as equivalent to 1 pound sterling.--TR.


The First Volume of the original bears the inscription:--

To My Friend


The Second:--

To My Dear Associates



KARL LUDWIG Of Vienna 1852, 1853, 1854

And the Third:--

Dedicated With Old And Loyal Affection To



BOOK FIRST The Period Anterior To The Abolition Of The Monarchy

CHAPTER I Introduction

CHAPTER II The Earliest Migrations Into Italy

CHAPTER III The Settlements Of The Latins

CHAPTER IV The Beginnings Of Rome

CHAPTER V The Original Constitution Of Rome

CHAPTER VI The Non-Burgesses And The Reformed Constitution

CHAPTER VII The Hegemony Of Rome In Latium

CHAPTER VIII The Umbro-Sabellian Stocks--Beginnings Of The Samnites

CHAPTER IX The Etruscans

CHAPTER X The Hellenes In Italy--Maritime Supremacy Of The Tuscans And Carthaginians

CHAPTER XI Law And Justice


CHAPTER XIII Agriculture, Trade, And Commerce

CHAPTER XIV Measuring And Writing



The Period Anterior To The Abolition Of The Monarchy

--Ta palaiotera saphos men eurein dia chronou pleithos adunata ein ek de tekmeirion on epi makrotaton skopounti moi pisteusai xumbainei ou megala nomizo genesthai oute kata tous polemous oute es ta alla.--


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