The double-head looking both ways was connected with the gate that opened both ways. To make him god of the sun and of the year is the less justifiable, because the month that bears his name was originally the eleventh, not the first; that month seems rather to have derived its name from the circumstance, that at this season after the rest of the middle of winter the cycle of the labours of the field began afresh. It was, however, a matter of course that the opening of the year should also be included in the sphere of Ianus, especially after Ianuarius came to be placed at its head.

5. I. IV. Tities And Luceres

6. I. VI. Amalgamation Of The Palatine And Quirinal Cities

7. I. VII. Servian Wall

8. I. III. Latium

9. I. VII. Relation Of Rome To Latium

10. I. V. Burdens Of The Burgesses, I. XI. Crimes

11. The clearest evidence of this is the fact, that in the communities organized on the Latin scheme augurs and Pontifices occur everywhere (e. g. Cic. de Lege Agr. ii. 35, 96, and numerous inscriptions), as does likewise the -pater patratus- of the Fetiales in Laurentum (Orelli, 2276), but the other colleges do not. The former, therefore, stand on the same footing with the constitution of ten curies and the Flamines, Salii, and Luperci, as very ancient heirlooms of the Latin stock; whereas the Duoviri -sacris faciundis-, and the other colleges, like the thirty curies and the Servian tribes and centuries, originated in, and remained therefore confined to, Rome. But in the case of the second college--the pontifices--the influence of Rome probably led to the introduction of that name into the general Latin scheme instead of some earlier--perhaps more than one--designation; or--a hypothesis which philologically has much in its favour-- -pons- originally signified not "bridge," but "way" generally, and -pontifex- therefore meant "constructor of ways."

The statements regarding the original number of the augurs in particular vary. The view that it was necessary for the number to be an odd one is refuted by Cicero (de Lege Agr. ii. 35, 96); and Livy (x. 6) does not say so, but only states that the number of Roman augurs had to be divisible by three, and so must have had an odd number as its basis. According to Livy (l. c.) the number was six down to the Ogulnian law, and the same is virtually affirmed by Cicero (de Rep. ii. 9, 14) when he represents Romulus as instituting four, and Numa two, augural stalls. On the number of the pontifices comp. Staatsrecht, ii. 20.

12. It is only an unreflecting misconception that can discover in this usage a reminiscence of ancient human sacrifices.

13. I. XII. Nature Of The Roman Gods

14. I. XII. Priests

15. -Sors- from -serere-, to place in row. The -sortes- were probably small wooden tablets arranged upon a string, which when thrown formed figures of various kinds; an arrangement which puts one in mind of the Runic characters.

16. I. X. Hellenes And Latins

17. I. VII. Servian Wall

18. I. II. Indo-Germanic Culture

19. I. IV. Tities And Luceres


Agriculture, Trade, And Commerce

Agriculture and commerce are so intimately bound up with the constitution and the external history of states, that the former must frequently be noticed in the course of describing the latter. We shall here endeavour to supplement the detached notices which we have already given, by exhibiting a summary view of Italian and particularly of Roman economics.


It has been already observed(1) that the transition from a pastoral to an agricultural economy preceded the immigration of the Italians into the peninsula. Agriculture continued to be the main support of all the communities in Italy, of the Sabellians and Etruscans no less than of the Latins. There were no purely pastoral tribes in Italy during historical times, although of course the various races everywhere combined pastoral husbandry, to a greater or less extent according to the nature of the locality, with the cultivation of the soil. The beautiful custom of commencing the formation of new cities by tracing a furrow with the plough along the line of the future ring-wall shows how deeply rooted was the feeling that every commonwealth is dependent on agriculture. In the case of Rome in particular--and it is only in its case that we can speak of agrarian relations with any sort of certainty--the Servian reform shows very clearly not only that the agricultural class originally preponderated in the state, but also that an effort was made permanently to maintain the collective body of freeholders as the pith and marrow of the community. When in the course of time a large portion of the landed property in Rome had passed into the hands of non-burgesses and thus the rights and duties of burgesses were no longer bound up with freehold property, the reformed constitution obviated this incongruous state of things, and the perils which it threatened, not merely temporarily but permanently, by treating the members of the community without reference to their political position once for all according to their freeholding, and imposing the common burden of war-service on the freeholders--a step which in the natural course of things could not but be followed by the concession of public rights. The whole policy of Roman war and conquest rested, like the constitution itself, on the basis of the freehold system; as the freeholder alone was of value in the state, the aim of war was to increase the number of its freehold members. The vanquished community was either compelled to merge entirely into the yeomanry of Rome, or, if not reduced to this extremity, it was required, not to pay a war-contribution or a fixed tribute, but to cede a portion, usually a third part, of its domain, which was thereupon regularly occupied by Roman farms. Many nations have gained victories and made conquests as the Romans did; but none has equalled the Roman in thus making the ground he had won his own by the sweat of his brow, and in securing by the ploughshare what had been gained by the lance.

Italian Books
Theodor Mommsen
Classic Literature Library

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