A History of Rome under the Emperors by Theodor Mommsen

By Theodor Mommsen

One superstar out of necessity. Mommsen by no means could have sought after this fabric to determine the sunshine of day. This publication is abstracted and redacted from classification notes of scholars taking a process his at the the historical past of the Roman Empire!! Mommsen particularly declined to put in writing a booklet at the Roman Empire. He wrote vols. 1-3 and vol. five of what he referred to as "Roman History." vol. four was once so synthetic and Mommsen's identify connected to it really is an insult to 1 of the best if no longer the best historian of his time. It additionally presents the reader with totally no info that's not much better coated somewhere else.

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The anonymous Wickert manuscript [AW, see p. 21, no. 10], a parallel set of lecture notes, provided a welcome cross-reference; my thanks are due to the owner’s generosity in letting me use it. This text contains fewer errors, and is superior in style, but considerably shorter. The textual comparison below should serve to illustrate this. [AW. 37] The earlier judicial system recognized no appeals, only cassation. Augustus introduced appeals, but jury verdicts seem to have been excluded. Appeals could be made to the Emperor, or to consuls and the Senate.

1 ch. 12=vol. I, p. 161). It was therefore much less surprising than it has seemed to some that at a time when he was producing these detailed scholarly studies, Mommsen should also have accepted a proposal from the Leipzig publishers Karl Reimer and Salomon Hirzel to write a twovolume Roman history aimed at a wide and non-specialist readership. Of course such a history represented a rival claim on Mommsen’s time, but on the other hand collecting documentary evidence was more than an end in itself; it formed the basis for analysis and judgement.

The order he follows in the Staatsrecht is revealing: in volume I he describes the essential powers of Roman magistracy (‘Wesen der Magistratur’) in general, then in volume II he describes how that ‘Wesen’ manifested itself, or was exemplified, in particular magistracies. It is striking that the institutions which we would have expected a liberal like Mommsen to be particularly sympathetic to, the Senate and the popular assemblies, are dealt with much more cursorily, and that Mommsen denies them independent authority: their function is rather to assist the work of the magistrates by giving assent and legitimacy to their actions.

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