The History of Rome (Mommsen)/Introductory note

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The History of Rome by Theodor Mommsen
Introductory note by Dr. Mommsen
Translated by William Purdie Dickson

INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY DR. MOMMSEN

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.

Notes[edit]

  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.

DEDICATIONS

The First Volume of the original bears the inscription:-- To My Friend MORIZ HAUPT Of Berin The Second:-- To My Dear Associates FERDINAND HITZIG Of Zurich And KARL LUDWIG Of Vienna 1852, 1853, 1854 And the Third:-- Dedicated With Old And Loyal Affection To OTTO JAHN Of Bonn