The History of Rome (Mommsen)/Extract from Dr. Mommsen's Preface


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 (=327·46 grammes) of gold, equal to 4000 sesterces, has thus according to the ratio of gold to silver 1 : 15·5 been reckoned at 286 Prussian thalers (about £41).

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