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Public Lands And Agrarian Laws

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File Name: Public Lands And Agrarian Laws

File Submitter: Viggen

File Submitted: 18 Oct 2015

File Category: Free Classic Works in PDF



In the following pages it has been my object to trace the history of the domain lands of Rome from the
earliest times to the establishment of the Empire. The plan of the work has been to sketch the origin and
growth of the idea of private property in land, the expansion of the ager publicus by the conquest of
neighboring territories, and its absorption by means of sale, by gift to the people, and by the
establishment of colonies, until wholly merged in private property. This necessarily involves a history of
the agrarian laws, as land distributions were made and colonies established only in accordance with laws
previously enacted.


My reason for undertaking such a work as the present is found in the fact that agrarian movements have
borne more or less upon every point in Roman constitutional history, and a proper knowledge of the
former is necessary to a just interpretation of the latter.
This whole question presents numerous obscurities before which it has been necessary more than once to
hesitate; it offers, both in its entirety and in detail, difficulties which I have at least earnestly endeavored
to lessen. These obscurities and difficulties, arising in part from insufficiency of historical evidence and
in part from the conflicting statements of the old historians, have been recognized by all writers and call
forth on my part no claim for indulgence.


This monograph is intended as a chapter merely of a history of the public lands and agrarian laws of
Rome, written for the purpose of a future comparison with the more recent agrarian movements in
England and America.


May 8, 1891



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