Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859

Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859

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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859 by Various

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1859

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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 3, No. 18, April, 1859

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ianism, as an obnoxious political term, is somewhat curious. It is one of the items of our inheritance from the Romans, to whom we owe so much, both of good and evil, in politics and in law.

The Agrarian contests of that people were among the most interesting incidents in their wonderful career, and are full of instruction, though, until recently, their true character was not understood; and their explanation affords a capital warning against the effects of partisan literature. The common belief was,--perhaps we should say is,--that the supporters of the Agrarian laws were, to use a modern term, _destructives_; that they aimed at formal divisions of all landed property, if not of all property, among the whole body of the Roman people. Nothing can be more unfounded than this view of the subject, which is precisely the reverse of the truth. No Roman, whose name is associated with Agrarian laws, ever thought of touching private property, or of meddling with it, illegally, in any way. Neither Spurius Cassius,

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