416 POLITICAL SCIENCE. the cultivation of grain in Italy, as well as to degrade and increase in number the Roman proletariat. A law of the notorious demagogue Clodius distributed grain without com- pensation. Afterwards, colonization on a great scale removed part of this evil of pauperism. When Caesar became in fact sole ruler of Rome, with the same object in view, he by law remitted one year's rent of houses in Rome and Italy, not exceeding the value of 2000 sesterces. But he put a check on the distribution of corn by reducing the number that had received it from 320,000 to 150,000 ; this number was made the maximum for the future, and the persons who should die were to be replaced by the poorer among the new applicants, It does not appear that able-bodied men could not partake of this gift if only they were poor. How Caesar's restrictions deserved the laudations that a modern historian has given to them, we do not discover.* The largesses of Augustus, chiefly from his own private means, to the Roman lower class, were very vast; and to mention but one thing further, which had more the look of humanity than ail the rest, the gifts, made under the Emperor Nerva and afterwards, to poor boys and girls, called alimentariipueri et puellcB, in many of the towns of Italy from the funds of the towns, were dictated apparently by the decrease of population and the wide-spreading decay of material prosperity. Private persons also gave foundations for this purpose, as the younger Pliny to the town of Como (Plin., Epist., i., 8, comp. Panegyr., 26-27). The Christian religion gave a new impulse to humanity proceeding from faith in a common Saviour of men and in a brotherhood of believers, so that more was done in the west during three centuries from its origin than had been done in all time before. Thenceforth not only alms-giving but many institutions of charity for the sick, for widows and orphans, for the burial of the dead, were established, while individual gifts were made for the ransom of captives, the relief of debtors, the emancipation of slaves. The government under *Mommsen; iv., 591, Amer. ed. of transl.