The Revolution and Gaius Gracchus

The Commisssion for Distributing the Domains

Tiberius Gracchus was dead; but his two works, the distribution of land and the revolution, survived their author. In presence of the starving agricultural proletariate the senate might venture on a murder, but it could not make use of that murder to annul the Sempronian agrarian law; the law itself had been far more strengthened than shaken by the frantic outbreak of party fury. The party of the aristocracy friendly towards reform, which openly favoured the distribution of the domains—headed by Quintus Metellus, just about this time (623) censor, and Publius Scaevola—in concert with the party of Scipio Aemilianus, which was at least not disinclined to reform, gained the upper hand for the time being even in the senate; and a decree of the senate expressly directed the triumvirs to begin their labours. According to the Sempronian law these were to be nominated annually by the community, and this was probably done: but from the nature of their task it was natural that the election should fall again and again on the same men, and new elections in the proper sense occurred only when a place became vacant through death. Thus in the place of Tiberius Gracchus there was appointed the father-in-law of his brother Gaius, Publius Crassus Mucianus; and after the fall of Mucianus in 624(1) and the death of Appius Claudius, the business of distribution was managed in concert with the young Gaius Gracchus by two of the most active leaders of the movement party, Marcus Fulvius Flaccus and Gaius Papirius Carbo. The very names of these men are vouchers that the work of resuming and distributing the occupied domain-land was prosecuted with zeal and energy; and, in fact, proofs to that effect are not wanting. As early as 622 the consul of that year, Publius Popillius, the same who directed the prosecutions of the adherents of Tiberius Gracchus, recorded on a public monument that he was "the first who had turned the shepherds out of the domains and installed farmers in their stead"; and tradition otherwise affirms that the distribution extended over all Italy, and that in the formerly existing communities the number of farms was everywhere augmented—for it was the design of the Sempronian agrarian law to elevate the farmer- class not by the founding of new communities, but by the strengthening of those already in existence. The extent and the comprehensive effect of these distributions are attested by the numerous arrangements in the Roman art of land-measuring that go back to the Gracchan assignations of land; for instance, a due placing of boundary-stones so as to obviate future mistakes appears to have been first called into existence by the Gracchan courts for demarcation and the land- distributions. But the numbers on the burgess-rolls give the clearest evidence. The census, which was published in 623 and actually took place probably in the beginning of 622, yielded not more than 319,000 burgesses capable of bearing arms, whereas six years afterwards (629) in place of the previous falling-off(2) the number rises to 395,000, that is 76,000 of an increase—beyond all doubt solely in consequence of what the allotment-commission did for the Roman burgesses. Whether it multiplied the farms among the Italians in the same proportion maybe doubted; at any rate what it did accomplish yielded a great and beneficent result. It is true that this result was not achieved without various violations of respectable interests and existing rights. The allotment-commission, composed of the most decided partisans, and absolute judge in its own cause, proceeded with its labours in a reckless and even tumultuary fashion; public notices summoned every one, who was able, to give information regarding the extent of the domain-lands; the old land-registers were inexorably referred to, and not only was occupation new and old revoked without distinction, but in various cases real private property, as to which the holder was unable satisfactorily to prove his tenure, was included in the confiscation. Loud and for the most part well founded as were the complaints, the senate allowed the distributors to pursue their course; it was clear that, if the domain question was to be settled at all, the matter could not be carried through without such unceremonious vigour of action.

Its Suspension by Scipio Aemilianus

But this acquiescence had its limit. The Italian domain-land was not solely in the hands of Roman burgesses; large tracts of it had been assigned in exclusive usufruct to particular allied communities by decrees of the people or senate, and other portions had been occupied with or without permission by Latin burgesses. The allotment- commission at length attacked these possessions also. The resumption of the portions simply occupied by non-burgesses was no doubt allowable in formal law, and not less presumably the resumption of the domain-land handed over by decrees of the senate or even by resolutions of the burgesses to the Italian communities, since thereby the state by no means renounced its ownership and to all appearance gave its grants to communities, just as to private persons, subject to revocation. But the complaints of these allied or subject communities, that Rome did not keep the settlements that were in force, could not be simply disregarded like the complaints of the Roman citizens injured by the action of the commissioners. Legally the former might be no better founded than the latter; but, while in the latter case the matter at stake was the private interests of members of the state, in reference to the Latin possessions the question arose, whether it was politically right to give fresh offence to communities so important in a military point of view and already so greatly estranged from Rome by numerous disabilities de jure and de facto(3) through this keenly-felt injury to their material interests. The decision lay in the hands of the middle party; it was that party which after the fall of Gracchus had, in league with his adherents, protected reform against the oligarchy, and it alone was now able in concert with the oligarchy to set a limit to reform. The Latins resorted personally to the most prominent man of this party, Scipio Aemilianus, with a request that he would protect their rights. He promised to do so; and mainly through his influence,(4) in 625, a decree of the people withdrew from the commission its jurisdiction, and remitted the decision respecting what were domanial and what private possessions to the censors and, as proxies for them, the consuls, to whom according to the general principles of law it pertained. This was simply a suspension of further domain-distribution under a mild form. The consul Tuditanus, by no means Gracchan in his views and little inclined to occupy himself with the difficult task of agrarian definition, embraced the opportunity of going off to the Illyrian army and leaving the duty entrusted to him unfulfilled. The allotment-commission no doubt continued to subsist, but, as the judicial regulation of the domain-land was at a standstill, it was compelled to remain inactive.

Assassination of Aemilianus

The reform-party was deeply indignant. Even men like Publius Mucius and Quintus Metellus disapproved of the intervention of Scipio. Other circles were not content with expressing disapproval. Scipio had announced for one of the following days an address respecting the relations of the Latins; on the morning of that day he was found dead in his bed. He was but fifty-six years of age, and in full health and vigour; he had spoken in public the day before, and then in the evening had retired earlier than usual to his bedchamber with a view to prepare the outline of his speech for the following day. That he had been the victim of a political assassination, cannot be doubted; he himself shortly before had publicly mentioned the plots formed to murder him. What assassin's hand had during the night slain the first statesman and the first general of his age, was never discovered; and it does not become history either to repeat the reports handed down from the contemporary gossip of the city, or to set about the childish attempt to ascertain the truth out of such materials. This much only is clear, that the instigator of the deed must have belonged to the Gracchan party; the assassination of Scipio was the democratic reply to the aristocratic massacre at the temple of Fidelity. The tribunals did not interfere. The popular party, justly fearing that its leaders Gaius Gracchus, Flaccus, and Carbo, whether guilty or not, might be involved in the prosecution, opposed with all its might the institution of an inquiry; and the aristocracy, which lost in Scipio quite as much an antagonist as an ally, was not unwilling to let the matter sleep. The multitude and men of moderate views were shocked; none more so than Quintus Metellus, who had disapproved of Scipio's interference against reform, but turned away with horror from such confederates, and ordered his four sons to carry the bier of his great antagonist to the funeral pile. The funeral was hurried over; with veiled head the last of the family of the conqueror of Zama was borne forth, without any one having been previously allowed to see the face of the deceased, and the flames of the funeral pile consumed with the remains of the illustrious man the traces at the same time of the crime.

The history of Rome presents various men of greater genius than Scipio Aemilianus, but none equalling him in moral purity, in the utter absence of political selfishness, in generous love of his country, and none, perhaps, to whom destiny has assigned a more tragic part. Conscious of the best intentions and of no common abilities, he was doomed to see the ruin of his country carried out before his eyes, and to repress within him every earnest attempt to save it, because he clearly perceived that he should only thereby make the evil worse; doomed to the necessity of sanctioning outrages like that of Nasica, and at the same time of defending the work of the victim against his murderers. Yet he might say that he had not lived in vain. It was to him, at least quite as much as to the author of the Sempronian law, that the Roman burgesses were indebted for an increase of nearly 80,000 new farm-allotments; he it was too who put a stop to this distribution of the domains, when it had produced such benefit as it could produce. That it was time to break it off, was no doubt disputed at the moment even by well-meaning men; but the fact that Gaius Gracchus did not seriously recur to those possessions which might have been, and yet were not, distributed under the law of his brother, tells very much in favour of the belief that Scipio hit substantially the right moment. Both measures were extorted from the parties—the first from the aristocracy, the second from the friends of reform; for each its author paid with his life. It was Scipio's lot to fight for his country on many a battle-field and to return home uninjured, that he might perish there by the hand of an assassin; but in his quiet chamber he no less died for Rome than if he had fallen before the walls of Carthage.

Democratic Agitation under Carbo and Flaccus

The distribution of land was at an end; the revolution went on. The revolutionary party, which possessed in the allotment-commission as it were a constituted leadership, had even in the lifetime of Scipio skirmished now and then with the existing government. Carbo, in particular, one of the most distinguished men of his time in oratorical talent, had as tribune of the people in 623 given no small trouble to the senate; had carried voting by ballot in the burgess-assemblies, so far as it had not been introduced already;(5) and had even made the significant proposal to leave the tribunes of the people free to reappear as candidates for the same office in the year immediately following, and thus legally to remove the obstacle by which Tiberius Gracchus had primarily been thwarted. The scheme had been at that time frustrated by the resistance of Scipio; some years later, apparently after his death, the law was reintroduced and carried through, although with limiting clauses.(6) The principal object of the party, however, was to revive the action of the allotment- commission which had been practically suspended; the leaders seriously talked of removing the obstacles which the Italian allies interposed to the scheme by conferring on them the rights of citizenship, and the agitation assumed mainly that direction. In order to meet it, the senate in 628 got the tribune of the people Marcus Junius Pennus to propose the dismissal of all non-burgesses from the capital, and in spite of the resistance of the democrats, particularly of Gaius Gracchus, and of the ferment occasioned by this odious measure in the Latin communities, the proposal was carried. Marcus Fulvius Flaccus retorted in the following year (629) as consul with the proposal to facilitate the acquisition of burgess-rights by the burgesses of the allied communities, and to concede even to those who had not acquired them an appeal to the Roman comitia against penal judgments. But he stood almost alone—Carbo had meanwhile changed his colours and was now a zealous aristocrat, Gaius Gracchus was absent as quaestor in Sardinia—and the project was frustrated by the resistance not of the senate merely, but also of the burgesses, who were but little inclined to extend their privileges to still wider circles. Flaccus left Rome to undertake the supreme command against the Celts; by his Transalpine conquests he prepared the way for the great schemes of the democracy, while he at the same time withdrew out of the difficulty of having to bear arms against the allies instigated by himself.

Destruction of Fregallae

Fregellae, situated on the borders of Latium and Campania at the principal passage of the Liris in the midst of a large and fertile territory, at that time perhaps the second city of Italy and in the discussions with Rome the usual mouthpiece of all the Latin colonies, began war against Rome in consequence of the rejection of the proposal brought in by Flaccus—the first instance which had occurred for a hundred and fifty years of a serious insurrection, not brought about by foreign powers, in Italy against the Roman hegemony. But on this occasion the fire was successfully extinguished before it had caught hold of other allied communities. Not through the superiority of the Roman arms, but through the treachery of a Fregellan Quintus Numitorius Pullus, the praetor Lucius Opimius quickly became master of the revolted city, which lost its civic privileges and its walls and was converted like Capua into a village. The colony of Fabrateria was founded on a part of its territory in 630; the remainder and the former city itself were distributed among the surrounding communities. This rapid and fearful punishment alarmed the allies, and endless impeachments for high treason pursued not only the Fregellans, but also the leaders of the popular party in Rome, who naturally were regarded by the aristocracy as accomplices in this insurrection. Meanwhile Gaius Gracchus reappeared in Rome. The aristocracy had first sought to detain the object of their dread in Sardinia by omitting to provide the usual relief, and then, when without caring for that point he returned, had brought him to trial as one of the authors of the Fregellan revolt (629-30). But the burgesses acquitted him; and now he too threw down the gauntlet, became a candidate for the tribuneship of the people, and was nominated to that office for the year 631 in an elective assembly attended by unusual numbers. War was thus declared. The democratic party, always poor in leaders of ability, had from sheer necessity remained virtually at rest for nine years; now the truce was at an end, and this time it was headed by a man who, with more honesty than Carbo and with more talent than Flaccus, was in every respect called to take the lead.

Gaius Gracchus

Gaius Gracchus (601-633) was very different from his brother, who was about nine years older. Like the latter, he had no relish for vulgar pleasures and vulgar pursuits; he was a man of thorough culture and a brave soldier; he had served with distinction before Numantia under his brother-in-law, and afterwards in Sardinia. But in talent, in character, and above all in passion he was decidedly superior to Tiberius. The clearness and self-possession, which the young man afterwards displayed amidst the pressure of all the varied labours requisite for the practical carrying out of his numerous laws, betokened his genuine statesmanly talent; as the passionate devotedness faithful even to death, with which his intimate friends clung to him, evinced the loveable nature of that noble mind. The discipline of suffering which he had undergone, and his compulsory reserve during the last nine years, augmented his energy of purpose and action; the indignation repressed within the depths of his breast only glowed there with an intensified fervour against the party which had disorganized his country and murdered his brother. By virtue of this fearful vehemence of temperament he became the foremost orator that Rome ever had; without it, we should probably have been able to reckon him among the first statesmen of all times. Among the few remains of his recorded orations several are, even in their present condition, of heart-stirring power;(7) and we can well understand how those who heard or even merely read them were carried away by the impetuous torrent of his words. Yet, great master as he was of speech, he was himself not unfrequently mastered by anger, so that the utterance of the brilliant speaker became confused or faltering. It was the true image of his political acting and suffering. In the nature of Gaius there was no vein, such as his brother had, of that somewhat sentimental but very short-sighted and confused good-nature, which would have desired to change the mind of a political opponent by entreaties and tears; with full assurance he entered on the career of revolution and strove to reach the goal of vengeance. "To me too," his mother wrote to him, "nothing seems finer and more glorious than to retaliate on an enemy, so far as it can be done without the country's ruin. But if this is not possible, then may our enemies continue and remain what they are, a thousand times rather than that our country should perish." Cornelia knew her son; his creed was just the reverse. Vengeance he would wreak on the wretched government, vengeance at any price, though he himself and even the commonwealth were to be ruined by it—the presentiment, that fate would overtake him as certainly as his brother, drove him only to make haste like a man mortally wounded who throws himself on the foe. The mother thought more nobly; but the son— with his deeply provoked, passionately excited, thoroughly Italian nature—has been more lamented than blamed by posterity, and posterity has been right in its judgment.

Alterations on the Constituion by Gaius Gracchus
Distribution of Grain
Change in the Order of Voting

Tiberius Gracchus had come before the burgesses with a single administrative reform. What Gaius introduced in a series of separate proposals was nothing else than an entirely new constitution; the foundation-stone of which was furnished by the innovation previously carried through, that a tribune of the people should be at liberty to solicit re-election for the following year.(8) While this step enabled the popular chief to acquire a permanent position and one which protected its holder, the next object was to secure for him material power or, in other words, to attach the multitude of the capital—for that no reliance was to be placed on the country people coming only from time to time to the city, had been sufficiently apparent—with its interests steadfastly to its leader. This purpose was served, first of all, by introducing distributions of corn in the capital. The grain accruing to the state from the provincial tenths had already been frequently given away at nominal prices to the burgesses.(9) Gracchus enacted that every burgess who should personally present himself in the capital should thenceforth be allowed monthly a definite quantity— apparently 5 -modii- (1 1/4 bushel)—from the public stores, at 6 1/3 -asses- (3d.) for the -modius-, or not quite the half of a low average price;(10) for which purpose the public corn-stores were enlarged by the construction of the new Sempronian granaries. This distribution—which consequently excluded the burgesses living out of the capital, and could not but attract to Rome the whole mass of the burgess- proletariate—was designed to bring the burgess-proletariate of the capital, which hitherto had mainly depended on the aristocracy, into dependence on the leaders of the movement-party, and thus to supply the new master of the state at once with a body-guard and with a firm majority in the comitia. For greater security as regards the latter, moreover, the order of voting still subsisting in the -comitia centuriata-, according to which the five property-classes in each tribe gave their votes one after another,(11) was done away; instead of this, all the centuries were in future to vote promiscuously in an order of succession to be fixed on each occasion by lot. While these enactments were mainly designed to procure for the new chief of the state by means of the city-proletariate the complete command of the capital and thereby of the state, the amplest control over the comitial machinery, and the possibility in case of need of striking terror into the senate and magistrates, the legislator certainly at the same time set himself with earnestness and energy to redress the existing social evils.

Agrarian Laws
Colony of Capua
Transmarine Colonialization

It is true that the Italian domain question was in a certain sense settled. The agrarian law of Tiberius and even theallotment-commission still continued legally in force; the agrarian law carried by Gracchus can have enacted nothing new save the restoration to the commissioners of the jurisdiction which they had lost. That the object of this step was only to save the principle, and that the distribution of lands, if resumed at all, was resumed only to a very limited extent, is shown by the burgess-roll, which gives exactly the same number of persons for the years 629 and 639. Gaius beyond doubt did not proceed further in this matter, because the domain-land taken into possession by Roman burgesses was already in substance distributed, and the question as to the domains enjoyed by the Latins could only be taken up anew in connection with the very difficult question as to the extension of Roman citizenship. On the other hand he took an important step beyond the agrarian law of Tiberius, when he proposed the establishment of colonies in Italy—at Tarentum, and more especially at Capua—and by that course rendered the domain-land, which had been let on lease by the state and was hitherto excluded from distribution, liable to be also parcelled out, not, however, according to the previous method, which excluded the founding of new communities,(12) but according to the colonial system. Beyond doubt these colonies were also designed to aid in permanently defending the revolution to which they owed their existence. Still more significant and momentous was the measure, by which Gaius Gracchus first proceeded to provide for the Italian proletariate in the transmarine territories of the state. He despatched to the site on which Carthage had stood 6000 colonists selected perhaps not merely from Roman burgesses but also from the Italian allies, and conferred on the new town Junonia the rights of a Roman burgess-colony. The foundation was important, but still more important was the principle of transmarine emigration thereby laid down. It opened up for the Italian proletariate a permanent outlet, and a relief in fact more than provisional; but it certainly abandoned the principle of state-law hitherto in force, by which Italy was regarded as exclusively the governing, and the provincial territory as exclusively the governed, land.

Modifications of the Penal Law

To these measures having immediate reference to the great question of the proletariate there was added a series of enactments, which arose out of the general tendency to introduce principles milder and more accordant with the spirit of the age than the antiquated severity of the existing constitution. To this head belong the modifications in the military system. As to the length of the period of service there existed under the ancient law no other limit, except that no citizen was liable to ordinary service in the field before completing his seventeenth or after completing his forty-sixth year. When, in consequence of the occupation of Spain, the service began to become permanent,(13) it seems to have been first legally enacted that any one who had been in the field for six successive years acquired thereby a right to discharge, although this discharge did not protect him from being called out again afterwards. At a later period, perhaps about the beginning of this century, the rule arose, that a service of twenty years in the infantry or ten years in the cavalry gave exemption from further military service.(14) Gracchus renewed the rule—which presumably was often violently infringed—that no burgess should be enlisted in the army before the commencement of his eighteenth year; and also, apparently, restricted the number of campaigns requisite for full exemption from military duty. Besides, the clothing of the soldiers, the value of which had hitherto been deducted from their pay, was henceforward furnished gratuitously by the state.

To this head belongs, moreover, the tendency which is on various occasions apparent in the Gracchan legislation, if not to abolish capital punishment, at any rate to restrict it still further than had been done before—a tendency, which to some extent made itself felt even in military jurisdiction. From the very introduction of the republic the magistrate had lost the right of inflicting capital punishment on the burgess without consulting the community, except under martial law;(15) if this right of appeal by the burgess appears soon after the period of the Gracchi available even in the camp, and the right of the general to inflict capital punishments appears restricted to allies and subjects, the source of the change is probably to be sought in the law of Gaius Gracchus -de provocatione- But the right of the community to inflict or rather to confirm sentence of death was indirectly yet essentially limited by the fact, that Gracchus withdrew the cognizance of those public crimes which most frequently gave occasion to capital sentences—poisoning and murder generally— from the burgesses, and entrusted it to permanent judicial commissions. These could not, like the tribunals of the people, be broken up by the intercession of a tribune, and there not only lay no appeal from them to the community, but their sentences were as little subject to be annulled by the community as those of the long-established civil jurymen. In the burgess-tribunals it had, especially in strictly political processes, no doubt long been the rule that the accused remained at liberty during his trial, and was allowed by surrendering his burgess-rights to save at least life and freedom; for the fine laid on property, as well as the civil condemnation, might still affect even the exiled. But preliminary arrest and complete execution of the sentence remained in such cases at least legally possible, and were still sometimes carried into effect even against persons of rank; for instance, Lucius Hostilius Tubulus, praetor of 612, who was capitally impeached for a heinous crime, was refused the privilege of exile, arrested, and executed. On the other hand the judicial commissions, which originated out of the civil procedure, probably could not at the outset touch the liberty or life of the citizen, but at the most could only pronounce sentence of exile; this, which had hitherto been a mitigation of punishment accorded to one who was found guilty, now became for the first time a formal penalty This involuntary exile however, like the voluntary, left to the person banished his property, so far as it was not exhausted in satisfying claims for compensation and money-fines. Lastly, in the matter of debt Gaius Gracchus made no alteration; but very respectable authorities assert that he held out to those in debt the hope of a diminution or remission of claims—which, if it is correct, must likewise be reckoned among those radically popular measures.

Elevation of the Equestrian Order

While Gracchus thus leaned on the support of the multitude, which partly expected, partly received from him a material improvement of its position, he laboured with equal energy at the ruin of the aristocracy. Perceiving clearly how insecure was the rule of the head of the state built merely on the proletariate, he applied himself above all to split the aristocracy and to draw a part of it over to his interests. The elements of such a rupture were already in existence. The aristocracy of the rich, which had risen as one man against Tiberius Gracchus, consisted in fact of two essentially dissimilar bodies, which may be in some measure compared to the peerage and the city aristocracy of England. The one embraced the practically closed circle of the governing senatorial families who kept aloof from direct speculation and invested their immense capital partly in landed property, partly as sleeping partners in the great associations. The core of the second class was composed of the speculators, who, as managers of these companies, or on their own account, conducted the large mercantile and pecuniary transactions throughout the range of the Roman hegemony. We have already shown(16) how the latter class, especially in the course of the sixth century, gradually took its place by the side of the senatorial aristocracy, and how the legal exclusion of the senators from mercantile pursuits by the Claudian enactment, suggested by Gaius Flaminius the precursor of the Gracchi, drew an outward line of demarcation between the senators and the mercantile and moneyed men. In the present epoch the mercantile aristocracy began, under the name of the -equites-, to exercise a decisive influence in political affairs. This appellation, which originally belonged only to the burgess-cavalry on service, came gradually to be transferred, at any rate in ordinary use, to all those who, as possessors of an estate of at least 400,000 sesterces, were liable to cavalry service in general, and thus comprehended the whole of the upper society, senatorial and non-senatorial, in Rome. But not long before the time of Gaius Gracchus the law had declared a seat in the senate incompatible with service in the cavalry,(17) and the senators were thus eliminated from those qualified to be equites; and accordingly the equestrian order, taken as a whole, might be regarded as representing the aristocracy of speculators in contradistinction to the senate. Nevertheless those members of senatorial families who had not entered the senate, especially the younger members, did not cease to serve as equites and consequently to bear the name; and, in fact, the burgess-cavalry properly so called—that is, the eighteen equestrian centuries—in consequence of being made up by the censors continued to be chiefly filled up from the young senatorial aristocracy.(18)

This order of the equites—that is to say, substantially, of the wealthy merchants—in various ways came roughly into contact with the governing senate. There was a natural antipathy between the genteel aristocrats and the men to whom money had brought rank. The ruling lords, especially the better class of them, stood just as much aloof from speculations, as the men of material interests were indifferent to political questions and coterie-feuds. The two classes had already frequently come into sharp collision, particularly in the provinces; for, though in general the provincials had far more reason than the Roman capitalists had to complain of the partiality of the Roman magistrates, yet the ruling lords of the senate did not lend countenance to the greedy and unjust doings of the moneyed men, at the expense of the subjects, so thoroughly and absolutely as those capitalists desired. In spite of their concord in opposing a common foe such as was Tiberius Gracchus, a deep gulf lay between the nobility and the moneyed aristocracy; and Gaius, more adroit than his brother, enlarged it till the alliance was broken up and the mercantile class ranged itself on his side.

Insignia of the Equites

That the external privileges, through which afterwards the men of equestrian census were distinguished from the rest of the multitude— the golden finger-ring instead of the ordinary ring of iron or copper, and the separate and better place at the burgess-festivals—were first conferred on the equites by Gaius Gracchus, is not certain, but is not improbable. For they emerged at any rate about this period, and, as the extension of these hitherto mainly senatorial privileges(19) to the equestrian order which he brought into prominence was quite in the style of Gracchus, so it was in very truth his aim to impress on the equites the stamp of an order, similarly close and privileged, intermediate between the senatorial aristocracy and the common multitude; and this same aim was more promoted by those class-insignia, trifling though they were in themselves and though many qualified to be equites might not avail themselves of them, than by many an ordinance far more intrinsically important. But the party of material interests, though it by no means despised such honours, was yet not to be gained through these alone. Gracchus perceived well that it would doubtless duly fall to the highest bidder, but that it needed a high and substantial bidding; and so he offered to it the revenues of Asia and the jury courts.

Taxation of Asia

The system of Roman financial administration, under which the indirect taxes as well as the domain-revenues were levied by means of middlemen, in itself granted to the Roman capitalist-class the most extensive advantages at the expense of those liable to taxation. But the direct taxes consisted either, as in most provinces, of fixed sums of money payable by the communities—which of itself excluded the intervention of Roman capitalists—or, as in Sicily and Sardinia, of a ground-tenth, the levying of which for each particular community was leased in the provinces themselves, so that wealthy provincials regularly, and the tributary communities themselves very frequently, farmed the tenth of their districts and thereby kept at a distance the dangerous Roman middlemen. Six years before, when the province of Asia had fallen to the Romans, the senate had organized it substantially according to the first system.(20) Gaius Gracchus(21) overturned this arrangement by a decree of the people, and not only burdened the province, which had hitherto been almost free from taxation, with the most extensive indirect and direct taxes, particularly the ground-tenth, but also enacted that these taxes should be exposed to auction for the province as a whole and in Rome— a rule which practically excluded the provincials from participation, and called into existence in the body of middlemen for the -decumae-, -scriptura-, and -vectigalia- of the province of Asia an association of capitalists of colossal magnitude. A significant indication, moreover, of the endeavour of Gracchus to make the order of capitalists independent of the senate was the enactment, that the entire or partial remission of the stipulated rent was no longer, as hitherto, to be granted by the senate at discretion, but was under definite contingencies to be accorded by law.

Jury Courts

While a gold mine was thus opened for the mercantile class, and the members of the new partnership constituted a great financial power imposing even for the government—a "senate of merchants"-a definite sphere of public action was at the same time assigned to them in the jury courts. The field of the criminal procedure, which by right came before the burgesses, was among the Romans from the first very narrow, and was, as we have already stated,(22) still further narrowed by Gracchus; most processes—both such as related to public crimes, and civil causes—were decided either by single jurymen [-indices-], or by commissions partly permanent, partly extraordinary. Hitherto both the former and the latter had been exclusively taken from the senate; Gracchus transferred the functions of jurymen—both in strictly civil processes, and in the case of the standing and temporary commissions— to the equestrian order, directing a new list of jurymen to be annually formed after the analogy of the equestrian centuries from all persons of equestrian rating, and excluding the senators directly, and the young men of senatorial families by the fixing of a certain limit of age, from such judicial functions.(23) It is not improbable that the selection of jurymen was chiefly made to fall on the same men who played the leading part in the great mercantile associations, particularly those farming the revenues in Asia and elsewhere, just because these had a very close personal interest in sitting in the courts; and, if the lists of jurymen and the societies of -publicani- thus coincided as regards their chiefs, we can all the better understand the significance of the counter-senate thus constituted. The substantial effect of this was, that, while hitherto there had been only two authorities in the state—the government as the administering and controlling, and the burgesses as the legislative, authority—and the courts had been divided between them, now the moneyed aristocracy was not only united into a compact and privileged class on the solid basis of material interests, but also, as a judicial and controlling power, formed part of the state and took its place almost on a footing of equality by the side of the ruling aristocracy. All the old antipathies of the merchants against the nobility could not but thenceforth find only too practical an expression in the sentences of the jurymen; above all, when the provincial governors were called to a reckoning, the senator had to await a decision involving his civic existence at the hands no longer as formerly of his peers, but of great merchants and bankers. The feuds between the Roman capitalists and the Roman governors were transplanted from the provincial administration to the dangerous field of these processes of reckoning. Not only was the aristocracy of the rich divided, but care was taken that the variance should always find fresh nourishment and easy expression.

Monarchical Government Substituted for That of the Senate

With his weapons—the proletariate and the mercantile class—thus prepared, Gracchus set about his main work, the overthrow of the ruling aristocracy. The overthrow of the senate meant, on the one hand, the depriving it of its essential functions by legislative alterations; and on the other hand, the ruining of the existing aristocracy by measures of a more personal and transient kind. Gracchus did both. The function of administration, in particular, had hitherto belonged exclusively to the senate; Gracchus took it away, partly by settling the most important administrative questions by means of comitial laws or, in other words, practically through tribunician dictation, partly by restricting the senate as much as possible in current affairs, partly by taking business after the most comprehensive fashion into his own hands. The measures of the former kind have been mentioned already: the new master of the state without consulting the senate dealt with the state-chest, by imposing a permanent and oppressive burden on the public finances in the distribution of corn; dealt with the domains, by sending out colonies not as hitherto by decree of the senate and people, but by decree of the people alone; and dealt with the provincial administration, by overturning through a law of the people the financial constitution given by the senate to the province of Asia and substituting for it one altogether different. One of the most important of the current duties of the senate—that of fixing at its pleasure the functions for the time being of the two consuls—was not withdrawn from it; but the indirect pressure hitherto exercised in this way over the supreme magistrates was limited by directing the senate to fix these functions before the consuls concerned were elected. With unrivalled activity, lastly, Gaius concentrated the most varied and most complicated functions of government in his own person. He himself watched over the distribution of grain, selected the jurymen, founded the colonies in person notwithstanding that his magistracy legally chained him to the city, regulated the highways and concluded building- contracts, led the discussions of the senate, settled the consular elections—in short, he accustomed the people to the fact that one man was foremost in all things, and threw the lax and lame administration of the senatorial college into the shade by the vigour and versatility of his personal rule. Gracchus interfered with the judicial omnipotence, still more energetically than with the administration, of the senate. We have already mentioned that he set aside the senators as jurymen; the same course was taken with the jurisdiction which the senate as the supreme administrative board allowed to itself in exceptional cases. Under severe penalties he prohibited— apparently in his renewal of the law -de provocatione-(24)—the appointment of extraordinary commissions of high treason by decree of the senate, such as that which after his brother's murder had sat in judgment on his adherents. The aggregate effect of these measures was, that the senate wholly lost the power of control, and retained only so much of administration as the head of the state thought fit to leave to it. But these constitutive measures were not enough; the governing aristocracy for the time being was also directly assailed. It was a mere act of revenge, which assigned retrospective effect to the last-mentioned law and thereby compelled Publius Popillius—the aristocrat who after the death of Nasica, which had occurred in the interval, was chiefly obnoxious to the democrats—to go into exile. It is remarkable that this proposal was only carried by 18 to 17 votes in the assembly of the tribes—a sign how much the influence of the aristocracy still availed with the multitude, at least in questions of a personal interest. A similar but far less justifiable decree—the proposal, directed against Marcus Octavius, that whoever had been deprived of his office by decree of the people should be for ever incapable of filling a public post—was recalled by Gaius at the request of his mother; and he was thus spared the disgrace of openly mocking justice by legalizing a notorious violation of the constitution, and of taking base vengeance on a man of honour, who had not spoken an angry word against Tiberius and had only acted constitutionally and in accordance with what he conceived to be his duty. But of very different importance from these measures was the scheme of Gaius—which, it is true, was hardly carried into effect— to strengthen the senate by 300 new members, that is, by just about as many as it hitherto had contained, and to have them elected from the equestrian order by the comitia—a creation of peers after the most comprehensive style, which would have reduced the senate into the most complete dependence on the chief of the state.

Character of the Constitution of Gaius Gracchus

This was the political constitution which Gaius Gracchus projected and, in its most essential points, carried out during the two years of his tribunate (631, 632), without, so far as we can see, encountering any resistance worthy of mention, and without requiring to apply force for the attainment of his ends. The order of sequence in which these measures were carried can no longer be recognized in the confused accounts handed down to us, and various questions that suggest themselves have to remain unanswered. But it does not seem as if, in what is missing, many elements of material importance have escaped us; for as to the principal matters we have quite trustworthy information, and Gaius was by no means, like his brother, urged on further and further by the current of events, but evidently had a well- considered and comprehensive plan, the substance of which he fully embodied in a series of special laws. Now the Sempronian constitution itself shows very clearly to every one who is able and willing to see, that Gaius Gracchus did not at all, as many good-natured people in ancient and modern times have supposed, wish to place the Roman republic on new democratic bases, but that on the contrary he wished to abolish it and to introduce in its stead a -tyrannis—- that is, in modern language, a monarchy not of the feudal or of the theocratic, but of the Napoleonic absolute, type—in the form of a magistracy continued for life by regular re-election and rendered absolute by an unconditional control over the formally sovereign comitia, an unlimited tribuneship of the people for life. In fact if Gracchus, as his words and still more his works plainly testify, aimed at the overthrow of the government of the senate, what other political organization but the -tyrannis- remained possible, after overthrowing the aristocratic government, in a commonwealth which had outgrown primary assemblies and for which parliamentary government did not exist? Dreamers such as was his predecessor, and knaves such as after-times produced, might call this in question; but Gaius Gracchus was a statesman, and though the formal shape, which that great man had inwardly projected for his great work, has not been handed down to us and may be conceived of very variously, yet he was beyond doubt aware of what he was doing. Little as the intention of usurping monarchical power can be mistaken, as little will those who survey the whole circumstances on this account blame Gracchus. An absolute monarchy is a great misfortune for a nation, but it is a less misfortune than an absolute oligarchy; and history cannot censure one who imposes on a nation the lesser suffering instead of the greater, least of all in the case of a nature so vehemently earnest and so far aloof from all that is vulgar as was that of Gaius Gracchus. Nevertheless it may not conceal the fact that his whole legislation was pervaded in a most pernicious way by conflicting aims; for on the one hand it aimed at the public good, while on the other hand it ministered to the personal objects and in fact the personal vengeance of the ruler. Gracchus earnestly laboured to find a remedy for social evils, and to check the spread of pauperism; yet he at the same time intentionally reared up a street proletariate of the worst kind in the capital by his distributions of corn, which were designed to be, and became, a premium to all the lazy and hungry civic rabble. Gracchus censured in the bitterest terms the venality of the senate, and in particular laid bare with unsparing and just severity the scandalous traffic which Manius Aquillius had driven with the provinces of Asia Minor;(25) yet it was through the efforts of the same man that the sovereign populace of the capital got itself alimented, in return for its cares of government, by the body of its subjects. Gracchus warmly disapproved the disgraceful spoliation of the provinces, and not only instituted proceedings of wholesome severity in particular cases, but also procured the abolition of the thoroughly insufficient senatorial courts, before which even Scipio Aemilianus had vainly staked his whole influence to bring the most decided criminals to punishment. Yet he at the same time, by the introduction of courts composed of merchants, surrendered the provincials with their hands fettered to the party of material interests, and thereby to a despotism still more unscrupulous than that of the aristocracy had been; and he introduced into Asia a taxation, compared with which even the form of taxation current after the Carthaginian model in Sicily might be called mild and humane— just because on the one hand he needed the party of moneyed men, and on the other hand required new and comprehensive resources to meet his distributions of grain and the other burdens newly imposed on the finances. Gracchus beyond doubt desired a firm administration and a well-regulated dispensing of justice, as numerous thoroughly judicious ordinances testify; yet his new system of administration rested on a continuous series of individual usurpations only formally legalized, and he intentionally drew the judicial system—which every well-ordered state will endeavour as far as possible to place, if not above political parties, at any rate aloof from them—into the midst of the whirlpool of revolution. Certainly the blame of these conflicting tendencies in Gaius Gracchus is chargeable to a very great extent on his position rather than on himself personally. On the very threshold of the -tyrannis- he was confronted by the fatal dilemma, moral and political, that the same man had at one and the same time to maintain his ground, we may say, as a robber-chieftain and to lead the state as its first citizen—a dilemma to which Pericles, Caesar, and Napoleon had also to make dangerous sacrifices. But the conduct of Gaius Gracchus cannot be wholly explained from this necessity; along with it there worked in him the consuming passion, the glowing revenge, which foreseeing its own destruction hurls the firebrand into the house of the foe. He has himself expressed what he thought of his ordinance as to the jurymen and similar measures intended to divide the aristocracy; he called them daggers which he had thrown into the Forum that the burgesses—the men of rank, obviously—might lacerate each other with them. He was a political incendiary. Not only was the hundred years' revolution which dates from him, so far as it was one man's work, the work of Gaius Gracchus, but he was above all the true founder of that terrible urban proletariate flattered and paid by the classes above it, which through its aggregation in the capital—the natural consequence of the largesses of corn—became at once utterly demoralized and aware of its power, and which—with its demands, sometimes stupid, sometimes knavish, and its talk of the sovereignty of the people—lay like an incubus for five hundred years upon the Roman commonwealth and only perished along with it And yet—this greatest of political transgressors was in turn the regenerator of his country. There is scarce a structural idea in Roman monarchy, which is not traceable to Gaius Gracchus. From him proceeded the maxim—founded doubtless in a certain sense in the nature of the old traditional laws of war, but yet, in the extension and practical application now given to it, foreign to the older state-law—that all the land of the subject communities was to be regarded as the private property of the state; a maxim, which was primarily employed to vindicate the right of the state to tax that land at pleasure, as was the case in Asia, or to apply it for the institution of colonies, as was done in Africa, and which became afterwards a fundamental principle of law under the empire. From him proceeded the tactics, whereby demagogues and tyrants, leaning for support on material interests, break down the governing Aristocracy, but subsequently legitimize the change of constitution by substituting a strict and efficient administration for the previous misgovernment. To him, in particular, are traceable the first steps towards such a reconciliation between Rome and the provinces as the establishment of monarchy could not but bring in its train; the attempt to rebuild Carthage destroyed by Italian rivalry and generally to open the way for Italian emigration towards the provinces, formed the first link in the long chain of that momentous and beneficial course of action. Right and wrong, fortune and misfortune were so inextricably blended in this singular man and in this marvellous political constellation, that it may well beseem history in this case—though it beseems her but seldom— to reserve her judgment.

The Question As to the Allies

When Gracchus had substantially completed the new constitution projected by him for the state, he applied himself to a second and more difficult work. The question as to the Italian allies was still undecided. What were the views of the democratic leaders regarding it, had been rendered sufficiently apparent.(26) They naturally desired the utmost possible extension of the Roman franchise, not merely that they might bring in the domains occupied by the Latins for distribution, but above all that they might strengthen their body of adherents by the enormous mass of the new burgesses, might bring the comitial machine still more fully under their power by widening the body of privileged electors, and generally might abolish a distinction which had now with the fall of the republican constitution lost all serious importance. But here they encountered resistance from their own party, and especially from that band which otherwise readily gave its sovereign assent to all which it did or did not understand. For the simple reason that Roman citizenship seemed to these people, so to speak, like a partnership which gave them a claim to share in sundry very tangible profits, direct and indirect, they were not at all disposed to enlarge the number of the partners. The rejection of the Fulvian law in 629, and the insurrection of the Fregellans arising out of it, were significant indications both of the obstinate perseverance of the fraction of the burgesses that ruled the comitia, and of the impatient urgency of the allies. Towards the end of his second tribunate (632) Gracchus, probably urged by obligations which he had undertaken towards the allies, ventured on a second attempt. In concert with Marcus Flaccus—who, although a consular, had again taken the tribuneship of the people, in order now to carry the law which he had formerly proposed without success—he made a proposal to grant to the Latins the full franchise, and to the other Italian allies the former rights of the Latins. But the proposal encountered the united opposition of the senate and the mob of the capital. The nature of this coalition and its mode of conflict are clearly and distinctly seen from an accidentally preserved fragment of the speech which the consul Gaius Fannius made to the burgesses in opposition to the proposal. "Do you then think," said the Optimate, "that, if you confer the franchise on the Latins, you will be able to find a place in future—just as you are now standing there in front of me—in the burgess-assembly, or at the games and popular amusements? Do you not believe, on the contrary, that those people will occupy every spot?" Among the burgesses of the fifth century, who on one day conferred the franchise on all the Sabines, such an orator might perhaps have been hissed; those of the seventh found his reasoning uncommonly clear and the price of the assignation of the Latin domains, which was offered to it by Gracchus, far too low. The very circumstance, that the senate carried a permission to eject from the city all non- burgesses before the day for the decisive vote, showed the fate in store for the proposal. And when before the voting Livius Drusus, a colleague of Gracchus, interposed his veto against the law, the people received the veto in such a way that Gracchus could not venture to proceed further or even to prepare for Drusus the fate of Marcus Octavius.

Overthrow of Gracchus

It was, apparently, this success which emboldened the senate to attempt the overthrow of the victorious demagogue. The weapons of attack were substantially the same with which Gracchus himself had formerly operated. The power of Gracchus rested on the mercantile class and the proletariate; primarily on the latter, which in this conflict, wherein neither side had any military reserve, acted as it were the part of an army. It was clear that the senate was not powerful enough to wrest either from the merchants or from the proletariate their new privileges; any attempt to assail the corn- laws or the new jury-arrangement would have led, under a somewhat grosser or somewhat more civilized form, to a street-riot in presence of which the senate was utterly defenceless. But it was no less clear, that Gracchus himself and these merchants and proletarians were only kept together by mutual advantage, and that the men of material interests were ready to accept their posts, and the populace strictly so called its bread, quite as well from any other as from Gaius Gracchus. The institutions of Gracchus stood, for the moment at least, immoveably firm with the exception of a single one—his own supremacy. The weakness of the latter lay in the fact, that in the constitution of Gracchus there was no relation of allegiance subsisting at all between the chief and the army; and, while the new constitution possessed all other elements of vitality, it lacked one—the moral tie between ruler and ruled, without which every state rests on a pedestal of clay. In the rejection of the proposal to admit the Latins to the franchise it had been demonstrated with decisive clearness that the multitude in fact never voted for Gracchus, but always simply for itself. The aristocracy conceived the plan of offering battle to the author of the corn-largesses and land-assignations on his own ground.

Rival Demagogism of the Senate
The Livian Laws

As a matter of course, the senate offered to the proletariate not merely the same advantages as Gracchus had already assured to it in corn and otherwise, but advantages still greater. Commissioned by the senate, the tribune of the people Marcus Livius Drusus proposed to relieve those who received land under the laws of Gracchus from the rent imposed on them,(27) and to declare their allotments to be free and alienable property; and, further, to provide for the proletariate not in transmarine, but in twelve Italian, colonies, each of 3000 colonists, for the planting of which the people might nominate suitable men; only, Drusus himself declined—in contrast with the family-complexion of the Gracchan commission—to take part in this honourable duty. Presumably the Latins were named as those who would have to bear the costs of the plan, for there does not appear to have now existed in Italy other occupied domain-land of any extent save that which was enjoyed by them. We find isolated enactments of Drusus— such as the regulation that the punishment of scourging might only be inflicted on the Latin soldier by the Latin officer set over him, and not by the Roman officer—which were to all appearance intended to indemnify the Latins for other losses. The plan was not the most refined. The attempt at rivalry was too clear; the endeavour to draw the fair bond between the nobles and the proletariate still closer by their exercising jointly a tyranny over the Latins was too transparent; the inquiry suggested itself too readily, In what part of the peninsula, now that the Italian domains had been mainly given away already—even granting that the whole domains assigned to the Latins were confiscated—was the occupied domain-land requisite for the formation of twelve new, numerous, and compact burgess-communities to be discovered? Lastly the declaration of Drusus, that he would have nothing to do with the execution of his law, was so dreadfully prudent as to border on sheer folly. But the clumsy snare was quite suited for the stupid game which they wished to catch. There was the additional and perhaps decisive consideration, that Gracchus, on whose personal influence everything depended, was just then establishing the Carthaginian colony in Africa, and that his lieutenant in the capital, Marcus Flaccus, played into the hands of his opponents by his vehement and maladroit actings. The "people" accordingly ratified the Livian laws as readily as it had before ratified the Sempronian. It then, as usual, repaid its latest, by inflicting a gentle blow on its earlier, benefactor, declining to re-elect him when he stood for the third time as a candidate for the tribunate for the year 633; on which occasion, however, there are alleged to have been unjust proceedings on the part of the tribune presiding at the election, who had been formerly offended by Gracchus. Thus the foundation of his despotism gave way beneath him. A second blow was inflicted on him by the consular elections, which not only proved in a general sense adverse to the democracy, but which placed at the head of the state Lucius Opimius, who as praetor in 629 had conquered Fregellae, one of the most decided and least scrupulous chiefs of the strict aristocratic party, and a man firmly resolved to get rid of their dangerous antagonist at the earliest opportunity.

Attack on the Transmarine Colonialization
Downfall of Gracchus

Such an opportunity soon occurred. On the 10th of December, 632, Gracchus ceased to be tribune of the people; on the 1st of January, 633, Opimius entered on his office. The first attack, as was fair, was directed against the most useful and the most unpopular measure of Gracchus, the re-establishment of Carthage. While the transmarine colonies had hitherto been only indirectly assailed through the greater allurements of the Italian, African hyaenas, it was now alleged, dug up the newly-placed boundary-stones of Carthage, and the Roman priests, when requested, certified that such signs and portents ought to form an express warning against rebuilding on a site accursed by the gods. The senate thereby found itself in its conscience compelled to have a law proposed, which prohibited the planting of the colony of Junonia. Gracchus, who with the other men nominated to establish it was just then selecting the colonists, appeared on the day of voting at the Capitol whither the burgesses were convoked, with a view to procure by means of his adherents the rejection of the law. He wished to shun acts of violence, that he might not himself supply his opponents with the pretext which they sought; but he had not been able to prevent a great portion of his faithful partisans, who remembered the catastrophe of Tiberius and were well acquainted with the designs of the aristocracy, from appearing in arms, and amidst the immense excitement on both sides quarrels could hardly be avoided. The consul Lucius Opimius offered the usual sacrifice in the porch of the Capitoline temple; one of the attendants assisting at the ceremony, Quintus Antullius, with the holy entrails in his hand, haughtily ordered the "bad citizens" to quit the porch, and seemed as though he would lay hands on Gaius himself; whereupon a zealous Gracchan drew his sword and cut the man down. A fearful tumult arose. Gracchus vainly sought to address the people and to disclaim the responsibility for the sacrilegious murder; he only furnished his antagonists with a further formal ground of accusation, as, without being aware of it in the confusion, he interrupted a tribune in the act of speaking to the people—an offence, for which an obsolete statute, originating at the time of the old dissensions between the orders,(28) had prescribed the severest penalty. The consul Lucius Opimius took his measures to put down by force of arms the insurrection for the overthrow of the republican constitution, as they were fond of designating the events of this day. He himself passed the night in the temple of Castor in the Forum; at early dawn the Capitol was filled with Cretan archers, the senate-house and Forum with the men of the government party—the senators and the section of the equites adhering to them—who by order of the consul had all appeared in arms and each attended by two armed slaves. None of the aristocracy were absent; even the aged and venerable Quintus Metellus, well disposed to reform, had appeared with shield and sword. An officer of ability and experience acquired in the Spanish wars, Decimus Brutus, was entrusted with the command of the armed force; the senate assembled in the senate-house. The bier with the corpse of Antullius was deposited in front of it; the senate, as if surprised, appeared en masse at the door in order to view the dead body, and then retired to determine what should be done. The leaders of the democracy had gone from the Capitol to their houses; Marcus Flaccus had spent the night in preparing for the war in the streets, while Gracchus apparently disdained to strive with destiny. Next morning, when they learned the preparations made by their opponents at the Capitol and the Forum, both proceeded to the Aventine, the old stronghold of the popular party in the struggles between the patricians and the plebeians. Gracchus went thither silent and unarmed; Flaccus called the slaves to arms and entrenched himself in the temple of Diana, while he at the same time sent his younger son Quintus to the enemy's camp in order if possible to arrange a compromise. The latter returned with the announcement that the aristocracy demanded unconditional surrender; at the same time he brought a summons from the senate to Gracchus and Flaccus to appear before it and to answer for their violation of the majesty of the tribunes. Gracchus wished to comply with the summons, but Flaccus prevented him from doing so, and repeated the equally weak and mistaken attempt to move such antagonists to a compromise. When instead of the two cited leaders the young Quintus Flaccus once more presented himself alone, the consul treated their refusal to appear as the beginning of open insurrection against the government; he ordered the messenger to be arrested and gave the signal for attack on the Aventine, while at the same time he caused proclamation to be made in the streets that the government would give to whosoever should bring the head of Gracchus or of Flaccus its literal weight in gold, and that they would guarantee complete indemnity to every one who should leave the Aventine before the beginning of the conflict. The ranks on the Aventine speedily thinned; the valiant nobility in union with the Cretans and the slaves stormed the almost undefended mount, and killed all whom they found, about 250 persons, mostly of humble rank. Marcus Flaccus fled with his eldest son to a place of concealment, where they were soon afterwards hunted out and put to death. Gracchus had at the beginning of the conflict retired into the temple of Minerva, and was there about to pierce himself with his sword, when his friend Publius Laetorius seized his arm and besought him to preserve himself if possible for better times. Gracchus was induced to make an attempt to escape to the other bank of the Tiber; but when hastening down the hill he fell and sprained his foot. To gain time for him to escape, his two attendants turned to face his pursuers and allowed themselves to be cut down, Marcus Pomponius at the Porta Trigemina under the Aventine, Publius Laetorius at the bridge over the Tiber where Horatius Cocles was said to have once singly withstood the Etruscan army; so Gracchus, attended only by his slave Euporus, reached the suburb on the right bank of the Tiber. There, in the grove of Furrina, were afterwards found the two dead bodies; it seemed as if the slave had put to death first his master and then himself. The heads of the two fallen leaders were handed over to the government as required; the stipulated price and more was paid to Lucius Septumuleius, a man of quality, the bearer of the head of Gracchus, while the murderers of Flaccus, persons of humble rank, were sent away with empty hands. The bodies of the dead were thrown into the river; the houses of the leaders were abandoned to the pillage of the multitude. The warfare of prosecution against the partisans of Gracchus began on the grandest scale; as many as 3000 of them are said to have been strangled in prison, amongst whom was Quintus Flaccus, eighteen years of age, who had taken no part in the conflict and was universally lamented on account of his youth and his amiable disposition. On the open space beneath the Capitol where the altar consecrated by Camillus after the restoration of internal peace(29) and other shrines erected on similar occasions to Concord were situated, these small chapels were pulled down; and out of the property of the killed or condemned traitors, which was confiscated even to the portions of their wives, a new and splendid temple of Concord with the basilica belonging to it was erected in accordance with a decree of the senate by the consul Lucius Opimius. Certainly it was an act in accordance with the spirit of the age to remove the memorials of the old, and to inaugurate a new, concord over the remains of the three grandsons of the conqueror of Zama, all of whom—first Tiberius Gracchus, then Scipio Aemilianus, and lastly the youngest and the mightiest, Gaius Gracchus—had now been engulfed by the revolution. The memory of the Gracchi remained officially proscribed; Cornelia was not allowed even to put on mourning for the death of her last son; but the passionate attachment, which very many had felt towards the two noble brothers and especially towards Gaius during their life, was touchingly displayed also after their death in the almost religious veneration which the multitude, in spite of all precautions of police, continued to pay to their memory and to the spots where they had fallen.

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