The Attempt of Marius at Revolution and the Attempt of Drusus at Reform


Gaius Marius, the son of a poor day-labourer, was born in 599 at the village of Cereatae then belonging to Arpinum, which afterwards obtained municipal rights as Cereatae Marianae and still at the present day bears the name of "Marius' home" (Casamare). He was reared at the plough, in circumstances so humble that they seemed to preclude him from access even to the municipal offices of Arpinum: he learned early—what he practised afterwards even when a general—to bear hunger and thirst, the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and to sleep on the hard ground. As soon as his age allowed him, he had entered the army and through service in the severe school of the Spanish wars had rapidly risen to be an officer. In Scipio's Numantine war he, at that time twenty-three years of age, attracted the notice of the stern general by the neatness with which he kept his horse and his accoutrements, as well as by his bravery in combat and his decorous demeanour in camp. He had returned home with honourable scars and warlike distinctions, and with the ardent wish to make himself a name in the career on which he had gloriously entered; but, as matters then stood, a man of even the highest merit could not attain those political offices, which alone led to the higher military posts, without wealth and without connections. The young officer acquired both by fortunate commercial speculations and by his union with a maiden of the ancient patrician clan of the Julii. So by dint of great efforts and after various miscarriages he succeeded, in 639, in attaining the praetorship, in which he found opportunity of displaying afresh his military ability as governor of Further Spain. How he thereafter in spite of the aristocracy received the consulship in 647 and, as proconsul (648, 649), terminated the African war; and how, called after the calamitous day of Arausio to the superintendence of the war against the Germans, he had his consulship renewed for four successive years from 650 to 653 (a thing unexampled in the annals of the republic) and vanquished and annihilated the Cimbri in Cisalpine, and the Teutones in Transalpine, Gaul—has been already related. In his military position he had shown himself a brave and upright man, who administered justice impartially, disposed of the spoil with rare honesty and disinterestedness, and was thoroughly incorruptible; a skilful organizer, who had brought the somewhat rusty machinery of the Roman military system once more into a state of efficiency; an able general, who kept the soldier under discipline and withal in good humour and at the same time won his affections in comrade-like intercourse, but looked the enemy boldly in the face and joined issue with him at the proper time. He was not, as far as we can judge, a man of eminent military capacity; but the very respectable qualities which he possessed were quite sufficient under the existing circumstances to procure for him the reputation of such capacity, and by virtue of it he had taken his place in a fashion of unparalleled honour among the consulars and the triumphators. But he was none the better fitted on that account for the brilliant circle. His voice remained harsh and loud, and his look wild, as if he still saw before him Libyans or Cimbrians, and not well- bred and perfumed colleagues. That he was superstitious like a genuine soldier of fortune; that he was induced to become a candidate for his first consulship, not by the impulse of his talents, but primarily by the utterances of an Etruscan -haruspex-; and that in the campaign with the Teutones a Syrian prophetess Martha lent the aid of her oracles to the council of war,—these things were not, in the strict sense, unaristocratic: in such matters, then as at all times, the highest and lowest strata of society met. But the want of political culture was unpardonable; it was commendable, no doubt, that he had the skill to defeat the barbarians, but what was to be thought of a consul who was so ignorant of constitutional etiquette as to appear in triumphal costume in the senate! In other respects too the plebeian character clung to him. He was not merely—according to aristocratic phraseology—a poor man, but, what was worse, frugal and a declared enemy of all bribery and corruption. After the manner of soldiers he was not nice, but was fond of his cups, especially in his later years; he knew not the art of giving feasts, and kept a bad cook. It was likewise awkward that the consular understood nothing but Latin and had to decline conversing in Greek; that he felt the Greek plays wearisome might pass—he was presumably not the only one who did so—but to confess to the feeling of weariness was naive. Thus he remained throughout life a countryman cast adrift among aristocrats, and annoyed by the keenly-felt sarcasms and still more keenly—felt commiseration of his colleagues, which he had not the self-command to despise as he despised themselves.

Political Position of Marius

Marius stood aloof from the parties not much less than from society. The measures which he carried in his tribunate of the people (635)—a better control over the delivery of the voting-tablets with a view to do away with the scandalous frauds that were therein practised, and the prevention of extravagant proposals for largesses to the people(1)—do not bear the stamp of a party, least of all that of the democratic, but merely show that he hated what was unjust and irrational; and how could a man like this, a farmer by birth and a soldier by inclination, have been from the first a revolutionist? The hostile attacks of the aristocracy had no doubt driven him subsequently into the camp of the opponents of the government; and there he speedily found himself elevated in the first instance to be general of the opposition, and destined perhaps for still higher things hereafter. But this was far more the effect of the stringent force of circumstances and of the general need which the opposition had for a chief, than his own work; he had at any rate since his departure for Africa in 647-8 hardly tarried, in passing, for a brief period in the capital. It was not till the latter half of 653 that he returned to Rome, victor over the Teutones as over the Cimbri, to celebrate his postponed triumph now with double honours—decidedly the first man in Rome, and yet at the same time a novice in politics. It was certain beyond dispute, not only that Marius had saved Rome, but that he was the only man who could have saved it; his name was on every one's lips; the men of quality acknowledged his services; with the people he was more popular than any one before or after him, popular alike by his virtues and by his faults, by his unaristocratic disinterestedness no less than by his boorish roughness; he was called by the multitude a third Romulus and a second Camillus; libations were poured forth to him like the gods. It was no wonder that the head of the peasant's son grew giddy at times with all this glory; that he compared his march from Africa to Gaul to the victorious processions of Dionysus from continent to continent, and had a cup—none of the smallest—manufactured for his use after the model of that of Bacchus. There was just as much of hope as of gratitude in this delirious enthusiasm of the people, which might well have led astray a man of colder blood and more mature political experience. The work of Marius seemed to his admirers by no means finished. The wretched government oppressed the land more heavily than did the barbarians: on him, the first man of Rome, the favourite of the people, the head of the opposition, devolved the task of once more delivering Rome. It is true that to one who was a rustic and a soldier the political proceedings of the capital were strange and incongruous: he spoke as ill as he commanded well, and displayed a far firmer bearing in presence of the lances and swords of the enemy than in presence of the applause or hisses of the multitude; but his inclinations were of little moment. The hopes of which he was the object constrained him. His military and political position was such that, if he would not break with the glorious past, if he would not deceive the expectations of his party and in fact of the nation, if he would not be unfaithful to his own sense of duty, he must check the maladministration of public affairs and put an end to the government of the restoration; and if he only possessed the internal qualities of a head of the people, he might certainly dispense with those which he lacked as a popular leader.

The New Military Organization

He held in his hand a formidable weapon in the newly organized army. Previously to his time the fundamental principle of the Servian constitution—by which the levy was limited entirely to the burgesses possessed of property, and the distinctions as to armour were regulated solely by the property qualification(2)—had necessarily been in various respects relaxed. The minimum census of 11,000 -asses- (43 pounds), which bound its possessor to enter the burgess-army, had been lowered to 4000 (17 pounds;(3)). The older six property-classes, distinguished by their respective kinds of armour, had been restricted to three; for, while in accordance with the Servian organization they selected the cavalry from the wealthiest, and the light-armed from the poorest, of those liable to serve, they arranged the middle class, the proper infantry of the line, no longer according to property but according to age of service, in the three divisions of -hastati-, -principes-, and -triarii-. They had, moreover, long ago brought in the Italian allies to share to a very great extent in war-service; but in their case too, just as among the Roman burgesses, military duty was chiefly imposed on the propertied classes. Nevertheless the Roman military system down to the time of Marius rested in the main on that primitive organization of the burgess-militia. But it was no longer suited for the altered circumstances. The better classes of society kept aloof more and more from service in the army, and the Roman and Italic middle class in general was disappearing; while on the other hand the considerable military resources of the extra-Italian allies and subjects had become available, and the Italian proletariate also, properly applied, afforded at least a very useful material for military objects. The burgess- cavalry,(4) which was meant to be formed from the class of the wealthy, had practically ceased from service in the field even before the time of Marius. It is last mentioned as an actual corps d'armee in the Spanish campaign of 614, when it drove the general to despair by its insolent arrogance and its insubordination, and a war broke out between the troopers and the general, waged on both sides with equal unscrupulousness. In the Jugurthine war it continues to appear merely as a sort of guard of honour for the general and foreign princes; thenceforth it wholly disappears. In like manner the filling up of the complement of the legions with properly qualified persons bound to serve proved in the ordinary course of things difficult; so that exertions, such as were necessary after the battle of Arausio, would have been in all probability really impracticable with the retention of the existing rules as to the obligation of service. On the other hand even before the time of Marius, especially in the cavalry and the light infantry, extra-Italian subjects—the heavy mounted troopers of Thrace, the light African cavalry, the excellent light infantry of the nimble Ligurians, the slingers from the Baleares—were employed in ever-increasing numbers even beyond their own provinces for the Roman armies; and at the same time, while there was a want of qualified burgess-recruits, the non- qualified poorer burgesses pressed forward unbidden to enter the army; in fact, from the mass of the civic rabble without work or averse to it, and from the considerable advantages which the Roman war-service yielded, the enlistment of volunteers could not be difficult. It was therefore simply a necessary consequence of the political and social changes in the state, that its military arrangements should exhibit a transition from the system of the burgess-levy to the system of contingents and enlisting; that the cavalry and light troops should be essentially formed out of the contingents of the subjects—in the Cimbrian campaign, for instance, contingents were summoned from as far as Bithynia; and that in the case of the infantry of the line, while the former arrangement of obligation to service was not abolished, every free-born burgess should at the same time be permitted voluntarily to enter the army as was first done by Marius in 647.

To this was added the reducing the infantry of the line to a level, which is likewise to be referred to Marius. The Roman method of aristocratic classification had hitherto prevailed also within the legion. Each of the four divisions of the -velites-, the -hastati-, the -principes-, and the -triarii—-or, as we may say, the vanguard, the first, second, and third line—had hitherto possessed its special qualification for service, as respected property or age, and in great part also its distinctive equipment; each had its definite place once for all assigned in the order of battle; each had its definite military rank and its own standard. All these distinctions were now superseded. Any one admitted as a legionary at all needed no further qualification in order to serve in any division; the discretion of the officers alone decided as to his place. All distinctions of armour were set aside, and consequently all recruits were uniformly trained. Connected, doubtless, with this change were the various improvements which Marius introduced in the armament, the carrying of the baggage, and similar matters, and which furnish an honourable evidence of his insight into the practical details of the business of war and of his care for his soldiers; and more especially the new method of drill devised by Publius Rutilius Rufus (consul 649) the comrade of Marius in the African war. It is a significant fact, that this method considerably increased the military culture of the individual soldier, and was essentially based upon the training of the future gladiators which was usual in the fighting- schools of the time. The arrangement of the legion became totally different. The thirty companies (-manipuli-) of heavy infantry, which— each in two sections (-centuriae-) composed respectively of 60 men in the first two, and of 30 men in the third, division—had hitherto formed the tactical unit, were replaced by 10 cohorts (-cohortes-) each with its own standard and each of 6, or often only of 5, sections of 100 men apiece; so that, although at the same time 1200 men were saved by the suppression of the light infantry of the legion, yet the total numbers of the legion were raised from 4200 to from 5000 to 6000 men. The custom of fighting in three divisions was retained, but, while previously each division had formed a distinct corps, it was in future left to the general to distribute the cohorts, of which he had the disposal, in the three lines as he thought best. Military rank was determined solely by the numerical order of the soldiers and of the divisions. The four standards of the several parts of the legion—the wolf, the ox with a man's head, the horse, the boar—which had hitherto probably been carried before the cavalry and the three divisions of heavy infantry, disappeared; there came instead the ensigns of the new cohorts, and the new standard which Marius gave to the legion as a whole—the silver eagle. While within the legion every trace of the previous civic and aristocratic classification thus disappeared, and the only distinctions henceforth occurring among the legionaries were purely military, accidental circumstances had some decades earlier given rise to a privileged division of the army alongside of the legions— the bodyguard of the general. Hitherto selected men from the allied contingents had formed the personal escort of the general; the employment of Roman legionaries, or even men voluntarily offering themselves, for personal service with him was at variance with the stern disciplinary obligations of the mighty commonwealth. But when the Numantine war had reared an army demoralized beyond parallel, and Scipio Aemilianus, who was called to check the wild disorder, had not been able to prevail on the government to call entirely new troops under arms, he was at least allowed to form, in addition to a number of men whom the dependent kings and free cities outside of the Roman bounds placed at his disposal, a personal escort of 500 men composed of volunteer Roman burgesses (p. 230). This cohort drawn partly from the better classes, partly from the humbler personal clients of the general, and hence called sometimes that of the friends, sometimes that of the headquarters (-praetoriani-), had the duty of serving in the latter (-praetorium-) in return for which it was exempt from camp and entrenching service and enjoyed higher pay and greater repute.

Political Significance of the Marian Military Reform

This complete revolution in the constitution of the Roman army seems certainly in substance to have originated from purely military motives; and on the whole to have been not so much the work of an individual, least of all of a man of calculating ambition, as the remodelling which the force of circumstances enjoined in arrangements which had become untenable. It is probable that the introduction of the system of inland enlistment by Marius saved the state in a military point of view from destruction, just as several centuries afterwards Arbogast and Stilicho prolonged its existence for a time by the introduction of foreign enlistment. Nevertheless, it involved a complete—although not yet developed—political revolution. The republican constitution was essentially based on the view that the citizen was at the same time a soldier, and that the soldier was above all a citizen; there was an end of it, so soon as a soldier-class was formed. To this issue the new system of drill, with its routine borrowed from the professional gladiator, could not but lead; the military service became gradually a profession. Far more rapid was the effect of the admission—though but limited—of the proletariate to participate in military service; especially in connection with the primitive maxims, which conceded to the general an arbitrary right of rewarding his soldiers compatible only with very solid republican institutions, and gave to the capable and successful soldier a sort of title to demand from the general a share of the moveable spoil and from the stale a portion of the soil that had been won. While the burgess or farmer called out under the levy saw in military service nothing but a burden to be undertaken for the public good, and in the gains of war nothing but a slight compensation for the far more considerable loss brought upon him by serving, it was otherwise with the enlisted proletarian. Not only was he for the moment solely dependent upon his pay, but, as there was no Hotel des Invalides nor even a poorhouse to receive him after his discharge, for the future also he could not but wish to abide by his standard, and not to leave it otherwise than with the establishment of his civic status, His only home was the camp, his only science war, his only hope the general—what this implied, is clear. When Marius after the engagement on the Raudine plain unconstitutionally gave Roman citizenship on the very field of battle to two cohorts of Italian allies en masse for their brave conduct, he justified himself afterwards by saying that amidst the noise of battle he had not been able to distinguish the voice of the laws. If once in more important questions the interest of the army and that of the general should concur to produce unconstitutional demands, who could be security that then other laws also would not cease to be heard amid the clashing of swords? They had now the standing army, the soldier-class, the bodyguard; as in the civil constitution, so also in the military, all the pillars of the future monarchy were already in existence: the monarch alone was wanting. When the twelve eagles circled round the Palatine hill, they ushered in the reign of the Kings; the new eagle which Gaius Marius bestowed on the legions proclaimed the near advent of the Emperors.

Political Projects of Marius

There is hardly any doubt that Marius entered into the brilliant prospects which his military and political position opened up to him. It was a sad and troubled time. Men had peace, but they were not glad of having it; the state of things was not now such as it had formerly been after the first mighty onset of the men of the north on Rome, when, so soon as the crisis was over, all energies were roused anew in the fresh consciousness of recovered health, and had by their vigorous development rapidly and amply made up for what was lost. Every one felt that, though able generals might still once and again avert immediate destruction, the commonwealth was only the more surely on the way to ruin under the government of the restored oligarchy; but every one felt also that the time was past when in such cases the burgess-body came to its own help, and that there was no amendment so long as the place of Gaius Gracchus remained empty. How deeply the multitude felt the blank that was left after the disappearance of those two illustrious youths who had opened the gates to revolution, and how childishly in fact it grasped at any shadow of a substitute, was shown by the case of the pretended son of Tiberius Gracchus, who, although the very sister of the two Gracchi charged him with fraud in the open Forum, was yet chosen by the people in 655 as tribune solely on account of his usurped name. In the same spirit the multitude exulted in the presence of Gaius Marius; how should it not? He, if any one, seemed the right man—he was at any rate the first general and the most popular name of his time, confessedly brave and upright, and recommended as regenerator of the state by his very position aloof from the proceedings of party—how should not the people, how should not he himself, have held that he was so! Public opinion as decidedly as possible favoured the opposition. It was a significant indication of this, that the proposal to have the vacant stalls in the chief priestly colleges filled up by the burgesses instead of the colleges themselves—which the government had frustrated in the comitia in 609 by the suggestion of religious scruples—was carried in 650 by Gnaeus Domitius without the senate having been able even to venture a serious resistance. On the whole it seemed as if nothing was wanted but a chief, who should give to the opposition a firm rallying point and a practical aim; and this was now found in Marius.

For the execution of his task two methods of operation offered themselves; Marius might attempt to overthrow the oligarchy either as -imperator- at the head of the army, or in the mode prescribed by the constitution for constitutional changes: his own past career pointed to the former course, the precedent of Gracchus to the latter. It is easy to understand why he did not adopt the former plan, perhaps did not even think of the possibility of adopting it The senate was or seemed so powerless and helpless, so hated and despised, that Marius conceived himself scarcely to need any other support in opposing it than his immense popularity, but hoped in case of necessity to find such a support, notwithstanding the dissolution of the army, in the soldiers discharged and waiting for their rewards. It is probable that Marius, looking to Gracchus' easy and apparently almost complete victory and to his own resources far surpassing those of Gracchus, deemed the overthrow of a constitution four hundred years old, and intimately bound up with the manifold habits and interests of the body-politic arranged in a complicated hierarchy, a far easier task than it was. But any one, who looked more deeply into the difficulties of the enterprise than Marius probably did, might reflect that the army, although in the course of transition from a militia to a body of mercenaries, was still during this state of transition by no means adapted for the blind instrument of a coup d'etat, and that an attempt to set aside the resisting elements by military means would have probably augmented the power of resistance in his antagonists. To mix up the organized armed force in the struggle could not but appear at the first glance superfluous and at the second hazardous; they were just at the beginning of the crisis, and the antagonistic elements were still far from having reached their last, shortest, and simplest expression.

The Popular Party

Marius therefore discharged the army after his triumph in accordance with the existing regulation, and entered on the course traced out by Gaius Gracchus for procuring to himself supremacy in the state by undertaking its constitutional magistracies. In this enterprise he found himself dependent for support on what was called the popular party, and sought his allies in its leaders for the time being all the more, that the victorious general by no means possessed the gifts and experiences requisite for the command of the streets. Thus the democratic party after long insignificance suddenly regained political importance. It had, in the long interval from Gaius Gracchus to Marius, materially deteriorated. Perhaps the dissatisfaction with the senatorial government was not now less than it was then; but several of the hopes, which had brought to the Gracchi their most faithful adherents, had in the meanwhile been recognized as illusory, and there had sprung up in many minds a misgiving that this Gracchan agitation tended towards an issue whither a very large portion of the discontented were by no means willing to follow it. In fact, amidst the chase and turmoil of twenty years there had been rubbed off and worn away very much of the fresh enthusiasm, the steadfast faith, the moral purity of effort, which mark the early stages of revolutions. But, if the democratic party was no longer what it had been under Gaius Gracchus, the leaders of the intervening period were now as far beneath their party as Gaius Gracchus had been exalted above it. This was implied in the nature of the case. Until there should emerge a man having the boldness like Gaius Gracchus to grasp at the supremacy of the state, the leaders could only be stopgaps: either political novices, who gave furious vent to their youthful love of opposition and then, when duly accredited as fiery declaimers and favourite speakers, effected with more or less dexterity their retreat to the camp of the government party; or people who had nothing to lose in respect of property and influence, and usually not even anything to gain in respect of honour, and who made it their business to obstruct and annoy the government from personal exasperation or even from the mere pleasure of creating a noise. To the former sort belonged, for instance, Gaius Memmius(5) and the well-known orator Lucius Crassus, who turned the oratorical laurels which they had won in the ranks of the opposition to account in the sequel as zealous partisans of the government.


But the most notable leaders of the popular party about this time were men of the second sort. Such were Gaius Servilius Glaucia, called by Cicero the Roman Hyperbolus, a vulgar fellow of the lowest origin and of the most shameless street-eloquence, but effective and even dreaded by reason of his pungent wit; and his better and abler associate, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, who even according to the accounts of his enemies was a fiery and impressive speaker, and was at least not guided by motives of vulgar selfishness. When he was quaestor, the charge of the importation of corn, which had fallen to him in the usual way, had been withdrawn from him by decree of the senate, not so much perhaps on account of maladministration, as in order to confer this—just at that time popular—office on one of the heads of the government party, Marcus Scaurus, rather than upon an unknown young man belonging to none of the ruling families. This mortification had driven the aspiring and sensitive man into the ranks of the opposition; and as tribune of the people in 651 he repaid what he had received with interest. One scandalous affair had at that time followed hard upon another. He had spoken in the open market of the briberies practised in Rome by the envoys of king Mithradates—these revelations, compromising in the highest degree the senate, had wellnigh cost the bold tribune his life. He had excited a tumult against the conqueror of Numidia, Quintus Metellus, when he was a candidate for the censorship in 652, and kept him besieged in the Capitol till the equites liberated him not without bloodshed; the retaliatory measure of the censor Metellus—the expulsion with infamy of Saturninus and of Glaucia from the senate on occasion of the revision of the senatorial roll—had only miscarried through the remissness of the colleague assigned to Metellus. Saturninus mainly had carried that exceptional commission against Caepio and his associates(6) in spite of the most vehement resistance by the government party; and in opposition to the same he had carried the keenly-contested re-election of Marius as consul for 652. Saturninus was decidedly the most energetic enemy of the senate and the most active and eloquent leader of the popular party since Gaius Gracchus; but he was also violent and unscrupulous beyond any of his predecessors, always ready to descend into the street and to refute his antagonist with blows instead of words.

Such were the two leaders of the so-called popular party, who now made common cause with the victorious general. It was natural that they should do so; their interests and aims coincided, and even in the earlier candidatures of Marius Saturninus at least had most decidedly and most effectively taken his side. It was agreed between them that for 654 Marius should become a candidate for a sixth consulship, Saturninus for a second tribunate, Glaucia for the praetorship, in order that, possessed of these offices, they might carry out the intended revolution in the state. The senate acquiesced in the nomination of the less dangerous Glaucia, but did what it could to hinder the election of Marius and Saturninus, or at least to associate with the former a determined antagonist in the person of Quintus Metellus as his colleague in the consulship. All appliances, lawful and unlawful, were put in motion by both parties; but the senate was not successful in arresting the dangerous conspiracy in the bud. Marius did not disdain in person to solicit votes and, it was said, even to purchase them; in fact, at the tribunician elections when nine men from the list of the government party were proclaimed, and the tenth place seemed already secured for a respectable man of the same complexion Quintus Nunnius, the latter was set upon and slain by a savage band, which is said to have been mainly composed of discharged soldiers of Marius. Thus the conspirators gained their object, although by the most violent means. Marius was chosen as consul, Glaucia as praetor, Saturninus as tribune of the people for 654; the second consular place was obtained not by Quintus Metellus, but by an insignificant man, Lucius Valerius Flaccus: the confederates might proceed to put into execution the further schemes which they contemplated and to complete the work broken off in 633.

The Appuleian Laws

Let us recall the objects which Gaius Gracchus pursued, and the means by which he pursued them. His object was to break down the oligarchy within and without. He aimed, on the one hand, to restore the power of the magistrates, which had become completely dependent on the senate, to its original sovereign rights, and to re-convert the senatorial assembly from a governing into a deliberative board; and, on the other hand, to put an end to the aristocratic division of the state into the three classes of the ruling burgesses, the Italian allies, and the subjects, by the gradual equalization of those distinctions which were incompatible with a government not oligarchical. These ideas the three confederates revived in the colonial laws, which Saturninus as tribune of the people had partly introduced already (651), partly now introduced (654).(7) As early as the former year the interrupted distribution of the Carthaginian territory had been resumed primarily for the benefit of the soldiers of Marius—not the burgesses only but, as it would seem, also the Italian allies—and each of these veterans had been promised an allotment of 100 -jugera-, or about five times the size of an ordinary Italian farm, in the province of Africa. Now not only was the provincial land already available claimed in its widest extent for the Romano-Italian emigration, but also all the land of the still independent Celtic tribes beyond the Alps, by virtue of the legal fiction that through the conquest of the Cimbri all the territory occupied by these had been acquired de jure by the Romans. Gaius Marius was called to conduct the assignations of land and the farther measures that might appear necessary in this behalf; and the temple-treasures of Tolosa, which had been embezzled but were refunded or had still to be refunded by the guilty aristocrats, were destined for the outfit of the new receivers of land. This law therefore not only revived the plans of conquest beyond the Alps and the projects of Transalpine and transmarine colonization, which Gaius Gracchus and Flaccus had sketched, on the most extensive scale; but, by admitting the Italians along with the Romans to emigration and yet undoubtedly prescribing the erection of all the new communities as burgess-colonies, it formed a first step towards satisfying the claims—to which it was so difficult to give effect, and which yet could not be in the long run refused—of the Italians to be placed on an equality with the Romans. First of all, however, if the law passed and Marius was called to the independent carrying out of these immense schemes of conquest and assignation, he would become practically—until those plans should be realized or rather, considering their indefinite and unlimited character, for his lifetime—monarch of Rome; with which view it may be presumed that Marius intended to have his consulship annually renewed, like the tribunate of Gracchus. But, amidst the agreement of the political positions marked out for the younger Gracchus and for Marius in all other essential particulars, there was yet a very material distinction between the land-assigning tribune and the land-assigning consul in the fact, that the former was to occupy a purely civil position, the latter a military position as well; a distinction, which partly but by no means solely arose out of the personal circumstances under which the two men had risen to the head of the state. While such was the nature of the aim which Marius and his comrades had proposed to themselves, the next question related to the means by which they purposed to break down the resistance—which might be anticipated to be obstinate—of the government party. Gaius Gracchus had fought his battles with the aid of the capitalist class and the proletariate. His successors did not neglect to make advances likewise to these. The equites were not only left in possession of the tribunals, but their power as jurymen was considerably increased, partly by a stricter ordinance regarding the standing commission—especially important to the merchants—as to extortions on the part of the public magistrates in the provinces, which Glaucia carried probably in this year, partly by the special tribunal, appointed doubtless as early as 651 on the proposal of Saturninus, respecting the embezzlements and other official malversations that had occurred during the Cimbrian movement in Gaul. For the benefit, moreover, of the proletariate of the capital the sum below cost price, which hitherto had to be paid on occasion of the distributions of grain for the -modius-, was lowered from 6 1/3 -asses- to a mere nominal charge of 5/6 of an -as-. But although they did not despise the alliance with the equites and the proletariate of the capital, the real power by which the confederates enforced their measures lay not in these, but in the discharged soldiers of the Marian army, who for that very reason had been provided for in the colonial laws themselves after so extravagant a fashion. In this also was evinced the predominating military character, which forms the chief distinction between this attempt at revolution and that which preceded it.

Violent Proceedings in the Voting

They went to work accordingly. The corn and colonial laws encountered, as was to be expected, the keenest opposition from the government. They proved in the senate by striking figures, that the former must make the public treasury bankrupt; Saturninus did not trouble himself about that. They brought tribunician intercession to bear against both laws; Saturninus ordered the voting to go on. They informed the magistrates presiding at the voting that a peal of thunder had been heard, a portent by which according to ancient belief the gods enjoined the dismissal of the public assembly; Saturninus remarked to the messengers that the senate would do well to keep quiet, otherwise the thunder might very easily be followed by hail. Lastly the urban quaestor, Quintus Caepio, the son, it may be presumed, of the general condemned three years before,(8) and like his father a vehement antagonist of the popular party, with a band of devoted partisans dispersed the comitia by violence. But the tough soldiers of Marius, who had flocked in crowds to Rome to vote on this occasion, quickly rallied and dispersed the city bands, and on the voting ground thus reconquered the vote on the Appuleian laws was successfully brought to an end. The scandal was grievous; but when it came to the question whether the senate would comply with the clause of the law that within five days after its passing every senator should on pain of forfeiting his senatorial seat take an oath faithfully to observe it, all the senators took the oath with the single exception of Quintus Metellus, who preferred to go into exile. Marius and Saturninus were not displeased to see the best general and the ablest man among the opposing party removed from the state by voluntary banishment.

The Fall of the Revolutionary Party

Their object seemed to be attained; but even now to those who saw more clearly the enterprise could not but appear a failure. The cause of the failure lay mainly in the awkward alliance between a politically incapable general and a street-demagogue, capable but recklessly violent, and filled with passion rather than with the aims of a statesman. They had agreed excellently, so long as the question related only to plans. But when the plans came to be executed, it was very soon apparent that the celebrated general was in politics utterly incapable; that his ambition was that of the farmer who would cope with and, if possible, surpass the aristocrats in titles, and not that of the statesman who desires to govern because he feels within him the power to do so; that every enterprise, which was based on his personal standing as a politician, must necessarily even under the most favourable circumstances be ruined by himself.

Opposition of the Whole Aristocracy

He knew neither the art of gaining his antagonists, nor that of keeping his own party in subjection. The opposition against him and his comrades was even of itself sufficiently considerable; for not only did the government party belong to it in a body, but also a great part of the burgesses, who guarded with jealous eyes their exclusive privileges against the Italians; and by the course which things took the whole class of the wealthy was also driven over to the government. Saturninus and Glaucia were from the first masters and servants of the proletariate and therefore not at all on a good footing with the moneyed aristocracy, which had no objection now and then to keep the senate in check by means of the rabble, but had no liking for street-riots and violent outrages. As early as the first tribunate of Saturninus his armed bands had their skirmishes with the equites; the vehement opposition which his election as tribune for 654 encountered shows clearly how small was the party favourable to him. It should have been the endeavour of Marius to avail himself of the dangerous help of such associates only in moderation, and to convince all and sundry that they were destined not to rule, but to serve him as the ruler. As he did precisely the contrary, and the matter came to look quite as if the object was to place the government in the hands not of an intelligent and vigorous master, but of the mere -canaille-, the men of material interests, terrified to death at the prospect of such confusion, again attached themselves closely to the senate in presence of this common danger. While Gaius Gracchus, clearly perceiving that no government could be overthrown by means of the proletariate alone, had especially sought to gain over to his side the propertied classes, those who desired to continue his work began by producing a reconciliation between the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.

Variance between Marius and the Demogogues

But the ruin of the enterprise was brought about, still more rapidly than by this reconciliation of enemies, through the dissension which the more than ambiguous behaviour of Marius necessarily produced among its promoters. While the decisive proposals were brought forward by his associates and carried after a struggle by his soldiers, Marius maintained an attitude wholly passive, just as if the political leader was not bound quite as much as the military, when the brunt of battle came, to present himself everywhere and foremost in person. Nor was this all; he was terrified at, and fled from the presence of, the spirits which he had himself evoked. When his associates resorted to expedients which an honourable man could not approve, but without which in fact the object of their efforts could not be attained, he attempted, in the fashion usual with men whose ideas of political morality are confused, to wash his hands of participation in those crimes and at the same time to profit by their results. There is a story that the general once conducted secret negotiations in two different rooms of his house, with Saturninus and his partisans in the one, and with the deputies of the oligarchy in the other, talking with the former of striking a blow against the senate, and with the latter of interfering against the revolt, and that under a pretext which was in keeping with the anxiety of the situation he went to and fro between the two conferences—a story as certainly invented, and as certainly appropriate, as any incident in Aristophanes. The ambiguous attitude of Marius became notorious in the question of the oath. At first he seemed as though he would himself refuse the oath required by the Appuleian laws on account of the informalities that had occurred at their passing, and then swore it with the reservation, "so far as the laws were really valid"; a reservation which annulled the oath itself, and which of course all the senators likewise adopted in swearing, so that by this mode of taking the oath the validity of the laws was not secured, but on the contrary was for the first time really called in question.

The consequences of this behaviour—stupid beyond parallel—on the part of the celebrated general soon developed themselves. Saturninus and Glaucia had not undertaken the revolution and procured for Marius the supremacy of the state, in order that they might be disowned and sacrificed by him; if Glaucia, the favourite jester of the people, had hitherto lavished on Marius the gayest flowers of his jovial eloquence, the garlands which he now wove for him were by no means redolent of roses and violets. A total rupture took place, by which both parties were lost; for Marius had not a footing sufficiently firm singly to maintain the colonial law which he had himself called in question and to possess himself of the position which it assigned to him, nor were Saturninus and Glaucia in a condition to continue on their own account the work which Marius had begun.

Saturninus Isolated
Saturninus Assailed and Overpowered

But the two demagogues were so compromised that they could not recede; they had no alternative save to resign their offices in the usual way and thereby to deliver themselves with their hands bound to their exasperated opponents, or now to grasp the sceptre for themselves, although they felt that they could not bear its weight. They resolved on the latter course; Saturninus would come forward once more as a candidate for the tribunate of the people for 655, Glaucia, although praetor and not eligible for the consulship till two years had elapsed, would become a candidate for the latter. In fact the tribunician elections were decided entirely to their mind, and the attempt of Marius to prevent the spurious Tiberius Gracchus from soliciting the tribuneship served only to show the celebrated man what was now the worth of his popularity; the multitude broke the doors of the prison in which Gracchus was confined, bore him in triumph through the streets, and elected him by a great majority as their tribune. Saturninus and Glaucia sought to control the more important consular election by the expedient for the removal of inconvenient competitors which had been tried in the previous year; the counter-candidate of the government party, Gaius Memmius—the same who eleven years before had led the opposition against them(9)—was suddenly assailed by a band of ruffians and beaten to death. But the government party had only waited for a striking event of this sort in order to employ force. The senate required the consul Gaius Marius to interfere, and the latter in reality professed his readiness now to draw for the conservative party the sword, which he had obtained from the democracy and had promised to wield on its behalf. The young men were hastily called out, equipped with arms from the public buildings, and drawn up in military array; the senate itself appeared under arms in the Forum, with its venerable chief Marcus Scaurus at its head. The opposite party were doubtless superior in a street-riot, but were not prepared for such an attack; they had now to defend themselves as they could. They broke open the doors of the prisons, and called the slaves to liberty and to arms; they proclaimed— so it was said at any rate—Saturninus as king or general; on the day when the new tribunes of the people had to enter on their office, the 10th of December 654, a battle occurred in the great market-place—the first which, since Rome existed, had ever been fought within the walls of the capital. The issue was not for a moment doubtful. The Populares were beaten and driven up to the Capitol, where the supply of water was cut off from them and they were thus compelled to surrender. Marius, who held the chief command, would gladly have saved the lives of his former allies who were now his prisoners; Saturninus proclaimed to the multitude that all which he had proposed had been done in concert with the consul: even a worse man than Marius was could not but shudder at the inglorious part which he played on this day. But he had long ceased to be master of affairs. Without orders the youth of rank climbed the roof of the senate-house in the Forum where the prisoners were temporarily confined, stripped off the tiles, and with these stoned their victims. Thus Saturninus perished with most of the more notable prisoners. Glaucia was found in a lurking-place and likewise put to death. Without sentence or trial there died on this day four magistrates of the Roman people—a praetor, a quaestor, and two tribunes of the people—and a number of other well-known men, some of whom belonged to good families. In spite of the grave faults by which the chiefs had invited on themselves this bloody retribution, we may nevertheless lament them: they fell like advanced posts, which are left unsupported by the main army and are forced to perish without aim in a conflict of despair.

Ascendency of the Government
Marius Politically Annihilated

Never had the government party achieved a more complete victory, never had the opposition suffered a more severe defeat, than on this 10th of December. It was the least part of the success that they had got rid of some troublesome brawlers, whose places might be supplied any day by associates of a like stamp; it was of greater moment that the only man, who was then in a position to become dangerous to the government, had publicly and completely effected his own annihilation; and most important of all that the two elements of the opposition, the capitalist order and the proletariate, emerged from the strife wholly at variance. It is true that this was not the work of the government; the fabric which had been put together by the adroit hands of Gaius Gracchus had been broken up, partly by the force of circumstances, partly and especially by the coarse and boorish management of his incapable successor; but in the result it mattered not whether calculation or good fortune helped the government to its victory. A more pitiful position can hardly be conceived than that occupied by the hero of Aquae and Vercellae after such a disaster—all the more pitiful, because people could not but compare it with the lustre which only a few months before surrounded the same man. No one either on the aristocratic or the democratic side any longer thought of the victorious general on occasion of filling up the magistracies; the hero of six consulships could not even venture to become a candidate in 656 for the censorship. He went away to the east, ostensibly for the purpose of fulfilling a vow there, but in reality that he might not be a witness of the triumphant return of his mortal foe Quintus Metellus; he was allowed to go. He returned and opened his house; his halls stood empty. He always hoped that conflicts and battles would occur and that the people would once more need his experienced arm; he thought to provide himself with an opportunity for war in the east, where the Romans might certainly have found sufficient occasion for energetic interference. But this also miscarried, like every other of his wishes; profound peace continued to prevail. Yet the longing after honours once aroused within him, the oftener it was disappointed, ate the more deeply into his heart. Superstitious as he was, he cherished in his bosom an old oracular saying which had promised him seven consulships, and in gloomy meditation brooded over the means by which this utterance was to obtain its fulfilment and he his revenge, while he appeared to all, himself alone excepted, insignificant and innocuous.

The Equestrian Party

Still more important in its consequences than the setting aside of the dangerous man was the deep exasperation against the Populares, as they were called, which the insurrection of Saturninus left behind in the party of material interests. With the most remorseless severity the equestrian tribunals condemned every one who professed oppositional views; Sextus Titius, for instance, was condemned not so much on account of his agrarian law as because he had in his house a statue of Saturninus; Gaius Appuleius Decianus was condemned, because he had as tribune of the people characterized the proceedings against Saturninus as illegal. Even for earlier injuries inflicted by the Populares on the aristocracy satisfaction was now demanded, not without prospect of success, before the equestrian tribunals. Because Gaius Norbanus had eight years previously in concert with Saturninus driven the consular Quintus Caepio into exile(10) he was now (659) on the ground of his own law accused of high treason, and the jurymen hesitated long—not whether the accused was guilty or innocent, but whether his ally Saturninus or his enemy Caepio was to be regarded as the most deserving of their hate—till at last they decided for acquittal. Even if people were not more favourably disposed towards the government in itself than before, yet, after having found themselves, although but for a moment, on the verge of a real mob-rule, all men who had anything to lose viewed the existing government in a different light; it was notoriously wretched and pernicious for the state, but the anxious dread of the still more wretched and still more pernicious government of the proletariate had conferred on it a relative value. The current now set so much in that direction that the multitude tore in pieces a tribune of the people who had ventured to postpone the return of Quintus Metellus, and the democrats began to seek their safety in league with murderers and poisoners—ridding themselves, for example, of the hated Metellus by poison—or even in league with the public enemy, several of them already taking refuge at the court of king Mithradates who was secretly preparing for war against Rome. External relations also assumed an aspect favourable for the government. The Roman arms were employed but little in the period from the Cimbrian to the Social war, but everywhere with honour. The only serious conflict was in Spain, where, during the recent years so trying for Rome (649 seq.), the Lusitanians and Celtiberians had risen with unwonted vehemence against the Romans. In the years 656-661 the consul Titus Didius in the northern and the consul Publius Crassus in the southern province not only re-established with valour and good fortune the ascendency of the Roman arms, but also razed the refractory towns and, where it seemed necessary, transplanted the population of the strong mountain-towns to the plains. We shall show in the sequel that about the same time the Roman government again directed its attention to the east which had been for a generation neglected, and displayed greater energy than had for long been heard of in Cyrene, Syria, and Asia Minor. Never since the commencement of the revolution had the government of the restoration been so firmly established, or so popular. Consular laws were substituted for tribunician; restrictions on liberty replaced measures of progress. The cancelling of the laws of Saturninus was a matter of course; the transmarine colonies of Marius disappeared down to a single petty settlement on the barbarous island of Corsica. When the tribune of the people Sextus Titius—a caricatured Alcibiades, who was greater in dancing and ball-playing than in politics, and whose most prominent talent consisted in breaking the images of the gods in the streets at night—re-introduced and carried the Appuleian agrarian law in 655, the senate was able to annul the new law on a religious pretext without any one even attempting to defend it; the author of it was punished, as we have already mentioned, by the equites in their tribunals. Next year (656) a law brought in by the two consuls made the usual four-and-twenty days' interval between the introduction and the passing of a project of law obligatory, and forbade the combination of several enactments different in their nature in one proposal; by which means the unreasonable extension of the initiative in legislation was at least somewhat restricted, and the government was prevented from being openly taken by surprise with new laws. It became daily more evident that the Gracchan constitution, which had survived the fall of its author, was now, since the multitude and the moneyed aristocracy no longer went together, tottering to its foundations. As that constitution had been based on division in the ranks of the aristocracy, so it seemed that dissensions in the ranks of the opposition could not but bring about its fall. Now, if ever, the time had come for completing the unfinished work of restoration of 633, for making the Gracchan constitution share the fate of the tyrant, and for replacing the governing oligarchy in the sole possession of political power.

Collision between the Senate and Equites in the Administration of the Provinces

Everything depended on recovering the nomination of the jurymen. The administration of the provinces—the chief foundation of the senatorial government—had become dependent on the jury courts, more particularly on the commission regarding exactions, to such a degree that the governor of a province seemed to administer it no longer for the senate, but for the order of capitalists and merchants. Ready as the moneyed aristocracy always was to meet the views of the government when measures against the democrats were in question, it sternly resented every attempt to restrict it in this its well-acquired right of unlimited sway in the provinces. Several such attempts were now made; the governing aristocracy began again to come to itself, and its very best men reckoned themselves bound, at least for their own part, to oppose the dreadful maladministration in the provinces. The most resolute in this respect was Quintus Mucius Scaevola, like his father Publius -pontifex maximus- and in 659 consul, the foremost jurist and one of the most excellent men of his time. As praetorian governor (about 656) of Asia, the richest and worst-abused of all the provinces, he—in concert with his older friend, distinguished as an officer, jurist, and historian, the consular Publius Rutilius Rufus— set a severe and deterring example. Without making any distinction between Italians and provincials, noble and ignoble, he took up every complaint, and not only compelled the Roman merchants and state-lessees to give full pecuniary compensation for proven injuries, but, when some of their most important and most unscrupulous agents were found guilty of crimes deserving death, deaf to all offers of bribery he ordered them to be duly crucified. The senate approved his conduct, and even made it an instruction afterwards to the governors of Asia that they should take as their model the principles of Scaevola's administration; but the equites, although they did not venture to meddle with that highly aristocratic and influential statesman himself, brought to trial his associates and ultimately (about 662) even the most considerable of them, his legate Publius Rufus, who was defended only by his merits and recognized integrity, not by family connection. The charge that such a man had allowed himself to perpetrate exactions in Asia, almost broke down under its own absurdity and under the infamy of the accuser, one Apicius; yet the welcome opportunity of humbling the consular was not allowed to pass, and, when the latter, disdaining false rhetoric, mourning robes, and tears, defended himself briefly, simply, and to the point, and proudly refused the homage which the sovereign capitalists desired, he was actually condemned, and his moderate property was confiscated to satisfy fictitious claims for compensation. The condemned resorted to the province which he was alleged to have plundered, and there, welcomed by all the communities with honorary deputations, and praised and beloved during his lifetime, he spent in literary leisure his remaining days. And this disgraceful condemnation, while perhaps the worst, was by no means the only case of the sort. The senatorial party was exasperated, not so much perhaps by such abuse of justice in the case of men of stainless walk but of new nobility, as by the fact that the purest nobility no longer sufficed to cover possible stains on its honour. Scarcely was Rufus out of the country, when the most respected of all aristocrats, for twenty years the chief of the senate, Marcus Scaurus at seventy years of age was brought to trial for exactions; a sacrilege according to aristocratic notions, even if he were guilty. The office of accuser began to be exercised professionally by worthless fellows, and neither irreproachable character, nor rank, nor age longer furnished protection from the most wicked and most dangerous attacks. The commission regarding exactions was converted from a shield of the provincials into their worst scourge; the most notorious robber escaped with impunity, if he only indulged his fellow-robbers and did not refuse to allow part of the sums exacted to reach the jury; but any attempt to respond to the equitable demands of the provincials for right and justice sufficed for condemnation. It seemed as if the intention was to bring the Roman government into the same dependence on the controlling court, as that in which the college of judges at Carthage had formerly held the council there. The prescient expression of Gaius Gracchus was finding fearful fulfilment, that with the dagger of his law as to the jurymen the world of quality would lacerate itself.

Livius Drusus

An attack on the equestrian courts was inevitable. Every one in the government party who was still alive to the fact that governing implies not merely rights but also duties, every one in fact who still felt any nobler or prouder ambition within him, could not but rise in revolt against this oppressive and disgraceful political control, which precluded any possibility of upright administration. The scandalous condemnation of Rutilius Rufus seemed a summons to begin the attack at once, and Marcus Livius Drusus, who was tribune of the people in 663, regarded that summons as specially addressed to himself. Son of the man of the same name, who thirty years before had primarily caused the overthrow of Gaius Gracchus(11) and had afterwards made himself a name as an officer by the subjugation of the Scordisci,(12) Drusus was, like his father, of strictly conservative views, and had already given practical proof that such were his sentiments in the insurrection of Saturninus. He belonged to the circle of the highest nobility, and was the possessor of a colossal fortune; in disposition too he was a genuine aristocrat—a man emphatically proud, who scorned to bedeck himself with the insignia of his offices, but declared on his death-bed that there would not soon arise a citizen like to him; a man with whom the beautiful saying, that nobility implies obligation, was and continued to be the rule of his life. With all the vehement earnestness of his temperament he had turned away from the frivolity and venality that marked the nobles of the common stamp; trustworthy and strict in morals, he was respected rather than properly beloved on the part of the common people, to whom his door and his purse were always open, and notwithstanding his youth, he was through the personal dignity of his character a man of weight in the senate as in the Forum. Nor did he stand alone. Marcus Scaurus had the courage on occasion of his defence in the trial for extortion publicly to summon Drusus to undertake a reform of the judicial arrangements; he and the famous orator, Lucius Crassus, were in the senate the most zealous champions of his proposals, and were perhaps associated with him in originating them. But the mass of the governing aristocracy was by no means of the same mind with Drusus, Scaurus, and Crassus. There were not wanting in the senate decided adherents of the capitalist party, among whom in particular a conspicuous place belonged to the consul of the day, Lucius Marcius Philippus, who maintained the cause of the equestrian order as he had formerly maintained that of the democracy(13) with zeal and prudence, and to the daring and reckless Quintus Caepio, who was induced to this opposition primarily by his personal hostility to Drusus and Scaurus. More dangerous, however, than these decided opponents was the cowardly and corrupt mass of the aristocracy, who no doubt would have preferred to plunder the provinces alone, but in the end had not much objection to share the spoil with the equites, and, instead of taking in hand the grave and perilous struggle against the haughty capitalists, reckoned it far more equitable and easy to purchase impunity at their hands by fair words and by an occasional prostration or even by a round sum. The result alone could show how far success would attend the attempt to carry along with the movement this body, without which it was impossible to attain the desired end.

Attempt at Reform on the Part of the Moderate Party

Drusus drew up a proposal to withdraw the functions of jurymen from the burgesses of equestrian rating and to restore them to the senate, which at the same time was to be put in a position to meet its increased obligations by the admission of 300 new members; a special criminal commission was to be appointed for pronouncing judgment in the case of those jurymen who had been or should be guilty of accepting bribes. By this means the immediate object was gained; the capitalists were deprived of their political exclusive rights, and were rendered responsible for the perpetration of injustice. But the proposals and designs of Drusus were by no means limited to this; his projects were not measures adapted merely for the occasion, but a comprehensive and thoroughly-considered plan of reform. He proposed, moreover, to increase the largesses of grain and to cover the increased expense by the permanent issue of a proportional number of copper plated, alongside of the silver, -denarii-; and then to set apart all the still undistributed arable land of Italy—thus including in particular the Campanian domains—and the best part of Sicily for the settlement of burgess-colonists. Lastly, he entered into the most distinct obligations towards the Italian allies to procure for them the Roman franchise. Thus the very same supports of power and the very same ideas of reform, on which the constitution of Gaius Gracchus had rested, presented themselves now on the side of the aristocracy—a singular, and yet easily intelligible coincidence. It was only to be expected that, as the -tyrannis- had rested for its support against the oligarchy, so the latter should rest for its support against the moneyed aristocracy, on the paid and in some degree organized proletariate; while the government had formerly accepted the feeding of the proletariate at the expense of the state as an inevitable evil, Drusus now thought of employing it, at least for the moment, against the moneyed aristocracy. It was only to be expected that the better part of the aristocracy, just as it formerly consented to the agrarian law of Tiberius Gracchus, would now readily consent to all those measures of reform, which, without touching the question of a supreme head, only aimed at the cure of the old evils of the state. In the question of emigration and colonization, it is true, they could not go so far as the democracy, since the power of the oligarchy mainly rested on their free control over the provinces and was endangered by any permanent military command; the ideas of equalizing Italy and the provinces and of making conquests beyond the Alps were not compatible with conservative principles. But the senate might very well sacrifice the Latin and even the Campanian domains as well as Sicily in order to raise the Italian farmer class, and yet retain the government as before; to which fell to be added the consideration, that they could not more effectually obviate future agitations than by providing that all the land at all disposable should be brought to distribution by the aristocracy itself, and that according to Drusus' own expression, nothing should be left for future demagogues to distribute but "the street-dirt and the daylight." In like manner it was for the government—whether that might be a monarch, or a close number of ruling families—very much a matter of indifference whether the half or the whole of Italy possessed the Roman franchise; and hence the reforming men on both sides probably could not but coincide in the idea of averting the danger of a recurrence of the insurrection of Fregellae on a larger scale by a judicious and reasonable extension of the franchise, and of seeking allies, moreover, for their plans in the numerous and influential Italians. Sharply as in the question of the headship of the state the views and designs of the two great political parties differed, the best men of both camps had many points of contact in their means of operation and in their reforming tendencies; and, as Scipio Aemilianus may be named alike among the adversaries of Tiberius Gracchus and among the promoters of his reforming efforts, so Drusus was the successor and disciple no less than the antagonist of Gaius. The two high-born and high-minded youthful reformers had a greater resemblance than was apparent at the first glance; and, personally also, the two were not unworthy to meet, as respects the substance of their patriotic endeavours, in purer and higher views above the obscuring mists of prejudiced partisanship.

Discussions on the Livian Laws

The question at stake was the passing of the laws drawn up by Drusus. Of these the proposer, just like Gaius Gracchus, kept in reserve for the moment the hazardous project of conferring the Roman franchise on the Italian allies, and brought forward at first only the laws as to the jurymen, the assignation of land, and the distribution of grain. The capitalist party offered the most vehement resistance, and, in consequence of the irresolution of the greater part of the aristocracy and the vacillation of the comitia, would beyond question have carried the rejection of the law as to jurymen, if it had been put to the vote by itself. Drusus accordingly embraced all his proposals in one law; and, as thus all the burgesses interested in the distributions of grain and land were compelled to vote also for the law as to jurymen, he succeeded in carrying the law with their help and that of the Italians, who stood firmly by Drusus with the exception of the large landowners, particularly those in Umbria and Etruria, whose domanial possessions were threatened. It was not carried, however, until Drusus had caused the consul Philippus, who would not desist from opposition, to be arrested and carried off to prison by a bailiff. The people celebrated the tribune as their benefactor, and received him in the theatre by rising up and applauding; but the voting had not so much decided the struggle as transferred it to another ground, for the opposite party justly characterized the proposal of Drusus as contrary to the law of 656(14) and therefore as null.

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