The Gracchi Brothers Essay

The Gracchi Brothers Essay

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Upon expansion of the Roman Empire, lie trials and tribulations for the government to rule the foreign lands and keep the population in check. The Gracchi brothers grew up during a time when the Roman Empire was still under civil unrest. The Roman people were divided, lands were unevenly distributed, the government was disorderly, patriotism ceased to exist, and slave labor made it harder for citizens to uproot themselves from poverty. Tiberius, the elder brother, was the first to bring up the agrarian laws, and was followed after his death by his younger brother, Gaius Gracchus. The brothers knew of the significance of winning the side of the commoners to assert their power over the empire. By ways of the agrarian laws, and other reforms, the two brothers were able to win control of the masses, leaving the senate to fear what could happen if these two rise in power. According to Gaius Gracchus, “in a certain pamphlet, has written that as Tiberius was passing through Tuscany on his way to Numantia, and observed the dearth of inhabitants in the country, and that those who tilled its soil or tended its flocks there were imported barbarian slaves, he then first conceived the public policy which was the cause of countless ills to the two brothers.” (Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus 8.7)
Tiberius was a man of just reasoning and great honor. To have been a son of Tiberius Gracchus the elder, virtue was one of the traits that would pass along with his name. Tiberius married the daughter of the great Scipio who defeated Hannibal. This not only added to his fame, but also provided support. “We are told, moreover, that he once caught a pair of serpents on his bed, and that the soothsayers, after considering the prodigy, forbade him ...

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“Having first stirred up the people with such words as these (and he had a very loud voice, and was most vigorous in his speaking), he introduced two laws, one providing that if the people had deprived any magistrate of his office, such magistrate should not be allowed to hold office a second time; and another providing that if any magistrate had banished a citizen without trial, such magistrate should be liable to public prosecution.” (Plutarch, Caius Gracchus 4.1)

Works Cited

1. Morey, William C. "Outlines of Roman History, Chapter 19." Forum Romanum. 1901. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .
2. "The Early Republic." The Roman Empire. Web. 24 Apr. 2011. .
3. Kamm, Antony. "Chapter 2: The Republic." The Romans: an Introduction. London: Routledge, 2008. Print.

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