But, above all, efforts were made to complete the democratic
restoration and to realize the leading ideas of the Gracchan period
in a form suitable to the times. The election of the priests
by the comitia, which Gnaeus Domitius had introduced(2) and Sulla
had again done away,(3) was established by a law of the tribune
of the people Titus Labienus in 691.
The democrats were fond
of pointing out how much was still wanting towards the restoration
of the Sempronian corn-laws in their full extent, and at the same
time passed over in silence the fact that under the altered
circumstances--with the straitened condition of the public finances
and the great increase in the number of fully-privileged Roman
citizens--that restoration was absolutely impracticable.
In the country between the Po and the Alps they zealously fostered
the agitation for political equality with the Italians.