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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
VIII. THE GREAT AGE OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC, 264-31 B.C.
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TIBERIUS AND GAIUS GRACCHUS
In 133 B.C., a year otherwise made memorable by the final subjugation of Spain and the acquisition of Asia, efforts began Rome to remedy some of the disorders which were now seen to be sapping the strength of Roman society. The first persons to undertake the work of reform were the two brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. The Gracchi belonged to the highest nobility of Rome. Their father had filled a consulship and a censorship and had celebrated triumphs. Cornelia, their mother, was a daughter of Scipio Africanus, the conqueror of Hannibal. A fine type of the Roman matron, she called her boys her "jewels," more precious than gold, and brought them up to love their country better than their own lives. Tiberius, the elder brother, was only thirty years of age when he became a tribune and began his career in Roman politics.
AGRARIAN LAW OF TIBERIUS GRACCHUS
Tiberius signalized his election to the tribunate by bringing forward his celebrated agrarian law. He proposed that the public lands of Rome, then largely occupied by wealthy men who alone had the money necessary to work them with cattle and slaves, should be reclaimed by the state, divided into small tracts, and given to the poorer citizens. By getting the people back again on the soil, Tiberius hoped to revive the declining agriculture of Italy.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy