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utterly forgotten the interests of the State, now being under-
mined. Appius Claudius, his father-in-law, who had been
both consul and censor ; Publius Mucins Scsevola, the great
lawyer and founder of scientific jurisprudence ; his brother,
Publius Crassus Mucianus ; the Pontifex Maximus ; Quintus
Metellus,. the conqueror of Macedonia — all men of the highest
rank and universally respected, entered into his schemes of

This patriotic patrician was elected tribune b. c. 134, at a
time when political mismanagement, moral decay, the de-
cline of burgesses, and the increase of slaves, were most
apparent. So Gracchus, after entering upon his office, pro-
posed the enaction of an agrarian law, by which all State
lands, occupied by the possessors without remuneration,
should revert to the State, except five hundred jugera for
himself, and tw r o hundred and fifty for each son. The

Chap. XXXV.] The Reforms of Gracchus. 491

domain land thus resumed was to be divided into lots of
thirty jugera, and these distributed to burgesses and Italian
allies, not as free property, but inalienable leaseholds, for
which they paid reut to the State. This was a

_ . His reforms.

declaration oi war upon the great landholders.
The proposal of Gracphus was paralyzed by the vote of his
colleague, Marcus Octavius. Gracchus then, in his turn,
suspended the business of the State and the administration
of justice, and placed his seal on the public chest. The gov-
ernment was obliged to acquiesce. Gracchus, also, as the year
was drawing to a close, brought his law to the vote a second
time. Again it was vetoed by Octavius. Gracchus- then, at
the invitation of the consuls, discussed the matter in the
Senate ; but the Senate, composed of great proprietors, would
not yield. Ail constitutional means were now exhausted,
and Gracchus must renounce his reform or begin a revolu-

He chose the latter. Before the assembled people he de-
manded that his colleague should be deposed, His unlawful
which was against all the customs, and laws, and movements,
precedents of the past. The assembly, composed chiefly
of the proletarians who had come from the country — the
Comitia Tributa — voted according to his proposal, and
Octavius was removed by the lietors from the tribune bench ?
and then the agrarian law was passed by acclamation. The
commissioners chosen to confiscate and redistribute the lands
were Tiberius Gracchus, his brother Gaius, and his father-in-
law Appius Claudius, which family selection vastly increased
the indignation of the Senate, who threw every obstacle in
the way.

The author of the law, fearing for his personal safety, no .
longer appeared in the forum without a retinue of three
or four thousand men, another cause of bitter hatred on
the part of the aristocracy. He also sought to be re-elected
tribune, but the Assembly broke up without a choice. The
next day the election terminated in the same manner, and it
was rumored in the city that Tiberius had deposed all the

402 The Reform Movement. [Chap. xxxv.

tribunes, and was resolved to continue in office without re-
election. A tumult, originating w ith the Senate,

His death

was the result. A mob of senators rushed through
the streets, with fury in their eyes and clubs in their hands.
The people gave way, and Gracchus was slain on the slope
of the capitol. The Senate officially sanctioned the outrage,
on the ground that Tiberius meditated the usurpation of
supreme power.

In regard to the author of this agrarian law, there is no
Character of doubt he was patriotic in his intentions, was public-
Gracchus. spirited, and wished to revive the older and better
days of the republic. I do not believe he contemplated the
usurpation of supreme jjower. I doubt if he was ambitious,
as Cassar was. But he did not comprehend the issues at
stake, and the shock he was giving to the constitution of his
country. He was like Mirabeau, that other aristocratic re-
former, who voted for the spoliation of the church property
of France, on the ground, which that leveling sentimentalist
Rousseau had advanced, that the church property belonged
to the nation. But this plea, in both cases, was sophistical.
It was, doubtless, a great evil that the property of the State
had fallen into the hands of wealthy proprietors, as it was an
evil that half the landed property of France was in possession
of the clergy. But, in both cases, this property had beeu
enjoyed uninterruptedly for centuries by the possessors, and, to
all intents and purposes, was private property. And this law
of confiscation was therefore an encroachment on the rights
of property, in all its practical bearings. It appeared to the
jurists of that age to be an ejection of the great landholders
for the benefit of the proletarians. The measure itself was
therefore not without injustice, desirable as a division of
property might be. But the mode to effect this division was
incompatible with civilization itself. It was an appeal to
revolutionary forces. It was setting aside all constitutional
Nature of checks and usages. It was a defiance of the Senate,
his reform. t ] ie g reat ru ]i n g body of the State. It was an ap-
peal to the people to overturn the laws. It was like assetu-

Chap, xxxv.] Character of Gracchus. 493

bling the citizens of London to override the Parliament. It
was like the French revolution, when the Assembly was dic-
tated to by the clubs. Robespierre may have been sincere
and patriotic, but he was a fanatic, fierce and uncompromis-
ing. So was Gracchus. In setting aside his colleagues, to
accomplish what he deemed a good end, he did evil. When,
this rich patrician collected the proletarian burgesses to
decree against the veto of the tribune that the public prop-
erty should be distributed among them, he struck a vital
blow on the constitution of his country, and made a step
toward monarchy, for monarchy was only reached through
the democracy — was only brought about by powerful dema-
gogues. And hence the verdict of the wise and judicious
will be precisely that of the leading men of Rome at the time,
even that of Cornelia herself: " Shall then our house have no
end of madness ? Have we not enough to be ashamed of in
*be disorganization of the State?"

The law of Tiberius Gracchus survived its author. The
Senate had not power to annul it, though it might slay its
author. The work of redistribution continued, even as the
National Assembly of France sanctioned the legislation of
preceding revolutionists. And in consequence of the law,
there was, in six years, an increase of burgesses capable of
bearing arms, of seventy-six thousand. But so many evils
attended the confiscation and redistribution of the public
domain — so many acts of injustice were perpetrated — there
was such gross mismanagement, that the consul Scipio JEmil-
ianus intervened, and by a decree of the people, through his
influence, the commission was withdrawn, and the matter
w T as left to the consuls to adjudicate, which was virtually the
suspension of the law itself. For this intervention Scipio
lost his popularity, unbounded as it had been, even as Daniel
Webster lost his prestige and influence when he made his
7th of March speech — the fate of all great men, however
great, when they oppose popular feelings and Thedeatll0 f
interests, whether they are right or wrong. Scipio, Sci p 10 -
the hero of three wars, not only lost his popularity, but his

494 The Reform Movement. [Chap. xxxv.

life. He was found murdered in his bed at the age of fifty-
six. " Scipio's assassination was the democratic reply to the
aristocratic massacre of Tiberius Gracchus." The greatest
general of the age, a man of unspotted moral purity, and
political unselfishness, and generous patriotism, could not
escape the vengeance of a baffled populace, b. c. 129.

The distribution of land ceased, but the revolution did not
GamsGrac- stop. The soul of Tiberius Gracchus "was march-
ing on." A new hero appeared in his brother,
Gaius Gracchus, nine years younger — a man who had no
relish for vulgar pleasures, — brave, cultivated, talented, ener-
getic, vehement. A master of eloquence, he drew the people ;
consumed with a passion for revenge, he led them on to
revolutionary measures. He was elected tribune in the year
123, and at once declared war on the aristocratic party, to
which by birth he belonged.

He inaugurated revolutionary measures, by proposing to
the people a law which should allow the tribune to solicit a
re-election. He then, to gain the people and secure ma-
terial power, enacted that every burgess should be allowed,
monthly, a definite quantity of corn from the public stores
at about half the average price. And he caused a law to be
passed that the existing order of voting in the Comitia Cen-
turiata, according to which the five property classes voted
first, should be done away with, and that all the centuries
should vote in the order to be determined by lot. He also
caused a law to be passed that no citizen should enlist in the
army till seventeen, nor be compelled to serve in the army
more than twenty years. These measures all had the effect
to elevate the democracy.

He also sought to depress the aristocracy, by dividing its
lie makes ranks. The old aristocracy embraced chiefly the

war on the . . -

aristocracy, governing class, and were the chiet possessors of
landed property. But a new aristocracy of the rich had
grown up, composed of speculators, who managed the mer-
cantile transactions of the Roman world. The old sena-
torial aristocracy were debarred by the Claudian ordinance

CnAP. XXXY.] The Equestrian Order. 495

from mercantile pursuits, and were merely sleeping partners
in the great companies, managed by the speculators. But
the new aristocracy, under the name of the equestrian order,
began at this time to have political influence. Originally,
the equestrians were aburgess cavalry; but gradually all who
possessed estates of four hundred thousand sesterces were lia-
ble to cavalry service, and became enrolled in the order, which
thus comprehended the whole senatorial and non-senatorial
noble society of Rome. In process of time, the TheEqnes-
senators were exempted from cavalry service, and
were thus marked off from the list of those liable to do cav-
alry service. The equestrian order then, at last, compre-
hended the aristocracy of rich men, in contradistinction from
the Senate. And a natural antipathy accordingly grew
up between the old senatorial aristocracy and the men to
whom money had given rank. The ruling lords stood
aloof from the speculators ; and were better friends of
the people than the new moneyed aristocrats, since they,
brought directly in contact with the people, oppressed them,
and their greediness and injustice were not usually counten-
anced by the Senate. The two classes of nobles had united
to put down Tiberius Gracchus ; but a deep gulf still yawned
between them, for no class of aristocrats was ever more
exclusive than the governing class at Rome, confined chiefly
to the Senate. The Roman Senate was like the House of
Peers in England, when the peers had a preponderating polit-
ical power, and whose property lay in landed estates.

Gracchus raised the power of the equestrians by a law
which provided that the farming of the taxes raised in the
provinces should be sold at auction at Rome. A The specula .
gold mine was thus opened for the speculators. tors -
He also caused a law to be passed which required the judges
of civil and criminal cases to be taken from the equestrians,
a privilege before enjoyed by the Senate. And thus a sena-
tor, impeached for his conduct as provincial governor, was
now tried, not as before, by his peers, but by merchants and

496 The Reform Movement. [Chap. xxxy.

Gracchus, by the aid of the proletarians and the mercan-
tile class, then proceeded to the overthrow of the ruling
aristocracy, especially in the functions of legislation, which
had belonged to the Senate. By means of comitial laws and
The power tribunician dictation, he restricted the business of
curtailed. the Senate. He meddled with the public chest by
distributing corn at half its value ; he meddled with the
domains by sending colonies by decrees of the people ; he
meddled with provincial administration by overturning the
regulations which had been made by the Senate. He also
sought to re-enforce the Senate by three hundred new mem-
bers from the equestrians elected by the comitia, a creation
of peers which would have reduced the Senate to dependence
on the chief of the State. But this he did not succeed in

It is singular that he could have earned these measures
during his term, of office, two years, for he was re-elected,
Radical re- with so little opposition— a proof of the power of
forms. ^ ne mon eyed classes, such, perhaps, as are now

represented by the Commons of England. The great change
he sought to effect was the re-election of magistrates — an un-
limited tribuneship, which was truly Napoleonic. And he
knew what he was doing. He was not a fanatic, but a
statesman of great ability, seeking to break the oligarchy,
and transfer its powers to the tribunes of the people. He
desired a firm administration, but resting on continuous indi-
vidual usurpations. He was a political incendiary, like Mira-
beau. He was the true founder of that terrible civic proleta-
riate, which, flattered by the classes above it, led to the
usurpations of Sulla and Csesar. He is the author of the
great change, which in one hundred years was effected, of
transferring power from the Senate to an emperor. He fur-
nished the tactics for all succeeding demagogues.

Great revolutionists are doomed to experience the loss of
Gracchus popularity, and Gracchus lost his by an attempt
popularity, to extend the Roman franchise to the people of
the provinces. The Senate and the mob here united to pre-

Chap. XXXV.] Death of Gracchus. 497

vent what was ultimately effected. The Senate seized the
advantage hy inciting a rival demagogue, in the person of
Marcus Livius Drusus, to propose laws which gave still
greater privileges to the equestrians. The Senate bid for
popularity, as English prime ministers have retained place,
by granting more to the people than their rivals would have
granted. The Livian laws, which released the proletarians
from paying rent for their lands, were ratified by the people as
readily as the Sempronian laws had been. The foundation of
the despotism of Gracchus was thus assailed by the Senate
uniting with the proletarians. An opportunity was only
wanted to effect his complete overthrow.

On the expiration of two years, Gracchus ceased to he tri-
bune, and his enemy, Lucius Opimius, a stanch aristocrat,
entered upon his office. The attack on the ex-tribune was
made by prohibiting the restoration of Carthage, which Grac-
chus had sought to effect, and which was a popular measure.
On the day when the burgesses assembled with a view to
reject the measure which Gracchus had previously secured,
he appeared with a large body of adherents. An attendant
on the consul demanded their dispersion, on which he was
cut down by a zealous Gracchian. On this, a tumult arose.
Gracchus in vain sought to be heard, and even interrupted a
tribune in the act of speaking, which was against an obsolete
law. This offense furnished a pretense for the Senate and the
citizens to arm. Gracchus retired to the temple of Castor,
and passed the night, while the capitol was filled with armed
men. The next day, he fled beyond the Tiber, but Gracchus
the Senate placed a price upon his head, and he was assassinated -
overtaken and slain. Three thousand of his adherents were
strangled in prison, and the memory of the Gracchi remained
officially proscribed. But Cornelia put on mourning for her
last son, and his name became embalmed in the hearts of
the democracy.

Thus perished Gaius Gracchus, a wiser man than his brother
— a man who attempted greater changes, and did „. ,

r o o » His charao-

not defy the constitutional forms. He was, undoubt- ter -


498 The Reform Movement. [Chap. XXXV.

edly, patriotic in his intentions, but the reforms which he
projected were radical, and would have changed the whole
structure of government. It Avas the consummation of the
war against the patrician oligarchy. Whether wise or fool-
ish, it is not for me to give an opinion, since such an opinion
is of no account, and would imply equally a judgment as to
the relative value of an aristocratical or democratic form of
government, in a corrupt age of Roman society. This is a
mooted point, and I am not capable of settling it. The eiforts
of the Gracchi to weaken the power of the ruling noble houses
formed a precedent for subsequent reforms, or usurpations, as
they are differently regarded, and led the way to the rule of
demagogues, to be supplanted in time by that of emperors,
with unbounded military authority.



The fall of the Gracchi restored Rome to the rule of the
oligarchy. The government of the Senate was resumed, and
a war of prosecution was carried on against the followers of
Gracchus. His measures were allowed to drop. The claims
of the Italian allies were disregarded, the noblest of all the
schemes of the late tribune, that of securing legal equality
between the Roman burgesses and their Italian allies. The
restoration of Carthage was set aside. Italian colonies were
broken up. The allotment commission was abolished, and a
fixed rent was imposed on the occupants of the public do-
mains, but the proletariate of the capital continued to have
a distribution of corn, and jurymen or judges (judices) were
still selected from the mercantile classes. The Senate con-
tinued to be composed of effeminated nobles, and insignificant
persons were raised to the highest offices.

The administration, under the restoration, was feeble and
unpopular. Social evils spread with alarming rapidity.
Both slavery and great fortunes increased. The provinces
were miserably governed, while pirates and robbers pillaged
the countries around the Mediterranean. There was a great
revolt of slaves in Sicily, who gained, for a time, the mastery
of the island.

While public affairs were thus disgracefully managed, a
war broke out between Numidia and Rome. That The Numid .
African kingdom extended from the river Moloc- iiin war -
hath to the great Syrtis on the one hand, and to Gyrene and
Egypt on the other, and included the greatest part of the
ancient Carthaginian territories. Numidia, next to Egypt,

500 Jugurthan and Cirribrian Wars. [Chap, xxxyi.

was the most important of the Roman client States. On the
fall of Carthage, it was lulled by the eldest son of Masinassa,
Micipsa, a feeble old man, who devoted himself to the study
of philosophy, rather than affairs of State. The government
was really in the hands of his nephew, Jugurtha,
ugur a ' courageous, sagacious, and able. He was adopted
by Micipsa, to rule in conjunction with his two sons, Adher-
bal and Hiempsal. In the year b. c. 118 Micipsa died, and a
collision arose, as was to be expected, among his heirs.
Hiempsal was assassinated, and the struggle for the ISTumid-
ian crown lay between Adherbal and Jugurtha. The latter
seized the whole territory, and Adherbal escaped to Rome,
and laid his complaint before the Senate. Jugurtha's envoys
also appeared, and the Senate decreed that the two heirs
should have the kingdom equally divided between them, but
Jugurtha obtained the more fertile western half.

Then war arose between the two kings, and Adherbal was
defeated, and retired to his capital, Aita, where he was
besieged by Jugurtha. Adherbal made his complaints to
Rome, and a commission of aristocratic but inexperienced
young men came to the camp of Jugurtha to arrange the
difficulties. Jugurtha rejected their demands, and the young
men returned home. Adherbal sent again messengers to
Rome, being closely pressed, demanding intervention. The
Senate then sent Marcus Scaurus, who held endless debates
with Jugurtha, at Utica, to which place he was summoned.
These were not attended with any results. Scaurus returned
to Rome, and Jugurtha pressed the siege of Aita, which soon
capitulated. Adherbal was executed with cruel torture, and
the adult population was put to the sword.

A cry of indignation arose in Italy. The envoys of Jugur-
tha were summarily dismissed, and Scaurus was sent to
Africa with an army, but a peace with Rome was purchased
by the African prince through the bribery of the generals.
The legal validity of the peace was violently assailed in the
Senate, and Massiva, a grandson of Masinissa, then in Rome,
laid claim to the Numidian throne. But this prince was

Chap, xxxvl] Metellus. 501

assassinated by one of the confidants of Jugurtha, which out-
rage, perpetrated under the eyes of the Roman government,
led to a renewed declaration of war, and Spurius Albinus
was intrusted with the command of an army. But Jugurtha
bribed the Roman general into inaction, and captured the
Roman camp. This resulted in the evacuation of N"umidia >
and a second treaty of peace.

Such an ignoble war created intense dissatisfaction at
Rome, and the Senate w r as obliged to cancel the treaty,
and renewed the war in earnest, intrusting the conduct of
it to Quintus Metellus, an aristocrat, of course,
but a man of great ability. Selecting for his
lieutenants able generals, he led over his army to Africa.
Jugurtha made proposals of peace, which were refused, and
he prepared for a desperate defense. Intrenched on a ridge
of hills in the wide plain of Muthul, he awaited the attack
of his enemies, but was signally defeated by Metellus, assisted
by Marius, a brave plebeian, who had arisen from a common
soldiers. After this battle Jugurtha contented himself with
a guerrilla warfare, while his kingdom was occupied by the
conquerors. Metellus even intrigued to secure the assassi-
nation of the king.

The war continued to be prosecuted without decisive
results, as is so frequently the case when civilized r>ifflculties
nations fight with barbarians. Like the war of ofthe war -
Charlemagne against the Saxons, victories were easily
obtained, but the victors gained unsubstantial advantages.
Jugurtha retired to inaccessible deserts with his children, his
treasures, and his best troops, to await better times. Nnmi-
dia was seemingly reduced, but its king remained in arms.

It was then, in the third year of the renewed war, that
Metellus w T as recalled, and Marius, chosen consul,
was left with the supreme command. But even he
did not find it easy, with a conquering army, to seize Jugur-
tha, and he was restricted to a desultory war. At last
Bocchus, king of Mauritania, slighted by the Romans, but
in alliance with Jugurtha, effected by treachery what could

502 Jugurthan, and Cimbrian Wars. [Chap. XXXVI.

not be gained by arms. He entered into negotiations with
Marins to deliver up the king of Numidia, who had married
his daughter, and had sought his protection. Marius sent
Sulla to consummate the treachery. Jugurtha, the traitor,
was thus in turn sacrificed, and became a Roman prisoner.

This miserable war lasted seven years, and its successful
close of the termination secured to Marius a splendid triumph,
war - at which the conquered king, with his two sons,

appeared in chains before the triumphal car, and was then
executed in the subterranean prison on the Capitoline Hill.

Numidia was not converted into a Roman province, but
Ee iits of * nt0 a cnen t State, because the country could not
the war. "b e held without an army on the frontiers. The
Jugurthan war was important in its consequences, since it
brought to light the venality of the governing lords, and
made it evident that Rome must be governed by a degene-
rate and selfish oligarchy, or by a tyrant, whether in the
form of a demagogue, like Gracchus, or a military chieftain,
like Marius.

But a more difficult war than that waged against the
barbarians of the African deserts was now to be con-
ducted against the barbarians of European forests. The war
with the Cimbri was also more important in its
The Cimbn. p iitical results. There had been several encoun-
ters with the northern nations of Spain, Gaul, and Italy,
under different names, with different successes, which it
would be tedious to describe. But the contest with the
Cimbri has a great and historic interest, since they were the
first of the Germanic tribes with which the Romans con-

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