Gracchi

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Gracchi

Gracchi (grăk´ī), two Roman statesmen and social reformers, sons of the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and of Cornelia. The brothers were brought up with great care by their mother. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, d.133 BC, the elder of the Gracchi, fought at Carthage (146 BC) and in Spain (137). Alarmed at the state of Italy and the provinces, where the middle class was being totally eliminated by concentration of wealth and lands in the hands of a few, Tiberius stood for the tribunate of the people in 133 BC as an avowed reformer. On his election he immediately proposed and succeeded in passing the Sempronian Law (Lex Sempronia Agraria), a modification of the Licinian Rogations (see agrarian laws), which sought to redistribute the public lands that the rich had taken over. Tiberius' colleague Octavius vetoed the law, and Tiberius, by immediately holding an unconstitutional referendum, deposed Octavius. Later in the year Attalus III, king of Pergamum, died and bequeathed his property to Rome; Tiberius proposed to use the bequest to provide capital for the paupers who were to settle the lands allotted under the Sempronian Law. It was now election time, and Tiberius renominated himself; the senate declared this action illegal and had the election postponed. In a great riot on the following day Tiberius was killed. His brother, Caius Sempronius Gracchus, d.121 BC, became the organizer of the reform movement begun by Tiberius. After serving (126) as quaestor in Sardinia, he returned to Rome and was elected (123) tribune of the people. Setting out to complete his brother's work, he immediately initiated a series of remarkable social reforms. The chief aim of these reforms was to unite the plebs and the equites, thus undermining the authority of the senate. The Lex Frumentaria benefited the small landholders by reappropriating the proceeds of the tax on allotted lands. The senate, which had formerly used this money for the aggrandizement of the aristocracy, was now required to use it for the good of the poor. In the Lex Judiciaria, Caius won over the equites by granting them control over the judgeships that had heretofore belonged to the senate. Caius was reelected (122) tribune, but the counterproposals of Marcus Livius Drusus began to gain popularity, and the following year Caius was defeated for reelection. Repeal of his measures was proposed, and in the ensuing riots Caius was killed. Within 10 years the reaction had annulled every Gracchan reform, and the social and political war began again, this time to culminate in the fatal and bloody struggle of Marius and Sulla.

See study by H. C. Boren (1969).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gracchi
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.