The Tragedy of the Gracchi

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 The Disaster of the Gracchi Essay

Research Composition

The Glory That Was Rome

Toby Aan

12 months 12

Particular date Due: sixth March, 2013

Date Published: 6th 03, 2013

The tragedy with the Gracchi " lay in the methods that they adopted rather than the ends they sought. ” How appropriate is this analysis of the function of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus?

As the Gracchi siblings were encouraged by the significant need for reform and equality in the Roman state, the methods they adopted led to equally their personal failure, and their violent, untimely ends. Equally brothers were " genuinely committed to the interest of the people”[1], however the means adopted to fulfil their very good intentions just led to disaster and unhappiness. In looking to implement political reform and break the monopoly of the Senate, Tiberius caused a divided system and two polarised politics factions. In attempting to put into practice agrarian change and resolve the monetary and armed forces issues at the time, the brothers undermined the Senate, triggering hostility, dread and physical violence. Fundamentally, in attempting to restore sovereignty to the Roman persons, the Gracchi gave them more power than they may wield, turning the Both roman political program into " mob-rule”[2]. Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus had highly effective ideas about how to solve the political, economical and cultural issues tormenting Rome at the time, however the personal strategies and methods found in order to apply these steps only resulted in conflict and failure.

Following your Second Punic War, the Senate acquired shown the Roman People that it was able of company leadership – and with power and responsibility came certain liberties. After all, it was the noble ideal to " serve the state while gaining elegancia for the individual”[3]. While these types of privileges experienced never significantly been inhibited, during the latter part of the second century, " members of the lording it over clique were enjoying each of the privileges of government without coping with the serious conditions that now started to confront the state”[4]. Sallust details how:

" One select few of oligarchs had almost everything in its control alike in peace and war – the value, the pays, public offices, all distinctions and triumphs... while the spoils of war were snatched by the generals and distributed to a handful of good friends. ”[5]

As a result, the Senators were more concerned with their individual wealth compared to the welfare of the Roman people. It is vital to keep in mind that while the people had been sovereign, there were never a sense of real equality: as Polybius describes, Roman society was " aristocratic”[6], my spouse and i. e. senatorial. Tiberius Gracchus, the old of the two brothers, observed the need for personal reform, and immediately after becoming elected as being a tribune in 133, " brought to a head the question of who should control Rome”[7] and began an attempt to break the senatorial monopoly. Tiberius, suggested and affected by the left-wing Stoic, Blossius of Cumae, was grounded in his idea in " economic and political equality of mankind”[8], and therefore, wanted to give power back to those. While this is a simple and benevolent idea in rule, Tiberius' ways to achieve his goal are not so smart. Rather than seeking to clean up the Senate and work with the oligarchy to achieve a more egalitarian political composition, Tiberius attempted to surpass the Senate completely, breaking an 100 year-old standard practice by taking his lex agraria proposal right to the Householder's Assembly without prior consultation in the Senate[9]. During your stay on island had always been two factors that made the Roman state, the Senate and the People, Cicero claims that for the first time, Tiberius had divided them[10]: his attempt to override the Senate triggered a divided political system and a divided state. As such, Tiberius' plans to get political reform were held back again from realization due to his attempt to take away the power of the Senate, which will only resulted in polarisation and conflict.

The attempt to override the power of the Senate did not...

Bibliography: Beck, J. The value of the Gracchi, (1986), Macquarie University, NSW.

Bernstein, A. H. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus: Tradition and Apostasy, (1978), Cornell University Press, Birmingham.

Bradley, S. Ancient Rome: Using Facts, (1990), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Livingstone, S. The Gracchi Friends: Does the End Justify the Means?, (2001), Bookhouse, Sydney.

Sallust. The Jugurthine Warfare, trans. A. J. Woodman, (2007), Penguin, London.

Scullard, H. L. From the Gracchi to Nero, (1959), Butler and Exceder, London.

Stockton, D. The Gracchi, (1979), Clarendon Press, Oxford.

[2]Scullard, H. H. From the Gracchi to Nero, (1959), Retainer and Exceder, London. l. 23

[3]Bradley, P