Tiberius Gracchus

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TIBERIUS GRACCHUS
In 133 BC, Rome faced the problem of depopulation and decreasing military service. This problem arose when most of the undistributed land fell into the hands of the rich who continued to use unlawful methods to take possession of lands near their own or lands that belonged to the poor so that they could have bigger farms. A large number of slaves were employed to work on the lands and for this, the rich continued to gain wealth and power (Appian. R. Hist. Ex. 7). Even though the Romans were worried about the large number of slaves and diminishing number of armies, reformation was not considered as it was not easy or fair to them (Appian R. Hist. Ex. 8). This was until a noble man named Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus became Tribune and introduced a bill to redistribute the land (Appian. R. Hist. Ex. 9). The motivations of Tiberius Gracchus are indistinct and this led to many debates on his intentions for this reformation of Rome. This essay will be discussing the motives of Tiberius Gracchus. His motives are divided into three key aspects which are economic motives, social motives and political motives.

One of the popular beliefs is that Tiberius Gracchus was motivated by political reasons and his own ambitions for power. This is because the actions of Tiberius Gracchus did seem revolutionary to many. For example when he disregarded the authority of the Senate by bringing his land-bill that states that no one is allowed to hold 500 iugera of land and that the children could occupy half the amount straight to the Popular Assembly without going through the Senate (Appian R. Hist. Ex. 9). His actions were based on his knowledge that there will be no fair hearing as most of the senators owned large properties and will be the ones with the biggest loss if the land bill was passed (Scullard 1982 : 26). Other than that, when Tiberius Gracchus passed the law on redistribution of land, the wealthy who are blinded by greed strongly opposed the...
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