had thrown the Gauls, or Celtic populations inhabiting | Cassius-namely, a compromise on the subject of debts the western portion of Central Europe, into commotion; (not, however, an abolition of them); and an agrarian and bursting from their native haunts, a mass of law, prohibiting any citizen from occupying more than these savages crossed the Alps in quest of plunder and five hundred jugera (about 330 acres) of the public land, settlements, established a permanent abode in the and depriving all who exceeded that quantity of the country adjacent to the Po, and pushed their destruc- surplus for distribution among the indigent commons. tive way through almost the whole length of the penin- To these he added a proposal for constitutional reformsula. Rome suffered more severely than any other namely, that the military tribunate should be abolished, city. For several months (364-5, or B. c. 390–89) it and that the consulship should be reverted to, one of was in the possession of the savages—its rightful inha- the consuls to be of necessity a plebeian. After a hard bitants, routed in battle, having dispersed themselves struggle, these important measures were carried in the for safety through the surrounding country. At length, year of the city 384, nineteen years after the Gaulish however, the Gauls were bribed to return to their homes invasion. Under these Licinian Laws, as they were in the north, leaving Rome in ruins.

called, the state enjoyed tolerable repose for a long

period of years—the principal source of disturbance GRADCAL CONQUEST OF THE PENINSULA—ITALY UNDER being the attempts of the wealthy citizens to evade the

operation of the agrarian law. The next great moreThe invasion of the Gauls is a great notch in the ment was in the year of the city 416, when, under the line of the Roman annals. From this epoch to the auspices of a plebeian dictator (for the dictatorship time of the complete subjugation of the peninsula by had also been thrown open to the plebeians), a conthe Romans (365–490, or B.C. 389–264) is a period of siderable simplification of the constitution was effected. 125 years. Of this period, the first fifty years were it was now rendered essential that one of the censors spent in repairing the shattered Commonwealth. Her should be a plebeian; and the old patrician body of the strength having been fairly renewed, the republic shook curies was struck out of the machinery of the legislaoff all impediments, announced to Latins and Herni- ture, so as to leave the business of the state in the cans that she required their co-operation no longer, and hands of the senate (itself become partly a plebeian boldly declared her resolution to conquer central Italy. body) and the people. Met in their centuries, the The series of wars against Etruscans, Latins, Hernicans, people could only accept or reject the measures proGauls, Volscians, and Samnites, sometimes singly, and posed by the senate; but met in their tribes, they could sometimes in combination, by which she carried her originate a measure, and oblige the senate to consider resolution into effect, is usually known in Roman it. Thus sometimes in the shape of a matured scheme history by the general designation of the Samnite descending from the senate to the people, sometimes in Wars' (412-463), the Samnites being the leaders in the shape of a popular resolution sent up to the senate, this onset of the nations on Rome, the issue of which a measure became law. From this simplification of was to determine whether Rome or Samnium should the constitution commences, according to historians, govern Italy. Extricating herself by her valour from the golden age of Roman politics. The extension of this confused conflict of nations, Rome, about the year dominion in the Samnite wars, by providing a large 463, found herself mistress of Central Italy-Samnites, subject - population inferior both to patricians and Latins, &c. all her subjects. A consequence of the plebeians, disposed these bodies to forget their diffe. conduct of the Latins and Hernicans during these Sam- rences, and to fall back upon their common consciousnite wars was, that the famous triple confederacy be ness of Roman citizenship. During the Samnite wars, tween these two nations and the Romans was brought however, a third party appeared in the field claiming to an end precisely when it had fully served its pur- political rights. These were the Ærarians, the name pose, and when its longer continuance would have im- applied to all those residents in town pursuing mepeded the growth in Italy of that Roman unity which chanical occupations, who, as not belonging to any of it bad fostered. • The Samnite Wars' were succeeded the tribes (now thirty-three in number), did not rank by a short but brisk war, designated in Roman history as citizens. The claims of this class the city rabble,

the War with Pyrrhus and the Greeks in Italy.' as both patricians and plebeians called it—were supPyrrhus was an able and enterprising Greek prince, ported by a daring and able patrician, Appius Claudius, Thom the Greek towns of southern Italy-fearful of who, during his censorship, admitted ærarians into all being overwhelmed by the conquering barbarians, as the tribes indiscriminately. Eventually, however, a they called them, of the Tiber, before whom even the compromise was effected : the ærarians were enrolled Samnites had given way-had invited over from his in the four city tribes, thus obtaining some influence, natire kingdom of Epirus, that he might place himself but not so much as Appius seemed to destine for them. at the head of a confederacy which they were forming It appears to have been at some period also during against Rome. Full of enmity towards their con- the Samnite wars that a modification took place in querors, all the recently-subdued nations of Central and the constitution of the comitia centuriata, the leading Northern Italy welcomed the arrival of Pyrrhus; and feature of which seems to have been a blending of the all southern Italy followed his standard. His enter- tribes with the centuries, so as to accommodate the asprise, however, failed, notwithstanding several victories; sembly to the altered state of society and the altered and about the year B.c. 275, Pyrrhus having withdrawn scale of wealth. Of the precise nature of this change, from Italy, the confederacy against the Roman Com- however, as of the precise time at which it occurred, monwealth crumbled to pieces, and the whole penin- we are ignorant. It may be considered, nevertheless, sula lay at their mercy. Before describing the manner to have perfected the Roman constitution, and to have in which the peninsula, thus acquired, was laid out adapted it for the function of maintaining the governand governed by the Romans, it will be necessary to ment of the entire peninsula. continue our narrative of the gradual development of Italy, once fairly subjugated and laid out by the the constitution within, during the period which had Romans (B.c. 266), its population may be considered as elapsed since the Gaulish invasion.

having been distributed into three political divisions The situation of Rome after the Gaulish invasion the Populus Romanus, or citizens of Rome, properly was extremely similar to what it had been after the so called; the Socii, or inhabitants of the allied and expulsion of the kings—the plebeians distressed, and dependent Italian states; and the Nomen Latinum, or many of them in slavery for debt, and the patricians citizens of the Latin name.' disposed to tyrannise. As on the former occasion there The first of these, the Populus Romanus, included the had risen up, as the best friend of the plebs, the noble whole body of the free inhabitants of the thirty-three patrician Spurius Cassius, so on this occasion there tribes or parishes north and south of the Tiber, which appeared as their champion a prudent and brave ple- constituted the Roman territory strictly so called, tobeian, Caius Licinius Stolo, a tribune of the people. gether with a considerable number of persons scattered His measures were very similar to those of Spurius over the other parts of Italy, who were also accounted citizens, either because they were colonists of Roman ' a footing in Sicily, and now shared it with the Greeks descent, or because the title had been conferred on of Syracuse; and it was on this rich island as a battlethem as an honorary distinction. The total number field that the Romans first came into conflict with of adult Roman citizens towards the end of the the merchant people of Africa. Invited over by the fifth century was under 300,000--& small proportion, Mamertines, a robber people who inhabited the northevidently, of the vast Italian mass, which consisted, eastern corner of the island, the Roman soldiers fought including the slaves, of about 5,000,000. Nor were the armies of mercenaries hired by the Carthaginians. all these equal in point of civil rights, many of them The war thus begun, the First Punic War,' as it is having the franchise, as it was called, or legal rights called, lasted twenty-three years (Y. R. 490-513, or B.C. of citizens, without the suffrage, or political rights. / 261-241). During it the Romans first learned to build The citizens with suffrage, those who voted on public ships of war, and to fight naval battles; and they were questions --- the real governing power, therefore, by soon able to defeat the Carthaginians on their own whose impulses all Italy, with its millions of inhabi- element. On land they were sure of victory against tants, was swayed, as the body is moved by the beats of mere mercenaries, collected, as these were, from all the heart-were a mere handful of men, such as might nations, and commanded by Carthaginian generals of be assembled with case in any public park or square. ordinary capacity. In 249 B.C., however, the Cartha

The Italian subjects were the inhabitants of the ginians sent over the great Hamilcar Barca to comallied or dependent states. The list of these was a long mand their forces in Sicily; and his efforts checked one, including, as it did, the various communities the Romans, who, meanwhile, had invaded Africa, and which made up the populations of Etruria, Umbria, the been repulsed. A victory or two, however, gained by Sabine territory, Sanınium, Campania, Apulia, Lucania, the Romans over other generals than Hamilcar, disMessapia, and Bruttium. All the allies, however, were posed the Carthaginians for peace, who accordingly not equally subject to Rome: the relations in which agreed (B.C. 241) to evacuate Sicily, and to pay the they stood to it were determined by the particular victors a large sum of money. The Romans then treaties which formed the separate alliances, and these, made themselves masters of Sicily; and shortly afterof course, varied according to the circumstances under wards they found a pretext for wresting Corsica and which they had been concluded. Almost all the allied Sardinia from the Carthaginians. For twenty-two years states, however, were permitted to retain their own laws, after these conquests (B.C. 241-219) the Romans were their own municipal arrangements, their own judges, &c. engaged in wars with the Cisalpine Gauls and other Throughout the peninsula, however, care was taken to nations in the north of Italy, the effect of which was destroy every vestige of nationality or a national legis- to extend their dominion to the foot of the Alps. Belature among the allies of the same race. Upon the yond the Alps, also, Illyria, a country skirting the east whole, this change from independence to subjection to coast of the Adriatic, was at this time annexed to the Rome was beneficial to the Italian nations. Not the dominions of the Commonwealth. least benefit attending it was the total abolition of Meanwhile the Carthaginians had not been idle. those wars between neighbouring states which, while During several years they had, in accordance with the the peninsula was subdivided into small independent advice of Hamilcar, been establishing their dominion territories, had raged incessantly and fiercely.

in Spain, intending to repay themselves with that fine The Nomen Latinum, or Latin name, was a fictitious peninsula for the loss of Sicily and Sardinia. Killed designation applied to a number of colonies scattered in battle by a native tribe, Hamilcar was succeeded in through the peninsula, and which, in respect of privi. Spain by his son-in-law Hasdrubal; and on his death, leges, stood in an intermediate position between the which took place soon after, Hannibal Barca, the son Roman citizens and the Italians. The name probably of Hamilcar, and then only twenty-six years of age, originated in the circumstance, that the original colo- was appointed to the command. The siege by him of nists of this description were Latins.

Saguntum, an independent Spanish town, which had It is a curious fact, that even after Rome had at- claimed the assistance of the Romans, led to the Second tained the supremacy of the peninsula, there did not Punic War (B.C. 218-201). Little did the Romans exist such a thing as even a dawning Roman litera- know what a war it was to be! Crossing the Pyrenees, ture, although the state had now existed nearly five the young Carthaginian general, the greatest military hundred years ; so much earlier than their literary commander probably, and certainly one of the ablest faculty did the native talent of the Romans for govern- men the world ever saw, pushed his way through the ing mankind develop itself. It was by their massive Gallic tribes, and effecting the passage of the Alps, character, more than by their powers of speculation or descended into Italy with an army of 12,000 Africans, expression, that they were to impress the world. 8000 Spaniards, and 6000 Carthaginian horse. Rousing

the Cisalpine Gauls, and defeating in several successive battles the Roman generals sent against him, he made

his way into the south of Italy (B.C. 217); and having Masters of Italy, it was not long before the Romans in the following year inflicted on the Romans at Canne found themselves in collision with the nations sur- the greatest defeat they had ever received, he remained rounding the great basin of the Mediterranean; and ) in Italy fifteen years (B.C. 217–202), moving hither as the last 125 years of the existence of the Roman and thither, keeping seven or eight Roman generals, state had been spent in the gradual conquest of the and among them the wary Fabius and the bold MarItalic nations, so the next 130 years (Y. R. 490-620, or cellus, continually employed, scattering the Romans B. C. 264–134) were spent in a series of conquests, by like chaff wherever he appeared, exhausting the finances which various foreign countries were reduced to the of the state, and detaching the Italian nations from condition of mere provinces of Italy. This series of their allegiance. Ilad he received reinforcements, conquests may be designated generally by the title as he expected, from Spain, where he had left his of the Punic Wars, and the Wars with the Greek brother Hasdrubal in command, Rome might have States.' A bare enumeration of them, with a statement fallen. Fortunately, however, for the Romans, while of their results, is all that our limits will allow. they were manfully opposing Hannibal in Italy, one of

The first foreign people with which the Romans their generals, the great Scipio, was busily engaged in came into collision were the Carthaginians—a people Spain. To prevent Spain from falling into Scipio's of Phænician lineage, who, settling in that part of hands, Hasdrubal was obliged to remain in it; and it Africa now called Tunis, and building a city there, was not till B.C. 207, when all hope of retaining his about a century before Rome was founded, had in the footing in that peninsula was lost, that he set out to interval become a great commercial nation, with ships join his brother. He crossed the Alps in safety, but sailing to all parts of the Mediterranean, and with was attacked, defeated, and slain on his march through colonies along the coasts of Algiers, in Sardinia and Italy; and Hannibal was left to his own resources. Corsica, and even in Spain. They had recently gained These, however, were exhaustless; and with the assist



ance of the Italian nations, who, especially the unpri- | merated, the following countries had become subject to vileged classes, were friendly to the Carthaginians, and Rome : --Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and the smaller bated Rome, he might still have shattered the Com- islands of the Mediterranean ; Macedonia ; Illyricum, monwealth in pieces, had not Scipio passed over from with Thessaly and Epirus ; Greece, including Greece Spain into Africa, and defeating the Carthaginians in proper and the Peloponnesus; Spain; and the whole several battles, with the help of a Numidian prince northern coast of Africa. The Romans had likewise named Masinissa, compelled them to recall their established their intiuence in Asia. The conquered greatest man for the defence of his native city. In B.C. countries were divided into provinces, so that the de202, or the year of the city 552, Hannibal quitted Italy, signation for the Roman dominion became . Italy and where he had spent the best period of his life. Not the Provinces.' The provinces received each an orlong after his landing in Africa, he was defeated by ganisation at the time of its formation, according to Scipio at Zama, and his countrymen were obliged in its circumstances. Retaining their national habits, consequence to agree to a peace on very severe terms. religion, laws, &c. the inhabitants of every province

The Second Punic War concluded, and Italy once were governed by a military president, sent from Rome, more pacified, the Romans inade war on Philip III., with a staff of officials. Unlike the Italic nations, who king of Macedonia, and virtual ruler of all the Greek furnished only subsidies of men to the sovereign state, states, who had offended them by entering into a treaty the provincials were required to pay taxes in money and with Hannibal. The war was protracted over seventeen kind; and these taxes were farmed out by the censors years (B. c. 214–197), but ended in the reduction of -Roman citizens, who, under the name of Publicans, Macedonia, and the proclamation by the Romans of the settled in the various districts of the provinces, and independence of the other Greek states. Seized with a proved a great scourge by their avarice and rapacity. desire to assume the place which the Macedonian king To some towns and localities in the provinces, the had been unable to maintain, Antiochus the Great, Italic franchise was extended as a token of favour. king of Syria, and representative therefore of the Greek Altogether, the government of the provinces was one empire in Asia, crossed into Greece, where he joined which, although it led to beneficial results, in binding the Ætolians against the Romans. Defeated, however, together a large mass of the human race, and carrying in Greece, and forsaken by the Ætolians, he was pur- on various races and languages simultaneously in a sued into Asia, and after the loss of a great battle at career of civilisation, yet gave great scope for oppresMagnesia, obliged to submit to the Romans, who thus sion. Like a network proceeding from a centre, the became virtual masters of the various kingdoms and political system of the Romans pervaded the mass of states of Asia Minor (B. c. 188). Meanwhile they had millions of human beings inhabiting the shores of the been engaged in suppressing various movements among Mediterranean, holding them together by its mechanithe Ligurians, Boians, Istrians, and other nations in cal tenacity, and slowly working them into union by the north of Italy, as well as among the Spanish tribes its own powers of impregnation, as well as by means of and the savages of Sardinia. A declaration of hosti- those ideas and moral agencies whose dissemination lities by Perseus, the successor of Philip in Macedonia, and operation over large areas at once it so marvelin conjunction with Genthius, king of Illyria, led to lously facilitated. What a career was thus opened up another war against these countries, which terminated for those who occupied the centre of this network—the in their complete subjugation (B. c. 168). The next population of Rome! What a grand thing in those twenty years were spent in securing these conquests, days to be a Roman citizen ; so that, wherever one and in establishing relations, virtually those of sove- walked-in Spain, in Africa, or even in once great reignty, with various states of Asia Minor, such as Athens-one was followed, feasted, flattered to one's Bithynia and Rhodes; and with various others of face, and mocked behind one's back! What means of Africa, as Egypt and Numidia. The whole circuit of money-making in the provinces for the avaricious Rothe Mediterranean in their power, and their ships re- mans! What opportunities for well-doing for the phispected in all its ports, as belonging to the sovereign lanthropic! Alas! a philanthropic Roman was almost people of Italy,' the Romans at length executed their a contradiction in terms. To be patriotic was the long-cherished project, and pounced upon Carthage highest virtue; and if a Roman, along with his pa(B. c. 149), whose existence, even in its fallen condition triotism, possessed a just disposition, those who were of a mere commercial capital, they could not tolerate. under his government might consider themselves forHannibal had been dead more than thirty years; but tunate. Nor was the career of administration in the under such generals as they had, the wretched Cartha- provinces open to all Roman citizens. The following ginians offered a desperate resistance to the Roman passage, which we translate from a French workcommanders. After a horrible siege, the city, contain- * Etudes sur l'Histoire Romaine, par Prosper Mérimée; ing a population of 700,000, was taken and sacked by Paris, 1844'—will give an idea of the manner in which Scipio Amilianus, the adopted son of the son of the a Roman citizen attained to public honours, and will great Scipio (B. c. 146). The houses were razed to the illustrate the general spirit of the Roman administraground, and the province of Africa was the prize of this tion. “The laws,' says this author, ‘ opened to all the third · Punic War.' The fall of Greece was contem- citizens the career of magistracy; but in reality it was porary with that of Carthage. The Achaian League, a shut against all but those whose fortune or family credit confederacy of cities in Greece proper and the Pelopon- placed in an exceptional situation. As all public offices nesus, showing a disposition to be independent of the were obtained by the suffrages of the people, it was of Romans, provoked their vengeance; and the destruction the utmost importance to make creatures in every class of Corinth in the same year as that of Carthage extin- of society. In order to muster all these on the great guished the last sparks of liberty in Greece. The whole day of election, there were no labours, fatigues, and of the Greek countries were parcelled out into Roman even meannesses to which Romans of illustrious families provinces, and from that time Greeks became the slave did not submit from their earliest boyhood. Some teachers of the Romans, their secretaries, their syco- offered the patronage of their families to embarrassed phants, their household wits. Yet out of Greece thus pleaders; others opened their purse to poor artisans; ruined there afterwards arose many great spirits; for whoever had a vote in the comitia was flattered and no degradation, no series of misfortunes, could eradicate cajoled in every possible way. From the time that the the wondrous intellect which lurked in the fine Greek candidate had attained the age at which the law perorganisation. The last scene in this long series of wars mitted him to stand for the dignity of the quæstorship was enacted in Spain, where, roused by a noble patriot -that by which he must make his debut in public called Viriathus--the Wallace of that day-the native life-he appeared in the Forum clothed in a white tribes had revolted against the Romans. The fate of robe, shook hands with all the country folks, and with Spain, however, was sealed by the destruction of Nu- the lowest plebeians, solicited their votes, and often mantia by Scipio Æmilianus (B. c. 133).

purchased them for money. The quæstor, once apBy the wars of 130 years which we have thus enu- pointed, found the doors of the senate open for him.

[ocr errors]

Ordinarily he was attached to the person of a consul, Roman official bought lands, built villas, and all at or a magistrate of superior rank, becoming his lieu- once became a great proprietor. If he chanced to have tenant; sometimes he obtained a little government for in his neighbourhood an estate to his taste, he caused himself. In these offices he could learn business habits, it to be ceded to him; sometimes he seized it while and find occasions for distinguishing himself, and for the lawful owner was fighting far away under the Rocausing his name to be mentioned often in the senate man eagles. By degrees all the small proprietors were or the assemblies of the people. After the quæstorship despoiled, in order to form vast estates for the privicame the Curule Edileship, a purely civil magistracy, leged class of public functionaries. Parks, gardens, whose duties consisted in watching the arrival of pro- and expensive fish-ponds took the place of cultivated visions, guarding public monuments, seeing to the em- fields. Labourers disappeared, and the country was bellishment of the city, and finally, in preparing the peopled with slaves, dangerous by their numbers, and games and solemn shows. This charge entailed enor- also by their robber habits, which they practised with mous expense on those ediles who wished to make iinpunity. Some masters, it is said, shared the profits themselves popular. They built temples and porticos of robbery with these wretches.' at their own cost, opened roads, constructed aque- The great social evils of the day—the extinction of ducts; above all, they tried to surpass their prede- the old peasant proprietors of Italy; and the vast incessors by the magnificence of the games which they crease of slaves, the danger of which had been already caused to be celebrated, and the truly colossal ex- manifested by several servile revolts in Sicily, and the pense of which they in part sustained. A happy man congregation in the towns, and especially in Rome, of was that edile who had been able to exhibit in the vast masses of population, not living as the artisans arena the deaths of an unusual number of able gla- and traders in modern towns do, by honest industry, diators, or who had presented to the people animals of but living in noisy idleness upon the alms of the proa rare species or unknown before. His name was in vinces and the sums they received for their votesevery mouth, and all applauded his sprouting am- these social evils must have struck many generous bition. The edileship lasted a year. After it came hearts among the Romans. The man, however, on the prætorship. There were six prætorstwo presided whom they produced so decided an impression as to over the tribunals at Rome, the others governed pro- lead him to devote his life to their removal, was Tivinces or commanded armies. Finally, after having berius Sempronius Gracchus, the son of a plebeian of successively gone through the three previous stages, rank who had attained distinction in the Spanish wars, one presented himself as a candidate for the consul- and of Cornelia, the daughter of the great Scipio. ship. Intriguing, corruption, manæuvring of all kinds Abandoning, in its first stage, the more tempting career was now redoubled; for this was the goal a Roman's which led through the quæstorship, edileship, and ambition. The consuls presided over the government prætorship to the consulship, Tiberius chose rather the of the republic, or directed important wars in person. office of tribune of the people, which was more suitable At the expiry of their magistracy--that is, after a year for the purposes of political agitation. Elected to this —they were sent to a province with the title of Procon- office B.c. 133, the twenty-ninth year of his age, he suls; often to command military expeditions, almost propounded his schemes of reform. His grand project always to administer an extensive government. In was a revival, with some modifications, of the famous turn to amass and expend great wealth, was thus the agrarian law of Licinius, which had long fallen into chief care of candidates for honours. The profits of the tacit desuetude. All citizens who were in possession of quæstorship enabled one to make a brilliant curule a larger extent of the state land than the 500 jugera edileship. Ruined by his extravagance, the edile re- allowed by the Licinian law (unless in the case of fathers paired his fortune in the prætorship, and returned to of two sons, who were to be allowed 250 jugera in addition Rome rich enough to buy votes at the consular elec- for each of them), were to be deprived of the surplus; tion. Frequently he staked his all on this last elec- the buildings, vine-presses, &c. which were erected on tion, confident of more than making it up again in the these surplus lands to be purchased at a fair valuation; province which would be assigned him after his con- and the whole land thus seized was to constitute a sulship. In a word, the career of public employment stock out of which the pauper plebeians of the city was a species of gambling, in which one's profits were

were to be furnished with little farms for the honest proportional to one's stakes.'

support of themselves and families, these farms to be Such a state of things as is here described, implies incapable of alienation by the persons to whom they that an immense change had taken place in the cha- should be allotted. Utterly revolutionary as this mearacter of the Roman society during the rapid career sure would seem in modern legislation, and sufficiently of foreign conquest which had elevated Rome from the sweeping as it was, even in a Roman point of view, position of metropolis of Italy to that of metropolis of considering that, however unjustly the ancestors of the civilised world. The distinction between patrician many of the large proprietors had come by their lands, and plebeian was now scarcely heard of (in B.c. 172 yet long possession and frequent transference had in both consuls had been plebeians for the first time); it many cases sanctified the ownership--still the measure was superseded by that between illustrious and obscure; was strictly in the spirit of Roman law, and one of the rich and poor. Although, however, the system of cor- supporters of Gracchus in proposing it was the eminent ruption was so general, that scarcely any one could jurist Mucius Scævola. Tiberius and his associates attain to office except by unworthy means, yet there probably thought that the ends proposed—the removal were at that time, and in the midst of that system, of the venal mob out of Rome, and the restoration many men of really noble character. Among these in Italy of a population of hard-working peasant promust not be forgotten the honest old censor Cato, the prietors, instead of the gangs of bandit slaves—were enemy of Carthage, who kept up a constant protest all difficult enough to require, and glorious enough to his life against what he called the growing luxury of justify, somewhat revolutionary means. Accordingly, his countrymen, and died declaring that they were a advocating by his eloquence in the Forum the scheme degenerate race. Of equal integrity with Čato, al- which he had matured in private, he did not cease though of altogether a different form of character, were until, in spite of the most obstinate resistance on the the two brothers of world-famous name, whose actions part of the senators, who used as their instrument we shall now briefly notice.

against him one of his own colleagues in the tribune

ship, he had gained his end, Three commissioners THE REVOLUTIONS OF THE GRACCHI,

were appointed to superintend the execution of the *A fatal effect,' says M. Mérimée, of the Roman law--Tiberius himself, his father-in-law Appius Claudomination was the impoverishment and depopulation dius, and his younger brother Caius. Loud and deep of Italy. At Roine, where commerce and industry were the vows of vengeance on the part of the senators; were despised, only one way led to wealth—a career of and Tiberius saw that his only chance of life lay in public service. On his return from his government, a being re-elected to the tribuneship, the dignity of which was an inviolable protection. To prevent this, the sena- Romans by invading his cousin's dominions, and puta torial party mustered all their strength; and a tumult ting him to death. Bribes and wily tactics protected ensuing on one of the days of election, Tiberius, along him for a while from the vengeance of the Romans ; with about 300 of his followers, was killed.

but at length, in the year B. c. 109, the brave consul For about ten years the excitement caused by the Metellus, who was proof against bribes, went over to law of Gracchus continued, Fulvius Flaccus and Papi- Numidia to conduct the war which his predecessors had rius Carbo acting as his successors in the popular in- mismanaged. After he had carried on the war successterest, and carrying on the struggle against the nobles, fully for two years, he was supplanted by his second who raised up obstacles to the execution of the law. in command, Caius Marius, a man of humble birth, But in the year B. c. 123, Caius Gracchus, who now felt and nearly fifty years of age, who, although almost himself old enough to assume the career which his without education, had raised himself to high rank by brother had left him as an inheritance, claimed and his military talents, and whose services under Metellus obtained the tribuneship: Caius was a man of more had been so favourably represented at Rome, that he vehement character and more comprehensive views was appointed consul (B. c. 107), with the express inthan his brother, and the schemes which he proposed tention that he should end the Jugurthine war. This embraced a great variety of points, besides a re-enact- he speedily accomplished, greatly assisted by his quæsment of his brother's agrarian law. In fact, a reformer tor, a young man of high patrician family and unusual by reputation and education, he made it his business literary accomplishments, named Lucius Cornelius to find out abuses, and either declaim against them or Sulla. Jugurtha was sent to Rome, where he was propose remedies for them. Perhaps the most objec- starved in prison (B.c. 106); and the services of Marius tionable of his measures was a law enacting a monthly were at the disposal of the Romans for a war of an indistribution of corn among the city population at a finitely more formidable character than that which had nominal price-a poor-law, for such it may be called, been waged against this ill-fated African. which had the effect of attracting all the paupers of About the year B.C. 113, a numerous tribe of savages, Italy to Rome. A more valuable measure was his called Cimbri, but who were most probably Celts, had transference of the judicial power from the senators, been set in motion in the south-east of Europe; and who had hitherto held it, and who had been guilty of emigrating westward, they had communicated 'their great corruption in the exercise of it, to the equites, or restlessness to the Teutones, an undoubtedly German wealthy capitalists, intermediate between the senators race, through whose territories they must have passed. and the poorer classes of the community. He also Roving about in quest of settlements, sometimes toproposed and carried the establishment of various colo- gether, and sometimes separately, the two barbarian nies in different parts of the empire, which afforded hosts, consisting of men, women, and children, had room for enterprise, thus relieving Ronie of part of its thrown all Gaul into consternation; and as the Romans overgrown population. More fortunate so far than his had already colonised the portion of Gaul contiguous brother, he held the tribuneship for two years, and to the Alps, the duty of checking the savages devolved thus had time for more extensive action. Deserted, on them, the more especially as there was some danger however, by the people at the end of the second year, that Italy would be invaded. But such a moving mass in consequence of the policy of his opponents, who of human beings, driven by that hardest of forces, adopted the plan of outbidding him for popular favour, hunger, was not easily to be checked; and army after he lost his office. The senators, having him at their ariny sent by the Romans to oppose them had been mercy, spared no means of revenge; and Gracchus, and shivered to pieces. All Italy began to tremble, and his friend Fulvius Flaccus, having recourse to the there was a universal cry among the Romans, Make armed assistance of their supporters to preserve their Marius again consul. Accordingly Marius was chosen lives when they appeared in public, this was construed consul a second time in his absence (B.c. 104), that he into a design of sedition. The consul was empowered might drive back the Cimbri. Meanwhile the poor to resort to force against them; a terrible fray occurred homeless creatures had made a general rush towards in one of the quarters of the town, 3000, it is said, Spain; and the Romans, to secure the services of Mabeing slain; and Gracchus was killed while trying to rius when they should be required, re-elected him to escape into the country (B. c. 121). He was then only the consulship in B. c. 103, and again in B. c. 102. In in the thirty-third year of his age.

the latter year, when Marius was consul for the fourth The aristocracy thus triumphed for the time, and the time, the barbarians, repulsed from Spain, directed recent measures of reform were suffered to fall into their march towards the Alps. Fortunately, they disuse; but certain portions of the policy of the two divided themselves into two masses—the Teutones brothers had taken full effect, and the agitation which taking one route, the Cimbri another. The former, they had originated was not lulled for many years. amounting to about 300,000 men, were met by Marius, The seeds of much that afterwards appeared in storm and slaughtered, all except 90,000, who were made and bloodshed were sown during these movements of prisoners, and sold as slaves. Meanwhile the Cimbri B. c. 133–121; and as long as the world takes an inte had been making progress in their route, and to oppose rest in Roman history, or respects disinterested political them, Marius was elected to a fifth consulship (B.C. courage, it will remember the Gracchi.

101). Another bloody field, in which about 140,000

were slain, and 60,000 taken prisoners, delivered Italy THE JUGURTHINE, CIMBRIC, AND SOCIAL WARS-MARIUS from its fears. Strange and affecting thought, that

half a million of human beings, men, women, and In the year of the first tribuneship of Caius Gracchus, children, should be wandering through Europe for the Balearic islands were added to the Roman domi- years, poor outcasts, with their little carts and cookingnion; and six years afterwards (B.C. 117), Dalmatia kettles, and that a civilised nation should have been was reduced to a Roman province. About this time compelled, by the necessity of self-preservation, to take the famous Jugurtha, the illegitimate son of one of the means to swecp them out of existence ! sons of Masinissa, already mentioned as a king of Marius was rewarded for his exertions with a sixth Numidia in the Roman interest, was left heir to that consulship (B. c. 100), which, there being now no enemy kingdom, in conjunction with his two cousins, by to call forth his military activity, he employed in poliMicipsa, their father and his uncle. Aspiring to the tical schemes for the humiliation of the aristocratic or undivided sovereignty, he killed one of his cousins, and senatorial party, to which, both by the accident of drove the other to Rome. Interfering in behalf of the birth and on principle, he was a determined enemy: The expelled prince, the Romans compelled Jugurtha to efforts of the nobles, however, assisted by the violent share Numidia with him. By bribing the commis conduct of the partisans of Marius, especially a tribune sioners, however, who were sent to effect the division, named Saturninus, occasioned a reaction; and on the Jugurtha obtained the best part for himself; and not expiry of his consulship, Marius withdrew from Rome, long after (B.c. 112), he showed his contempt for the and undertook a journey to the East, where the Roman


« ElőzőTovább »