Tiberius Gracchus

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Tiberius Gracchus on a Roman coin

Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (163/162 BC- 133 BC)[1] was an important Roman Tribune of the plebs. He proposed a reform called the "Lex Sempronia Agraria". This was meant to reduce the number of poor and homeless people by allowing the rich to have only a certain amount of land. The rest of the land would be given to homeless veterans of the Roman military. But the Roman Senate did not like his plan. They convinced another tribune, named Marcus Octavius, to oppose Tiberius Gracchus. Eventually, enough tension built up that some of the Senators beat Tiberius to death with their chairs and threw his dead body into the Tiber. Tiberius' death is seen as the first death caused by political problems in the Roman government.

Tiberius' brother, Gaius Gracchus, also tried to reform the Roman government and was also killed. Together, the two are called the Gracchi. Their attempts at reform had a lasting effect on Rome, because later on the Senate used some of the ideas from their reforms in their own laws.

Further Reading[change | change source]

  • Bernstein, Alvin H. (1978). Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus : tradition and apostasy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801410789
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  • Boren, Henry C. (1969). The Gracchi. New York: Twayne.
  • Earl, Donald C. (1963). Tiberius Gracchus : a study in politics. Bruxelles-Berchem: Latomus.
  • Riddle, John M. (1970). Tiberius Gracchus: destroyer or reformer of the Republic?. Lexington, MA: Heath.
  • Scullard, H.H. (2010). From the Gracchi to Nero : a history of Rome 133 BC to AD 68. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415584883
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  • Stockton, David (1979). The Gracchi. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198721048
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  1. Life of Caius Gracchus by Plutarch Plutarch says Tiberius "was not yet thirty when he was slain."

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