The 129 BC Crisis and the Agrarian Reform of Tiberius Gracchus

Lapyryonok Roman V., Smorchkov Andrey M.

The authors analyse the key events in the course of Gracchan reforms when judicial power was transferred from triumviri agris iudicandis adsignandis to the consuls. The main objective of the paper is to define the essence of the political compromise which became the basis for this act and its consequences. In the authors’ opinion judicial powers were granted to the triumviri by the lex Semproniana iudiciaria adopted after the lex Semproniana agraria. The authors believe that in 129 BC the senate managed to repeal this law making a compromise with the Gracchans, i.e. consenting to extend the term of office of the agrarian commission. This compromise did not imply that judicial activities would stop, but they came under the consuls’ control. The senate found an efficient way to counter the Gracchans’ plans, so that the agrarian commission became practically inactive. The political defeat of 129 BC forced the opposition to reconsider their strategy. Since that time the Gracchans saw establishing good relations with the allies as one of their priorities and paid special attention to granting Roman citizenship to the Italici.

Keywords: Ancient Rome, Late Republic, Gracchi, agrarian reform, imperium, judicial power, senate
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