By: Michael Toth
ANew Social Order
When war was declared on neighboring tribes, each man dutifully put down his plow and took up arms.Punic Wars, however, claimed large segments of soldersThe first war was 23 years longAs a result many farmers fell in disuse which left no food.Italy, where 15 years of fierce fighting against Hannibal had destroyed over two million acres of land.Wealthy landowners took advantage of the opportunity to expand their landThey took farm land and flat land for homes
A New Social Order, continued
Over the years, the number of small farms shrank drastically while the size of the estates of the wealthygrew and grew.Latifundia- estates of the wealthyConquered people were supposed to pay gold and other objects as tribute.The government got such enormous quantities of treasure that the Senate abolished all taxes in Italy for a little.
The Struggling Poor
Roman society was divided into two divisionsSmall class of wealthy landownersLarge class of homeless and unemployed peopleTransformed into huge amounts of slaves captured during Rome’s overseasconqured.Rome and other large cities became over crowded with returning war hero’sThis led to polluted air and water.
To brothers,TiberiusandGaius Gracchuswere moved by the desperate state of the plebeiansThe Gracchus’s came from a wealthy familyFather, consul twiceGrandfather, General who defeated Hannibal and Zama.Brothers became spokesmenBoth became tribuneTiberius was tribune from 133 B.C.E to 123 B.C.EThe Gracchi’s took advantage of vetoing.
The Gracchi’s, continued
The tribune could veto and or refuse to make things happen.They tried to use this power to weaken the stranglehold of the Senate had on the Roman economy and governmentA senator clubbed him with a footstool to put him to death because he redistributed the land of the wealthyThe senator also clubbed all of the Senate and threw the bodies in the Tiber RiverWhen Gaius became tribune in 123 B.C.E he demanded many things.
The Gracchi’s, continued
Allowance to the poorGrain to poorNew employmentGranting citizenship to all ItaliansHe, too, aroused the wrath of the Senate, and got kicked out of the officeHe was about to be captured by the Greeks when he ordered his slaves to slit his throatThey cut his head off and returned his head to the Senate, which had promised to pay it’s weight in gold.Three thousand of Gracchi’s supporters were later slain
The Reforms of Marius
After the deaths of the Gracchi’s the Senate itself split in twoTheOptimateswere conservative men who wished to keep the government at thestatus quo(as it was)ThePopulareson the other hand, were more liberalAt the same time of the Populares another social class emerged that would influence the economy as well as the governmentAS known as the equestrians orequites(“the knights”), they were successful Roman businessmen who were not members of the exclusive patrician class
The Reforms of Marius, continued
Most of equestrians were part of the political classThe equestrians then became the Senate which was mixed between patricians and equestriansGaius Marius, a member of the Populares, was consul from 107 to 100 B.C.EHe was not only consul, he was a plebian and then became a great was hero who is now supported by many.At this time when he was consul he made all poor stronger and strengthened his defense
Reforms of Marius, continued
After the strengthening of his army they set out to a series of battles against some of the Italian citiesThese wars were called theSocial WarsSociimeans “allies” in LatinAfter many battles and soldiers dead the Senate finally agreed to grant all Italians, Roman citizens
Sulla Takes Charge
Marius’ most formidable opponent wasLucius Cornelius Sulla, a general who was an OptimateIn 88 B.C.E Sulla became consul, and the next year led his regions to an eastern province to put down a revoltSulla marched back to Rome and forced his adversary to fleeMarius later took advantage of Sulla’s absence to march his own army back into RomeAfter ordering the execution od Sulla Marius is elected consul for the seventh time
Sulla Takes Charge, continued
Marius died soon after (some say he went insane) and his follower Cinna took overSulla established peace in the east and returned to RomeCinna was killed just before Sulla arrivedSulla was now a dictator, not for just six months. But for lifeSulla was rewarded 100,000 soldiers because he killed all of Marius’ followers
The poor did not starve thanks to a social arrangement known as the client systemThe patricians set themselves up aspatronUnemployedplebiansas well as worker who came to Rome from different parts of ItalyDuties of patron include: working and distributing food to the poor
The government responded to the need for housing in the overpopulated cities by building low-cost apartmentsThe city of Rome was divided in to blocks called insulae (also known as island)Wanted to make houses touchingBottom Floor: Running water and shopsTop Floor: no plumbing, public lavatory, threw garbage out window, little furniture
The Tenements, continued
Houses were made out of timber and mud brickFlimsy walls often collapsed and fire was a big dangerOne who started a fire that killed at least one person was sentenced to life in prison or even death
Homes of the Wealthy
Homes of the wealthy were next to apartmentsHouses also calleddomusthey might take up half a block or even a whole blockDesign: large rooms, lots of furniture, one floor, roof made od clay, rain collected in pool, lararium stood in corner of a room, kitchen, living room, libraryStatues in backyardPatterns on tile are calledmosaicsand paintings
Latifundia- estates of the wealthyTiberius and Gaius Gracchus-tribunesThe Gracchi– how the brothers were knownStatus Quo-as it wasOptimates-“menof goodbirth;” conservative men who wished to keep the government at the status quoPopulares-“thoseof thepeople;” more liberalEquites-“the knights;” successful Roman businessmen who were not members of the exclusive patrician classGaius Marius-a member of thePopulares; plebeian who became a military hero in Africa; was a consul from 107 to 100 B.C.E.SocialWars– fighting between Roman army and the soldiers of some of the Italian allied citiesLucius CorneliusSulla– general who was anOptimate; became consul in 88 B.C.E.Patrons– protectors of groups of unemployed plebeiansTenement– run down and often overcrowded apartment houseDomus– large and comfortable houses of the richMosaics– colored pieces of stone, clay, or glass arranged in patternsVillas– lavish mansions in the countryside on large tracts of land