[Attitude of Marius.] With such a weapon in his hand Marius came back to Rome, intoxicated with success. He thought his marches in two continents worthy to be compared with the progresses of Bacchus, and had a cup made on the model of that of the god. He spoke badly; he was easily disconcerted by the disapproval of an audience; he had no insight into the evils, or any project for the reformation, of the State. But the scorn of men like Metellus had made him throw himself on the support of the people from whom he sprang; and they, idolising him for his dazzling exploits as a soldier, looked to him as their natural leader, and the creator of a new era. Indeed it needed no stimulus from without to whet his ambitious cravings. That seventh consulship which superstition whispered would be surely his he had yet to win; and in all his after conduct he seems to have been guided by the most vulgar selfishness, which in the end became murderous insanity. But while he hoped to use all parties for his own advancement - a game in which he of all men was least qualified to succeed - other and abler politicians were bent on using him for the overthrow of the optimates.

[Saturninus.] The harangues of Memmius had shown that the spirit of the Gracchi was still alive in Rome; and now Lucius Apuleius Saturninus took up their revolutionary projects with a violence to which they had been averse, but for which the acts of their adversaries had become a fatal precedent. Of Saturninus himself we do not know much more than that he was an eloquent speaker, and a resolute though not over-scrupulous man at a time when to be scrupulous was equivalent to self-martyrdom or self-effacement. [Glaucia.] In something of the same relation in which Camille Desmoulins stood to Danton, Caius Servilius Glaucia, a wit and favourite of the people, stood towards the sombre and imperious Saturninus, and both hoped to effect their aims by the aid of Marius. If they are to be judged by their acts alone we can hardly condemn them. [Defence of their policy.] They tried to do what the Gracchi had attempted before them, what Drusus attempted after them, and what, when they and Drusus had fallen, as the Gracchi had fallen, the Social War finally effected. No historian has given sufficient prominence to the fact that it was primarily a country movement of which each of these men was the leader; a movement of unbroken continuity, though each used his own means and had his own special temperament. If this is kept in view, we shall no longer consider with some modern historians that no event perhaps in Roman history is so sudden, so unconnected, and accordingly so obscure in its original causes as this revolt or conspiracy of Saturninus.

Like Caius Gracchus, Saturninus represented rural as opposed to urban interests, and the interests of the provinces as opposed to those of the capital. Like Caius, too, he endeavoured to conciliate the equites; but they had all the Roman prejudice against admitting Italians to a level with themselves, and the attempt to play off party against party utterly failed. In vain Saturninus tried to defy opposition by enlisting the support of the Marian veterans. The rich, the noble, and the city mob united against him; and when he seized the Capitol, it was to defend himself against all three. In the year 100 B.C. Marius was consul for the sixth time, Glaucia was praetor, and Saturninus was a second time tribune. A triumvirate so powerful might, if united, have overthrown the Constitution. But the vanity and vacillation of Marius were the best allies of the optimates; and it was no grown man, but Caius Julius Caesar, a child born in that same year, who was destined to subvert their rule. [The Lex Servilia. The equites and the judicia.] Saturninus had been instrumental in securing the election of Marius to his fifth consulship in 102, and it was about that time that the Lex Servilia was carried. This law defined the liability of Roman officials to trial for extortion in the provinces, and, by a process of elimination (for senators, workers for hire, and others were expressly declared ineligible), practically left to the equites the jurisdiction in such trials. Whether or no the law of Gracchus had been repealed by another Servilian law - that of Q. Servilius Caepio - we cannot say for certain. If so, the second Servilian law repealed the first. But, whether it restored power to the equites or only confirmed them in it, in theory it left the office of judex open to all citizens, for, while it excluded so many citizens that in practice the judicia were closed to all but the equestrian class, it did not assign the office to any one class in particular. It also provided that anyone not a citizen who won his suit against an official should by virtue of doing so obtain the citizenship. [Threefold purpose of the Lex Servilia.] So that we may trace in this law a threefold policy - an attempt (1) to relieve the provincials, by making prosecutions for extortion easy, and even putting a premium on them; (2) to conciliate the equites; (3) to pave the way for the overthrow of class jurisdiction by, nominally at least, leaving the judicia open to all who did not come under specified restrictions. Cicero inveighs against Glaucia as a demagogue of the Hyperbolus stamp. But there was more of the statesman than the demagogue in this law.

When Saturninus was a candidate for the tribunate, he and Glaucia are said to have set on men to murder Nonius, another candidate, who they feared might use his veto to thwart their projects. Marius had been previously elected consul, and supported Saturninus in his candidature, as Saturninus had supported him. [Personal reasons for Marius joining Saturninus.] Marius may have been induced to enter into this alliance by the desire to gratify a personal grudge, for the rival candidate had been the man he most detested, Q. Metellus; and the first measure of Saturninus was a compliment to him and a direct blow aimed at Metellus. [Agrarian law of Saturninus.] This was an agrarian law which would benefit the Marian veterans; and as it contained a proviso that any senator refusing to swear to observe it within five days should be expelled from the Senate, it would be sure to drive Metellus from Rome. But if there was diplomacy in this measure of Saturninus, there was sagacity also. What discontent was seething in Italy the Social War soon proved, and this was an attempt to appease it. Saturninus had previously proposed allotments in Africa; now he proposed to allot lands in Transalpine Gaul, Sicily, Achaia, and Macedonia, and to supply the colonists with an outfit from the treasure taken from Tolosa. Marius was to have the allotment of the land. [Difficulty about this agrarian law.] There is a difficulty as to these colonies which no history solves. They were Roman colonies to which only Roman citizens were eligible, and yet the Roman populace opposed the law. The Italians, on the contrary, carried it by violence. Some have cut the knot by supposing that, though the colonies were Roman, Italians were to be admitted to them. But there is another possible explanation. It is certain that many Italians passed as citizens at Rome. In 187 B.C. 12,000 Latins, passing as Roman citizens, had been obliged to quit Rome. In 95 B.C. there was another clearance of aliens, which was one of the immediate causes of the Social War. Fictitious citizens might have found it easy to obtain allotments from a consul whose ears, if first made deaf by the din of arms, had never since recovered their hearing. However this may be, it was the rural party which by violence procured a preponderance of votes at the ballot-boxes, and it was the town populace which resisted what it felt to be an invasion of its prerogative by the men from the country. [Exile of Metellus.] Marius is said to have got rid of Metellus by a trick. He pretended that he would not take the oath which the law demanded, but, when Metellus had said the same thing, told the Senate that he would swear to obey the law as far as it was a law, in order to induce the rural voters to leave Rome, and Metellus, scorning such a subterfuge, went into exile.

[Corn-law of Saturninus.] Another law of Saturninus either renewed the corn-law of Caius Gracchus, or went farther and made the price of grain merely nominal. This law was no doubt meant to recover the favour of the city mob, which he had forfeited by his agrarian law. But Caepio, son, probably, of the hero of Tolosa, stopped the voting by force, and the law was not carried. [Law of treason.] The third law of Saturninus was a Lex de Majestate, a law by which anyone could be prosecuted for treason against the State, and which was not improbably aimed specially at Caepio, who was impeached under it. It seems at any rate certain that of these laws the agrarian was the chief, and the others subsidiary; in other words, that he and Glaucia were working together on an organized plan, and striving to admit the whole Roman world into a community of rights with Rome. They thought that with the Marian soldiers at their back they would be safer than Gracchus with his bands of reapers; and so they may have taken the initiative in violence from which, both by past events and the acts of men like Caepio, it was certain that the optimates would not shrink. It is difficult to apportion the blame in such cases. [Civil strife. Saturninus seizes the Capitol.] But when Glaucia stood for the consulship of 99, and his rival Memmius, a favourite with the people, was murdered, an attack was made on Saturninus, who hastily sent for aid to his rural supporters and seized the Capitol. He found then that in reckoning on Marius he had made a fatal blunder. That selfish intriguer had been alarmed by the popular favour shown to an impostor named Equitius, who gave out that he was the son of Tiberius Gracchus, and who, being imprisoned by Marius, was released by the people and elected tribune. He may have been jealous too of the popularity of Saturninus with his own veterans, and at the same time anxious to curry favour with the foes of Saturninus - the urban populace. [Sidenote: Marius turns on his friends.] So, instead of boldly joining his late ally, he became the general of the opposite party, drove Saturninus and his friends from the Forum, and, when they had surrendered, suffered them to be pelted to death in the Curia Hostilia where he had placed them. [Death of Saturninus and Glaucia.] Saturninus, it is said, had been proclaimed king before his death. If so he had at least struck for a crown consistently and boldly; and even if his attempt for the moment united the senatorial party and the equites, while the city mob stood wavering or hostile, he might nevertheless have forestalled the empire by a century had Marius only had half his enterprise or nerve. In an epoch of revolution it is idle to judge men by an ordinary standard. How far personal ambition and how far a nobler ideal animated Saturninus no man can say. Those who condemn him must condemn Cromwell too.

For the moment the power of the optimates seemed restored. The spectre of monarchy had made the men of riches coalesce with their old rivals the men of rank; and the mob, ungrateful for an unexecuted corn-law, chafed at Italian pretensions. Metellus, the aristocrat, was recalled to Rome amid the enthusiasm of the anti-Italian mob, and P. Furius was torn to pieces for having opposed his return. [Sidenote: Marius falls into disrepute.] Marius slunk away to the East, finding that his treachery had only isolated him and brought him into contempt; and there, it is said, he tried to incite Mithridates to war. Sextus Titius indeed brought forward an agrarian law in 99 B.C. But he was opposed by his colleagues and driven into exile. Two events soon happened which showed not only the embittered feelings existing between the urban and rural population, but also the sympathy with the provincials felt by the better Romans, and, as an inference, the miserable condition of the provincials themselves. [The Lex Licinia Minucia.] The first was the enactment, in 95 B.C., of the Lex Licinia Minucia, which ordered Latins and Italians resident at Rome to leave the city. [and the prosecution of Rutilius Rufus foreshadow the Social War.] The second was the prosecution and conviction of Publius Rutilius Rufus, nominally for extortion, but really because, by his just administration of the province of Asia, he had rebuked extortion and the equestrian courts which connived at it. Though most of the senators were as guilty as the equites, the mass, like M. Scaurus, who was himself impeached for extortion, would ill brook being forced to appear before their courts, and be eager to take hold of their maladministration of justice as a pretext for abrogating the Servilian law.

[Drusus attempts a reform.] One more attempt at reform was to be made, this time by one of the Senate's own members, but only to be once more defeated by rancorous party-spirit and besotted urban pride. Marcus Livius Drusus was son of the man whom the Senate had put forward to outbid Caius Gracchus. He was a haughty, upright man, of an impetuous temper - such a man as often becomes the tool of less courageous but more dexterous intriguers. M. Scaurus had been impeached for taking bribes in Asia, and it is said that in his disgust he egged on Drusus to restore the judicia to the Senate. Drusus was probably one of those men whom an aristocracy in its decadence not rarely produces. [Attitude of Drusus.] He disliked the preponderance of the moneyed class. He could not feel the vulgar Roman's antipathy to giving Italians the franchise, for he saw it exercised by men who were in his eyes infinitely more contemptible. He disliked also and despised the vices of his own order. Mistaking the crafty suggestions of Scaurus for a genuine appeal to high motives, flattered by it, and by the confidence of the Italians, he thought that he could educate his party, and by his personal influence induce it to do justice to Italy. But this conservative advocate of reform was not wily enough tactician for the times in which he lived, or the changes which he meditated. His attempts to improve on the devices of Saturninus and Gracchus were miserable failures; and the senators who used him, or were influenced by him, shrank from his side when they saw him follow to their logical issue the principles which they had advocated either for selfish objects or only theoretically.

[Main object of Drusus to aid the Italians.] Whether this is the true view of the character and position of Drusus or not, we may feel sure that he was in earnest in his advocacy of Italian interests, and that this was the main object of his reforms. [Sops to the mob: Depreciation of the coinage. Colonies. Corn-law.] To silence the mob at Rome, he slightly depreciated the coinage so as to relieve debtors, established some colonies - perhaps those promised by his father - and carried some law for distributing cheap grain. [Sidenote: Sop to the senate and equites.] Senators like Scaurus he courted by handing over the judicia once more to the Senate, while, by admitting 300 equites to the Senate, he hoped to compensate them for the wound which he thus inflicted on their material interests and their pride. The body thus composed was to try cases of judices accused of taking bribes. But the Senate scorned and yet feared the threatened invasion by which it would be severed into two antagonistic halves. The equites left behind were jealous of the equites promoted; and where Drusus hoped to conciliate both classes, he only drew down their united animosity upon himself. Even in Italy his plans were not unanimously approved. Occupiers of the public land, who had never yet been disturbed in their occupation - such as those who held the Campanian domain land - were alarmed by this plan of colonisation, which not only called in question once more their right of tenure, but even appropriated their land. But though the large land-owners were adverse to him, the great mass of the Italians was on his side; and it was by their help that he carried the first three of his laws, which he shrewdly included in one measure. Thus those who wanted land or grain were constrained to vote for the changes in the judicia also. But, as there was a law expressly forbidding this admixture of different measures in one bill, he left an opening for his opponents of which they soon took advantage. [Philippus opposes Drusus.] Chief of these opponents was the consul Philippus. When the Italians crowded into Rome to support Drusus, which they would do by overawing voters at the ballot-boxes, by recording fictitious votes, and by escorting Drusus about, so as to lend him the support which an apparent majority always confers, Philippus came forward as the champion of the opposite side. He seems to have been a turncoat, with a fluent tongue and few principles. He had no sympathy with the generous, if flighty, liberalism of the party of Drusus. No doubt it seemed to him weak sentimentalism; and he openly said that he must take counsel with other people, as he could not carry on the government with such a Senate. Accordingly he appealed to the worst Roman prejudices, viz. the selfishness of large occupiers and the anti-Italian sentiments of the mob. This explains his being numbered among the popular party, with which the Italian party was not now identical. Drusus, when his subsidiary measures had proved abortive, grew desperate. As his influence in the Senate waned he entered into closer alliance with the Italians, who, on their part, bound themselves by an oath to treat as their friend or enemy each friend or enemy of Drusus; and it is conjectured, from a fragment of Diodorus, that 10,000 of them, led by Pompaedius Silo, armed with daggers, set out for Rome to demand the franchise, but were persuaded to desist from their undertaking. [Drusus almost monarch.] Monarchy seemed once more imminent; and now, as in the case of Gracchus, it is impossible to say whether the attitude of the champion of reform was due to the force of circumstances or to settled design. But Philippus was equal to the occasion. He induced the Senate to annul the laws of Drusus already carried, and summoned the occupiers of the public land whom that law affected, to come and confront the Italians in Rome. [Sidenote: Assassination of Drusus.] A battle in the streets would have no doubt ensued; but it was prevented by the assassination of Drusus, who was one evening stabbed mortally in his own house. It is said that when dying he ejaculated that it would be long before the State had another citizen like him. He seems to have had much of the disinterested spirit of Caius Gracchus, though with far inferior ability; and, like him, he left a mother Cornelia, to do honour by her fortitude to the memory of her son. That year the presentiment of coming political convulsions found expression in reports of supernatural prodigies, while 'signs both on the earth and in the heavens portended war and bloodshed, the tramp of hostile armies, and the devastation of the peninsula.'

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