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[23] Gracchus made long roads throughout Italy and thus put a multitude of contractors and artisans under obligations to him and made them ready to do whatever he wished. He proposed the founding of numerous colonies.1 He also called on the Latin allies to demand the full rights of Roman citizenship, since the Senate could not with decency refuse this privilege to their blood relations. To the other allies, who were not allowed to vote in Roman elections, he sought to give the right of suffrage, in order to have their help in the enactment of laws which he had in contemplation. The Senate was very much alarmed at this, and it ordered the consuls to give the following public notice, "Nobody who does not possess the right of suffrage shall stay in the city or approach within forty stades of it while voting is going on concerning these laws." The Senate also persuaded Livius Drusus, another tribune, to interpose his veto against the laws proposed by Gracchus, but not to tell the people his reasons for doing so; for a tribune was not required to give reasons for his veto. In order to conciliate the people they gave Drusus the privilege of founding twelve colonies, and the plebeians were so much pleased with this that they began to scoff at the laws proposed by Gracchus.

1 The founding of colonies, which was originally a method of guarding the frontier, now became a method of providing for the poorer citizens.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LEX
    • Smith's Bio, Drusus
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