Page 0846

846

UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

opened the judicial offices to the knights as well as the senators; and the

sixth provided that the assignment of the provinces-hitherto made to

favorites by the Senate-should be so restricted as to prevent the

corruption previously attending the appointments. All of these laws were

carried in the assembly, and Caius Gracchus himself undertook their

enforcement.

In the following year the great tribune was reelected, and the radical

measures of his administration were enlarged by further enactments. The

movement for popular reform, however, now began to degenerate into

fanaticism. Marcus Livius Drusus, one of Caius's colleagues, outstripped

him in the race for popular favor, and new laws were proposed at once

revolutionary and impractical. A reaction set in, and in the third year

Caius failed of a reelection. At the same time his personal enemy, Lucius

Opimius, was raised to the consulship. It was evident that the career of

Gracchus was at an end. Opimius at once brought forward a resolution for

the repeal of the Sempronian Laws, and the bill came before the assembly of

the people. There was another great tumult similar to that in which

Tiberius lost his life. Caius appeared in the Forum and attempted to

address the people. This was declared to be an interruption of the assembly

then in session elsewhere. Meanwhile, in that body, one of the friends of

Gracchus was struck down, and the assembly was dissolved. The partisans

withdrew to their own quarters, and civil war broke out in the city. Caius

was pursued across the Tiber and was slain by one of his slaves, who then

killed himself on his master's body. Fulvius was also killed, with three

thousand of his adherents. Their property was confiscated, and out of the

spoils was erected the temple of Concord, in commemoration of the forcible

restoration of peace. The judgment of after times was divided respecting

the character of the Gracchi, the nobles and magnates denouncing them as

factious demagogues and destroyers of the Roman constitution, and the

popular party praising them as the champions of liberty.

Whatever might be the merits of the respective parties to the recent

contest, certain it is that the oligarchy was now triumphant. How rapidly

and to what extent they would proceed to undo the legislation of the

popular party was only a question of time and political prudence. One by

one the provisions of the Sempronian Laws were abrogated. One by one the

annulled privileges of the senatorial order were restored. The same

conditions of corruption and bad government which had more than once

brought the state to the verge of ruin came back in full force, and Italy

again lay weltering.

While the Roman oligarchy, thus restored to authority, was holding on its

way, one of those events occurred which, rising above the wills of men and

parties, accomplish the general ends of history. This was the rebellion of

Jugurtha in Africa. It will be readily called to mind that after the

destruction of Carthage, a large part of the kingdom was assigned to

Masinissa, the ally of the Romans. This prince on his death left three sons

to inherit his dominions-Micipsa, Gulussa, and Mastanabal. Numidia was

accordingly divided among the three. It was not long, however, until

Gulussa and Mastanabal died, leaving Micipsa sole ruler of the kingdom.

This monarch had two sons, Hiempsal and Adherbal, and with them he reared

Jugurtha, a natural son of Mastanabal. Jugurtha had genius. He was sent by

his uncle with the Numidian troops to aid the Romans in the Numantine war.

There he made the acquaintance of the principal men in the consular army,

and became familiar with Roman manners and principles. Before his return to

Africa, he was instigated to destroy the reigning family and seize the

crown for himself. Micipsa, meanwhile, died and left the kingdom to his two

sons. Jugurtha soon procured the murder of Hiempsal and divided the realm

between Adherbal and himself-taking the better portion for his own.

Presently he made war on Adherbal, besieged him in Cirta, captured him, put

him to death with torture. Among those who were executed were a number of

Italian merchants. At this the Romans were incensed, and war was declared

by the Senate against Jugurtha.

In the year B. C. 111, the consul Lucius