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conflict which was likely to be renewed to her own destruction, and was for

this reason willing to bring about a settlement on a basis satisfactory to

the Latin towns. As early as the close of the first year of the war, B. C.

90, a series of legislative acts were brought forward with a view of

pacifying the insurgents and bringing about a peace. The measures were

precipitated by a threatened insurrection in Umbria and Etruria, and at a

time when it was evident that Rome must either effect a settlement or

engage in a war with all Italy. The concessions now proposed embraced two

clauses. The first, known as the Julian Law, granted enfranchisement to all

Latins who had remained loyal to Rome, or who should now, by surrendering,

renew their allegiance. The new citizens now to be recognized as a factor

in the state, were to be divided into eight tribes. The second, known as

the Papirian Law, extended the rights of citizenship to all Italians who,

being now resident in Italy, should, within sixty days, register their

names with the praetor of the Republic.

As soon as these concessions were made known to the insurgent states, the

revolt began to crumble. Rome had virtually conceded the very thing for

which the Latins and Italians were contending, and most of the rebels were

willing to accept the present offer rather than contend for more. The town

of Nola, in Samnium, however, still refused to surrender, and Southern

Italy, remained, to a considerable extent, in the power of the insurgent


In the mean time, however, events had occurred at Rome which changed the

whole current of affairs, and influenced the subsequent history of the

state. When Drusus was killed and his legislation overthrown, a demagogue

named Quintus Varius, obtained a brief ascendancy, and incited the leaders

of the aristocratic party to prosecute all those who had favored the laws

of Drusus. Many of the best citizens of Rome were brought before the

equestrian tribunals and condemned to exile. AEmilius Scaurus was arrested

and tried, but his popularity was so great as to secure Ilis acquittal.

These persecutions soon brought about a reaction, which led to the adoption

of a statute, proposed by the tribune Plantius Silvanus, by which the

appointment of the judicial officers was taken from the control of the

knights, and entrusted to the assembly of the tribes. The convictions

ceased or were turned against those who had been the authors of the late

proceedings, several of whom, including Varius himself, were sent into


The concessions made to the Latins and Italians proved to be less salutary

than was expected. The legislation had been contrived with the usual

cunning which marked the acts of the Roman Senate. The eight new tribes

were set last on the list, so that if twenty-two of the thirty-five old

tribes should vote for a given measure, the recent citizens were not called

at all. Moreover, the voting-place was still in Rome, and to the allies an

election involved a trip to the capital. Some would thus be obliged to come

from the valley of the Po, and others from the peninsula of Bruttium. These

considerations led to much dissatisfaction among the allies, who perceived

in the concessions another example of how the Roman Senate, appearing to

concede, conceded not at all. In the third year of the war (B.C. 88) it

became necessary to make a formal declaration against Mithridates, king of

Pontus. Such a step was attended with unusual embarrassments. The treasury

of Rome had been drained to meet the expenses of the servile and social

wars, and it was found necessary to sell the land in front of the capital

in order to raise funds for a new consular army.

A financial crisis was precipitated upon the country. The capitalists of

the city, many of whom were themselves deeply in debt, were cut off from

their revenues in the East, and became bankrupt. Meanwhile the debtors

added to the general distress by reviving the Genucian Law, by which they

were empowered to collect from those who had charged them usurious rates of

interest fourfold the amount which they had paid above the legal rate. This

led to an insurrection of the creditors, who assembled in the forum and

killed the praetor, Aulus Sempronius Asellio, through whose influence the

old law had been revived.

As already said, it became necessary to