Drusus, Marcus Livius

Drusus, Marcus Livius

▪ Roman politician [died 109 BC]
died 109 BC

      Roman politician, tribune with Gaius Gracchus in 122 BC who undermined Gracchus' program of economic and political reform by proposing reforms that were even more appealing to the populace but that he evidently did not seriously intend to be implemented. On the issue of colonization Drusus went further than Gracchus by proposing the immediate foundation in Italy and Sicily of 12 colonies to be settled by citizens without property qualifications. He proposed, in addition, that all land that had been distributed since the passage of Tiberius Gracchus' agrarian reform bill should be rent free.

      By pressing for immunity from corporal punishment (even during military service), Drusus was promising the Latins more protection from abuses by Roman magistrates than even Roman citizens enjoyed. This was a skillful measure since many Latins preferred protection from the magistrates to all the privileges that Roman citizenship would confer. Although a commission was set up to carry out these Leges Livianae, the laws probably were not implemented. The principal effect of Drusus' proposals was to win votes away from Gaius Gracchus, who was defeated in his third bid for the tribunate (for 121).

      Drusus was consul in 112 and became governor of Macedonia, where he campaigned successfully against the Scordisci tribe. On his return he celebrated a triumph in 110 and, as censor in 109, died in office.

▪ Roman tribune [died 91 BC]
born c. 124 BC
died 91 BC

      son of the tribune of 122 BC by the same name; as tribune in 91, Drusus made the last nonviolent civilian attempt to reform the government of republican Rome. Drusus began by proposing colonial and agrarian reform bills. He attempted to resolve the tensions between the senatorial order (the political class) and the equestrian order, or knights (the commercial class).

      As tribune in 123–122, Gaius Sempronius Gracchus (Gracchus, Gaius Sempronius) had given the right of collecting taxes to the knights and had made them the source of jurors on standing criminal courts. In 92 an honest senator, Publius Rutilius Rufus, was convicted of corruption in governing his province when in fact he had tried to control equestrian rapacity in tax collecting. Drusus came forward, as “patron of the Senate,” with a solution. Three hundred knights were to be raised to the Senate, and in the future jurors for standing criminal courts would be selected from this enlarged Senate. By this scheme, the wealthiest of the knights would become senators and the rest would lose control of the courts. Although supported by the distinguished senator Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (Scaurus, Marcus Aemilius), Drusus's proposal did not satisfy extremists of either order, nor did it please those who stood to gain by the conflict between them, such as the general Gaius Marius (Marius, Gaius).

      Opposition from all sides increased when Drusus pushed for the enfranchisement of Rome's Italian allies. The Senate declared his legislation invalid on technical grounds. Disturbances involving Drusus's supporters among the allies increased, and the reformer was murdered. His assassin was never discovered. The immediate consequence of his murder was the Social War (91–87), the revolt of the Italian allies.

E. Badian
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Marcus livius drusus (jeune) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Drusus. Marcus Livius Drusus fut tribun de la plèbe à Rome en 91 durant la fin de la République romaine. Ses propositions d’accorder la citoyenneté aux Italiens furent repoussées par le Sénat romain, et lui même… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marcus Livius Drusus (jeune) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Drusus. Marcus Livius Drusus fut tribun de la plèbe à Rome en 91 durant la fin de la République romaine. Ses propositions d’accorder la citoyenneté aux Italiens furent repoussées par le Sénat romain, et lui même… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marcus Livius Drusus — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Drusus. Marcus Livius Drusus (mort en 108 av. J. C.) est tribun de la plèbe, en l an 122 av. J. C. Il est opposé par le sénat au tribun de la plèbe Caius Sempronius Gracchus, qui s était rendu redoutable par sa… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus — (fl. 1st century BC) was a senator of the Roman Republic. He was born with the name Appius Claudius Pulcher, into the patrician family of the Claudii. According to Suetonius, Drusus was a direct descendant of the consul and censor Appius Claudius …   Wikipedia

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