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Power and Public Finance at Rome, 264-49 BCE$
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James Tan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190639570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190639570.001.0001

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The Death and Taxes of the Gracchi

The Death and Taxes of the Gracchi

(p.144) 6. The Death and Taxes of the Gracchi
Power and Public Finance at Rome, 264-49 BCE

James Tan

Oxford University Press

Brothers Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus offered a range of reforms that do not appear on the surface to have been dangerous enough to justify their deaths. This chapter argues that they provoked such hatred because they attacked the central pillars of aristocratic identity: they envisioned a state that required more specialized skills than the amateur ethos of the aristocrat allowed; they erected a fiscal structure that expanded the entitlement of the state and cut into the financial interests of the elite; finally, they created state networks of distribution that rivaled the elite’s control over economic handouts through patronage.

Keywords:   Gracchus, Nasica, Gracchi, Attalus III, state, patronage, res publica

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