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Book XXXIV/XXXV.

from Sardinia they met him, and, as he disembarked, greeted him with acclamations and applause: such was his extreme popularity with the common people.

25. Gracchus, having delivered public harangues on the subject of abolishing aristocratic rule and establishing democracy, and having won credit with all classes,1 had in these men no longer mere supporters but rather sponsors of his own daring plans. Each man, in fact, bribed by hope of private gains, was ready to face any risk on behalf of the proposed laws, quite as though they were a personal interest. By taking away from the senators the right to serve in the courts and designating the knights as jurors, he made the inferior element in the state supreme over their betters; by disrupting the existing harmony of senate and knights, he rendered the common people hostile towards both; then, by using this general dissension as a steppingstone to personal power, and by exhausting the public treasury on base and unsuitable expenditures and favours, he made everyone look only to him as leader; by sacrificing the provinces to the reckless rapacity of the tax farmers he provoked the subject peoples to well-merited hatred of their rulers; and by relaxing through legislation the severity of the old discipline, as a means of currying favour with the soldiers, he introduced disobedience and anarchy into the state: for a man who despises those in authority over him

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diodorus_siculus-library_history.1933