Parthagica Directory 09
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Parthagica Directory 09
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In the south the Lucanians also rose against Rome. The extension of the Roman dominion in the south of the peninsula had brought the state into connection with the Greek cities, which at one period were so numerous and powerful as to give to this part of Italy the name of Magna Graecia.[25] Many of these cities had now fallen into decay through internal dissensions and the conquests of the Lucanians and other Sabellian tribes; but Tarentum, originally a Lacedaemonian colony, still maintained her former power and splendor. The Tarentines naturally regarded with extreme jealousy the progress of the Roman arms in the south of Italy, and had secretly instigated the Etruscans and Lucanians to form a new coalition against Rome. But the immediate cause of the war between the Lucanians and Romans was the assistance which the latter had rendered to the Greek city of Thurii. Being attacked by the Lucanians, the Thurians applied to Rome for aid, and the Consul C. Fabricius not only relieved Thurii, but defeated the Lucanians and their allies in several engagements (B.C. 252). Upon the departure of Fabricius a Roman garrison was left in Thurii.

The leaders of the popular party perceived the mistake they had made in alienating the Italians from their cause, and they now secured their adhesion by offering them the Roman citizenship if they would support the Agrarian Law. As Roman citizens they would, of course, be entitled to the benefits of the law, while they would, at the same time, obtain what they had so long desired--an equal share in political power. But the existing citizens, who saw that their own importance would be diminished by an increase in their numbers, viewed such a proposal with the utmost repugnance. So strong was their feeling that, when great numbers of the Italians had flocked to Rome in B.C. 126, the Tribune M. Junius Pennus carried a law that all aliens should quit the city.

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