Italian Citizenship

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For some time, one of the hot issues of the day in Rome was citizenship for the Italian allies. While the Romans had previously been fairly liberal in granting different allies full citizenship, lately they had been satisfied to grant only second class, or Latin, citizenship. Unfortunately, the Italian allies were not nearly as satisfied with this and were agitating for full rights. We have already seen how this issue cost Gaius Gracchus his life. When another Roman, Marcus Livius Drusus, proposed full citizenship and was assassinated, Italian frustration boiled over into open rebellion. This revolt, known as the Social War, or war of the allies (9l-88 B.C.E.), saw Rome faced with a formidable Italian enemy trained in Roman tactics. In fact, …show more content…
Sulla 's tremendous energy and drive made short work of his enemies, and he entered Rome in triumph. His first act was to massacre any of his enemies, including some 90 senators and 2600 rich equites. Among those narrowly escaping Sulla 's wrath was the defiant young son-in-law of Marius, Julius Caesar. Sulla then became dictator, and reformed the government to put the Senate back in firm control of the state, just like in the good old days. A year later, Sulla abdicated his powers and retired to the luxury of his villa where he died soon afterwards (78 …show more content…
And after his strong hand was removed, political turmoil returned in full force. The first man to take advantage of this situation was Pompey, one of Sulla 's young army officers. Pompey 's early rise to power was the result of some drive and energy, but also a good deal of luck. He held several military commands before holding public office. That was illegal, but apparently of little account anymore in Rome. Quite a bit of luck accompanied Pompey as he destroyed Marius ' supporters holding out in North Africa and Spain. Also, by chance, as he returned to Rome from Spain, he encountered and mopped up the remnants of a great slave revolt led by a gladiator named Spartacus. Another of Sulla 's former officers, Crassus "Dives" (the rich), had actually broken the back of this slave revolt that had terrorized Italy for two years. Nevertheless, Pompey claimed partial

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