The Roman Senate: The Second Punic War

Chair: Ben Holderness

Vice-Chair: Stephen Mcnulty

Ours is a historical crisis. In the late second century BC, two brothers quarreled with the Roman elite, and many thought their meteoric rise augered the end of the Roman Senate, the Roman elite, and even the Roman religion. However, the two brothers, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchi, developed a fanatical following among those slighted by Senate oligarchy: the Roman poor. The Brothers promised massive reforms to sate the populace’s appetite for greater control of the Government. The Roman aristocracy despised these reform because they fought on behalf of their own economic and social interests under the pretext of protecting the traditions of the Republic. This clash poses a fundamental question to delegates--How should the Senate respond to the people’s demand for more of it? Should they cave to the urban mob and the "tribune of the people"? Should they dig in its heels and fight? These are long-term questions with long-term ramifications for the entire future of the Republic.


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