Plut. Ti. Gracch. 16, 1: a Gracchan law on appeal?
According to Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus announced during the election campaign of the 133 BCE, that he would pass a number of laws, and among them — the law granting the right of appeal to the people (provocatio) ἀπὸ τῶν δικαστῶν. Ti. Gracchus has died before he passed the alleged law. Besides Plutarch, his last reform programme is attested only by Cassius Dio, who mentions no law on appeal. The whole programme is very similar to the laws of Gaius Gracchus, and there is suspicion, that it consists of the laws of Gaius which were ascribed to Tiberius to depict him as a power-seeking demagogue. What could be the aims of the law on appeal and what it meant exactly? Firstly, both Gracchi could consider an appeal against the senatorial extraordinary commissions which would protect the Gracchans against political persecution. This measure seems to be more appropriate after the advocates of Tiberius Gracchus were prosecuted in senatorial courts. But Gaius Gracchus, instead of it, prohibited appointing the extraordinary courts iniussu populi. Secondly, if the aim was to gain the electors, Tiberius could promise them appeal against murder courts, though it would be pernicious for the public order. Finally, in all other cases the bill on appeal would be of no use for the Gracchans, but would make them a good target of criticism. Such a measure could well be invented by an anti-Gracchan source.
provocatio ad populum, Gaius Gracchus, Tiberius Gracchus
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