Beyond the Contio: Political Communication in the Tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter considers oratory in relationship to other networks of political communication. It focuses on the political program and legislation of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 bc. Tiberius was able to mobilize large groups of rural voters using local networks connected to city politics; and he could turn at short notice to the poor in the city because networks existed in the local neighbourhoods of Rome. While our extant ancient sources to Tiberius' tribunate are meagre and distorted by bias, the pattern of rapid and repeated political initiatives offers a suggestive case study of intense political communication that produced action and reaction amongst broad groups of Romans, both inside and outside the city. At the same time, the politics of 133 bc offer valuable insights into a different political and rhetorical landscape than that described by Cicero or Sallust around the middle of the first century bc.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCommunity and Communication
Subtitle of host publicationOratory and Politics in Republican Rome
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191746130
ISBN (Print)9780199641895
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities

Keywords

  • Communicative networks
  • Legislation
  • Oratory
  • Political communication
  • Rural and urban voters
  • Tiberius gracchus
  • Tribunate

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