Gracchi brothers

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The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, served as tribunes in Ancient Rome 133 and 123 B.C., respectively. They passed laws to help the poor by redistributing land from the wealthy estates known as “latifundia” to the poor. Gaius tried to end the practice of wheat speculation, by which wealthy citizens bought all the grain and then, during times of shortage, resold it to the poor at greatly inflated prices. However, the angry Roman Senate instigated a riot that clubbed Tiberius to death in 133 B.C. and Gaius committed suicide before he could be assassinated for trying to resell grain to the poor at low prices in 121 B.C.