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664

CHARITY

AND

CHARITIES

Two processes were at work from an early date, before factor. The family, as in England and. elsewhere in the the first agrarian law (486 B.c.): the impoverishment of Middle Ages, and even in later times, in these the plebs, and the increase of slavery. The former led to circumstances assumes an influence which is out annona civica. the annona civica, or the free supply of corn to the of harmony with the common good, ihe social citizens, and to the sportula, or the organized food-supply advantage of the family lies in its self-mainfor poor clients, and ultimately to the alimentarii pueri, tenance, its home charities, and its moral and educational the maintenance of children of citizens by voluntary and force, but if its separate interests are made supreme, it imperial bounty. The latter (slavery) was the standing becomes uncharitable and unsocial. In Rome this was witness that, as self-support was undermined, the task of the line of development. The stronger clan-families crushed relief became hopeless, and the impoverished citizen, as the weaker, and became the “oligarchy of warriors and the generations passed, became in turn dependant, beggar, slaveholders.” In the same spirit they possessed themselves of the ager publicus. The land obtained by the pauper, and slave. The great patrician families—“ an oligarchy of warriors Romans by right of conquest was public. It belonged to and slaveholders”—did not themselves engage in trade, the state, and to a yeoman state it was the most valuable but, entering on large speculations, employed as their acquisition. At first part of it was sold and part was disagents their clients, libertini or freedmen, and, later, tributed to citizens without property and destitute (cf. their slaves. The constant wars, for which the soldiers of Plutarch, Tib. Gracchus). At a very early date, however, a local militia were eventually retained in permanent the patrician families acquired possession of much of it service, broke up the yeomanry and very greatly reduced and held it at a low rental, and thus the natural outlet for their number. Whole families of citizens became im- a conquering farmer race was monopolized by one class, poverished, and their lands were in consequence sold to the the richer clan-families. This injustice was in part remedied by the establishment of colonies, in which the large patrician families, members of which had acquired emigrant citizens received sufficient portions of land. But lucrative posts, or prospered in their speculations, and assumed possession of the larger part of the land, the ager the colonies were comparatively few, and after each conthe rich families made large purchases, while the picblicus, acquired by the state through conquest. The quest smaller proprietors, whose services as soldiers were city had always been the centre of the patrician families, constantly required, were unable to attend to their lands the patrons of the trading libertini and other dependants. or to retain possession of them. To prevent this (367 To it now flocked as well the metoeci, the resident aliens B.c.) the Licinian law was passed, by which ownership in from the conquered states, and the poorer citizens, landless land was limited to 500 jugera, about 312 acres. It was and unable for social reasons to turn to trade. There ignored, however, and more than two centuries later the was thus in Rome a growing multitude of aliens, dis- evil, the double evil of the dispossession of the citizen possessed yeomen, and dependent clients. Simultaneously farmer and of slavery, reached a crisis. The slave war slavery increased very largely after the second Punic war broke out (134 b.c.), and (133 B.c.) Tiberius Gracchus (202 b.c.). Every conquest brought slaves into the made his attempt to re-endow the Roman citizens with the market, for whom ready purchasers were found. The lands which they had acquired by conquest. He underslaves took the place of the freemen upon the old family what was essentially a charitable or philanthropic estates, and the free country people became extinct. Hus- took movement, which was set on foot too late. He had passed bandry gave place to shepherding. The estates were through Tuscany, and seen with resentment and pity the thrown into large domains (latifundia), managed by deserted country where the foreign slaves and barbarians bailiffs and worked by slaves, often fettered or bound were now the only shepherds and cultivators. He had by chains, lodged in cells in houses of labour (ergastulci), been brought up under the influence of Greek Stoical and sometimes cared for when ill in infirmaries (yale- thought, with which, almost in spite of itself, there was tudinaria). In Crete and Sparta the slaves toiled that always associated an element of pity. The problem which the mass of citizens might have means and leisure. In desired to solve, though larger in scale, was essentially Rome the slave class was organized for private and he same as that with which Solon and Peisistratus had dealt not for common ends. In Athens the citizens were paid the successfully. At bottom the issue lay between private profor their services; at Rome no offices were paid. Thus perty, considered as the basis of family life for the great the citizen at Rome was, one might almost say, forced bulk of the community, with personal independence, and into a dependence on the public corn, for as the large properties swallowed up the smaller, and the slave dis- pauperism, with the annona or slavery. In 133 B.c. Tiberius possessed the citizen, a population grew up unfit for rural Gracchus became tribune. To expand society on the lines of private property, he proposed the enforcement of “the toil, disinclined to live by methods that pride considered Licinian Rogations ” ; the rich were to give up all beyond sordid, unstable and pleasure-loving, and yet a serious their rightful 312 acres, and the remainder was to be distripolitical factor, as dependent on the rich for their enjoy- buted amongst the poor (penes). The measure was carried ments as they were on their patrons or the prefect of the by the use of arbitrary powers, and followed by the death corn in the city for their food. of Tiberius at the hands of the patricians, the dominant It is estimated, from extremely difficult and uncertain data, clan-families. In 132 b.c. Caius Gracchus took up his that the population of Rome in the time of Augustus was about brother’s quarrel, and proposed measures for emigration 1 200,000 or 1,500,000. At that time tie plebs urbana numbered 320,000. If this be multiplied by three, to give a low average of and for relief. The former failed; the latter apparently dependants, wives, and children, this section of the population were acceptable to all parties, and continued in force long would number 960,000. The remainder of the 1,500,000, 540,000, after C. Gracchus had been slain (121 B.c.). By the would consist of {a) slaves, and (fi) those, the comparatively few, who would be members of the great clan-familias (gentes). Pro- lex frumentaria he gave the citizens—those who had the portionately to Attica this seems to allow too small a population Roman franchise—the right to purchase corn every month of slaves. But however this be, we may picture the population of from the public stores at rather more than half-price, 6.V Rome as consisting chiefly of a few patrician families ministered asses, or about 3'3d., the peck. This, the fatal alternative, to by a very large number of slaves, and a populace of needy was accepted, and henceforth there was no possibility of citizens, in whose ranks it was profitable for an outsider to find a place in order that he might participate in the advantages of a reversion to better social conditions. The provisioning of Rome was, like that of Athens, a state maintenance. In Rome the clan-family became the dominant political public service. There were public granaries (267 b.c.),