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Gracchus, family name of 2 Roman brothers, social reformers and political leaders, known together as the Gracchi. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (163?–133 B.C.), was elected to the popular tribune in 133. He proposed what became called the Sempronian Law to redistribute public land to landless citizens in order to restore the ruined middle class of small independent farmers. At the next election he renominated himself, and when the Senate ordered the election postponed, there was a riot in which Tiberius was killed. Caius Sempronius Gracchus (153?–121 B.C.), was elected a tribune in 123 and took over leadership of the reform movement, suggesting democratic government to replace aristocracy and proposing citizenship for all Latins. When the Senate moved to revoke his bills, fighting broke out and Caius was killed.

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