In order to ingratiate himself with the people, who still cherished the memory of the Gracchi, Saturninus took about with him Equitius, a paid freedman, who gave himself out to be the son of Tiberius Gracchus.
Although the mother of the Gracchi refused to acknowledge him, the people stoned Metellus because he would not admit his claim to citizenship. Equitius was afterwards elected tribune.
One of these last is a boundary stone relating to the assignation of lands in the time of the Gracchi, of which six other examples have been found in Campania and Lucania.
Thus, at the time of the Gracchi, these equites-publicani formed a close financial corporation of about 30,000 members, holding an intermediate position between the nobility and the lower classes, keenly alive to their own interests, and ready to stand by one another when attacked.
39.8) tells us (and this must refer to the time of the Gracchi if not earlier) that the Romans had in his time built the coast road from the Rhone to Carthago Nova; and it is incredible that the coast road in Italy itself should not have been constructed previously.
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