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The deaths of the Gracchi at the hands of their political foes seemed to herald the increasing streets violence that would characterize the Roman Civil War and decline of the Republic, as more politicians maintained bands of thugs in Rome itself.

Was this street violence a new turn of events? Or was it already common, or at least not unheard of, by the time of Tiberius Gracchus? Was his murder an unprecedented act that shocked Rome generally? Were there any discernible trends in political street violence around this time?

And yes, as an aside, I am thinking of parallels in Weimar and, sad to say, our own time, where legitimate political parties also have informal militias putting in shows of force in public, with accelerating effects.

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    Brittanica says, "Widespread and bloody repression followed in 132. Thus political murder and political martyrdom were introduced into Roman politics." Emphasis mine. Ancient says, "The tribunates of Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus began a turbulent period in Rome's domestic politics,. . . " – Mark C. Wallace Nov 16 '20 at 19:03
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    Not a direct answer, but Mike Duncan's Storm Before the Storm is a good resource inspired by modern parallels – Gort the Robot Nov 16 '20 at 19:21
  • Thanks, yes, I read "Storm Before the Storm," really good, but I still wasn't sure if street violence was periodic or common before the Grachi, though it seems to have been after. I'm not sure when swords were first banned in Rome (before the Grachi, hence "break up the benches,") but that too would seem to imply it was an ever present danger. – Nelson Alexander Nov 16 '20 at 22:34

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