There had been growing signs of popular discontent with the situation, including recent activism on the part of certain tribunes. Taken together, such considerations convinced Tiberius that his best option was to employ the tribunate to take on the Senate directly. Tiberius introduced before the concilium plebis a bill that would free up much of this land by establishing a limit of 500 iugera (300 acres) of public land that could be controlled by a single individual, and would redistribute any re-appropriated lands among the people.
The bill was not quite as radical as it might appear: it assured the present tenants reimbursement for any appropriated land and granted them rent-free ownership of the land that was left under their control. A similar bill had in fact been put forward by C. Laelius in 145, with some support from nobiles. This bill was biased toward the masses. Adshead (1981) suggests that while Tiberius may not have had any direct contact with Egypt, these reforms were similar to Ptolemaic agrarian reforms of that country; in this he may have drawn inspiration from Scipio Aemilianus. ...Show more