Populares

From Academic Kids

Populares ("Favoring the people", singular popularis) are aristocratic leaders in the late Roman Republic who tended to use the peoples' assemblies in an effort to break the stranglehold of nobiles and optimates on political power.

Populare plans included some moving of Roman citizens to provincial colonies; expansion of citizenship to communities outside of Rome and Italy; and modification of the grain dole and monetary value. Ironically, the populare cause reached its peak under the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, the most avid leader of the populares. After the creation of the Second Triumvirate (43 BC-33 BC), the cause of the populares was essentially destroyed.

Besides Caesar, notable populares included the Gracchi Brothers, Marius, Clodius, and (during the First Triumvirate) Crassus and Pompey.

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