I have also read your Feb 17 article on the Agrarian Laws.

What caused the fall of the Roman Republic was not the Agrarian Laws per se but the non-compliance of the Roman aristocracy, they became too greedy and didn’t want to comply with the Agrarian Law. From what I understand, what led to the riots was that the Roman aristocracy grabbed the land for itself.

The Roman Agrarian Law can be said to be just like the Law of Lycurgus when Spartiates plots were laid out. None of them could be bought or sold. The king had a large plot but so did the Dorian aristocracy and then the Spartiates all had their plots. None of these could be bought and sold. Polybius remarks that the failure of the Cretan republics was that they did not do what Lycurgus had done in Sparta.

Republics are to be agrarian and based on Virtue. Socrates said, in paraphrase, “Where money is prized, virtue is despised”. (Plato, Rep, 550 e and following) Republics, true republics, are to have sumptuary laws. The Spartan Republic had sumptuary laws. The Roman senate originally, had sumptuary laws as well. What ended the Roman Republic, was the warrior elite, the Roman aristocracy, not complying with their own sumptuary laws.

What ended Sparta, as Prof. Mueller, has pointed out was the ephors at Sparta, which were chosed from the Spartiates. They too relaxed the sumptuary laws of Lycurgus which ended its republic as well.

Republics are the Golden Mean and those people who live in true republics must live in Virtue which is the Golden Mean. Commercial republics, like Venice, are rare. Venice was successful whereas Florence was a disaster, a continuing disaster.

WLW