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JOHN ERNEST GRABE (1666-1711)

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Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 307 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN ERNEST GRABE (1666-1711), Anglican divine, was born on the loth of July 1666, at Konigsberg, where his father, Martin Sylvester Grabe, was professor of theology and history. In his theological studies Grabe succeeded in persuading himself of the schismatical character of the Reformation, and accordingly he presented to the consistory of Samland in Prussia a memorial in which he compared the position of the evangelical Protestant churches with that of the Novatians and other ancient schismatics. He had resolved to join the Church of Rome when a commission of Lutheran divines pointed out flaws in his written argument and called his attention to the English Church as apparently possessing that apostolic succession and manifesting that fidelity to ancient institutions which he desired. He came to England, settled in Oxford, was ordained in 1700, and became chaplain of Christ Church. His inclination was towards the party of the nonjurors. The learned labours to which the remainder of his life was devoted were rewarded with an Oxford degree and a royal pension. He died on the 3rd of November 1711, and in 1726 a monument was erected to him by Edward Harley, earl of Oxford, in Westminster Abbey. He was buried in St Pancras Church, London. Some account of Grabe's life is given in R. Nelson's Life of George Bull, and by George Hickes in a discourse prefixed to the pamphlet against W. Whiston's Collection of Testimonies against the True Deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. His works, which show him Scipio in Africa during the last Punic war, and was the first to mount the walls in the attack on Carthage. When quaestor in 137, he accompanied the consul C. Hostilius Mancinus to Spain. During the Numantine war the Roman army was saved from annihilation only by the efforts of Tiberius, with whom alone the Numantines consented to treat, out of respect for the memory of his father. The senate refused to ratify the agreement; Mancinus was handed over to the enemy as a sign that it was annulled, and only personal popularity saved Tiberius himself from punishment. In 133 he was tribune, and championed the impoverished farmer class and the lower orders. His proposals (see AGRARIAN LAWS) met with violent opposition, and were not carried until he had, illegally and unconstitutionally, secured the deposition of his fellow-tribune, M. Octavius, who had been persuaded by the optimates to veto them. The senate put every obstacle in the way of the three commissioners appointed to carry out the provisions of the law, and Tiberius, in view of the bitter enmity he had aroused, saw that it was necessary to strengthen his hold on the popular favour. The legacy to the Roman people of the kingdom and treasures of Attalus III. of Pergamum gave him an opportunity. He proposed that the money realized by the sale of the treasures should be divided, for the purchase of implements and stock, amongst those to whom assignments of land had been made under the new law. He is also said to have brought forward measures for shortening the period of military service, for extending the right of appeal from the judices to the people, for abolishing the exclusive privilege of the senators to act as jurymen, and even for admitting the Italian allies to citizenship. To strengthen his position further, Tiberius offered himself for re-election as tribune for the following year. The senate declared that it was illegal to hold this office for two consecutive years; but Tiberius treated this objection with contempt. To win the sympathy of the people, he appeared in mourning, and appealed for protection for his wife and children, and whenever he left his house ,he was accompanied by a bodyguard of 3000 men, chiefly consisting of the city rabble. The meeting of the tribes for the election of tribunes broke up in disorder on two successive days, without any result being attained, although on both occasions the first divisions voted in favour of Tiberius. A rumour reached the senate that he was aiming at supreme power, that he had touched his head with his hand, a sign that he was asking for a crown. An appeal to the consul P. Mucius Scaevola to order him to be put to death at once having failed, P. Scipio Nasica exclaimed that Scaevola was acting treacherously towards the state, and called upon those who agreed with him to take up arms and follow him. During the riot that followed, Tiberius attempted to escape, but stumbled on the slope of the Capitol and was beaten to death with the end of a bench. At night his body, with those of 300 others, was thrown into the Tiber. The aristocracy boldly assumed the responsibility for what had occurred, and set up a commission to inquire into the case of the partisans of Tiberius, many of whom were banished and others put to death. Even the moderate Scaevola subsequently maintained that Nasica was justified in his action; and it was reported that Scipio, when he heard at Numantia of his brother-in-law's death, repeated the line of Homer—" So perish all who do the like again." See Livy, Epit. 58; Appian, Bell. civ. i. 9-17; Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus; Vell. Pat. ii. 2, 3. 5. GAius SEMPRONIUS GRACCHUS (153–121 B.C.), younger brother of (4), was a man of greater abilities, bolder and more passionate, although possessed of considerable powers of self-control, and a vigorous and impressive orator. When twenty years of age he was appointed one of the commissioners to carry out the distribution of land under the provisions of his brother's agrarian law. At the time of Tiberius's death, Gaius was serving under his brother-in-law Scipio in Spain, but probably returned to Rome in the following year (132). In 131 he supported the bill of C. Papirius Carbo, the object of which was to make it legal for a tribune to offer himself as candidate for the office in two consecutive years, and thus to remove to have been learned and laborious but somewhat deficient in critical acumen, include a Spicilegium SS. Patrum et haereticorum (1698-1699), which was designed to cover the first three centuries of the Christian church, but was not continued beyond the close of the second. A second edition of this work was published in 1714. He brought out an edition of Justin Martyr's Apologia prima (1700), of Irenaeus, Adversus omnes haereses (1702), of the Septuagint, and of Bishop Bull's Latin works (1703). His edition of the Septuaint was based on the Codex Alexandrinus; it appeared in 4 volumes 1707-1720), , and was completed by Francis Lee and by George Wigan.
End of Article: JOHN ERNEST GRABE (1666-1711)
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