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In any case, the death was used by Gaius Gracchus's political rival, Lucius Opimius, to suspend the constitution again with another senatus consultum ultimum.

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However, other scholars have argued that as the Republic was meant to be res publica—the essential thing of the people—the poor and disenfranchised can not be blamed for trying to redress their legitimate and legal grievances.For centuries, historians have argued about the start, specific crises involved, and end date for the Crisis of the Roman Republic.Tiberius Gracchus had transgressed the laws that protected the equilibrium of the social and political order, the laws on the tribunician sacrosanctitas and attempted tyranny, and hence was subject to the punishment they prescribed, consecration of his goods and person [to Ceres].About nine years later Tiberius's younger brother, Gaius, passed more radical reforms.Thus at times of extreme crisis in the past the Senate had impressed them, along with convicts and slaves, for service as legionaries.

However, on 10 December 100 BC the senate declared another senatus consultum ultimum, this time in order to bring down Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, a radical tribune in the mould of the Gracchi who had been inciting violence in Rome on behalf of Marius' interests.

In 88, the senate awarded Sulla the lucrative and powerful post of commander in the war against Mithridates over Marius.

However, Marius managed to secure the position anyway, through political deal-making with Publius Sulpicius Rufus.

Sulla made peace with Rome's enemies in the east and began to arrange for his return to Rome.

Cinna, Marius's populist successor, was killed by his own men as they moved to meet Sulla on foreign soil.

In addition to settling the poor in colonies on land conquered by Rome, he passed the lex frumentaria, which gave the poor the right to buy grain at subsidized prices.