During the sixty years between the Social War and the battle of Actium Italy had been the scene of proscriptions and confiscations, of devastation and casualties, in one civil war after another, so that its whole economic and social life might well have been undermined. But despite all the suffering and loss she did not succumb and in fact remained surprisingly prosperous, thanks partly of course to the wealth that she drew from the provinces. The problem that had faced the Gracchi had been to arrest the spread of latifundia and to restore to prosperity the small farmer. In this they had achieved considerable success, and much land had been returned to the peasant farmer. When this process came to a standstill, other causes began to operate which led to its continuation in another form: the needs of the soldiers. Sulla, Caesar and Octavian all had to find land in Italy or abroad for allotments or colonies, and it has been estimated that during these fifty years half a million men received new holdings in Italy. This huge transference in the tenure of land and the resultant moving around of people in Italy naturally had far-reaching social consequences and helped to spread Roman culture and ways of life, including the use of the Latin language; the political unification of Italy, achieved by the Italian War, was thus followed by the slower process of its romanization. But these changes also meant that the small farmer survived and that the process of breaking up the large estates continued.