Caius Gracchus: The Hero Of The Second Punic War

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Tiberius and Gaius (Caius) Gracchus were the sons of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Cornelia Africana—the daughter of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the famed hero of the Second Punic War. These brothers were reformers whose reforms would greatly alter Rome. Who are they and what exactly did they bring about? I will start with the eldest of these brothers—Tiberius Gracchus. He was born around 164 B.C. in Rome. He was the eldest boy of the surviving three children (his mother actually bore twelve children, but only three made it past infancy); he had an older sister named Sempronia and a younger brother named Gaius of whom I will speak later. Tiberius was of a calm, mild temper and would gently reason with the people in his speeches. …show more content…
in Rome. Unlike Tiberius, Gaius was of a more reckless temper. When speaking Gaius was said to pull off his toga and speak passionately. He would get so carried by the heat of the discussion that he would literally start screaming in a high pitch and start pouring out abuse. Gaius actually kept a servant that would play a soft note to remind him to bring it down a notch. He was elected to be quaestor for the consul Orestes in 126 B.C. in Sardinia. During a harsh winter the troops were in need of clothes and being told by the senate to provide it, Gaius asked the people themselves to provide it. The senate fearing it was a way for Gaius to gain the favor of the people, sent fresh troops but left Orestes in Sardinia hoping Gaius too would stay. However, he did not. They accused him of breaking the law and starting revolts, but he quickly refuted all charges brought against …show more content…
people blamed both Gaius and Fulvius, Scipio’s enemy. Because of this Gaius returned to Rome. Lucius Optimus was elected consul and wished to rid of all of Gaius’s reforms. On the day the voting for this was to occur, Quintus Antyllius, a supporter of Optimus, was killed by the supporters of Gaius. This gave Optimus the excuse he needed to rid himself of Gaius. Optimus gathered the senators and those of equestrian rank to go with him armed to arrest Fulvius and Gaius. They to gathered a mob and asked for a treaty, but Optimus insisted that only by handing themselves over would it all cease. Fulvius would not, and so Optimus advanced at them. At once Fulvius and his supporters, along with Gaius and his, fled. Fulvius was overtaken and slain; Gaius fled to a sacred grove and there he committed suicide along with his servant. Since Optimus had stated that whoever brought Gaius’s head would be paid its weight, Septimuleius (a friend of Optimus) took Gaius’s head, took out its brain, and filled it with molten lead; when weighed it was shown to be over seventeen pounds. It was discovered as a fraud and Septimuleius gained nothing. The bodies of the slain, as those of Tiberius Gracchus, were thrown into the Tiber

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