Caius Gracchus

Plutarch's Lives: Caius Gracchus

Caius Gracchus, at first, either for fear of his brother's enemies,
or designing to render them more odious to the people, absented
himself from the public assemblies, and lived quietly in his own
house, as if he were not only reduced for the present to live
unambitiously, but was disposed in general to pass his life in
inaction. And some, indeed, went so far as to say that he
disliked his brother's measures, and had wholly abandoned the
defense of them. However, he was now but very young, being not so
old as Tiberius by nine years; and he was not yet thirty when he
was slain.

In some little time, however, he quietly let his temper appear,
which was one of an utter antipathy to a lazy retirement and
effeminacy, and not the least likely to be contented with a life
of eating, drinking, and money getting. He gave great pains to
the study of eloquence, as wings upon which he might aspire to
public business; and it was very apparent that he did not intend
to pass his days in obscurity. When Vettius, a friend of his, was
on his trial, he defended his cause, and the people were in an
ecstasy, and transported with joy, finding him master of such
eloquence that the other orators seemed like children in
comparison, and jealousies and fears on the other hand began to be
felt by the powerful citizens; and it was generally spoken of
amongst them that they must hinder Caius from being made tribune.

But soon after, it happened that he was elected quaestor, and
obliged to attend Orestes, the consul, into Sardinia. This, as it
pleased his enemies, so it was not ungrateful to him, being
naturally of a warlike character, and as well trained in the art
of war as in that of pleading. And, besides, as yet he very much
dreaded meddling with state affairs, and appearing publicly in the
rostra, which, because of the importunity of the people and his
friends, he could no otherwise avoid, than by taking this journey.
He was therefore most thankful for the opportunity of absenting
himself. Notwithstanding which, it is the prevailing opinion that
Caius was a far more thorough demagogue, and more ambitious than
ever Tiberius had been, of popular applause; yet it is certain
that he was borne rather by a sort of necessity than by any
purpose of his own into public business. And Cicero, the orator,
relates, that when he declined all such concerns, and would have
lived privately, his brother appeared to him in a dream, and
calling him by his name, said, "why do you tarry, Caius? There is
no escape; one life and one death is appointed for us both, to
spend the one and to meet the other, in the service of the

Caius was no sooner arrived in Sardinia, but he gave exemplary
proofs of his high merit; he not only excelled all the young men
of his age in his actions against his enemies, in doing justice to
his inferiors, and in showing all obedience and respect to his
superior officer; but likewise in temperance, frugality, and
industry, he surpassed even those who were much older than
himself. It happened to be a sharp and sickly winter in Sardinia,
insomuch that the general was forced to lay an imposition upon
several towns to supply the soldiers with necessary clothes. The
cities sent to Rome, petitioning to be excused from that burden;
the senate found their request reasonable, and ordered the general
to find some other way of new clothing the army. While he was at
a loss what course to take in this affair, the soldiers were
reduced to great distress; but Caius went from one city to
another, and by his mere representations, he prevailed with them,
that of their own accord they clothed the Roman army. This again
being reported to Rome, and seeming to be only an intimation of
what was to be expected of him as a popular leader hereafter,
raised new jealousies amongst the senators. And, besides, there
came ambassadors out of Africa from king Micipsa, to acquaint the
senate, that their master, out of respect to Caius Gracchus, had
sent a considerable quantity of corn to the general in Sardinia;
at which the senators were so much offended, that they turned the
ambassadors out of the senate house, and made an order that the
soldiers should be relieved by sending others in their room; but
that Orestes should continue at his post, with whom Caius, also,
as they presumed, being his quaestor, would remain. But he,
finding how things were carried, immediately in anger took ship
for Rome, where his unexpected appearance obtained him the censure
not only of his enemies, but also of the people; who thought it
strange that a quaestor should leave before his commander.
Nevertheless, when some accusation upon this ground was made
against him to the censors, he desired leave to defend himself,
and did it so effectually, that, when he ended, he was regarded as
one who had been very much injured. He made it then appear, that
he had served twelve years in the army, whereas others are obliged
to serve only ten; that he had continued quaestor to the general
three years, whereas he might by law have returned at the end of
one year; and alone of all who went on the expedition, he had
carried out a full, and had brought home an empty purse, while
others, after drinking up the wine they had carried out with them,
brought back the wine-jars filled again with gold and silver from
the war.

After this, they brought other accusations and writs against him,
for exciting insurrection amongst the allies, and being engaged
in the conspiracy that was discovered about Fregellae. But having
cleared himself of every suspicion, and proved his entire
innocence, he now at once came forward to ask for the tribuneship;
in which, though he was universally opposed by all persons of
distinction, yet there came such infinite numbers of people from
all parts of Italy to vote for Caius, that lodgings for them could
not be supplied in the city; and the Field being not large enough
to contain the assembly, there were numbers who climbed upon the
roofs and the tilings of the houses to use their voices in his
favor. However, the nobility so far forced the people to their
pleasure and disappointed Caius's hope, that he was not returned
the first, as was expected, but the fourth tribune. But when he
came to the execution of his office, it was seen presently who was
really first tribune, as he was a better orator than any of his
contemporaries, and the passion with which he still lamented his
brother's death, made him the bolder in speaking. He used on all
occasions to remind the people of what had happened in that
tumult, and laid before them the examples of their ancestors, how
they declared war against the Faliscans, only for giving
scurrilous language to one Genucius, a tribune of the people; and
sentenced Caius Veturius to death, for refusing to give way in the
forum to a tribune; "Whereas," said he, "these men did, in the
presence of you all, murder Tiberius with clubs, and dragged the
slaughtered body through the middle of the city, to be cast into
the river. Even his friends, as many as could be taken, were put
to death immediately, without any trial, notwithstanding that just
and ancient custom, which has always been observed in our city,
that whenever anyone is accused of a capital crime, and does not
make his personal appearance in court, a trumpeter is sent in the
morning to his lodging, to summon him by sound of trumpet to
appear; and before this ceremony is performed, the judges do not
proceed to the vote; so cautious and reserved were our ancestors
about business of life and death."

Having moved the people's passion with such addresses (and his
voice was of the loudest and strongest), he proposed two laws.
The first was, that whoever was turned out of any public office by
the people, should be thereby rendered incapable of bearing any
office afterwards; the second, that if any magistrate condemn a
Roman to be banished, without a legal trial, the people be
authorized to take cognizance thereof.

One of these laws was manifestly leveled at Marcus Octavius, who,
at the instigation of Tiberius, had been deprived of his
tribuneship. The other touched Popilius, who, in his praetorship,
had banished all Tiberius's friends; whereupon Popilius, being
unwilling to stand the hazard of a trial, fled out of Italy. As
for the former law, it was withdrawn by Caius himself, who said he
yielded in the case of Octavius, at the request of his mother
Cornelia. This was very acceptable and pleasing to the people,
who had a great veneration for Cornelia, not more for the sake of
her father than for that of her children; and they afterwards
erected a statue of brass in honor of her, with this inscription,
Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi. There are several
expressions recorded, in which he used her name perhaps with too
much rhetoric, and too little self-respect, in his attacks upon
his adversaries. "How," said he, "dare you presume to reflect
upon Cornelia, the mother of Tiberius?" And because the person
who made the redactions had been suspected of effeminate courses,
"With what face," said he, "can you compare Cornelia with
yourself? Have you brought forth children as she has done? And
yet all Rome knows, that she has refrained from the conversation
of men longer than you yourself have done." Such was the
bitterness he used in his language; and numerous similar
expressions might be adduced from his written remains.

Of the laws which he now proposed, with the object of gratifying
the people and abridging the power of the senate, the first was
concerning the public lands, which were to be divided amongst the
poor citizens; another was concerning the common soldiers, that
they should be clothed at the public charge, without any
diminution of their pay, and that none should be obliged to serve
in the army who was not full seventeen years old; another gave the
same right to all the Italians in general, of voting at elections,
as was enjoyed by the citizens of Rome; a fourth related to the
price of corn, which was to be sold at a lower rate than formerly
to the poor; and a fifth regulated the courts of justice, greatly
reducing the power of the senators. For hitherto, in all causes
senators only sat as judges, and were therefore much dreaded by
the Roman knights and the people. But Caius joined three hundred
ordinary citizens of equestrian rank with the senators, who were
three hundred likewise in number, and ordained that the judicial
authority should be equally invested in the six hundred. While he
was arguing for the ratification of this law, his behavior was
observed to show in many respects unusual earnestness, and whereas
other popular leaders had always hitherto, when speaking, turned
their faces towards the senate house, and the place called the
comitium, he, on the contrary, was the first man that in his
harangue to the people turned himself the other way, towards them,
and continued after that time to do so. An insignificant movement
and change of posture, yet it marked no small revolution in state
affairs, the conversion, in a manner, of the whole government from
an aristocracy to a democracy; his action intimating that public
speakers should address themselves to the people, not the senate.

When the commonalty ratified this law, and gave him power to
select those of the knights whom he approved of, to be judges, he
was invested with a sort of kingly power, and the senate itself
submitted to receive his advice in matters of difficulty; nor did
he advise anything that might derogate from the honor of that
body. As, for example, his resolution about the corn which Fabius
the propraetor sent from Spain, was very just and honorable; for
he persuaded the senate to sell the corn, and return the money to
the same provinces which had furnished them with it; and also that
Fabius should be censured for rendering the Roman government
odious and insupportable. This got him extraordinary respect and
favor among the provinces. Besides all this, he proposed measures
for the colonization of several cities, for making roads, and for
building public granaries; of all which works he himself undertook
the management and superintendence, and was never wanting to give
necessary orders for the dispatch of all these different and great
undertakings; and that with such wonderful expedition and
diligence, as if he had been but engaged upon one of them;
insomuch that all persons, even those who hated or feared him,
stood amazed to see what a capacity he had for effecting and
completing all he undertook. As for the people themselves, they
were transported at the very sight, when they saw him surrounded
with a crowd of contractors, artificers, public deputies, military
officers, soldiers, and scholars. All these he treated with an
easy familiarity, yet without abandoning his dignity in his
gentleness; and so accommodated his nature to the wants and
occasions of everyone who addressed him, that those were looked
upon as no better than envious detractors, who had represented him
as a terrible, assuming, and violent character. He was even a
greater master of the popular leader's art in his common talk and
his actions, than he was in his public addresses.

His most especial exertions were given to constructing the roads,
which he was careful to make beautiful and pleasant, as well as
convenient. They were drawn by his directions through the fields,
exactly in a straight line, partly paved with hewn stone, and
partly laid with solid masses of gravel. When he met with any
valleys or deep watercourses crossing the line, he either caused
them to be filled up with rubbish, or bridges to be built over
them, so well leveled, that all being of an equal height on both
sides, the work presented one uniform and beautiful prospect.
Besides this, he caused the roads to be all divided into miles
(each mile containing little less than eight furlongs, and erected
pillars of stone to signify the distance from one place to
another. He likewise placed other stones at small distances from
one another, on both sides of the way, by the help of which
travelers might get easily on horseback without wanting a groom.

For these reasons, the people highly extolled him, and were ready
upon all occasions to express their affection towards him. One
day, in an oration to them, he declared that he had only one favor
to request, which if they granted, he should think the greatest
obligation in the world; yet if it were denied, he would never
blame them for the refusal. This expression made the world
believe that his ambition was to be consul; and it was generally
expected that he wished to be both consul and tribune at the same
time. When the day for election of consuls was at hand, and all
in great expectation, he appeared in the Field with Caius Fannius,
canvassing together with his friends for his election. This was
of great effect in Fannius's favor. He was chosen consul, and
Caius elected tribune the second time, without his own seeking or
petitioning for it, but at the voluntary motion of the people.
But when he understood that the senators were his declared
enemies, and that Fannius himself was none of the most zealous of
friends, he began again to rouse the people with other new laws.
He proposed that a colony of Roman citizens might be sent to
re-people Tarentum and Capua, and that the Latins should enjoy the
same privileges with the citizens of Rome. But the senate,
apprehending that he would at last grow too powerful and
dangerous, took a new and unusual course to alienate the people's
affections from him, by playing the demagogue in opposition to
him, and offering favors contrary to all good policy. Livius
Drusus was fellow-tribune with Caius, a person of as good a family
and as well educated as any amongst the Romans, and noways
inferior to those who for their eloquence and riches were the most
honored and most powerful men of that time. To him, therefore,
the chief senators made their application, exhorting him to attack
Caius, and join in their confederacy against him; which they
designed to carry on, not by using any force, or opposing the
common people, but by gratifying and obliging them with such
unreasonable things as otherwise they would have felt it honorable
for them to incur the greatest unpopularity in resisting.

Livius offered to serve the senate with his authority in this
business; and proceeded accordingly to bring forward such laws as
were in reality neither honorable nor advantageous for the public;
his whole design being to outdo Caius in pleasing and cajoling the
populace (as if it had been in some comedy), with obsequious
flattery and every kind of gratifications; the senate thus letting
it be seen plainly, that they were not angry with Caius's public
measures, but only desirous to ruin him utterly, or at least to
lessen his reputation. For when Caius proposed the settlement of
only two colonies, and mentioned the better class of citizens for
that purpose, they accused him of abusing the people; and yet, on
the contrary, were pleased with Drusus, when he proposed the
sending out of twelve colonies, each to consist of three thousand
persons, and those, too, the most needy that he could find. When
Caius divided the public land amongst the poor citizens, and
charged them with a small rent, annually, to be paid into the
exchequer, they were angry at him, as one who sought to gratify
the people only for his own interest; yet afterwards they
commended Livius, though he exempted them from paying even that
little acknowledgment. They were displeased with Caius, for
offering the Latins an equal right with the Romans of voting at
the election of magistrates; but when Livius proposed that it
might not be lawful for a Roman captain to scourge a Latin
soldier, they promoted the passing of that law. And Livius, in
all his speeches to the people, always told them, that he proposed
no laws but such as were agreeable to the senate, who had a
particular regard to the people's advantage. And this truly was
the only point in all his proceedings which was of any real
service, as it created more kindly feelings towards the senate in
the people; and whereas they formerly suspected and hated the
principal senators, Livius appeased and mitigated this
perverseness and animosity, by his profession that he had done
nothing in favor and for the benefit of the commons, without their
advice and approbation.

But the greatest credit which Drusus got for kindness and justice
towards the people was, that he never seemed to propose any law
for his own sake, or his own advantage; he committed the charge of
seeing the colonies rightly settled to other commissioners;
neither did he ever concern himself with the distribution of the
moneys; whereas Caius always took the principal part in any
important transactions of this kind. Rubrius, another tribune of
the people, had proposed to have Carthage again inhabited, which
had been demolished by Scipio, and it fell to Caius's lot to see
this performed, and for that purpose he sailed to Africa. Drusus
took this opportunity of his absence to insinuate himself still
more into the peoples' affections, which he did chiefly by
accusing Fulvius, who was a particular friend to Caius, and was
appointed a commissioner with him for the division of the lands.
Fulvius was a man of a turbulent spirit, and notoriously hated by
the senate; and besides, he was suspected by others to have
fomented the differences between the citizens and their
confederates, and underhand to be inciting the Italians to rebel;
though there was little other evidence of the truth of these
accusations, than his being an unsettled character, and of a
well-known seditious temper. This was one principal cause of
Caius's ruin; for part of the envy which fell upon Fulvius, was
extended to him. And when Scipio Africanus died suddenly, and no
cause of such an unexpected death could be assigned, only some
marks of blows upon his body seemed to intimate that he had
suffered violence, as is related in the history of his life, the
greatest part of the odium attached to Fulvius, because he was his
enemy, and that very day had reflected upon Scipio in a public
address to the people. Nor was Caius himself clear from
suspicion. However, this great outrage, committed too upon the
person of the greatest and most considerable man in Rome, was
never either punished or inquired into thoroughly, for the
populace opposed and hindered any judicial investigation, for fear
that Caius should be implicated in the charge if proceedings were
carried on. This, however, had happened some time before.

But in Africa, where at present Caius was engaged in the
repeopling of Carthage, which he named Junonia, many ominous
appearances, which presaged mischief, are reported to have been
sent from the gods. For a sudden gust of wind falling upon the
first standard, and the standard-bearer holding it fast, the staff
broke; another sudden storm blew away the sacrifices, which were
laid upon the altars, and carried them beyond the bounds laid out
for the city; and the wolves came and carried away the very marks
that were set up to show the boundary. Caius, notwithstanding all
this, ordered and dispatched the whole business in the space of
seventy days, and then returned to Rome, understanding how Fulvius
was prosecuted by Drusus, and that the present juncture of affairs
would not suffer him to be absent. For Lucius Opimius, one who
sided with the nobility, and was of no small authority in the
senate, who had formerly sued to be consul, but was repulsed by
Caius's interest, at the time when Fannius was elected, was in a
fair way now of being chosen consul, having a numerous company of
supporters. And it was generally believed, if he did obtain it,
that he would wholly ruin Caius, whose power was already in a
declining condition; and the people were not so apt to admire his
actions as formerly, because there were so many others who every
day contrived new ways to please them, with which the senate
readily complied.

After his return to Rome, he quitted his house on the Palatine
Mount, and went to live near the market-place, endeavoring to make
himself more popular in those parts, where most of the humbler and
poorer citizens lived. He then brought forward the remainder of
his proposed laws, as intending to have them ratified by the
popular vote; to support which a vast number of people collected
from all quarters. But the senate persuaded Fannius, the consul,
to command all persons who were not born Romans, to depart the
city. A new and unusual proclamation was thereupon made,
prohibiting any of the Allies or Confederates to appear at Rome
during that time. Caius, on the contrary, published an edict,
accusing the consul for what he had done, and setting forth to the
Confederates, that if they would continue upon the place, they
might be assured of his assistance and protection. However, he
was not so good as his word; for though he saw one of his own
familiar friends and companions dragged to prison by Fannius's
officers, he notwithstanding passed by, without assisting him;
either because he was afraid to stand the test of his power, which
was already decreased, or because, as he himself reported, he was
unwilling to give his enemies an opportunity, which they very much
desired, of coming to actual violence and fighting. About that
time there happened likewise a difference between him and his
fellow-officers upon this occasion. A show of gladiators was to
be exhibited before the people in the marketplace, and most of the
magistrates erected scaffolds round about, with an intention of
letting them for advantage. Caius commanded them to take down
their scaffolds, that the poor people might see the sport without
paying anything. But nobody obeying these orders of his, he
gathered together a body of laborers, who worked for him, and
overthrew all the scaffolds, the very night before the contest was
to take place. So that by the next morning the market-place was
cleared, and the common people had an opportunity of seeing the
pastime. In this, the populace thought he had acted the part of a
man; but he much disobliged the tribunes, his colleagues, who
regarded it as a piece of violent and presumptuous interference.

This was thought to be the chief reason that he failed of being a
third time elected tribune; not but that he had the most votes,
but because his colleagues out of revenge caused false returns to
be made. But as to this matter there was a controversy. Certain
it is, he very much resented this repulse, and behaved with
unusual arrogance towards some of his adversaries who were joyful
at his defeat, telling them, that all this was but a false,
sardonic mirth, as they little knew how much his actions threw
them into obscurity.

As soon as Opimius also was chosen consul, they presently canceled
several of Caius's laws, and especially called in question his
proceedings at Carthage, omitting nothing that was likely to
irritate him, that from some effect of his passion they might find
out a colorable pretense to put him to death. Caius at first bore
these things very patiently; but afterwards, at the instigation of
his friends, especially Fulvius, he resolved to put himself at the
head of a body of supporters, to oppose the consul by force. They
say also that on this occasion his mother, Cornelia, joined in the
sedition, and assisted him by sending privately several strangers
into Rome, under pretense as if they came to be hired there for
harvestmen; for that intimations of this are given in her letters
to him. However, it is confidently affirmed by others, that
Cornelia did not in the least approve of these actions.

When the day came in which Opimius designed to abrogate the laws
of Caius, both parties met very early at the capitol; and the
consul having performed all the rites usual in their sacrifices,
one Quintus Antyllius, an attendant on the consul, carrying out
the entrails of the victim, spoke to Fulvius, and his friends who
stood about him, "Ye factious citizens, make way for honest men."
Some report, that besides this provoking language, he extended his
naked arm towards them, as a piece of scorn and contempt. Upon
this he was presently killed with the strong stiles which are
commonly used in writing, though some say that on this occasion
they had been manufactured for this purpose only. This murder
caused a sudden consternation in the whole assembly, and the heads
of each faction had their different sentiments about it. As for
Caius he was much grieved, and severely reprimanded his own party,
because they had given their adversaries a reasonable pretense to
proceed against them, which they had so long hoped for. Opimius,
immediately seizing the occasion thus offered, was in great
delight, and urged the people to revenge; but there happening a
great shower of rain on a sudden, it put an end to the business of
that day.

Early the next morning, the consul summoned the senate, and whilst
he advised with the senators in the senate-house, the corpse of
Antyllius was laid upon a bier, and brought through the
market-place, being there exposed to open view, just before the
senate-house, with a great deal of crying and lamentation.
Opimius was not at all ignorant that this was designed to be done;
however, he seemed to be surprised, and wondered what the meaning
of it should be; the senators, therefore, presently went out to
know the occasion of it and, standing about the corpse, uttered
exclamations against the inhuman and barbarous act. The people
meantime could not but feel resentment and hatred for the
senators, remembering how they themselves had not only
assassinated Tiberius Gracchus, as he was executing his office in
the very capitol, but had also thrown his mangled body into the
river; yet now they could honor with their presence and their
public lamentations in the forum the corpse of an ordinary hired
attendant, (who, though he might perhaps die wrongfully, was,
however, in a great measure the occasion of it himself,) by these
means hoping to undermine him who was the only remaining defender
and safeguard of the people.

The senators, after some time, withdrew, and presently ordered
that Opimius, the consul, should be invested with extraordinary
power to protect the commonwealth and suppress all tyrants. This
being decreed, he presently commanded the senators to arm
themselves, and the Roman knights to be in readiness very early
the next morning, and every one of them to be attended with two
servants well armed. Fulvius, on the other side, made his
preparations and collected the populace. Caius at that time
returning from the market-place, made a stop just before his
father's statue, and fixing his eyes for some time upon it,
remained in a deep contemplation; at length he sighed, shed tears,
and departed. This made no small impression upon those who saw
it, and they began to upbraid themselves, that they should desert
and betray so worthy a man as Caius. They therefore went
directly to his house, remaining there as a guard about it all
night, though in a different manner from those who were a guard to
Fulvius; for they passed away the night with shouting and
drinking, and Fulvius himself, being the first to get drunk,
spoke and acted many things very unbecoming a man of his age and
character. On the other side, the party which guarded Caius, were
quiet and diligent, relieving one another by turns, and
forecasting, as in a public calamity, what the issue of things
might be. As soon as daylight appeared, they roused Fulvius, who
had not yet slept off the effects of his drinking; and having
armed themselves with the weapons hung up in his house, that were
formerly taken from the Gauls, whom he conquered in the time of
his consulship, they presently, with threats and loud
acclamations, made their way towards the Aventine Mount.

Caius could not be persuaded to arm himself, but put on his gown,
as if he had been going to the assembly of the people, only with
this difference, that under it he had then a short dagger by his
side. As he was going out, his wife came running to him at the
gate, holding him with one hand, and with her other a young child
of his. She thus bespoke him: "Alas, Caius, I do not now part
with you to let you address the people, either as a tribune or a
lawgiver, nor as if you were going to some honorable war, when
though you might perhaps have encountered that fate which all must
sometime or other submit to, yet you had left me this mitigation
of my sorrow, that my mourning was respected and honored. You go
now to expose your person to the murderers of Tiberius, unarmed,
indeed, and rightly so, choosing rather to suffer the worst of
injuries, than do the least yourself. But even your very death at
this time will not be serviceable to the public good. Faction
prevails; power and arms are now the only measures of justice.
Had your brother fallen before Numantia, the enemy would have
given back what then had remained of Tiberius; but such is my hard
fate, that I probably must be an humble suppliant to the floods or
the waves, that they would somewhere restore to me your relics;
for since Tiberius was not spared, what trust can we place either
on the laws, or in the gods?" Licinia, thus bewailing, Caius, by
degrees getting loose from her embraces, silently withdrew
himself, being accompanied by his friends; she, endeavoring to
catch him by the gown, fell prostrate upon the earth, lying there
for some time speechless. Her servants took her up for dead, and
conveyed her to her brother Crassus.

Fulvius, when the people were gathered together in a full body, by
the advice of Caius, sent his youngest son into the market-place,
with a herald's rod in his hand. He, being a very handsome youth,
and modestly addressing himself, with tears in his eyes and a
becoming bashfulness, offered proposals of agreement to the consul
and the whole senate. The greatest part of the assembly were
inclinable to accept of the proposals; but Opimius said, that it
did not become them to send messengers and capitulate with the
senate, but to surrender at discretion to the laws, like loyal
citizens, and endeavor to merit their pardon by submission. He
commanded the youth not to return, unless they would comply with
these conditions. Caius, as it is reported, was very forward to
go and clear himself before the senate; but none of his friends
consenting to it, Fulvius sent his son a second time to intercede
for them, as before. But Opimius, who was resolved that a
battle should ensue, caused the youth to be apprehended, and
committed into custody; and then, with a company of his
foot-soldiers and some Cretan archers, set upon the party under
Fulvius. These archers did such execution, and inflicted so many
wounds, that a rout and flight quickly ensued. Fulvius fled into
an obscure bathing-house; but shortly after being discovered, he
and his eldest son were slain together. Caius was not observed to
use any violence against anyone; but, extremely disliking all
these outrages, retired to Diana's temple. There he attempted to
kill himself, but was hindered by his faithful friends, Pomponius
and Licinius, they took his sword away from him, and were very
urgent that he would endeavor to make his escape. It is reported,
that falling upon his knee and lifting up his hands, he prayed the
goddess that the Roman people, as a punishment for their
ingratitude and treachery, might always remain in slavery. For as
soon as a proclamation was made of a pardon, the greater part
openly deserted him.

Caius, therefore, endeavored now to make his escape, but was
pursued so close by his enemies, as far as the wooden bridge, that
from thence he narrowly escaped. There his two trusty friends
begged of him to preserve his own person by flight, whilst they in
the meantime would keep their post, and maintain the passage;
neither could their enemies, until they were both slain, pass the
bridge. Caius had no other companion in his flight but one
Philocrates, a servant of his. As he ran along, everybody
encouraged him, and wished him success, as standers-by may do to
those who are engaged in a race, but nobody either lent him any
assistance, or would furnish him with a horse, though he asked for
one; for his enemies had gained ground, and got very near him.
However, he had still time enough to hide himself in a little
grove, consecrated to the Furies. In that place, his servant
Philocrates having first slain him, presently afterwards killed
himself also, and fell dead upon his master. Though some affirm
it for a truth, that they were both taken alive by their enemies,
and that Philocrates embraced his master so close, that they could
not wound Caius until his servant was slain.

They say that when Caius's head was cut off, and carried away by
one of his murderers, Septimuleius, Opimius's friend met him, and
forced it from him; because, before the battle began, they had
made proclamation, that whoever should bring the head either of
Caius or Fulvius, should, as a reward, receive its weight in gold.
Septimuleius, therefore, having fixed Caius's head upon the top of
his spear, came and presented it to Opimius. They presently
brought the scales, and it was found to weigh above seventeen
pounds. But in this affair, Septimuleius gave as great signs of
his knavery, as he had done before of his cruelty; for having
taken out the brains, he had filled the skull with lead. There
were others who brought the head of Fulvius too, but, being mean,
inconsiderable persons, were turned away without the promised
reward. The bodies of these two persons, as well as of the rest
who were slain, to the number of three thousand men, were all
thrown into the river; their goods were confiscated, and their
widows forbidden to put themselves into mourning. They dealt even
more severely with Licinia, Caius's wife, and deprived her even of
her jointure; and as an addition still to all their inhumanity,
they barbarously murdered Fulvius's youngest son; his only crime
being, not that he took up arms against them, or that he was
present in the battle, but merely that he had come with articles
of agreement; for this he was first imprisoned, then slain.

But that which angered the common people beyond all these things
was, because at this time, in memory of his success, Opimius built
the temple of Concord, as if he gloried and triumphed in the
slaughter of so many citizens. Somebody in the night time, under
the inscription of the temple, added this verse:--

Folly and Discord Concord's temple built.

Yet this Opimius, the first who, being consul, presumed to usurp
the power of a dictator, condemning, without any trial, with three
thousand other citizens, Caius Gracchus and Fulvius Flaccus, one
of whom had triumphed, and been consul, the other far excelled all
his contemporaries in virtue and honor, afterwards was found
incapable of keeping his hands from thieving; and when he was sent
ambassador to Jugurtha, king of Numidia, he was there corrupted by
presents, and at his return being shamefully convicted of it, lost
all his honors, and grew old amidst the hatred and the insults of
the people, who, though humbled, and affrighted at the time, did
not fail before long to let everybody see what respect and
veneration they had for the memory of the Gracchi. They ordered
their statues to be made and set up in public view; they
consecrated the places where they were slain, and thither brought
the first-fruits of everything, according to the season of the
year, to make their offerings. Many came likewise thither to
their devotions, and daily worshipped there, as at the temples of
the gods.

It is reported, that as Cornelia, their mother, bore the loss of
her two sons with a noble and undaunted spirit, so, in reference
to the holy places in which they were slain, she said, their dead
bodies were well worthy of such sepulchres. She removed
afterwards, and dwelt near the place called Misenum, not at all
altering her former way of living. She had many friends, and
hospitably received many strangers at her house; many Greeks and
learned men were continually about her; nor was there any foreign
prince but received gifts from her and presented her again. Those
who were conversant with her, were much interested, when she
pleased to entertain them with her recollections of her father
Scipio Africanus, and of his habits and way of living. But it was
most admirable to hear her make mention of her sons, without any
tears or sign of grief, and give the full account of all their
deeds and misfortunes, as if she had been relating the history of
some ancient heroes. This made some imagine, that age, or the
greatness of her afflictions, had made her senseless and devoid of
natural feelings. But they who so thought, were themselves more
truly insensible, not to see how much a noble nature and education
avail to conquer any affliction; and though fortune may often be
more successful, and may defeat the efforts of virtue to avert
misfortunes, it cannot, when we incur them, prevent our bearing
them reasonably.

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