This is Google's cache of
Google's cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we crawled the web.
The page may have changed since that time. Click here for the current page without highlighting.

Google is not affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.

Provided by The Internet Classics Archive.
See bottom for copyright. Available online at

Caius Gracchus
By Plutarch

(legendary, died 121 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

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 defence of them. However, he was not
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 not 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 people."

Caius was no sooner arrived in Sardinia, but he gave exemplary proofs
of his hight 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 favour. 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 any one 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

One of these laws was manifestly levelled 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 honour 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 reflections 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 behaviour 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 a 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 honour of that body. As, for example,
his resolution about the corn which Fabius the propraetor sent from
Spain, was very just and honourable; 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 favour 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 despatch 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 every one 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 levelled, 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 travellers
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 favour 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 favour. 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 fo 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 favours 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
honoured 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 honourable 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 honourable 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 favour 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 people's 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 difference 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 re-peopling
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 despatched 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, endeavouring to make himself
more popular in those parts, where most of the humble 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 market-place,
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 labourers, 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 the
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 cancelled
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 tolerable pretence
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 pretence as if they came
to be hired there for harvest-men; 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 pretence 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 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 honour 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 what the issue of things might be. As
soon as daylight appeared, they Fulvius, who had not yet slept off
the effects of his drinking; and 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 the other a young child of his. She 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 honourable war, when, though you might perhaps have encountered
that fate which all must some time or other submit to, yet you had
left me this mitigation of my sorrow, that my mourning was respected
and honoured. 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, endeavouring 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 endeavour 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 any one; 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 endeavour 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, endeavoured 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 in 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 most was, that 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 honour, 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 honours, and grew old
amidst the hatred and the insults of the people; who, though humble,
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 temple 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 hearing them reasonably. 



Copyright statement:
The Internet Classics Archive by Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
World Wide Web presentation is copyright (C) 1994-2000, Daniel
C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
All rights reserved under international and pan-American copyright
conventions, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part
in any form. Direct permission requests to
Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
copyright (C) Thomas Bushnell, BSG.