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Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, continued ...

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Tribuneship of 123–122 BC

Senatorial Response

The senate interpreted Gaius' popularity and legislation as threats to its privilege and position.

It backed another tribune, Livius Drusus.

He was placed under strict orders not to incite violence; instead, he should propose legislation that would please the common people, and make it known that he had the Senate's backing.

In the event, his proposed legislation was neither credible nor beneficial to the commons, and was intended merely to undermine Gaius.

When Gaius proposed that two colonies be founded with reliable citizens, the Senate accused him of trying to win favor with the people before Drusus proposed twelve with three thousand citizens.

When Gaius granted the most needy small plots of redistributed land on the condition they pay a small rent to the public coffers, the Senate accused him of trying to win favor with the people before Drusus proposed to do the same rent-free.

When Gaius proposed that all Latins should have equal voting rights, the Senate protested, but approved of Drusus' measure that no Latin would ever be beaten with rods.

Drusus went to great pains to ensure he was never seen as the beneficiary, politically or economically, of his legislation but rather that he proposed his measures, backed by the Senate, to further benefit the people.

Drusus' constant referencing of the Senate worked and at least some of the people began to feel less hostility toward the Senate, marking the Senatorial plan a resounding success.

When a measure was passed to found a colony at Carthage, which had been destroyed in 146 BC by Scipio Aemilianus, Gaius was appointed to oversee the construction and left for Africa.

Drusus immediately took advantage of Gaius' absence by attacking Gaius' ally, Fulvius Flaccus, who was known by the Senate to be an agitator and was suspected by some of stirring up the Italian allies to revolt.

A new candidate emerged for the consulship, one Lucius Opimius, who had opposed Fannius for the consulship in 122 BC and been stymied by Gaius' machinations.

Opimius, a staunch conservative and oligarchical man who wanted to restore power to the Senate, had garnered a significant following and stood poised to challenge Gaius directly.

Opimius had made it his sole mission to unseat Gaius.


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Post by thelivyjr » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tribuneship of 123–122 BC

Death of Scipio Aemilianus

When Scipio the Younger agreed to represent the Italian allies, who were protesting the injustices done to them which Tiberius Gracchus' land reform was supposed to remedy, he won the hostility of the people, who accused him of standing against Tiberius Gracchus and wishing to abolish the law and incite bloodshed.

When Scipio died suddenly and mysteriously one day, Gaius was one of many political enemies implicated in his death.

Carbo had just that day delivered a fiery speech against Scipio and he — like other Gracchan political allies such as Fulvius Flaccus — was widely known to be an outspoken enemy of Scipio's during this time as his Gracchan-backed proposal to formally allow tribunes multiple terms in office was ultimately defeated in large part due to Scipio's influence.

In fact, between the years of his return from Spain in 132 and his death in 129, Scipio "inexorably began to unite the ruling oligarchy against" Gaius.

Other members of the Gracchi family were also accused; Scipio had been in a loveless marriage to Sempronia, sister of the Gracchi brothers and daughter of their mother Cornelia - Scipio referred to his wife as 'deformed' and 'barren'.

Both women were suspected of murdering Scipio because of his perceived attempt to undo the reforms of Tiberius.


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Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tribuneship of 123–122 BC

Return to Rome and outbreak of violence

The combined political positions of his fellow tribunes Lucius Opimius, Livius Drusus and Marcus Minucius Rufus, another political enemy of Gaius, meant the repeal of as many of Gaius' measures as possible.

Gaius now stood on increasingly shaky ground with the Senate, though his popularity with the people remained undeniable.

Gaius' return to Rome from Carthage set in motion a series of events that would eventually cause him to suffer the same fate as his brother.

Gaius' first action was to move from his home on the Palatine, where the wealthiest of Romans and the political elite lived, to a neighbourhood near the Forum, believing that in so doing he was keeping to his democratic principles and reaffirming his loyalty to the people rather than to the privileged elite.

Gaius then called together all of his supporters from Italy to put into motion his legislation.

The Senate convinced Fannius, whose friendship with Gaius had run its course, to expel all those who were not Roman citizens by birth from the city.

Gaius condemned the proposal, promising support for the Italians, but his image took a hit when he failed to uphold his promises and did not stop Fannius' lictors from dragging away a friend.

Whether he did this because he was afraid to test his power or because he refused to do anything which would have given the Senate pretext to initiate violence remains unknown.

Gaius further distanced himself from his fellow tribunes when he insisted that the seats for a gladiatorial show be removed to allow the poor to watch.

When they refused, he removed them secretly at night.

Plutarch claims this cost him a third term as tribune, because, although he won the popular vote, the tribunes were so upset that they falsified the ballots.

Opimius and his supporters began to overturn Gaius' legislation with the hope of provoking him into violence, but Gaius remained resolute.

Rumours suggested that his mother Cornelia hired foreign men disguised as harvesters to protect him.


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Post by thelivyjr » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tribuneship of 123–122 BC

Death of Quintus Antyllius

On the day that Opimius planned to repeal Gaius' laws, an attendant of Opimius, Quintus Antyllius, carrying the entrails of a sacrifice, forced his way through a crowd.

A resulting scuffle between the supporters of the two opposing groups on the Capitoline Hill led to his death.

Plutarch maintains that Antyllius had rudely pushed his way through the crowd and gave an indecent gesture and was immediately beset upon by Gracchan supporters much to the disapproval of Gaius.

Appian states that Gaius had arrived with an escort of body guards in a distressed state.

When Antyllius saw Gaius, he laid a hand on him, begging him not to destroy the state.

When Gaius cast his scorn on Antyllius, his supporters took it as a sign to act on his behalf and struck Antyllius down.

Gaius and Fulvius failed to exonerate themselves of the deed and returned home under the protection of their supporters to await the day's outcomes.

The death of Antyllius allowed a triumphant Opimius a pretext for action.

On the following morning, with much showboating, the body of Antyllius was presented to the Senate as indicative of the measures Gaius would take.

The senate passed a senatus consultum ultimum, granting Opimius the right to defend the state and rid it of tyrants.

The Senate armed itself and commanded all the equestrians to arm themselves and two of their servants and assemble the next morning.

Fulvius gathered his supporters and they passed the evening in a drunken and raucous manner.

Gaius, much more sombre, paused in front of the statue of his father on his way out of the Forum, and, weeping, went homeward.

His plight and obvious distress caused such sympathy among the people, who blamed themselves for betraying their champion, that a large party gathered outside his home to ensure his protection.

Unlike Fulvius, Gaius' men were quiet and reflective of future events.


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Post by thelivyjr » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Death of Gaius Gracchus and Fulvius Flaccus

The following morning, Fulvius' men armed themselves with spoils from Fulvius' Gallic campaign and marched loudly to the Aventine.

Gaius refused to gird himself with anything save a small dagger and his toga.

As he left his home, his wife Licinia, daughter of Crassus, begged him not to go meet the same men who had murdered and dishonoured Tiberius Gracchus, knowing well enough that Gaius was to die that day.

Gaius, without saying a word, gently pried himself from her arms and left her there, weeping, until her servants eventually came to pick her up and carried her to her brother Crassus.

At Gaius' suggestion, Fulvius sent his youngest son Quintus to the Forum to speak to the Senate as a herald carrying a staff, which was only used when heralds approached enemies in times of war.

Tearful, he pleaded for terms which many there were willing to hear, but Opimius insisted on speaking directly to Fulvius and Gaius, demanding they surrender themselves for trial.

These terms were not negotiable.

When Quintus returned to Gaius and Fulvius, Gaius was willing to acquiesce but Fulvius was not and sent the boy back.

When the boy came back to the Senate and relayed what his father Fulvius stated, Opimius placed him under arrest and under guard and advanced on Fulvius' position with a contingent of archers from Crete.

When they fired on Fulvius' men, wounding many, the crowd was thrown into chaos and fled.

Fulvius hid in an abandoned bath or workshop with his eldest son and when discovered both were executed.

Appian adds that when they initially hid, citizens were hesitant to give them away, but when the whole row was threatened to be burned down they were handed over to the mob.

Gaius, taking no part in the fighting and despairing at the bloodshed, fled to the Temple of Diana on the Aventine where he intended to commit suicide but was stopped by his friends Pomponius and Licinius.

Gaius knelt and prayed to the goddess, asking that the people of Rome be forever enslaved by their masters since many had openly and quickly switched sides when an amnesty was declared by the Senate.

Gaius fled the temple and tried to cross the Tiber on a wooden bridge while Pomponius and Licinius stayed back to cover his retreat, killing as many as they could until they were themselves felled.

Accompanied by only his slave Philocrates, Gaius fled, urged by onlookers though no man offered assistance despite Gaius' repeated requests for aid.

Arriving at a grove sacred to Furrina, Philocrates first assisted Gaius in his suicide before taking his own life, though some rumours held that Philocrates was only killed after he refused to let go of his master's body.


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Post by thelivyjr » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:40 p

Gaius Gracchus, concluded ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Gaius' head was cut off, as Opimius had announced that whoever brought back the head would be paid its weight in gold.

When the head measured an astonishing seventeen and two-thirds pounds, it was discovered that Septimuleius, who brought the head, committed fraud by removing the brain and pouring in molten lead and therefore received no reward at all.

The bodies of Gaius, Fulvius and the three thousand supporters who also died were thrown into the Tiber, their property confiscated and sold to the public treasury.

Appian adds that their homes were looted by their opponents.

Their wives were forbidden to mourn the death of their husbands and Licinia, wife of Gaius, was stripped of her dowry.

Fulvius' youngest son, who took no part in the fighting and merely acted as herald, was executed, though Appian holds that Opimius allowed him to choose his own manner of death.

Most outrageous to the people was when Opimius celebrated his victory by building a temple to Concord in the Forum with the Senate's approval.

The people felt that a victory bought with the massacre of so many citizens was exceptionally distasteful.

According to Plutarch, one night an inscription was carved that read "This temple of Concord is the work of mad Discord."

Plutarch maintains that Opimius was the first Roman to appoint himself dictator, kill 3,000 Roman citizens without trial, including the proconsul Fulvius Flaccus and the tribune Gaius Gracchus, a man renowned for his reputation and virtue.

Ironically, this same Opimius then later committed fraud and accepted bribes from the Numidian king Jugurtha and, after being convicted, spent his days in disgrace.

The people, realizing that their democratic cause was now dead, understood how deeply they missed the Gracchus brothers.

Statues were erected in Rome, the locations where they fell were consecrated as holy ground and the season's first fruits were offered as sacrifice.

Many worshipped them daily as if the Gracchi had been elevated to divine status.

Cornelia honoured the memory of her sons' murders by constructing elaborate tombs at the spot of their deaths.

Appian adds that within 15 years, all of the progress done under the Gracchi had been overturned and the poor were in a much worse position than ever before, many reduced to unemployment.

While many of Gaius' laws were repealed by his political opponents, the Lex Frumentaria remained.

It set a precedent for the "Roman Bread Dole" which existed in one form or another until the fall of the Western Empire.

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Post by thelivyjr » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:40 p

Scipio Africanus

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Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (236–183 BC), also known as Scipio Africanus Major, Scipio Africanus the Elder and Scipio the Great, was a Roman general and later consul who is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders and strategists of all time.

His main achievements were during the Second Punic War.

He is best known for defeating Hannibal at the final Battle of Zama (near modern Zama, Tunisia) in 202 BC.

The victory was one of the feats that earned him the agnomen Africanus.

Scipio's conquest of Carthaginian Iberia culminated in the Battle of Ilipa (near Alcalá del Río, Spain) in 206 BC against Hannibal's brother Mago Barca.

Although considered a hero by the Roman people, primarily for his victories against Carthage, Africanus had many opponents, especially Cato the Censor, who deeply hated him.

In 187 BC, he was even tried alongside his brother for bribes they supposedly received from King Antiochos III during the Roman–Seleucid War.

Disillusioned by the ingratitude of his peers, Scipio left Rome and withdrew from public life in his villa of Liternum.

Early years

Publius Cornelius Scipio was born by Caesarean section into the Scipio branch of the gens Cornelia.

His birth year is calculated from statements made by ancient historians (mainly Livy and Polybius) of how old he was when certain events in his life occurred and must have been 235/6 BC, usually stated as circa 236 BC.

The Cornelii were one of six major patrician families, along with the gentes Manlia, Fabia, Aemilia, the Claudia, and Valeria, with a record of successful public service in the highest offices extending back at least to the early Roman Republic.

Scipio's great-grandfather, Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, and grandfather Lucius Cornelius Scipio, had both been consuls and censors.

He was the eldest son of the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio by his wife Pomponia, daughter of plebeian consul Manius Pomponius Matho.


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Post by thelivyjr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:40 p

Scipio Africanus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Early military service

Scipio joined the Roman struggle against Carthage in the first year of the Second Punic War when his father was consul.

During the Battle of Ticinus, he saved his father's life by "charging the encircling force alone with reckless daring."

He survived the disaster at the Battle of Cannae, where his would-be father-in-law, the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus, was killed.

After the battle, with the other consul surviving elsewhere, Scipio and Appius Claudius Pulcher, as military tribunes, took charge of some 10,000 survivors.

On hearing that Lucius Caecilius Metellus and other young nobles were planning to go overseas to serve some king, Scipio stormed into the meeting, and at sword-point, forced all present to swear that they would not abandon Rome.

Scipio offered himself as a candidate for aedilis curulis in 213 BC alongside his cousin Marcus Cornelius Cethegus.

The Tribunate of the Plebs objected to his candidacy, saying that he could not be allowed to stand because he had not yet reached the legal age.

Scipio, already known for his bravery and patriotism, was elected unanimously and the Tribunes abandoned their opposition.

His cousin also won the election.


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Post by thelivyjr » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:40 p

Scipio Africanus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Campaign in Hispania

In 211 BC, both Scipio's father, Publius Scipio, and uncle, Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, were killed at the Battle of the Upper Baetis in Spain against Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal Barca.

At the election of a new proconsul for the command of the new army which the Romans resolved to send to Hispania, Scipio was the only man brave enough to ask for this position, no other candidates wanting the responsibility, considering it a death sentence.

In spite of his youth (25 years), his noble demeanour and enthusiastic language had made so great an impression that he was unanimously elected.

In the year of Scipio's arrival (211 BC), all of Hispania south of the Ebro river was under Carthaginian control.

Hannibal's brothers Hasdrubal and Mago, and Hasdrubal Gisco were the generals of the Carthaginian forces in Hispania, and Rome was aided by the inability of these three figures to act in concert.

The Carthaginians were also preoccupied with revolts in Africa.

Scipio landed at the mouth of the Ebro and was able to surprise and capture Carthago Nova (New Carthage), the headquarters of the Carthaginian power in Hispania.

He obtained a rich cache of war stores and supplies and an excellent harbour and base of operations.

Scipio's humanitarian conduct toward prisoners and hostages in Hispania helped in portraying the Romans as liberators as opposed to conquerors.

Livy tells the story of his troops capturing a beautiful woman, whom they offered to Scipio as a prize of war.

Scipio was astonished by her beauty but discovered that the woman was betrothed to a Celtiberian chieftain named Allucius.

He returned the woman to her fiancé, along with the money that had been offered by her parents to ransom her.

This humanitarian act encouraged local chieftains to both supply and reinforce Scipio's small army.

The woman's fiancé, who soon married her, responded by bringing over his tribe to support the Roman armies.

In 209 BC, Scipio fought his first set piece battle, driving back Hasdrubal Barca from his position at Baecula on the upper Guadalquivir.

Scipio feared that the armies of Mago and Gisco would enter the field and surround his small army.

Scipio's objective was, therefore, to quickly eliminate one of the armies to give him the luxury of dealing with the other two piecemeal.

The battle was decided by a determined Roman infantry charge up the centre of the Carthaginian position.

Roman losses are uncertain but may have been considerable in light of an effort by the infantry to scale an elevation defended by Carthaginian light infantry.

Scipio then orchestrated a frontal attack by the rest of his infantry to draw out the remainder of the Carthaginian forces.

Hasdrubal had not noticed Scipio's hidden reserves of cavalry moving behind enemy lines, and a Roman cavalry charge created a double envelopment on either flank led by cavalry commander Gaius Laelius and Scipio himself.

This broke the back of Hasdrubal's army and routed his forces — an impressive feat for the young Roman versus the veteran Carthaginian general.

Despite a Roman victory, Scipio was unable to hinder the Carthaginian march to Italy.

Much historical criticism has been levelled at his inability to effectively pursue Hasdrubal, who would eventually cross the Alps only to be defeated by Gaius Claudius Nero at the Battle of the Metaurus.

One popular theory for Scipio's failure to pursue Hasdrubal is that Scipio merely wanted the glory of securing Hispania, and an extended mountain campaign would have endangered that.

Others cite the Roman soldiers' appetite for plunder as preventing him from rallying in pursuit.

The most probable explanation from a strategic standpoint is Scipio's unwillingness to risk being trapped between Hasdrubal's army on one side and one or both of Gisgo's and Mago's armies, both of superior numerical strength.

Mere days after Hasdrubal's defeat, Mago and Gisgo were able to converge in front of the Roman positions, bringing into question what would have happened had Scipio pursued Hasdrubal.

After winning over a number of Hispanian chiefs (namely Indibilis and Mandonius), Scipio achieved a decisive victory in 206 BC over the full Carthaginian levy at Ilipa (now the city of Alcalá del Río, near Hispalis, now called Seville), which resulted in the evacuation of Hispania by the Punic commanders.

After his rapid success in conquering Hispania, and with the idea of striking a blow at Carthage in Africa, Scipio paid a short visit to the Numidian princes Syphax and Massinissa.

Numidia was of vital importance to Carthage, supplying both mercenaries and allied forces.

In addition to supplying the Numidian cavalry, Numidia operated as a buffer for vulnerable Carthage.

Scipio managed to receive support from both Syphax and Massinissa.

Syphax later changed his mind, married the beautiful Carthaginian noblewoman Sophonisba, daughter of Hasdrubal the son of Gisco, and fought alongside his Carthaginian in-laws against Massinissa and Scipio in Africa.

On his return to Hispania, Scipio had to quell a mutiny at Sucro which had broken out among his troops.

Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal had meanwhile marched for Italy, and in 206 BC Scipio himself, having secured the Roman occupation of Hispania by the capture of Gades, gave up his command and returned to Rome.


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Post by thelivyjr » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:40 p

Scipio Africanus, continued ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

African campaign

In 205 BC, Scipio was unanimously elected to consulship at the age of 31.

Scipio intended to go to Africa, but due to the envy of others in the Senate, he was not given any additional troops beyond the Sicilian garrison.

Despite this resistance, Scipio gathered resources from clients and supporters in Rome and among the Italian communities; this allowed him to muster a volunteer force of 30 warships and 7000 men.

The forces stationed in Sicily at this time included a variety of forces.

The Romans had for a long time used service in Sicily as a punishment, with the result that the garrison in Sicily contained survivors from many of the greatest Roman military fiascos in the war, such as the Battle of Cannae.

Having served with these men at Cannae, Scipio was well aware that their disgrace was through no fault of their own.

In addition, the Sicilian garrison also contained many of the troops who had participated in the Sicilian campaigns of Marcus Claudius Marcellus.

From these men, Scipio was able to muster a highly motivated and very experienced force for his African invasion.

Scipio turned Sicily into a camp for training his army.

Scipio realized that the Carthaginian forces — especially the superior Numidian cavalry — would prove decisive against the largely infantry forces of the Roman legions.

In addition, a large portion of Rome's cavalry were allies of questionable loyalty, or noble equites exempting themselves from being lowly foot soldiers.

One anecdote tells of how Scipio pressed into service several hundred Sicilian nobles to create a cavalry force.

The Sicilians were quite opposed to this servitude to a foreign occupier (Sicily being under Roman control only since the First Punic War), and protested vigorously.

Scipio assented to their exemption from service providing they pay for a horse, equipment, and a replacement rider for the Roman army.

In this way, Scipio created a trained nucleus of cavalry for his African campaign.

The Roman Senate sent a commission of inquiry to Sicily and found Scipio at the head of a well-equipped and trained fleet and army.

Scipio pressed the Senate for permission to cross into Africa.

Some of the Roman Senate, championed by Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator ("the Delayer"), opposed the mission.

Fabius still feared Hannibal's power, and viewed any mission to Africa as dangerous and wasteful to the war effort.

Scipio was also harmed by some senators' disdain of his ideals, beliefs, and interests in unconventional areas such as Hellenophile tastes in art, luxuries, and philosophies.

All Scipio could obtain was permission to cross over from Sicily to Africa if it appeared to be in the interests of Rome, but not financial or military support.

With the permission from the commissioners, Scipio sailed in 204 BC and landed near Utica.

Carthage, meanwhile, had secured the friendship of the Numidian Syphax, whose advance compelled Scipio to abandon the siege of Utica and dig in on the shore between there and Carthage.

In 203 BC, he destroyed the combined armies of the Carthaginians and Numidians by approaching by stealth and setting fire to their camp, where the combined army became panicked and fled, when they were mostly killed by Scipio's army.

Though not a "battle," both Polybius and Livy estimate that the death toll in this single attack exceeded 40,000 Carthaginian and Numidian dead, and more captured.

Historians are roughly equal in their praise and condemnation for this act.

Polybius said, "of all the brilliant exploits performed by Scipio this seems to me the most brilliant and more adventurous."

On the other hand, one of Hannibal's principal biographers, Theodore Ayrault Dodge, goes so far as to suggest that this attack was out of cowardice and spares no more than a page upon the event in total, despite the fact that it secured the siege of Utica and effectively put Syphax out of the war.

The irony of Dodge's accusations of Scipio's cowardice is that the attack showed traces of Hannibal's penchant for ambush.

Scipio quickly dispatched his two lieutenants, Laelius and Masinissa, to pursue Syphax.

They ultimately dethroned Syphax, and ensured Prince Masinissa's coronation as King of the Numidians.

Carthage, and especially Hannibal himself, had long relied upon these superb natural horsemen, who would now fight for Rome against Carthage.


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