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Life of Tiberius Gracchus

The purpose of this research is to examine the life of Tiberius Gracchus (166133 B.C.). The plan of the research will be to set forth the character of Tiberius Gracchus by means of a review of biographical material, and then to develop a putatively autobiographical apology for Tiberius Gracchus's life and work. The two principal primary sources of the basic facts surrounding Tiberius Gracchus's life are Plutarch and Appian. Plutarch's life of Tiberius Gracchus is set forth in comparison to that of his younger brother Gaius (Caius). He is on the whole generous in his discussion of Tiberius Gracchus, whom he perceives to have been of noble and virtuous bearing,1) and of a steadiness of disposition that contrasts to his brother Gaius's more temperamental character. Appian, writing a generation after Plutarch,2 also chronicles Tiberius Gracchus's political career, which followed a successful military career under the son of Scipio Africanus in Spain.

The principal features of Tiberius Gracchus's life are framed by the fact that he appears to have been groomed for a career in public service. Further, he seems somehow to have been destined (or doomed) to be a reformer. Wells says that the road to the firstcentury B.C. civil wars began with Tiberius Gracchus, "the first conspicuous leader to appeal to the gathering revolutionary feeling in Italy . . . [who] looks more like an honest man than any other figure in this period of history."3 Montanelli agrees, noting that it was in Tiberius Gracchus's highly educated family salon, run by his mother Cornelia, that "the seeds of revolution were sown."4 Plutarch discusses Tiberius Gracchus's negotiating a truce with the Spanish, which saved lives of Roman soldiers under Caius Mancinus, who had been fought to a stalemate at Numantia. Tiberius Gracchus's return to Rome was marked by controversy, inasmuch as one faction, cheated of military triumph, "censured and reproached" the truce "as...

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Life of Tiberius Gracchus. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:05, June 19, 2019, from