The treaty of peace which Mancinus concluded with the Numantines in
617, was in substance the work of Gracchus;(29) the recollection that
the senate had cancelled it, that the general had been on its account
surrendered to the enemy, and that Gracchus with the other superior
officers had only escaped a like fate through the greater favour
which he enjoyed among the burgesses, could not put the young,
upright, and proud man in better humour with the ruling aristocracy.
The Greek rhetoricians with whom he was fond of discussing philosophy
and politics, Diophanes of Mytilene and Gaius Blossius of Cumae,
nourished within his soul the ideals over which he brooded: when his
intentions became known in wider circles, there was no want of approving
voices, and many a public placard summoned the grandson of Africanus to
think of the poor people and the deliverance of Italy.