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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


IV. The Revolution

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter II - The Reform Movement and Tiberius Gracchus


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Page 59


But such a bold player Tiberius Gracchus was not. He was a tolerably capable, thoroughly well-meaning, conservative patriot, who simply did not know what he was doing; who in the fullest belief that he was calling the people evoked the rabble, and grasped at the crown without being himself aware of it, until the inexorable sequence of events urged him irresistibly into the career of the demagogue-tyrant; until the family commission, the interferences with the public finances, the further "reforms" exacted by necessity and despair, the bodyguard from the pavement, and the conflicts in the streets betrayed the lamentable usurper more and more clearly to himself and others; until at length the unchained spirits of revolution seized and devoured the incapable conjurer.

The infamous butchery, through which he perished, condemns itself, as it condemns the aristocratic faction whence it issued; but the glory of martyrdom, with which it has embellished the name of Tiberius Gracchus, came in this instance, as usually, to the wrong man. The best of his contemporaries judged otherwise. When the catastrophe was announced to Scipio Aemilianus, he uttered the words of Homer:

"ὡς ἀπόλοιτο καὶ ἄλλος ὅτις τοιαῦτά γε ῥέζοι"

and when the younger brother of Tiberius seemed disposed to come forward in the same career, his own mother wrote to him: "Shall then our house have no end of madness? Where shall be the limit? Have we not yet enough to be ashamed of, in having confused and disorganized the state?" So spoke not the anxious mother, but the daughter of the conqueror of Carthage, who knew and experienced a misfortune yet greater than the death of her children.

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