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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


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Page 15

Among the few remains of his recorded orations several are, even in their present condition, of heart-stirring power;(7) and we can well understand how those who heard or even merely read them were carried away by the impetuous torrent of his words.

7. Such are the words spoken on the announcement of his projects of law:--"If I were to speak to you and ask of you--seeing that I am of noble descent and have lost my brother on your account, and that there is now no survivor of the descendants of Publius Africanus and Tiberius Gracchus excepting only myself and a boy--to allow me to take rest for the present, in order that our stock may not be extirpated and that an offset of this family may still survive; you would perhaps readily grant me such a request."

Yet, great master as he was of speech, he was himself not unfrequently mastered by anger, so that the utterance of the brilliant speaker became confused or faltering. It was the true image of his political acting and suffering. In the nature of Gaius there was no vein, such as his brother had, of that somewhat sentimental but very short-sighted and confused good-nature, which would have desired to change the mind of a political opponent by entreaties and tears; with full assurance he entered on the career of revolution and strove to reach the goal of vengeance.

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