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successor, along with a few trifling remnants of the war,' the formal title of conqueror. The unhappy Aristonicus was brought to Rome, was led in triumph, and paid with his life the penalty for his ambitious designs.2

CHAP.

V.

Blossius

of Cuma.

More fortunate than Aristonicus was the philosopher Death of Blossius of Cumæ, the teacher and friend of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, who, after the overthrow of the democratic party at Rome, had fled to Asia and had joined Aristonicus. When fortune here too had declared against the cause which he had espoused, he preferred to die by his own hand rather than wait for a Roman executioner. Thus he was spared the agony of witnessing the premature death of the younger also of his noble pupils.

3

Asia.

The province of Asia was now safe in Roman keeping. Formation and reguAquillius, with the aid of a senatorial commission, regulated its boundaries and settled the administration. the province of Rome possessed now, in addition to her provinces in Europe and Africa, one in the third great division of the ancient world. It received the name of the whole continent just as the conquered Carthaginian territory had been called Africa. The treasures of Attalus and the Pergamenian kingdom were absorbed by Rome, and became the booty of the victorious nobility; they contributed to increase the internal discord, and to spread into wider circles the taste for extravagance and luxury hostile to the republican spirit of the ancient time.1

1 Florus, ii. 20. Aquillius Asiatici belli reliquias confecit, mixtis veneno fontibus ad deditionem quarundam urbium. If we can credit this last information, Aquillius carried on the war, not like a Roman but like a savage.

2 Velleius, ii. 4.

* Strabo, xiv. 38. Μάνιος δ' Ακύλλιος ἐπελθὼν ὕπατος μετὰ δέκα πρεσβευτῶν διέταξε τὴν ἐπαρχίαν εἰς τὸ νῦν ἔτι συμμένον τῆς πολιτείας σχῆμα. However, as Meyer has observed (Pergamenisches Reich, 7, 5), it is probable that both Sulla and Pompeius made several alterations in the organization of the province.

Attalic pomp and Attalic wealth became henceforth proverbial, as is seen from expressions like regni Attalici opes, Justin. xxxviii. 7, 8; Attalicæ conditiones, Horat. Od. i. 1, 12; Attalicæ vestes, Propert. iii. 18, 19; Attalica aulæa, Propert. ii. 32, 12, and the word Attalica to designate cloth wrought with gold.

CHAPTER VI.

BOOK VII. Disinterested

of the Gracchi.

CAIUS GRACCHUS.

If the zeal displayed by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in his schemes of reform cannot fail to engage our warm sympathy and almost affection for the courageous, noblepatriotism hearted, and ill-starred young enthusiast, we must in a still higher degree respect and pity his younger brother Caius, who, undaunted by the fate of his predecessor, took up the same policy a few years later, and endeavoured to complete the interrupted reform on a grander scale and a more comprehensive plan. It seemed that the members of the Sempronian family had, like the Valerii and the Porcii, proposed to themselves as their special task to elaborate the public law of Rome in a particular direction. They had an object in view which they tried to realise without the least motive of selfishness or personal interest, animated exclusively by an ardent sympathy with their suffering fellow-citizens and an intense patriotism. Caius Gracchus, it is true, was not always free from passion. He was sometimes carried away by feelings of hatred and revenge; but when we consider how fierce the struggle was in which he was pitted against powerful enemies, when we bear in mind that his political opponents were the murderers of his brother, we shall not cool in our admiration for the man, whatever ground we may have to differ from him in his political opinions.'

Caius Sempronius Gracchus had grown up under the

1 Dio Cassius, frgm. 85, says of Tiberius à' àperñs ès piλoriμíav kal è̟ę αὐτῆς ἐς κακίαν ἐξώκειλεν; of Caius he says ταραχώδης δὲ φύσει καὶ ἑκὼν ἐπονηρεύετο.

CHAP.

VI.

of Caius

same influences as his elder brother. Like him, he had received an education from his mother Cornelia and his Greek teachers Blossius and Diophanes, which made him Education an enthusiast for ideal objects; and he had at the early Gracchus. age of twenty been carried by family connexion and personal feelings into the midst of the most violent political struggles. The choosing of a side was not for him an open question. His birth and education had made him the champion of the cause for which his brother had bled, a cause which now lay prostrate and which he felt called upon to raise and make triumphant. He could not, like other young Romans of noble houses, count upon filling in succession the offices of state from the lowest to the highest, without encountering other obstacles than the competition of rivals and the usual calls on his purse, his eloquence, or his courage. He had from the beginning a higher aim, the regeneration of the commonwealth by the realisation of a genuine democracy, and his eyes were never turned aside to objects which were not directly connected with this aim.

C. Gracchus as

2

After Caius Gracchus had served some years on the Services of committee of triumvirs established for carrying out the land law of his brother, and after having performed the quæstor. military service required from every citizen of his age, he was in the year 126 B.C. elected to the prætorship, and sent with the consul Lucius Aurelius Orestes to Sardinia, that province in which his father had distinguished himself during his consulship, 177 B.C.' Here he gained, it is said, the reputation both of a good soldier and of a conscientious and humane magistrate so thoroughly that the towns of the island in alliance with Rome voluntarily and out of respect for him furnished a supply of winter clothing for the troops, for which the consul had applied in vain. He remained two years in Sardinia, because

2

1 Vol. iii. p. 425.

2 Plutarch, C. Gracch. 2. It must be confessed that this story has very much the character of those with which funeral orations in honour of great men were filled. Besides, it is in the highest degree improbable. We are

BOOK
VII.

Energy

and resolution of C.

the senate prolonged the command of the consul, and it was customary that a quæstor should remain attached to the consul, his superior, as long as the latter continued in command. When the senate resolved to leave Aurelius Orestes for a third year as proconsul in Sardinia, evidently for the purpose of detaining Gracchus in that island, and of preventing him from giving them trouble at home, they found to their cost that they had only accelerated an impending evil. Gracchus left Sardinia and his post without asking for leave, and returned to Rome (125 B.C.) with the fixed resolution to commence his work of reform.

This step taken by C. Gracchus shows what we have to think of Plutarch's assertion that he had hailed the Gracchus. chance of serving in Sardinia as quæstor, because, in spite of the entreaties of his friends and of the people at large,

expected to believe that the Sardinian towns lodged a formal complaint in the Roman senate against the intended exaction of the consul, and that the senate gave the unreasonable answer that the consul should think of other means for supplying the wants of his troops. It was not the duty of the consul but of the senate to provide what the troops required. To throw the burden upon him, and at the same time debar him from those resources which he pointed out, would have been a proceeding very unlike what we are accustomed to in the Roman senate. Again, it is most unlikely that any Roman provincials should have ventured to incur the displeasure of a Roman consul at the head of an army, in the way reported of the Sardinians, for the purpose of gratifying a young man who had not the power to protect them from the consequences of their rashness. There is another story of a similar character which seems simply invented for the like object of a funeral laudation. It is related that while C. Gracchus was quæstor in Sardinia, Micipsa, son of Masinissa, sent a message to Rome, and offered to send a supply of corn for the army in Sardinia, to show the respect he had for Gracchus. It is added that the senate was annoyed with the offer, and refused to accept it. Can we really credit the king of Numidia with such a want of political sagacity as this foolish officiousness would imply? What could have been his object in thus giving offence to the ruling nobility? Or was he so unacquainted with the internal affairs of Rome as to fancy that he could, after the collapse of the democratic party, flatter with impunity a man like C. Gracchus, who had so many and such powerful enemies? On the other hand, if the Sardinian army had really been in want of supplies, would the Roman senate have refused to accept it on account of an ill-advised compliment to Gracchus, which they had ample opportunity of making the silly king repent? It is clear that, from whichever side we look at the story, we cannot discover in it the least kernel of historical probability.

Plutarch, C. Gracch. 1.

he shrank from political life as likely to be full of danger for him. The story is nothing but one of those poetical and sentimental touches which Plutarch makes use of to interest the reader in his heroes. A still more incredible and fantastic story Plutarch borrowed from Cicero, who related that his brother Tiberius appeared in a dream to Caius and urged him to fulfil his fate, which after all it was vain to oppose, and which required him to lay down his life for the welfare of the people. We cannot be so unjust to a noble-minded man like Caius Gracchus as to believe that superstitious fear or the importunities and expectations of others could determine him to undertake a great political task. He was impelled by very different motives, by genuine sympathy for the suffering race of degenerate Romans, by the enthusiasm and the ideality of his character, which were partly inborn, partly implanted by education, by a firm conviction of his call to the great work, and by the ardour of his youthful blood. It would be a blind misapprehension of the highest attribute of the human soul, the freedom of the will, if we tried to explain the lofty thoughts and heroic deeds of men as the effect of paltry accidental circumstances and external impulses.

censors.

The step which Gracchus had taken by leaving his post in Sardinia without the permission of his superior was, if not positively illegal, yet so contrary to the usual practice, that he was obliged to justify it before the This he is reported to have done so effectively that he succeeded in silencing all obloquy.' He told the censors that whereas he was compelled by law to serve ten years as a soldier, he had served twelve, that the law required only one year's service as quæstor and that he had served double that time; that when he started for the province he had taken with him his bags full of money and that he had brought them back empty, whereas it was the practice with others in a similar position, when they came back from their provincial

Plutarch, C. Gracch, 2. Gell. xv. 12.

CHAP.

VI.

Return of
C. Grac-

chus from

Sardinia to

Rome.

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