Cornelia

185–100 BC
Civilization: Roman — Rome
   Field of Renown:  heroine — Matron
Era:  Decline

cornelia
CORNELIA AND HER JEWELS
Cornelia was the youngest daughter of Scipio Africanus Major, and mother of Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, who were both killed while attempting to enact land reforms in the second century B.C. She was highly renowned as a model Roman matron, and deserves much credit for instilling knowledge, courage, and civic duty in her sons. She is thought to have supported their reform efforts behind the scenes, and she bore their loss with great nobility. She was widely admired during her own life for her intelligence and virtue, and the city of Rome erected a statue to honor her after she died.


Key events during the life of cornelia:


Year
Event
185 BC
Cornelia is born the youngest daughter of Scipio Africanus, hero of the Second Punic War.
170 BC
Marries husband Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, a highly esteemed senator.
  Bears twelve children. Only three live to adulthood. (Tiberius, Caius, and daughter Sempronia.)
153 BC
Husband Sempronius Gracchus dies. Cornelia does not remarry, but remains faithful to his memory.
133 BC
Son Tiberius is elected Tribune, and murdered for his efforts at reforming land laws.
121 BC
Son Caius dies in an uprising orchestrated by his enemies in the Senate.
100 BC
At the death of Cornelia, the Roman population built a statue to her honor.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Cornelia's Jewels  in  Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by  James Baldwin
Noble Brothers  in  Tales of the Romans: The Children's Plutarch  by  F. J. Gould
Jewels of Cornelia  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Gracchi  in  Famous Men of Rome  by  John H. Haaren & A. B. Poland
Tiberius Gracchus  in  Our Young Folks' Plutarch  by  Rosalie Kaufman
Cornelia, the Mother of the Gracchi  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Gracchi and Their Fall  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris
Cornelia  in  Plutarch's Lives W. H. Weston  by  


Image Links


The young Gracchi and their mother Cornelia
 in  Augustus—His Life and Work

Cornelia and her jewels
 in Famous Men of Rome

Cornelia and her Sons in the Streets of Rome
 in Famous Men of Rome


Contemporary
Short Biography
Tiberius Gracchus Promoted Land Reform and fought for people's rights. Murdered by senators.
Gaius Gracchus Continued reforms of his brother, but was undermined by the senate.
Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus Husband of Cornelia; very highly regarded statesman. Commander in Hispania.