Tiberius Gracchus

(Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus)

163–132 BC
Tiberius and Caius

The Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Caius, were social reformers who tried to obtain more rights for the landless peasants of Rome. They were strongly resisted by the wealthy landowning class, who did not want to give up their privileges. In 133 B.C. Tiberius was elected tribune, and worked to pass laws that would reduce the concentration of wealth and lands in the hands of a few nobles. The patricians bribed the other tribune Octavius, so that no legislation could pass. The issue became critical when Attalus III, the king of Perganum, died and bequeathed a great deal of property to Rome. There was much at stake when Tiberus ran for tribune again the following year, and the patricians postponed the elections. They eventually incited a riot against Tiberius and his followers, and in the tumult that followed, Tiberius was killed and thrown into the river.

Key events during the life of Tiberius Gracchus:

146 BC
Fought at the siege of Carthage.
137 BC
Fought in the Numantian wars in Spain; became alarmed at the lopsided distribution of wealth.
133 BC
As tribune, fought for laws which would grant more land and wealth to the lower classes.
133 BC
Killed in a riot instigated by his patrician opponents.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Of Tiberius Gracchus  in  Stories from Roman History  by  Lena Dalkeith
Noble Brothers  in  Tales of the Romans: The Children's Plutarch  by  F. J. Gould
Death of Tiberius Gracchus  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
Tiberius and His Friend Octavius  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Gracchi and Their Fall  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris
The Gracchi  in  Plutarch's Lives W. H. Weston  by  
Tiberius Gracchus 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 Greatest Nations - Rome

Short Biography
Cornelia Mother of the Gracchi. Highly revered Roman matron.
Gaius Gracchus Continued reforms of his brother, but was undermined by the senate.
Octavius Tribune who served with Tiberius. Bribed by patricians to veto all reform efforts.
Attalus III King of Perganum. Died and left much property to Rome, precipitating crisis for reformers.