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.C. 121.] THE MOTHER OF THE GRACCHI. 39

patricians and plebeians.* The inscription which commemorated the origin of the building received one night this addition from an unknown hand:—

"The work of Discord makes the temple of Concord."

The statues of the two Gracchi were set up in Rome at a later l>eriod, perhaps when the nobles in general, and Opimius in particular, fell into contempt for their dealings with Jugurtha, Meanwhile their enemies, in denying them a place in their fathers' tomb, ensured for them the honour long since described by the lips of Pericles,—" the whole earth is the sepulchre of illustrious men,"—and they had a still nobler shrine in the heart of their heroic mother. Whether it was granted to Cornelia to perform for Caius those rites of sepulture which had been refused to Tiberius, is doubtful; and we are told that she was forbidden to wear mourning for his death, f Nor had she the consolation of seeing the race of the Gracchi continued; for the sons of Tiberius and Caius both died young. But her whole remaining life was spent in cherishing their honour rather than in sorrowing for her own loss. That life has been described by Plutarch in one of the most touching passages of ancient literature :—" Cornelia is said to have borne her misfortunes with a noble and elevated spirit, and to have said of the sacred ground on which her sons were murdered, that they had a tomb worthy of them. She resided in the neighbourhood of Misenum without making any change in her usual mode of life. She had many friends, and her hospitable table was always crowded with guests: Greeks and learned men were constantly about her, and kings sent and received presents from her. To all her visitors and friends she was a most agreeable companion: she would tell them of the life and habits of her father Africanus, and what is most surprising, would speak of her sons without showing sorrow or shedding a tear, relating their sufferings and their deeds to her enquiring friends, as if she was speaking of the men of olden time. This made some think that her understanding had been impaired by old age or the greatness of her sorrows, and that she was dull to all sense of her misfortunes, while in fact such people themselves were too dull to see what a support it is against grief to have a noble nature and to he of honourable lineage and honourably bred; and that, though fortune has often the advantage over virtue in its attempts to guard against evils, yet she cannot take away from virtue the power of enduring them with fortitude."* That a Greek philosopher could thus describe the fortitude with which the daughter of Scipio Africanus, the widow of the consul Gracchus, and the childless mother of Tiberius and Caius, could thus bear her loss, may give a lesson even to Christian mourners. Let those who have the hope of being for ever reunited to the kindred of whose perfect happiness they are assured learn to be doubly active in continuing their good deeds. And the nobler the character of the departed, the more exalted the station illustrated by their virtues and left vacant by their loss, the better is their memory adorned, not by letting grief deaden the heart that should be their living shrine, but by making them live again in duties discharged with double energy for their sake. This may not be easy, but what a noble Roman matron could do should not be impossible for a Christian.

* See Vol. II., p. 278.

t Plutarch says that the bodies of Caius and the rest who fell on the samo day *ere thrown into the Tiber; but Orosius states that the body of Caius was carried to his mother at Misenum. Both in his case, and that of Tiberius, it should be remembered that bodies thrown into the Tiber at Rome would probably bo washed up »t Ostia, if not sooner.

Besides the memory of her heroic virtues, Cornelia left some letters, of which there only remain two or three fragments of doubtful authenticity. "Most of her letters," says Mr. Long, "may have been on the ordinary affairs of life, which make up the chief material of epistolary correspondence. But they would not have been the less valuable on that account. We should have had a sample of that pure Latin which the noble ladies of Rome spoke and wrote." Not less to be regretted is the loss of the orations of the Gracchi, which were still extant in the second century after Christ, and were read with delight by the emperor M. Antoninus when he was a boy. Their possession would not only have given us the noblest examples of Latin prose in the age preceding that of Cicero, but materials for a juster view of the history of their times.

The fall of Caius Gracchus and Fulvius Flaccus left the popular party without a leader, or rather with no other choice but to follow the course of reaction into which they had already been led by Drusus. Pursuing the 6ame policy by which they had ruined Gracchus, the Senate did not attempt to touch those parts of his legislation which bore directly upon the interests of the city rabble—such as the distributions of corn, nor would they offend the Equites by repealing the law about the jury-lists. But a

* The passage is quoted from Mr. Long's translation. Decline, dc, Tol. i., pp. 290, 291.

B.C. 119.J TRIBUNATE OF CAIUS MARIUS. 41

stop was put to the colonization of Carthage, as well as to the Sempronian colonies in Italy, with the exception of Tarentum, and a new course of legislation was begun in antagonism to the Sempronian laws respecting the public land. But they were not permitted to proceed altogether unopposed. As soon as Opimius had been reduced to a private station by the expiration of his consulship, he was accused before the people by the tribune Q. Decius, on the charge of casting Roman citizens into prison and putting them to death without a trial; but the influence of the Senate was strong enough to secure his acquittal (b.c. 120). Not so, however, in the case of C. Papirius Carbo, the former associate of Gracchus, and the consul for the present year, who came forward to defend Opimius. His justification of the murder of his friend completed the disgust inspired by his political apostasy, and the nobles were probably not unwilling to let him serve for a scapegoat. On the expiration of his consulship, he was prosecuted on we know not what charge, and he is said to have escaped condemnation by a voluntary death. The case is chiefly remarkable because of the subsequent fame of the accuser, the great orator L. Licinius Crassus, who now commenced his career at the age of twenty-one (b.c. 119). At a later period of his life, he declared that he never repented so much of anything as the part he had taken against Carbo.

In the same year, the tribunate of Caius Marius proved that the popular party was not to want a leader. He proposed a change in the mechanical arrangements to secure greater freedom of voting in the Comitia; and he overcame the opposition of the Senate by ordering the consul Metellus to be carried off to prison. On the other hand, he asserted his independence by opposing a new distribution of corn among the citizens, and thus, we are told, "he established himself in equal credit with both parties, as a man who would do nothing to please either, if it were contrary to the public interest." The whole career of this remarkable man will soon claim our attention. The following year was marked by a measure similar to one of the favourite schemes of Caius Gracchus—the establishment of a colony at Narbo Martins {Xnrbonne) on the Gulf of Lyon, in opposition to the Senate. Reserving for a future chapter a general view of the progress of the Roman arms in Transalpine Gaul, we need now only mention that the friendly relations of the Republic with Massilia had led to hostilities with the Gallic tribes in and about the valley of the Rhone. In B.c. 125, the consul M. Fulvius Flaccus, who bore so conspicuous a part in the Senrpronian revolution, conducted a successful war with the Salluvii, who dwelt in the mountains between the Rhone and the Var. In the three following years, C. Sextius Calvinus, as consul and proconsul, defeated the Allohroges and Arverni, and completed the subjugation of the Salluvii, in whose territory he founded the colony of Aquas Sextia; (Aix), the ruins of which still exhibit some of the most splendid remains of Roman architecture (b.c. 122). The conquest of the Allobroges and Arverni, in the next year, conferred on the consul Q. Fabius Maximus the title of Allobrogicus. The lower valley of the Rhone was now formed into the province which remained down to the time of Caesar the sole possession of the Romans in Transalpine Gaul, and was hence distinguished from the rest of the country by the name of Gallia Provincia, or simply Pracincia, a name perpetuated in that of Provence. The full establishment of this eleventh Roman province was marked by the colonization of Narbo Martius, which soon began to eclipse Massilia in prosperity. The blow which fell upon the Gallic province some years later by the invasion of the Cimbri and Teutones will be related in the following chapter.

Meanwhile the nobility at Rome, having recovered the government, proceeded with their measures for annulling the agrarian laws of Tiberius Gracchus. The details of this interesting but intricate subject may be left to the special works on Roman history and antiquities.* It is enough to say that, after the repeal of the law which prevented the small landholders from selling their possessions had removed the obstacle to their passing back into the hands of the rich, the tenth and the cattle-tax which were reserved as a compensation for the poor were finally remitted by what is commonly called the Thorian Law, which also regulated the public lands of Achaia and Africa in the interest of the wealthy possessors. But the same year in which this law was probably enacted witnessed the beginning of the fall of the Optimates through the display of their corruption and incompetence in the war with Jugurtha (b.c. 111).

One incident of this period is enough to illustrate the state of religious feeling at Rome. In B.c. 116 it was discovered that, out of the six vestal virgins, three had abandoned themselves to systematic prostitution. According to the terrible penalty provided for such a crime, they were carried in a close litter witli B.C. 116.] HUMAN SACRIFICES AT ROME. 43

* See the full discussion of the Leges Boricc ami Thoriiv in Long's Decline, dc, vol. i., chap, xxiii. xxiv. xxv.

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funeral ceremonies through the Forum, and there solemnly delivered by the chief pontiff to the executioner, at the moutli of a subterranean cave, containing a couch, a light, and a table with some food upon it. Their paramours were whipped to death in the Comitium by the hand of the chief pontiff. The Sibylline books were consulted, and found to contain a prophecy of the crime, with directions to avert its consequences by sacrifices to strange deities. Sulpicia, the wife of Q. Fulvius Flaccus, was chosen by the Roman matrons as the chastest of their number, to consecrate a new temple to Venus Verticordia, with prayers that the goddess of lust might turn the hearts of the vestals to purity! Four foreigners were selected—a Greek and Gallic man and woman —and buried alive in the cow-market, to appease the foreign deities. Such is the practical comment on the boast that Rome, in destroying Carthage, at least rendered the service of abolishing the lustful orgies of Astarte and the horrid rites of Moloch! Admirably does the historian remark that "the savage superstition of Rome required human sacrifices to allay its miserable terrors; and the Roman poet's line is as applicable to the vestals of Rome as to the daughter of Agamemnon:

'Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.'"

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