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Gaius Gracchus and his head

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Death of Gaius Gracchus
Gaius Gracchus and his head

Gaius Sempronius Gracchus was the younger brother of Tiberius Gracchus, with whom he acted at the end of the 2nd century BCE in defense of the plebeians and proposed reforms to repair Rome’s political system. Over time, however, as a result of persecution from the optimates, he died sharing the fate of his brother.

Not wanting to fall into the hands of opponents of his idea of ​​expanding the group of Roman citizens by giving this title to his Italian allies (socii), in 121 BCE he ordered his trusted slave to kill him.

The Senate, who hated Gaius, announced that everyone who brings the head of the reformer will receive as much gold as he weighs. Septimuleius turned out to be the winner. However, as it turned out, the head weighed unexpectedly a lot – seventeen and two-thirds a pound. It was discovered that the finder had cheated by removing the brain from the skull and pouring liquid lead there. Ultimately, the prize was not awarded.

  • Appian of Alexandria, Roman History

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