Definitions for gracchus, caius sempronius

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  1. Gracchus, Caius Sempronius

    Roman tribune and reformer, brother of the succeeding, nine years his junior; devoted himself and his oratory on his brother's death to carry out his measures; was chosen tribune in 123 B.C., and re-elected in 122; his measures of reform were opposed and undone by the Senate, and being declared a public enemy he was driven to bay, his friends rallying round him in arms, when a combat took place in which 3000 fell, upon which Gracchus made his slave put him to death; "overthrown by the Patricians," he is said, "when struck with the fatal stab, to have flung dust toward heaven, and called on the avenging deities; and from this dust," says one, "there was born Marius—not so illustrious for exterminating the Cimbri as for overturning in Rome the tyranny of the nobles."

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