Gaius gracchus had a bounty put on his head

Gaius gracchus had a bounty put on his head

Gaius gracchus, the ancient roman politician, had a bounty put on his head to the price of the head’s weight in gold. Although the head was delivered, the prize was never paid, as it was discovered that Gaius’ captor had emptied out his brain and replaced it with molten lead

“Gaius’ head was cut off, as Opimius had announced that whomever brought back the head would be paid its weight in gold. When the head measured an astonishing seventeen and two-thirds pounds, it was discovered that Septimuleius, who brought the head, committed fraud by removing the brain and pouring in molten lead and therefore received no reward at all. The bodies of Gaius, Fulvius and the three thousand supporters who also died were thrown into the Tiber, their property confiscated and sold to the public treasury. Appian adds that their homes were looted by their opponents Their wives were forbidden to mourn the death of their husbands and Licinia, wife of Gaius, was stripped of her dowry. Fulvius’ youngest son, who took no part in the fighting and merely acted as herald, was executed, though Appian holds that Opimius allowed him to choose his own manner of death. Most outrageous to the People was when Opimius celebrated his victory by building a temple to Concord in the Forum with the Senate’s approval. The People felt that a victory bought with the massacre of so many citizens was exceptionally distasteful. According to Plutarch, one night an inscription was carved that read “”This temple of Concord is the work of mad Discord.””
Plutarch maintains that Opimius was the first Roman to appoint himself dictator, kill 3,000 Roman citizens without trial, including the proconsul Fulvius Flaccus who celebrated a triumph and the tribune Gaius Gracchus, a man renowned for his reputation and virtue. Ironically, this same Opimius then later committed fraud and accepted bribes from the Numidian king Jugurtha and, after being convicted, spent his days in disgrace. The People, realizing their democratic cause was now dead, understood how deeply they missed the Gracchus brothers. Statues were erected in Rome, where they fell was consecrated as holy ground and the season’s first fruits were offered as sacrifice. Many worshiped them daily as if the Gracchi had been elevated to divine status. Cornelia honored the memory of her sons’ murders by constructing elaborate tombs at the spot of their deaths. Appian adds that within 15 years, all of the progress done under the Gracchi had been overturn and the poor were in a much worse position than ever before, many reduced to unemployment.”

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