Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (consul 215 BC)

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Tiberius Sempronius Tib. f. Tib. n. Gracchus (died 212 BC) was a Roman Republican consul in the Second Punic War. He was son of Tiberius Sempronius Tib. f. Gracchus, who was apparently the first man from his branch of the family to become a consul.

Gracchus is first mentioned in 216 BC as a curule aedile, in which capacity he was inducted as the Master of the Horse to the newly elected Dictator Marcus Junius Pera after the defeat at Cannae.

He was elected consul in 216 BC, at the recommendation of the Dictator, whose orders he had faithfully obeyed even when obliged to abandon Italian allies to their fate. His colleague-elect Lucius Postumius A.f. Albinus being killed in an ambush in Gaul on his way home, Marcus Claudius Marcellus was elected consul in his stead, to the protests of patricians who claimed that two plebeians could not serve as consuls. Marcellus thereupon resigned and Quintus Fabius Maximus was elected as consul to serve out the year. In that year, Fabius Maximus and the Senate decided to induct volunteer slaves into the Roman armies and to have them serve in separate legions to win their freedom. Gracchus was appointed commander of the slave troops. He rapidly became known as an effective general of the volunteer slave troops, winning their loyalty and trust for his clemency when some broke and ran from the field. [Livy]. He was appointed proconsul in 214 BC, continuing to lead his slave and freedmen troops in central and southern Italy against Hannibal, with mixed success.

In 213 BC, he was re-elected consul. He was removing his troops from their winter camp on the orders of the newly elected consuls (of 212 BC), when he and a small group of men were ambushed and killed, allegedly when they were caught bathing. According to Livy, Hannibal gave the dead general full funeral rites and had his ashes returned to Rome.

Family[edit]

His wife is unknown, but he had at least one son. Sempronius Gracchus's son Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus became a priest in 203 BC and died, while an augur, in the plague in 174 BC. His brother Publius Sempronius Gracchus was the father of Tiberius Sempronius P.f. Tib.n. Gracchus, whose sons Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus were the famous reformers.

Sources[edit]

Livy, Histories of Rome.

Political offices
Preceded by
Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Postumius Albinus
215 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus and Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Preceded by
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus and Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Quintus Fabius Maximus
213 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Fulvius Flaccus and Appius Claudius Pulcher