The gens Sempronia was a Roman family of great antiquity. It included both patrician and plebeian branches. The first of the Sempronii to obtain the consulship was Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, in 497 BC, the twelfth year of the Republic. The patrician Sempronii frequently obtained the highest offices of the state in the early centuries of the Republic, but they were eclipsed by the plebeian families of the gens at the end of the fourth century BC. The glory of the Sempronia gens is confined to the Republican period. Very few persons of this name, and none of them of any importance, are mentioned under the Empire.
The praenomina favored by the patrician Sempronii were Aulus, Lucius, and Gaius. The plebeian families of the gens used the praenomina Gaius, Publius, Tiberius, and Marcus. The Sempronii Tuditani used Marcus, Gaius, and Publius, while their contemporaries, the Sempronii Gracchi, used Tiberius, Gaius, and Publius. Some families, including the Sempronii Rutili and Sempronii Muscae, used the praenomen Titus instead of Tiberius.
Branches and cognomina
The Sempronii were divided into many families, of which those bearing the surname Atratinus were undoubtedly patrician, while all of the others appear to have been plebeian. Their names were Asellio, Blaesus, Densus, Gracchus, Longus, Musca, Pitio, Rufus, Rutilus, Sophus, and Tuditanus. Of these, only Atratinus, Gracchus, and Pitio occur on coins.
Atratinus is derived from atratus, meaning "clad in black". The Atratini were patricians, and were distinguished in the early history of the Republic; but after the year 380 BC, no member of the family is mentioned till 34 BC.
Sophus, "a wise man", was the name of a plebeian family of the Sempronii, which flourished during the third and fourth centuries BC. Blaesus, "one who stammers", was the name of a plebeian family which first rose to prominence during the First Punic War. Tuditanus, the name of a family appearing in the second half of the 3rd century BC, was supposed by the philologist Ateius, to have originally been given to one of the Sempronii because he had a head like a tudes, or mallet.
Longus was a common surname, which probably originally referred to a person who was quite tall, although it could also mean "tedious". The family bearing this cognomen appeared at the beginning of the Second Punic War. Rutilus meaning "reddish", may have referred to the color of a person's hair. It was the surname of a family which first appears early in the 2nd century BC. A later family of the Sempronii bore the cognomen Rufus, or "red", suggesting a connection with the Sempronii Rutili. The surname Musca refers to a fly, a nickname that might arise from a person's height, or perhaps his persistence.
The most illustrious family of the Sempronii bore the cognomen Gracchus. This family furnished the Republic with two distinguished generals, as well as the brothers Tiberius and Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, commonly known as the Gracchi, who fell as martyrs to the cause of the plebeians, while attempting to implement vital land reform legislation. The family afterward fell into obscurity, but still existed in imperial times.
- Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, consul in 497 BC.
- Aulus Sempronius A. f. Atratinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 444 BC, resigned as a result of a defect in the Auspices.
- Lucius Sempronius A. f. Atratinus, consul in 444 BC, and the following year one of the first censors.
- Aulus Sempronius L. f. A. n. Atratinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 425, 420, and 416 BC.
- Gaius Sempronius A. f. A. n. Atratinus, consul in 423 BC.
- Aulus Sempronius Atratinus, magister equitum in 380 BC.
- Lucius Sempronius L. f. L. n. Atratinus, consul suffectus in 34 BC, a friend of Cicero, and the prosecutor of Marcus Caelius Rufus, whom Cicero defended.
- Publius Sempronius P. f. C. n. Sophus, consul in 304 and censor in 300 BC, triumphed over the Aequi.
- Publius Sempronius P. f. P. n. Sophus, consul in 268 and censor in 252 BC.
- Gaius Sempronius Ti. f. Ti. n. Blaesus, consul in 253 and 244 BC, during the First Punic War.
- (Tiberius) Sempronius Blaesus, quaestor in 217 BC, during the Second Punic War, killed during a raid upon the coast of Africa.
- Gaius Sempronius Blaesus, tribunus plebis in 211 BC, and probably the same as the legate of the dictator Quintus Fulvius Flaccus in 210.
- Publius Sempronius Blaesus, tribunus plebis in 191 BC, opposed the triumph of Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica, but relented.
- Gaius Sempronius Blaesus, praetor in 184 BC, obtained Sicilia as his province.
- Marcus Sempronius C. f. M. n. Tuditanus, consul in 240 and censor in 230 BC.
- Publius Sempronius C. f. C. n. Tuditanus, censor in 209 BC and consul in 204, he was a survivor of the Battle of Cannae. He defeated Hannibal during his consulship.
- Marcus Sempronius Tuditanus, one of the officers of Scipio at the capture of Carthago Nova in 209 BC.
- Gaius Sempronius Tuditanus, praetor in 197 BC, obtained Hispania Citerior as his province, and died of wounds received in battle the following year.
- Marcus Sempronius M. f. C. n. Tuditanus, consul in 185 BC, defeated the Apuani.
- Gaius Sempronius C. f. Tuditanus, perhaps one of the senior praetors in 146 BC, was that year sent with the consul Lucius Mummius in order to form the province of Achaea.
- Gaius Sempronius C. f. C. n. Tuditanus, an orator and historian and consul in 129 BC, triumphed over the Iapydes.
- Sempronia C. f. C. n., daughter of the consul of 129 BC, married Lucius Hortensius, and was the mother of the orator Quintus Hortensius.
- Sempronius Tuditanus, the grandfather of Fulvia, the wife of Marcus Antonius, the triumvir, described by Cicero as a madman, who liked to scatter his money among the people from the Rostra.
- Sempronia, the mother of Fulvia.
- Tiberius Sempronius Ti. f. C. n. Gracchus, consul in 238 BC, carried on war in Sardinia and Corsica.
- Tiberius Sempronius Ti. f. Ti. n. Gracchus, consul in 215 BC and 213 BC, during the Second Punic War, fell in battle against Mago.
- Publius Sempronius Ti. f. Ti. n. Gracchus, brother of the consul of 215 and 213 BC, and father of the consul of 177.
- Tiberius Sempronius Ti. f. Ti. n. Gracchus, elected augur in 203 BC, while still a young man, died in the great pestilence of 174 BC.
- Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, commander of the allies in the war against the Gauls, under the consul Marcellus in 196 BC; fell in battle against the Boii.
- Tiberius Veturius Gracchus Sempronianus, apparently one of the Sempronii, who had been adopted into the gens Veturia, and was subsequently elected augur to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus in 174 BC.
- Publius Sempronius Gracchus, tribune of the plebs in 189 BC, with his colleague, Gaius Sempronius Rutilus, charged Manius Acilius Glabrio, the consul of 191, with misappropriating part of the booty taken from Antiochus at Thermopylae.
- Tiberius Sempronius P. f. Ti. n. Gracchus, consul in 177 and 163 BC, and censor in 169, triumphed over the Celtiberi and the Sardinians; father of the brothers Gracchi.
- Tiberius Sempronius Ti. f. P. n. Gracchus, tribunus plebis in 133 BC, carried a major agrarian law, and was afterwards slain in a riot instigated by Scipio Nasica.
- Gaius Sempronius Ti. f. P. n. Gracchus, tribunus plebis in 123 and 122 BC, carried several major legal reforms; as his opponents brought Rome to the brink of civil war, he was pursued from the city, and took his own life.
- Sempronia Ti. f. P. n., sister of the Gracchi, married Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus.
- Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, lover of Julia, the daughter of Augustus, banished in AD 2, and put to death upon the accession of Tiberius.
- Gaius Sempronius Gracchus, accused the senator Granius Marcianus of majestas in AD 35.
- (Lucius) Sempronius Gracchus, consul suffectus in AD 167.
- Tiberius Sempronius C. f. C. n. Longus, consul in 218 BC, the first year of the Second Punic War, defeated by Hannibal at the Trebia.
- Tiberius Sempronius Ti. f. C. n. Longus, consul in 194 BC.
- Gaius Sempronius (Ti. f. Ti. n.) Longus, elected decemvir sacris faciundis in the place of Tiberius Sempronius Longus, the consul of 194 BC, who died in the great pestilence of 174.
- Publius Sempronius Longus, praetor in 184 BC, obtained Hispania Ulterior as his province.
Sempronii Rutili et Rufi
- Gaius Sempronius Rutilus, tribunus plebis in 189 BC, with his colleague, Publius Sempronius Gracchus, prosecuted Manius Acilius Glabrio, the consul of 191.
- Titus Sempronius Rutilus, the stepfather of Publius Aebutius, whom he disliked. His wife, Duronia, was indirectly responsible for the discovery of the Bacchanalia at Rome in 186 BC.
- Sempronius Rutilus, one of Caesar's legates in Gaul.
- Gaius Sempronius Rufus, a friend of Cicero, accused by Marcus Tuccius in 51 BC.
- Sempronius Rufus, a friend of the younger Gaius Plinius.
- Titus Sempronius Rufus, consul suffectus in AD 113.
- Sempronius Rufus, a eunuch from Hispania, who had committed various crimes, but had great influence over the emperor Caracalla.
- Titus Sempronius Musca, one of five commissioners appointed to settle the disputes between the Pisani and the Lunenses, in 168 BC.
- Aulus Sempronius Musca, mentioned along with his brother, Marcus, by Cicero in De Oratore.
- Marcus Sempronius Musca, mentioned along with his brother, Aulus, by Cicero in De Oratore.
- Sempronius Musca, scourged Gaius Gallius to death after detecting him in the act of adultery with his wife.
- (Sempronius) Musca, mentioned by Cicero in 45 BC, apparently a freedman or steward of Titus Pomponius Atticus.
- Lucius Sempronius Pitio, triumvir monetalis in 148 BC.
- Publius Sempronius Asellio, tribunus militum under Scipio Aemilianus in 133 BC, wrote a history of his times.
- Sempronia, wife of Decimus Junius Brutus, consul in 77 BC.
- Sempronius Densus, centurion of a praetorian cohort, who gave his life attempting to defend Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus, adopted son of the emperor Galba, or in some accounts the emperor himself, in AD 69.
- Lucius Sempronius Merula Auspicatus, consul suffectus in AD 121.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
- Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus De Verborum Significatu, p. 352, ed. Müller.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 7.
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, xi. 61.
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xii. 32.
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, xi. 62, 63.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 7, 8.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, ix. 21.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, iv. 35, 44, 47.
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, xii. 81, xiii. 9.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, vi. 28.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, xlix. 39.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Caelio, 1, 3, 7.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxii. 31.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxvi. 2, xxvii. 5.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxvi. 39, 40.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, xvii. 21.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Brutus, 18, Tusculanae Quaestiones, i. 1, Cato Maior de Senectute, 14.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxvi. 48.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxii. 27, 28, xxxiii. 25, 42.
- Appianus, Hispanica, 39.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxv. 7, xxxvii. 47, 50, xxxxix. 23, 32, 40, 46, xli. 21.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xiii. 6. § 4, 33. § 3.
- T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (1952).
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philippicae, iii. 6, Academica Priora, ii. 28.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, vii. 8. § 1.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xli. 26.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxvii. 57.
- Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus De Verborum Significatu, s. v. penatores.
- Tacitus, Annales, vi. 38.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xli. 21
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 32, 38.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix 9, 11, 19.
- Gaius Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, vii. 90.
- Marcus Caelius Rufus, Epistulae ad Familiares, viii. 8.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, vi. 2. § 10, Epistulae ad Familiares, 22, 25, 29.
- Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae, iv. 22.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxxvii. 17.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 13.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, ii. 60.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, vi. 1. § 13.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 40.
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Historiae, i. 43.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxiv. 6.
- Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Galba, 26.
- Publius Sempronius Tuditanus, censor 209 BC and consul 203 BC. See Livy xxii. 50 for his actions, and Livy xxii. 60 for the praise heaped on him by leading Roman senators, notably Titus Manlius Torquatus.
- Freese, John Henry (1911). "Gracchus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 308–309.; it should be noted that the dates given for the brothers Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus are almost certainly wrong, and there are other errors as well.
- Consuls of the Sempronia gens
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.