Greed may be good on Wall Street, but it certainly wasn’t in Ancient Rome. Roman tribune Gaius Gracchus was, first and foremost, a social warrior. The changes he made in office turned him into a belo
Greed may be good on Wall Street, but it certainly wasn’t in Ancient Rome.
Roman tribune Gaius Gracchus was, first and foremost, a social warrior. The changes he made in office turned him into a beloved celebrity among many Roman citizens. However, it also landed him in hot water with fellow politicians.
During a day of extreme political unrest, a feud broke out between Gracchus’ supporters and the supporters of one of his opponents, senator Lucius Opimius. The scuffle left Quintus Antyllius, one of Opimius’ attendants, dead.
Opimius used his attendant’s death as a way to demonize Gracchus. With the Senate’s blessing, Opimius demanded that Gracchus turn himself over for trial. There would be no negotiations.
In response, Gracchus ran away and, with help from his slave, committed suicide at a sacred grove.
Opimius put out a reward for Gracchus’ head, announcing that whoever retrieved it would receive its weight in gold. Soon, his head was discovered and brought to the Senate by a man named Septimuleius.
However, when Opimius weighed his former opponent’s head, it measured in at over seventeen pounds. After some investigation, it was discovered that Septimuleius removed Gracchus’ brain and filled his head with molten lead.
For his dishonesty, Septimuleius received no reward. Instead of removing someone else’s brain, perhaps he should have used his own.
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