Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (consul 238 BC)

Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (consul 238 BC)

Tiberius Sempronius Tib.f. Gracchus (fl. 237 BC; d. by 215 BC), a Roman Republican consul in the year 238 BC, was the first man from his branch (stirps) of the family (the gens Sempronia) to become consul; several other plebeian Sempronii had already reached the consulship and even the censorship. He is best known as the father of the similarly named consul of 215 and 213 BC, and the grandfather of Tiberius Gracchus Major, and the great-grandfather of the Brothers Gracchi (Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus).

Tiberius Gracchus had a relatively undistinguished consulship, with an indecisive campaign in Sardinia (Livy), after which he apparently vowed to dedicate a temple, not completed in his lifetime. That temple was completed and dedicated by his elder son, Tiberius, the consul of 215 BC and 213 BC.

His co-consul, the patrician consul, was Pub. Valerius Q.f. Falto.

Family and descendants

Tiberius Gracchus was the father of at least two sons by an unknown wife:
* Tiberius Sempronius Tib. f. Tib. n. Gracchus, consul 215 BC and 213 BC (killed in ambush 212 BC), who was curule aedile in 216 BC, then chosen Master of the Horse by the dictator Marcus Junius Pera, and then twice elected consul. He was an able consul, and known as an effective general of volunteer slave troops after the defeat at Cannae. His death in an ambush in 212 BC deprived him of further advancement; due to his popularity with the People and Senate alike, he would almost certainly have become Censor. The elder son was father of at least one son, and possibly two surviving sons.
** Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus who was elected to the priesthood in 203 BC at a very young age, and who died in the plague of 174 BC.
** (probable) Lucius Manlius Acidinus Sempronianus who replaced his dead kinsman as Augur, and whose name indicates that he was born a Sempronius and adopted into the patrician Manlii.
* Publius Sempronius Tib. f. Tib. n. Gracchus, of whom almost nothing is known. He had married and fathered a son Tiberius Gracchus Major by 217 BC, and may have died during the Second Punic War.
** Tiberius Gracchus Major (ca 217 BC-154 BC), who married Scipio's younger daughter, and whose sons became famous as two reformist tribunes of the plebs who were undone by their conservative Opposition (some of them closely related).
*** Sempronia, wife and widow of her mother's cousin Scipio Aemilianus; no issue.
*** Tiberius Gracchus (ca. [168 BC] - 133 BC, killed in a riot by conservative Senators), his three sons all died young; and
*** Gaius Gracchus (154 BC- [121 BC] , committed suicide) who left a surviving daughter Sempronia who became her mother's and paternal grandmother's heiress (her father's property having been confiscated by the Senate). Her daughter Fulvia played an important part in Late Republican Roman politics by her three successive marriages to relatively impoverished tribunes of the plebs whose political career was made possible through her great wealth.

Other possible descendants

* The tribune of the plebs Publius Sempronius Gracchus who attacked Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC) and others for corrupt practices and forced him to withdraw his candidacy for censor, may have been another grandson, but this is not certain.
* A late first-century BC descendant may have been the Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus who was condemned to exile on an island for being Julia's lover.

ee also

* Sempronius (gens)
* List of Roman Republican consuls


Livy. History of Rome.

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