(Second Century BC)



Most of Cornelia’s children died young, but two, Tiberius and Gaius, grew up to become the famous reformers of Rome’s agrarian laws. When the two were still young boys, Cornelia once received at her house a wealthy Roman lady, who proudly showed off her jewelry to her hostess. She then challenged Cornelia to show off her own jewels. Cornelia gestured toward her sons, who had just entered the room. “These are my jewels,” she said.

After her death a was erected in her memory, bearing the simple inscription: “Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi.” (Gracchi is the plural of Gracchus, the surname of Cornelia’s husband, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus.)
Biographical Note: 

Cornelia was a Roman aristocrat, daughter of Scipio Africanus, wife of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus. Cornelia bore 12 children, however only three lived to adulthood. She refused to remarry after her husband’s death, devoting herself to her children, whom she educated well and inspired with a sense of civic duty and a desire for glory.