Gaius Blossius

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According to Plutarch, Blossius of Cumae was an Italian philosopher, student of the stoic philosopher Antipater of Tarsus, who was born in the 2nd century BC, in the town of Cumae. He and a Greek philosopher, Diophanes, inspired Roman tribune Tiberius Gracchus in a land reform movement on behalf of the plebs. His political opponents accused him of attempting to provoke a popular uprising, and have himself crowned King. Eventually, he was assassinated, and his body thrown into the river Tiber.

After the death of Tiberius Gracchus, Blossius was interrogated by the consuls on the matter. Blossius freely admitted that he had done anything Tiberius had asked. The consuls asked "What? What would you do if Tiberius ordered you to burn the Capitol?" He answered that Tiberius would never have given such an order. Being pressed on the point, though, Blossius eventually stated that Tiberius would only have ordered such a thing, if it were in the true interests of the Roman people. After that, he was released. Blossius went to the province of Asia, where he took part in Aristonicus' popular uprising against Rome, aiding in the organization of the Heliopolis state. When the uprising was ultimately defeated, he killed himself.


Plutarch Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans "Tiberius Graekchus biography" Maria Jaczynowska, Anna Mączakowa, Witold Tyloch Historia Starożytna in English Ancient History Warsaw 1974