7. M. Fulvius
Flaccus, M. F. Q. N., a son of No. 6, and a friend of the Gracchi, was consul in B. C. 125, and was sent to the assistance of the Massilians, whose territory was invaded by the Salluvians ; and he was the first that subdued the transalpine Ligurians, over whom he celebrated a triumph.
After the death of Tib. Sempronius Gracchus, in B. C. 129, he, Carbo, and C. Sempronius Gracchus had been appointed triumvirs agro dividendo.
He was a warm supporter of all that C. Gracchus did, especially of his agrarian law; but he seems to have been wanting in that dignified and quiet, but steady conduct, which characterises the pure and virtuous career of C. Gracchus, who was more injured in public opinion than benefited by his friendship with M. Fulvius Flaccus; for among other charges which were brought against him, it was said that he endeavoured to excite the Italian allies, by bringing forward in his consulship a bill to grant them the Roman franchise. In B. C. 122, he accompanied C. Gracchus into Africa to establish a colony at Carthage, for the senate was anxious to get rid of them, and in their absence to make energetic preparations against them.
But both returned to Rome very soon. During the night previous to the murder of C. Gracchus, Flaccus kept a mob ready to fight against the senatorial party, and spent the night in drinking and feasting with his friends.
At day-break he went with his armed band to seize the Aventine hill. C. Gracchus also joined them, though refusing to use violence, and prevailed upon Flaccus to send his younger son to the forum to offer the hand for reconciliation to the senatorial party. Opimius refused, and demanded that his father and Gracchus should surrender before any negotiations were commenced. Flaccus again sent his son; but Opimius, anxious to begin the fight, arrested the boy, put him into prison, and advanced against the band of Flaccus, which was soon dispersed. Flaccus and his elder son took refuge in a public bath, where they were soon discovered and put to death, B. C. 121.
It cannot be said that M. Fulvius Flaccus had any bad motive in joining the party of the Gracchi, for all the charges that were brought against him at the time were not established by evidence; but he was of a bolder and more determined character than C. Gracchus. Cicero mentions him among the orators of the time, but states that he did not rise above mediocrity, although his orations were still extant in the time of Cicero.
A daughter of his, Fulvia, was married to P. Lentulus, by whom she became the mother of Lentulus Sura. Cicero (pro Dom.
43) calls him the father-in-law of a brother of Q. Catulus, whence we may infer that he had a second daughter.
A third daughter was married to L. Caesar, consul in B. C. 91; so that M. Fulvius Flaccus was the grandfather of L. Caesar, who was consul in B. C. 64. (Liv. Epit. 59
; Appian, App. BC 1.18
, &c.; Plut. Tib. Gracch. 18, C. Gracch. 10-16 ;
Veil. Pat. 2.6; Cic. Brut. 28
, de Orat.
2.70, in Cat.
1.2, 12, 4.6; Schol. Gronov. ad Catil.
p. 413 ; Cic. pro Dom. 38, Phil.
8.4; V. Max. 5.3.2
; comp. Meyer, Frag. Orat. Rom.
p. 219, 2d edit.)