5. M. Octavius
, may be, as Drumann has stated, a younger son of No. 3, so far as the time at which he lived is concerned, but no ancient writer speaks of him as his son.
It would appear from Obsequens (100.130) that he bore the surname of Caecina. but the reading is nerhans faulty. He was the colleague of Tib. Gracchus in the tribunate of the plebs, B. C. 133, and opposed his tribunitian veto to the passing of the agrarian law.
The history of his opposition, and the way in which he was in consequence deposed from his office by Tib. Gracchus, are fully detailed in the life of the latter. [Vol. II. p. 292a.] Octavius is naturally either praised or blamed according to the different views entertained by persons of the laws of Gracchus. Cicero (Cic. Brut. 25
) calls Octavius civis in rebus optimis constantissimus,
and praises him for his skill in speaking. We learn from Plutarch that Octavius was a personal friend of Gracchus, and that it was with considerable reluctance that the nobles persuaded him to oppose his friend, but to this course he was probably also prompted by possessing a large tract of public land. Plutarch likewise adds that though Octavius and Gracchus opposed one another with great earnestness and rivalry, yet they are said never to have uttered a disparaging word against one another. (Plut. TG 10
.) Dio Cassius, on the contrary, says (Fragm.
87, ed. Reimarus) that Octavius opposed Gracchus of his own accord, through jealousy springing from their relationship to one another : and that they were related in some way may also be inferred from another passage of Plutarch (C. Gracch.
4), from which we learn that C. Gracchus dropped a measure directed against Octavius at the request of his mother Octavia.