A full translation of the Life of Tiberius Gracchus can be found at: http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/tiberius.html.
What problems, according to Plutarch's account, existed in the time
of Tiberius Gracchus? Would everyone have agreed on the nature
of these problems. Plutarch seems to show that there were different
evaluations of Tiberius Gracchus' character and motivation.
What were they? Why did such different evaluations exist?
But Tiberius, being elected tribune of the
people, entered upon that design without delay, at the instigation, as
most commonly stated, of Diophanes, the rhetorician, and Blossius, the philosopher. Diophanes was a refugee
from Mitylene, the other was an Italian, of the city of Cuma, and was educated there under Antipater of Tarsus,
who afterwards did him the honour to dedicate some of his philosophical lectures to him.
Some have also charged Cornelia, the mother
of Tiberius, with contributing towards it, because she frequently
upbraided her sons, that the Romans as yet rather called her the daughter of Scipio, than the mother of the
Gracchi. Others again say that Spurius Postumius was the chief occasion. He was a man of the same age with
Tiberius, and his rival for reputation as a public speaker; and when Tiberius, at his return from the campaign, found
him to have got far beyond him in fame and influence, and to be much looked up to, he thought to outdo him, by
attempting a popular enterprise of this difficulty and of such great consequence. But his brother Caius has left it us
in writing, that when Tiberius went through Tuscany to Numantia, and found the country almost depopulated, there
being hardly any free husbandmen or shepherds, but for the most part only barbarian, imported slaves, he then first
conceived the course of policy which in the sequel proved so fatal to his family. Though it is also most certain that
the people themselves chiefly excited his zeal and determination in the prosecution of it, by setting up writings upon
the porches, walls, and monuments, calling upon him to reinstate the poor citizens in their former possessions.