132 BC. Tiberius Gracchus, with the final victory in Rome's 120 year long Punic Wars against Carthage, its greatest ever Mediterranean rival, brings him immense glory and the rich unseen wealth, but almost nothing trickles down to the destitute. The rich patricians yest removing the military threat of Carthage also removes the best control on them. He learns many veteran families lose everything, even their land, which is taken by the rich. Now he joins the army against a Hispanic tribe, the Numantines, which manages to encircle the 20,000 legionnaires and refuses to negotiate with consul Mancinus, but takes the word of Gracchus, for the sake of his father who concluded an honorable peace with them; the troops return, their families rejoice but the senate blames the commanders for a disgraceful surrender. Tiberius uses his popularity to stand for the office of popular tribune, hoping to counter Nasicas extremist line in the senate.