Scipio Africanus in Roman Biography

Scip'io iEmilia'nus Africa'nus Mi'nor, (Publius Cornklius,) a famous Roman general, born about 185 B.C., was a son of /Emilius Paulus, and an adopted son of Publius Cornelius Scipio, whose father was the great Scipio. He was liberally educated, and was well versed in Greek literature and philosophy. In 168 B.C. he fought at the battle of Pydna, where his father commanded. He formed an intimate friendship with the historian Polybius, who became the companion of his studies and military expeditions. As military tribune, he went to Spain in 151 B.C., and signalized his courage in a single combat with a gigantic Spanish chief, whom he killed. In the third Punic war, which began about 149, he displayed great military ability in Africa. Having returned to Rome in 148, he was elected consul for 147, and obtained Africa as his province. He finished the Punic war by the capture and destruction of the city of Carthage in 146 B.C., and was granted a splendid triumph at Rome for this victory. In the year 142 he became censor with L. Mummius. He endeavoured to restrain the growing love of luxury of the Romans and to maintain the simple habits and austere virtues of their ancestors ; but in this he was not successful. Having been elected consul, 134 B.C., he obtained the chief command in Spain, and took Numantia, after a long and obstinate defence, in 133. He was an inflexible supporter of the aristocratic party, and approved the execution of Tiberius Gracchus, although his wife Sempronia was a sister of that tribune. He lost his popularity by his course in this affair. He was found dead in his bed in 129 B.C. The public suspected that he was murdered ; but no person was convicted of the crime. Scipio was eminent for his learning, and was one of the most eloquent Roman orators of his time. Cicero expresses a high opinion of him in his book " De Republica." A report prevailed among the ancients that he assisted Terence in the composition of his plays. See Polybius. books xxxii.-xxxix. : Carlo Sir onio, " De Vita et Rebus gestis P. Scipionis," 1569: F. D. Gerl .ch, "Tod des P. C. Scipio ^Kmilianus." 1839; L. Normann, " Sripio Africanus Minor," Upsala, 1688: "Nouvelle Biographie Ge^ieYale."

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