Scipio Africanus

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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Scipio Africanus in Wikipedia

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (235–183 BC), also known as Scipio Africanus and Scipio the Elder, was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic. He was best known for defeating Hannibal at the final battle of the Second Punic War at Zama, a feat that earned him the agnomen Africanus, the nickname "the Roman Hannibal", as well as recognition as one of the finest commanders in military history. An earlier great display of his tactical abilities had come already at the Battle of Ilipa...

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Scipio Africanus in Harpers Dictionary

P. Cornelius Scipio, son of No. 6, was consul, with Ti. Sempronius Longus , in 218, the first year of the Second Punic War. He sailed with an army to Gaul, in order to encounter Hannibal before crossing the Alps; but, finding that Hannibal had crossed the Rhône, and had got the start of him by a three days' march, he resolved to sail back to Italy and await Hannibal's arrival in Cisalpine Gaul. But as the Romans had an army of twenty-five thousand men in Cisalpine Gaul, under the command of two praetors, Scipio sent into Spain the army which he had brought with him, under the command of his brother, Cn. Scipio. On his return to Italy, Scipio took the command of the army in Cisalpine Gaul, and hastened to meet Hannibal. An engagement took place between the cavalry and light-armed troops of the two armies. The Romans were defeated; the consul himself received a severe wound, and was only saved from death by the courage of his young son Publius, the future conqueror of Hannibal. Scipio now retreated across the Ticinus, crossed the Po also, first took up his quarters at Placentia, and subsequently withdrew to the hills on the left bank of the Trebia, where he was joined by the other consul, Sempronius Longus. The latter resolved upon a battle, in opposition to the advice of his colleague. The result was the complete defeat of the Roman army, which was obliged to take refuge within the walls of Placentia. In the following year (217 B.C.), Scipio, whose imperium had been prolonged, crossed over into Spain. He and his brother Gneius continued in Spain until their death in 211, and did the most important service for their country by preventing reinforcements being sent to Hannibal from Spain. In 215 they transferred the war from the Ebro to the Guadalquivir and won two great victories at Illiturgis and Intibilis. They fortified an important harbour at Tarraco and regained Saguntum, and by adroit policy induced Syphax to turn against the Carthaginians in Africa; but in 212, having to confront three armies under Hasdrubal Barca, Hasdrubal Gisgo, and Mago, they enlisted 20,000 Celtiberians and divided their armies. This was a fatal step. The Spaniards were untrustworthy, and the armies of the Scipios were defeated separately and both the brothers were slain by the Carthaginians (Polyb. iii.; Livy, xii.-xxv.; Annib. 5-8; Hisp. 14-16).

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