The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


The tribune C. Minucius Augurinus ordered him to be dragged to prison and there detained till the money was paid ; whereupon Africanus, still more enraged at this fresh insult to his family, and setting himself above the laws, rescued his brother from the hands of the tribune's officer. The contest would probably have been attended with fatal results had not Tib. Gracchus, the father of the celebrated tribune, and then tribune himself, had the pru­dence, although he disapproved of the violent conduct of Africanus, to release his brother Lucius from the sentence of imprisonment. The property, however, of Lucius was confiscated ; and, as it was not sufficient to pay the fine, his clients and friends generously contributed not only a sufficient amount to supply the deficiency, but so large a sum that he would have been richer even than before ; but he would only receive sufficient to defray his most pressing wants. The successful issue of the prosecution of Lucius, emboldened his enemies to bring the great Africanus himself before the people. His accuser was M. Naevius, the tri­bune of the people, and if the date of his tribunate is correctly stated by Livy (xxxix. 52) the accu­sation was not brought till the end of b. c. 185. When the trial came on, Scipio did not condescend to say a single word in refutation of the charges that had been brought against him, but descanted long and eloquently upon the signal services he had rendered to the commonwealth. Having spoken till night-fall, the trial was adjourned till the fol­lowing day. Early next morning, when the tri­bunes had taken their seats on the rostra, and 'Africanus was summoned, he proudly reminded the people that this was the anniversary of the day on which he had defeated Hannibal at Zama, and called upon them to neglect all disputes and law-suits, and follow him to the Capitol, and there return thanks to the immortal gods, and pray that they would grant the Roman state other citizens like himself. Scipio struck a chord which vibrated on every heart; their veneration of the hero re­turned again; aud he was followed with such crowds to the Capitol, that the tribunes were left alone in the rostra. Having thus set all the laws at defiance, Scipio immediately quitted Rome, and retired to his country seat at LHernum. The tri­bunes wished to renew the prosecution, but Grac­chus wisely persuaded them to let it drop. (Liv. xxxviii. 50—60 ; Gell. iv. 18, vii. 19 ; Val. Max. iii. 7. § 1 ; Meyer, Oral. Roman. Fragm. pp. 6—8, 2d ed.) Scipio never returned to Rome. He would neither submit to the laws nor aspire to the sovereignty of the state ; and he therefore resolved to expatriate himself for ever. He passed his re­maining days in the cultivation of his estate at Liternum (Senec. Ep. 86); and at his death is said to have requested that his body might be buried there, and not in his ungrateful country. His re­quest was complied with, and his tomb existed at Liternum in the time of Livy. This appears to have been the more general account; but others related that he died at Rome, and was buried in the family sepulchre outside of the porta Capena, where a statue of him was erected alongside of the statues of his brother Lucius and the poet Ennius (Liv. xxxviii. 56). The year of his death is equally uncertain. Polybius and Rutilius related that he died in the same year as Hannibal and Philopoe-men, that is, in b. c. 183. Livy and Cicero placed his death in B. c, 185, and Valerius of Antium as



early as B. c. 187 (Liv. xxxix. 52 ; Cic. Cat. tiiqj. 6). * The date of Polybius is most probably the correct one.

Scipio married Aemilia, the daughter of L. Aemilius Paulus, who fell at the battle of Cannae [aemilia, No. 2], and by her he had four children, two sons [Nos. 14 and 15J, and two daughters, the elder of whom married P. Scipio Nasica Corculum [No. 23], and the younger Tib. Gracchus, and thus became the mother of the two celebrated tribunes [cornelia, Nos. 4, 5J. (It is unnecessary to cite the numerous passages in Polybius and Livy re­lating to Scipio ; those in Cicero in which he is mentioned are given by Orelli, in his Onomast. Tull. vol. ii. p. 186 ; there are some interesting re­marks on his character and the state of parties in Rome at his time, by Gerlach, in his treatise en­titled P. Cornelius Scipio und M. Porcius Cato, in the Scliweizer. Museum for 1837.)

13. L. cornelius scipio asiaticus, also called asia genes or asiagenus, was the son of No. 9, and the brother of the great Africanus [No. 1*2]. He served under his brother in Spain, where he took the town of Oringis in b. c. 208; and on the completion of the war was sent by his brother to Rome, with the joyful news. He was praetor in b. c. 193, when he obtained the province of Sicily, and consul in b. c. 190, with C. Laelius. The senate had not much confidence in his abilities (Cic. Phil. xi. 7), and it was only through the offer of his brother Africanus to accompany him as a legate that he obtained the province of Greece and the conduct of the war against Antiochus (Liv. xxviii. 3, 4, 17, xxxiv. 54, 55, xxxvi. 45, xxxvii. 1). He defeated Antiochus at Mount Sipylus, in B. c. 190, entered Rome in triumph in the following year, and assumed the surname of Asiaticus. The history of his accusation and condemnation, and of the confiscation of his property, has been already related in the life of his brother. But notwith­standing the poverty to which he is said to have been reduced (Liv. xxxviii. 60), he celebrated with great splendour, in b. c. 185, the games which he had vowed in his war with Antiochus. Valerius of Antium related that he obtained the necessary money during an embassy on which he was sent after his condemnation, to settle the dis­putes between the kings Antiochus and Eumenes. He was a candidate for the censorship in b. c. 184, but was defeated by the old enemy of his family, M. Porcius Cato, who gave another proof of his hatred to the family by depriving Asiaticus of his horse at the review of the equites (Liv. xxxix. 22, 40, 44). It appears, therefore, that even as late as this time an eques did not forfeit his horse by becoming a senator.


The name of Scipio Asiaticus occurs on coins, and he is the only one of the family of whom coins are extant. On the obverse is a head crowned with laurel, and on the reverse Jupiter

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of