Saturday, May 16, 2009

Roman General: Scipio Aemilianus Africanus

Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus AKA Scipio Africanus the Younger, Roman general and statesman. Born about 185 B.C. Died Rome, Italy, 129 B.C.

Scipio was adopted by Publius Cornelius Scipio, the eldest son of Scipio Africanus the Elder.

As a youth was present at the decisive battle of Pydna (168).

He served in Spain in 151, and, after Rome had declared war on Carthage in 149, he commanded the Roman army at the Siege of Carthage.

At the start of the Third Punic War he was appointed military tribune to Africa. Elected consul for 147 B.C., he led the army that destroyed Carthage the next year.

After the fall of the city in 146 Scipio returned to Rome, and received a great triumph and the title Africanus.

Scipio served conscientiously as censor in 142 B.C.

He was reelected consul for 134 B.C. and defeated the Numantines in Spain.

In 133 he added to this the name Numantinus, which he received for his conquest of Mumantia in Spain.

After the death of Tiberius Gracchus in 133 B.C., Scipic returned to Rome to lead the conservatives in opposition to the Gracchan reforms.

His sudden death may have been at the hands of his political enemies. Scipio was a patron of Greek culture and of contemporary Roman writers. Cicero idealized him as the epitome of Roman aristocracy.

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