Scipio the Younger

(Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilanus Africanus )

185–129 BC

Scipio Aemilianus Africanus was the biological son of Aemilius Paulus, under whom he fought at the Battle of Pydna. After his father's death, he was adopted into the Scipio family, and thereby assumed the Scipio name. He was a great patron of Greek and Roman literature, and was a close friend of the poets Lucilius and Terence, and Polybius the historian. He was also a well-respected soldier, who fought bravely in the Numantine War in Spain. He was elected consul when only 31, and given charge of the Siege of Carthage, which had previously been ill-managed. In one year the city succumbed and was destroyed. Scipio is said to have quoted a line from Homer's sack of Troy and wondered aloud if Rome would ever share the fate of Carthage.

Scipio continued in public life for fifteen years after the destruction of Carthage. He opposed the Gracchi reforms, even though his wife was the Gracchi's sister. He served as censor, and consul, and helped put down a rebellion in Spain. His is thought to have been murdered by his political opponents, although the case was never resolved.

Key events during the life of Scipio Aemilianus:

168 BC
Fought under father, Aemilius Paulus, at Pydna.
  Adopted by Cornelius Scipio, eldest son of Scipio Africanus.
151 BC
Served in army in Spain, visited Masinissa of Numidia.
147 BC
Elected consul, went to Africa to take over siege of Carthage.
146 BC
Oversaw destruction of city of Carthage.
142 BC
Elected Censor.
134 BC
Returned to Spain to end rebellion; destroyed Numantia.
133 BC
On death of Tiberius Gracchus, sought to destroy Gracchian reforms.
129 BC
Died under suspicious circumstances, thought to be murdered by allies of the Gracchi.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Destruction of Carthage  in  Hannibal  by  Jacob Abbott
Blotting Out of Carthage  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Destruction of Carthage  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Destruction of Carthage  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Fate of Carthage  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

Scipio, throwing his toga over his face, burst into a passion of tears.
 in Lords of the World

The younger Scipio
 in Stories from Ancient Rome

The Destruction of Carthage
 in Greatest Nations - Rome

Carthaginian Women Sacrificing their Treasures to their Country
 in Greatest Nations - Rome

The Home of Scipio Aemilianus
 in Greatest Nations - Rome

The city was given to the flames.
 in The Story of Rome

Short Biography
Polybius Taken as Greek hostage during Macedonian wars; historian of Punic Wars.
Aemilius Paulus Led Rome against Macedonia at the Battle of Pydna and was victorious.
Terence Poet and playwright—translated Greek classics into Latin.
Lucilius The earliest known Roman satirist.