The Life of Scipio Africanus

Scipio Africanus was the only Roman general who could defeat Hannibal.

"From the sun rising above the marshes of Maeotia
There is no one who may be equal in deeds.
If is it right for anyone to rise into the regions of the gods,
For me alone the greatest gate of heaven stands open."

Epitaph of Scipio Africanus - Q. Ennius

236 Publius Cornelius Scipio the younger, later Africanus, born. Youth
218-216 First Early campaigns Accompanies Publius Cornelius Scipio the elder (his father) and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio (uncle) on the first campaigns of the 2nd Punic War in Spain. Wins honour after saving his father at the Battle of Ticinus.
214 Scipio elected aedile despite his youth (only 22 years old) along with his cousin, Lucius Cornelius.
212 Scipio's father and uncle killed in battle in Spain. Family Disaster
211 Elected proconsul as a result of both elder Scipios' deaths. A New Scipio in Spain
209 Captures New Carthage.
208 Defeats Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal, at the Battle of Baecula in Spain.
206 Vanquishes last of Hasdrubal's forces at battle of Ilipa.
205 Elected consul. Retakes southern Italian town of Locri from Carthage and resolves to go to Africa. Scipio visits Syphax | Scipio prepares for Africa and is elected consul | Scipio elected consul | Scipio in Sicily (trouble and scandal)
204 Assembles huge army and sails from Sicily to Africa. Almost 400 transport ships required. Scipio lands in Africa Landing near Utica prompts Hannibal's recall from Italy. Hannibal Returns to Africa
203 Burns a Carthaginian encampment near Utica; 40,000 Carthagians killed, 5,000 captured. Defeats Syphax and Numidians at battle of Great Plains, aided by Gaius Laelius and the Numidian King Masinissa.
202 Follows Hannibal's army to Zama; famous peace meeting between Scipio and Hannibal. Defeats Hannibal at Battle of Zama. Carthage surrenders
201 Frees a prisoner in Carthage, Quintus Teratius Culleo. Returns in triumph to Italy with 123,000 pieces of silver and distributes 400 donkeys apiece to his soldiers. Return from Spain
194 Elected consul a second time. After Zama
190 Builds a triumphal arch with seven gilded statues and two horses.
189 Selected as princeps senatus for third time. Defeats King Antiochus at Magnesia. Scipio Africanus in Asia
187 Daughter Cornelia marries Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who eventually parent the reformer tribunes Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. Lucius Scipio accused of accepting bribes; Trial of the Scipios. Africanus responds by tearing up the incriminating documents before the tribunal. Scipio is eclipsed
185 Marcus Naevius accuses him of granting King Antiochus generous terms or peace in exchange for large bribe; Scipio refutes charge by reviewing record of service to state.
184 Scipio's death. He is buried at Liternum, having stated that the ungrateful citizens of Rome will not have his bones.
169 Son-in-law, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, purchases Scipio's house for the state.

Scipio - Capitoline Museum
Scipio family
Military sketch | Military history


 His adopted grandson, Scipio Aemilianus (Africanus Minor)

His famous daughter, Cornelia

Description of Scipio's life and character

John Sloan's Scipio Africanus

Seneca's Letter from Liternum

Historical sources

The film

Much of this material was originally based on Michael Akinde's site (now defunct, apparently):

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