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56. Much else is said, especially about the end of Scipio's life, his trial, his death, his funeral, his tomb, all so contradictory that I find no tradition, no written documents, which I can accept. [2] There is no unanimity as to his accuser: some say that Marcus Naevius1 accused him, others the Petillii; there is no agreement as to the time when he was prosecuted nor as to the year when he died2 nor as to where he died or was buried; some say that both death and burial took place at Rome, others at Liternum. [3] In both places tombs and statues are shown; [4] for at Liternum3 there is a tomb and a statue placed upon [p. 197]the tomb, which I myself saw recently, shattered by4 a storm, and at Rome, outside the Porta Capena, in the tomb of the Scipios, there are three statues, two of which are said to represent Publius and Lucius Scipio, the third the poet Quintus Ennius.5 [5] Not only is there disagreement among historians, but the speeches also (if indeed those which are in circulation are genuine works of these men) of Publius Scipio6 and Tiberius Gracchus7 are inconsistent with one another. [6] The index8 of the speech of Publius Scipio contains the name of Marcus Naevius, tribune of the people; the speech itself lacks the name of the accuser; it calls him now “a ne'er-do-well,” now “a no-good.” [7] Nor does the speech of Gracchus make any mention at all either of the Petillii as accusers of Africanus or of the prosecution of Africanus. Another entirely different story must be put together, consistent with the oration of Gracchus, [8??] and those writers must be followed who say that, when Lucius Scipio was both accused and convicted of receiving money from the king, Africanus was serving on a commission in Etruria;9 [9] that, leaving this post after receiving the news of his brother's downfall, he hastened to Rome, and when he had gone from the gate straight to the Forum, because it was said that his brother was being put in chains, that he drove the messenger from him, and that when the tribunes tried to stop him he attacked them, with more [p. 199]affection for his-brother than respect for the laws.10 [10] For it is just this conduct that Tiberius Gracchus complains of —that the tribunicial power had been infringed by a private citizen, and at the end, when he promised his official assistance to Lucius Scipio, he added that it seemed to be a more endurable precedent that a tribune of the people rather than a private citizen should have overthrown both the tribunicial power and the state.11 [11] But this one act of uncontrolled violence on Scipio's part he loaded with reproaches in such a way that, taunting him because he had fallen so far below his own standards, he paid him, as compensation for his criticism of the moment, lasting and accumulated praises for his integrity and self-command; for he said that the people had once been rebuked by Scipio because they wished to make him perpetual12 consul and dictator; [12] that he forbade statues to himself to be erected in the Comitium, on the Rostra, in the Curia, on the Capitoline, in the cell of Jupiter; [13] that he prevented also a decree that his image in triumphal dress should appear to be coming out of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.13

1 Naevius was tribune in 184 B.C. (XXXIX. lii. 4 below).

2 Livy returns to this question in dealing with the year 183 B.C. (XXXIX. lii.).

3 Seneca, writing to Lucilius from Scipio's villa at Liternum, says . . . ara quam sepulchrum esse tanti viri suspicor (Ep. LXXXVI. 1). Strabo (p. 243) also mentions the tomb, but there seems to be no other reference to the statue of which Livy speaks.

4 B.C. 187

5 No inscriptions to Publius or Lucius Scipio and no identifiable statue of either has been found in the Scipio tomb. The bust which some suppose to be that of Ennius exists in the Vatican Museum.

6 Cicero (Brutus 77) had few specimens of Scipio's style, but he quotes a punning fragment from a speech against Naevius (quid hoc Naevio ignavius: De Or. II. 249). But Livy (sect. 6 below) says that Naevius was not mentioned in the speech itself. There is a slight indication that Livy and Gellius (l.c.) read the same speech, since Livy says that Scipio called his accuser nebulonem, and this word occurs in the direct quotation given by Gellius.

7 This speech is otherwise unknown.

8 The index was a tag fastened to the projecting end of the rod on which the roll was wound, containing the title of the work contained in that roll.

9 Nothing further is known of this commission, although Gellius (VI. (VII.) xix) tells the rest of the story, with greater detail.

10 B.C. 187

11 The presumable situation was this: L. Scipio had been condemned by a tribune to pay a fine; in default of bond he would be imprisoned and could be released only by another tribune; Gracchus finally assumed the responsibility of freeing him after Africanus had committed his assault.

12 Valerius Maximus (IV. i. 6) tells a similar story, but the occasion of the rebuke is unknown. It seems probable that Livy uses perpetuus in the sense of “for a considerable continuous period,” contrasting it with in annum: cf. XXIV. viii. 7.

13 Appian (Iber. 23) reports that this was done despite the protests of Scipio.

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  • Commentary references to this page (7):
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 33-34, commentary, 33.46
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 36.21
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 35-38, commentary, 37.48
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.1
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.52
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 39-40, commentary, 39.6
    • Titus Livius (Livy), Ab urbe condita libri, erklärt von M. Weissenborn, books 41-42, commentary, 42.3
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