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Scipio the Younger and Polybius

As the course of my narrative and the events of the
The origin of the friendship between Scipio Aemilianus and Polybius.
time have drawn our attention to this family, I wish to carry out fully, for the sake of students, what was left as a mere promise in my previous book. I promised then that I would relate the origin and manner of the rise and unusually early glory of Scipio's reputation in Rome; and also how it came about that Polybius became so attached to and intimate with him, that the fame of their friendship and constant companionship was not merely confined to Italy and Greece, but became known to more remote nations also. We have already shown that the acquaintance began in a loan of some books and the conversation about them. But as the intimacy went on, and the Achaean detenus were being distributed among the various cities, Fabius and Scipio, the sons of Lucius Aemilius Paulus,1 exerted all their influence with the praetor that Polybius might be allowed to remain in Rome. This was granted: and the intimacy was becoming more and more close, when the following incident occurred.
Young Scipio opens his heart to Polybius.
One day, when they were all three coming out of the house of Fabius, it happened that Fabius left them to go to the Forum, and that Polybius went in another direction with Scipio. As they were walking along, in a quiet and subdued voice, and with the blood mounting to his cheeks, Scipio said, "Why is it, Polybius, that though I and my brother eat at the same table, you address all your conversation and all your questions and explanations to him, and pass me over altogether? Of course you too have the same opinion of me as I hear the rest of the city has. For I am considered by everybody, I hear, to be a mild effete person, and far removed from the true Roman character and ways, because I don't care for pleading in the law courts. And they say that the family I come of requires a different kind of representative, and not the sort that I am. That is what annoys me most."

1 See note on p. 456.

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