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Scipio Nasica is the only individual who, since the commencement of the Roman era, has been declared, by a vote of the senate, confirmed by oath, to be the most excellent of men.1 And yet, the same person, when he was a candidate for office, was twice stigmatized by a repulse of the Roman people. He was not allowed, in fine, to die in his native country,2—no, by Hercules! no more than Socrates, who was declared by Apollo to be the wisest of men, was permitted to die outside of a prison.

1 We have an account of this in Livy, B. xxix. c. 14, and B. xxxvi. c. 40; it is also referred to by Valerius Maximus, B. viii. c. 15.—B.

2 In consequence of the number of eminent men who bore the name of Scipio, it is not easy, in all cases, to decide to which of them certain transactions ought to be referred. In this instance, it has been doubted, whether it was the same Scipio who was twice an unsuccessful candidate for the consulship, and who died in a foreign country. Livy, B. xxxv. c. 24, remarks, "P. Corn. Cn. F. Scipio" had been an unsuccessful candidate for the consulship; and afterwards, B. xxxix. c. 40, that "P. and L. Scipio" were unsuccessful candidates for the office of censor. Val. Maximus expressly states, B. v. c. 3, that it was Scipio Nasica, who, in consequence of the little estimation in which he was held by his fellow-citizens, went to Pergamus, and "lived there the remainder of his life, without feeling any regrets for his ungrateful country."—B.

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