Both Polybius and Rutilius say, that Scipio died in this year; but I do not agree either with them, or Valerius. Not with them, because I find that in the censorship of Marcus Porcius and Lucius Valerius, the censor himself, Lucius Valerius, was chosen prince of the senate, although Africanus had occupied that place for the three preceding lustrums;
and, if he were alive, unless he had been displaced from the senate, which disgrace no one has recorded, another prince would not have been chosen in his room.
The authority of Antias is refuted by the plebeian tribunate of Marcus Naevius, against whom there is extant a speech signed by Publius Africanus.
Now, this Marcus Naevius, in the register of the magistrates, appears to have been plebeian tribune in the consulate of Publius Claudius and Lucius Porcius;
but he entered on the tribuneship in the consulate of Appius Claudius and Marcus Sempronius, on the fourth day before the ides of December, from which time to the ides of March, when Publius Claudius and Lucius Porcius became consuls, there are three months.
Thus it appears that he was living in the tribunate of Marcus Naevius, and might have been prosecuted by him; but that he died before the censorship of Lucius Valerius and Marcus Porcius.
The deaths of the three most illustrious men of their respective nations have a similarity, not only in respect to the concurrence of the times, but in this circumstance also, that no one of them met a death suitable to the splendour of his life.
In the first place, neither of them died or was buried in his native soil. Hannibal and Philopœmen were taken off by poison; Hannibal breathed his last in exile, betrayed by his host; Philopœmen in captivity, in a prison, and in chains.
Scipio, though neither banished nor condemned, yet under prosecution, and summoned as an absent criminal to a trial, at which he did not appear, passed sentence of voluntary exile, not only on himself while alive, but likewise on his body after death.