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Σοφόνισβα). The daughter of the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal, the son of Gisco. She had been betrothed by her father, at a very early age, to the Numidian prince Masinissa, but at a subsequent period Hasdrubal, being desirous to gain over Syphax, the rival ruler of Numidia, to the Carthaginian alliance, gave her in marriage to that prince. After the defeat of Syphax, and the capture of his capital city of Cirta by Masinissa, Sophonisba fell into the hands of the conqueror, upon whom her beauty exercised so powerful an influence that he determined to marry her himself. Their wedding was accordingly celebrated without delay; but Scipio (who was apprehensive lest she should exercise the same influence over Masinissa which she had previously done over Syphax) refused to ratify this arrangement, and, upbraiding Masinissa with his weakness, insisted on the immediate surrender of the princess. Unable to resist this command, the Numidian king spared her the humiliation of captivity by sending her a bowl of poison, which she drank without hesitation, and thus put an end to her own life (Livy, xxix. 23; xxx. 3-15; Polyb. xiv. 1, 7; Zonar.ix. 11-13). The story of Sophonisba is the subject of a drama in English by Thomson, produced in 1729.

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