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SCIPIO THE ELDER

SCIPIO THE ELDER. Scipio the Elder spent on his studies what leisure the campaign and government would allow him, saying, that he did most when he was idle. When he took Carthage by storm, some soldiers took prisoner a very beautiful virgin, and came and presented her to him. I would receive her, said he, with all my heart, if I were a private man and not a governor. While he was besieging the city of Badia, wherein appeared above all a temple of Venus, he ordered appearances to be given for actions to be tried before him within three days in that temple of Venus; and he took the city, and was as good as his word. One asked him in Sicily, on what confidence he presumed to pass with his navy against Carthage. He showed him three hundred disciplined men in armor, and pointed to a high tower on the shore; There is not one of these, said he, that would not at my command go to the top of that tower, and cast himself down headlong. Over he went, landed, and burnt the enemy's camp, and the Carthaginians sent to him, and covenanted to surrender their elephants, ships, and a sum of money. But when Hannibal was sailed back from Italy, their reliance on him made them repent of those conditions. This coming to Scipio's ear, Nor will I, said he, stand to the agreement if they will, unless they pay me five thousand talents more for sending for Hannibal. The Carthaginians, when they were utterly overthrown, sent ambassadors to make peace and league with him; he bade those that came return immediately, as refusing to hear them before they brought [p. 230] L. Terentius with them, a good man, whom the Carthaginians had taken prisoner. When they brought him, he placed him in the council next himself, on the judgment-seat, and then he transacted with the Carthaginians and put an end to the war. And Terentius followed him when he triumphed, wearing the cap of one that was made free; and when he died, Scipio gave wine mingled with honey to those that were at the funeral, and performed other funeral rites in his honor. But these things were done afterwards. King Antiochus, after the Romans invaded him, sent to Scipio in Asia for peace; That should have been done before, said he, not now when you have received a bridle and a rider. The senate decreed him a sum of money out of the treasury, but the treasurers refused to open it on that day. Then, said he, I will open it myself, for the moneys with which I filled it caused it to be shut. When Paetilius and Quintus accused him of many crimes before the people,—On this very day, said he, I conquered Hannibal and Carthage; I for my part am going with my crown on to the Capitol to sacrifice; and let him that pleaseth stay and pass his vote upon me. Having thus said, he went his way; and the people followed him, leaving his accusers declaiming to themselves.

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load focus English (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1931)
load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1889)
load focus Greek (Frank Cole Babbitt, 1931)
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