IV[4arg] That it was an inherited custom of Publius Africanus and other distinguished men of his time to shave their beard and cheeks.
I FOUND it stated in books which I read dealing with the life of Publius Scipio Africanus, that Publius Scipio, the son of Paulus, after he had celebrated a triumph because of his victory over the Carthaginians and had been censor, was accused before the people by Claudius Asellus, tribune of the commons, whom he had degraded from knighthood during his censorship; and that Scipio, although he was under accusation, neither ceased to shave his beard and to wear white raiment nor appeared in the usual garb of those under accusation. But since it is certain that at that time Scipio was less than forty years old, I was surprised at the statement about shaving his beard. I have learned, however, that in those same times the other nobles shaved their beards at that time of life, and that is why we see many busts of early men represented in that way, men who were not very old, but in middle life. 1