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Paulus, Aemi'lius or Aemi'lius Macedonicus

4. L. Aemilius Paulus, L. F. M. N., afterwards surnamed MACEDONICUS, was the son of No. 3, and the most distinguished member of his family. He was born about B. C. 230 or 229, since at the time of his second consulship, B. C. 168, he was upwards of sixty years of age. He was one of the best specimens of the high Roman nobles. He inherited all the aristocratical prejudices of his father, would not condescend to court and flatter the people for the offices of the state, maintained with strictness severe discipline in the army, was deeply skilled in the lore of the augurs, to whose college he belonged, and maintained throughout life a pure and unspotted character, notwith-standing the temptations to which his integrity was exposed on his conquest of Macedonia. His name is first mentioned in B. C. 194, when he was appointed one of the three commissioners for founding a colony at Croton. Two years afterwards, B. C. 192, he was elected curule aedile with M. Aemilius Lepidus, and possessed already so high a reputation that he carried his election against twelve competitors, all of whom are said to have obtained the consulship afterwards. His aedileship was distinguished for the zeal with which he prosecuted the pecuarii. In the following year, B. C. 191, he was praetor, and obtained Further Spain as his province, whither he went with the title of proconsul. Here he had to carry on war with the Lusitani. At first he was unsuccessful, being defeated near Lyco, a town of the Bastetani, with a loss of 6000 of his men; but he subsequently retrieved this misfortune by gaining a great victory over the enemy, by which Spain was for a time rendered more tranquil. He returned to Rome in B. C. 189, and shortly afterwards became a candidate for the consulship. Several times, however, did he sue in vain for this honour (comp. Liv. 39.32; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Ill. 56) ; and it was not till B. C. 182 that he obtained the consulship along with Cn. Baebius Tamphilus. In the following year, B. C. 181, Paulus was sent against the Ingauni, a Ligurian people, who possessed a considerable naval power, with which they were in the habit of plundering the merchantvessels as far as the Atlantic. These people he entirely subdued, razed their fortifications, and carried off their shipping; and in consequence of his success he obtained a triumph on his return to Rome.

For the next thirteen years Aemilius Paulus lived quietly at Rome, devoting most of his time to the education of his children. During the latter part of this time Rome was at war with Perseus, king of Macedonia; but as the Roman commanders had hitherto failed to bring the contest to a conclusion, the people demanded a general of greater experience and abilities, and unanimously pressed Paulus to undertake the conduct of the war. At first he was not disposed to comply with their request, as he was upwards of sixty, and still remembered with bitterness their former rejection of him at the consular comitia. But he yielded at length to the general solicitation, and was accordingly elected consul a second time, B. C. 168, with C. Licinius Crassus. Age had not in the least impaired his vigour or his faculties. He arrived at Macedonia early in the summer of this year, and on the 22nd of June completely defeated the Macedonian monarch near Pydna. This battle decided the war, and Perseus shortly afterwards surrendered himself and was brought to Paulus, who treated him with great kindness and courtesy. A detailed account of this campaign is given under PERSEUS. Paulus remained in Macedonia during the greater part of the following year as proconsul, and in the course of B. C. 167 he made a journey through Greece, in which he redressed many grievances of which the states complained, and made them various presents from the royal treasury. On his return to Macedonia he held a court at Amphipolis, where he arranged the affairs of Macedonia, in conjunction with ten Roman commissioners, whom the senate had despatched for the purpose, and passed sentence upon the various parties that had espoused the cause of Perseus. He concluded the business by the celebration of most splendid games, for which preparations had been making a long time previously. But before leaving Greece, Paulus marched into Epeirus, where, in accordance with a cruel command of the senate, he gave to his soldiers seventy towns to be pillaged, because they had been in alliance with Perseus. He then straightway proceeded to Oricum, where he embarked his troops, and crossed over to Italy.

Aemilius Paulus arrived in Italy towards the close of B. C. 167. The booty which he brought with him from Macedonia, and which he paid into the Roman treasury, was of enormous value; but the soldiers were indignant that they had obtained so small a share in the plunder; and it was therefore not without considerable opposition that he obtained his triumph. This triumph, which was celebrated at the end of November, B. C. 167, was the most splendid that Rome had yet seen; it lasted three days, and is described at length by Plutarch. Before the triumphal car of Aemilius walked the captive monarch of Macedonia and his children, and behind it were his two illustrious sons, Q. Fabius Maximus and P. Scipio Africanus the younger, both of whom had been adopted into other families. But the glory of the conqueror was clouded by family misfortune. At this very time he lost his two younger sons; one, twelve years of age, died only five days before his triumph, and the other, fourteen years of age, three days only after his triumph. The loss was all the severer, since he had no other son left to carry his name down to posterity.

In B. C. 164 Paulus was censor with Q. Marcius Philippus, and died in B. C. 160, after a long and tedious illness. The fortune he left behind him was so small as scarcely to be sufficient to pay his wife's dowry. The "Adelphi" of Terence was brought out at the funeral games exhibited in honour of Aemilius Paulus.

Aemilius Paulus was married twice. By his first wife, Papiria, the daughter of C. Papirius Maso, consul B. C. 231, he had four children, who are given in the preceding stemma. He afterwards divorced Papiria; and by his second wife, whose name is not mentioned, he had two sons, whose death has been mentioned above, and a daughter, who was a child at the time that her father was elected to his second consulship. [AEMILIA, No. 3.] (Plutarch, Life of Aemilius Paulus ; Liv. 34.45, 35.10, 24, 36.2, 37.46, 57. 39.56, 40.25-28, 34, 44.17--45.41, Epit. 46; Polyb. xxix.--xxxii.; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Ill. 56; V. Max. 5.10.2; Vell. 1.9, 10; Orelli, Onom. Tull. vol. ii. p. 16).

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hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (8):
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 34, 45
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 46
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 24
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 36, 2
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 57
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 10
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 32
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 5.10.2
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