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Scipio Refuses the Title "King"

Next morning he collected the prisoners, amounting to ten thousand foot and more than two thousand horse, and busied himself in making arrangements about them. All the Iberians of that district, who were in alliance at that time with the Carthaginians, came in and submitted to the Roman obedience, and in addressing Scipio called him "king." The first to do this and to bow the knee before him had been Edeco, and the next Andobales.
Scipio's self-restraint.
On these occasions Scipio had passed the word over without remark; but after the battle, when all alike addressed him by that title, his attention was drawn to it; and he therefore summoned the Iberians to a meeting, and told them that "he quite wished to be called a man of royal liberality by them all, and to be so in the truest sense, but that he had no wish to be a 'king,' nor to be called one by any one; they should address him as general."

Even at this early period of his career, an observer might have remarked the loftiness of Scipio's character. He was still quite young. His good fortune had been so persistent, that all who came under his rule were led naturally to think and speak of him as a king. Yet he did not lose his selfcontrol; but deprecated this popular impulse and this show of dignity. But this same loftiness of character was still more admirable in the closing scenes of his life, when, in addition to his achievements in Iberia, he crushed the Carthaginians; reduced the largest and fairest districts of Libya, from the Altars of Philaenus to the Pillars of Hercules, under the power of his country; conquered Asia and the kings of Syria; made the best and largest part of the world subject to Rome; and in doing so had numerous opportunities of acquiring regal sway, in whatever parts of the world suited his purpose or wish. For such achievements were enough to have kindled pride, not merely in any human breast, but even, if I may say so without irreverence, in that of a god. But Scipio's greatness of soul was so superior to the common standard of mankind, that he again and again rejected what Fortune had put within his grasp, that prize beyond which men's boldest prayers do not go—the power of a king: and he steadily preferred his country and his duty to that royalty, which men gaze at with such admiration and envy.

Scipio next proceeded to select from the captives the

Scipio occupies the position evacuated by the Carthaginians.
native Iberians, and all these he dismissed to their homes without ransom; and bidding Andobales select three hundred of the horses, he distributed the remainder among those who had none. For the rest, he at once occupied the entrenchment of the Carthaginians, owing to its excellent situation; and there he remained himself, waiting to see the movements of the other Carthaginian generals; while he detached a body of men to the passes of the Pyrenees to keep a look-out for Hasdrubal.
Winter of B. C. 208-207.
After this, as it was getting late in the season, he retired with his army to Tarraco being bent on wintering there. . . .

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