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Character of the Younger Scipio

From that time forward they continually gave each
Scipio's high character for continence as a young man.
other practical proof of an affection which recalled the relationship of father and son, or of kinsmen of the same blood. The first impulse and ambition of a noble kind with which he was inspired was the desire to maintain a character for chastity, and to be superior to the standard observed in that respect among his contemporaries.
The deterioration in Roman morals and its causes.
This was a glory which, great and difficult as it generally is, was not hard to gain at that period in Rome, owing to the general deterioration of morals. Some had wasted their energies on favourite youths; others on mistresses; and a great many on banquets enlivened with poetry and wine, and all the extravagant expenditure which they entailed, having quickly caught during the war with Perseus the dissoluteness of Greek manners in this respect. And to such monstrous lengths had this debauchery gone among the young men, that many of them had given a talent for a young favourite. This dissoluteness had as it were burst into flame at this period: in the first place, from the prevalent idea that, owing to the destruction of the Macedonian monarchy, universal dominion was now secured to them beyond dispute; and in the second place, from the immense difference made, both in public and private wealth and splendour, by the importation of the riches of Macedonia into Rome. Scipio, however, set his heart on a different path in life; and by a steady resistance to his appetites, and by conforming his whole conduct to a consistent and undeviating standard, in about the first five years after this secured a general recognition of his character for goodness and purity.

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