A second general, whose full name was Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, was the Africanus Minor counterpart to his predecessor. Adopted by the Scipio Africanus mentioned above, Africanus Minor served in his father's force and fought in the battle of Pydna at the end of the Third Macedonian War. After the warfare, Africanus Minor studied under the tutelage of a close family friend, Polybius. He returned to the military and distinguished himself in the Third Punic War from 149 to 148 BCE. His reputation allowed an appointment to consulship although he technically did not meet the proper age or career requirements. He helped end the siege of Carthage and had a hand in its final destruction; a success that only further increased his popularity in Rome. After a continued political career, he was allowed to break more rules by becoming consul for a second time to aid in a war against tribes in Spain.

Upon his return Africanus Minor was greeted with increasing political chaos as Gracchi took control of the political body of Rome and attempted to pass several measures devolving more power and wealth to the common people of the Republic. Africanus Minor was heavily against this and contributed all the weight of his political reuptation to the resistance effort. Just as he had reached the height of not only his political, but also intellectual and cultural achievement, Africanus Minor died. In all likelihood he was killed by his wife, Sempronia, who was a sister of Gracchi. Cicero so greatly admired this statesmen that he made Africanus Minor the central character of De Republica, De Senectute, and De Amicitia.


Howatson, M. C., The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

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