Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Publius Cornelius Scipio

Publius Cornelius Scipio (died 211 BC) was a general and statesman of the Roman Republic.

He served as consul in 218 BC, the first year of the Second Punic War, and sailed with an army from Pisa to Massilia (today Marseille), with the view of arresting Hannibal's advance on Italy. Failing, however, to meet his enemy, he hastened to return by sea to Cisalpine Gaul, having sent his army on to Spain under the command of his older brother Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, with instructions to hold the Carthaginian forces there in check.

On his return to Italy he at once advanced to meet Hannibal. In a sharp cavalry engagement on the Ticinus, a tributary of the Po river, he was defeated and severely wounded. Again, in December of the same year, he witnessed the complete defeat of the Roman army on the Trebia, his colleague T. Sempronius Longus having insisted on fighting contrary to his advice.

But he still retained the confidence of the Roman people; his term of command was extended, and we find him with his brother Calvus in Spain in the following year, winning victories over the Carthaginians and strengthening Rome's position in that theatre, till 211 when he was killed in the defeat of his army on the upper Baetis river, the same year Calvus and his army was destroyed at Ilorci near Carthago Nova. The details of these campaigns are not accurately known, but it would seem that the ultimate defeat and death of the Scipios were due to the desertion of the Celtiberians, bribed by Hasdrubal, Hannibal's brother.

He was the son of Lucius Cornelius Scipio, and he was the father of Scipio Africanus Major.

Publius Cornelius Scipio was also the son of Scipio Africanus Major and Aemilia Paulla, and adoptive father of Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. He was a praetor in 174 BC.

See also: Scipio-Paullus-Gracchus family tree

This article is based on material taken from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.