Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was born 236 B.C. in Liternum, Campania and died 183 B.C. Scipio was the greatest general of all during ancient times because he had fought and won many great battles and had never lost one. Scipio also had a major impact on Rome and civilizations down the centuries because he defeated the Carthaginians and Hannibal, who if not defeated would have most likely destroyed Rome. Down the centuries people have remembered him as a hero and studied his strategies and works as a general. There was even an epic written about him called "The Africa".
Background and ChildhoodScipio was born into a great patrician family in Rome. His father, grandfather and great grandfather had all been consuls. The pressure was now on him to be great. At Ticinus Scipio first proved himself when he saved his father from an enemy that was closing in (Scullard). He was only 17 and without him his father would have been killed in that battle. Scipio was present at many battles in his childhood, at 216 B.C. he was chosen to serve as a military tribune for the battle Cannae. Also in 216 B.C. Scipio married Aemilia (Scullard). Scipio was starting to be recognized by the Romans. He had proven himself worthy in several battles during his childhood.
Major Battles/Achievementsthumb|340px|left|Scipio defeating Hannibal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NpKkiqLJoMScipio Africanus won many great battles during his time, like the last 2 Punic wars. He was the greatest general in ancient times. Throughout Scipio's life he fought many battles and yet he had never lost a single one. Scipio was so good that he was nicknamed the "Roman Hannibal" (enotes.com). When Scipio was 24 he offered to go to Spain to fight the Carthaginians. He first went after and conquered New Carthage. From conquering Carthage he received many riches, supplies, a good harbor and a strong foothold in Spain (1902encyclopedia.com). In 208 B.C. Scipio taught his army new tactics to fight against the Carthaginians. Afterwards he won a few more little battles and then came across a scout from Hasdrubal carrying a note for Hannibal to meet him. Scipio ambushed Hasdrubal at the meeting place and managed to wipe out him and his army. He then proceeded to throw Hasdrubal's head into his brother, Hannibal's camp (Fonner). This showed Hannibal of Scipio's talent and intelligence as a general. At the battle Zama Scipio outsmarted his opponent Hannibal and defeated him, earning him the name "Roman Hannibal" (enote.com). For his final great battle he went to Carthage where he defeated Hannibal again and conquered Carthage. Scipio Africanus did the unthinkable and he turned the tides of war. He ended up destroying his Carthaginian adversaries and earned the love and respect of his Roman people. In addition to all his battles Scipio was also elected consul in 205 B.C. and later in 199 B.C. became the head of the senate (Scullard).
Impact on RomeScipio greatly impacted Rome. When the Roman Empire was being destroyed by Carthage and Rome itself was being threatened Scipio rose up to defend it. Hannibal was defeating Roman legions and wandering through the Roman Empire destroying and attacking cities. Scipio offered to go to Spain to fight the Carthaginians while no other general would. He was elected to by the people even though you had to have been a praetor or consul to be able to thus creating a "constitutional precedent" (Scullard). He led his armies and crushed Hannibal and Carthage, ensuring the safety of Rome. If Scipio would not have gone off to fight Hannibal he surely would have conquered Rome. In addition to saving Rome Scipio was also elected consul for 205 B.C. (Scullard). This had a good impact on Rome because everyone loved Scipio because of his great accomplishments defeating Carthage and he was favored by the Roman people.
Affect/Influence/Impact on Later Civilizations and People
Scipio was the best general of his time and also for centuries to come. His battles were looked upon by many civilizations and people after his death. What he did in defeating Carthage is still studied now in schools around North America and other places in the world. He is a legend. Scipio was famous when he was alive and even when he died. Generation after generation have been taught about his good strategy and victories. "Scipio's influence outlived the Roman world. Great interest was shown in his life during the early Renaissance, and it helped the early humanists to build a bridge between the classical world and Christendom. He had become an idealized perfect hero who was seen to have served the ends of providence" (Scullard). Even in death Scipio is a hero. Many centuries later an epic was written about Scipio in honor of him called "The Africa" (Scullard). Scipio was a great general and he will have a lasting impact on many civilizations in this world.
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