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Quotes of Scipio Africanus the Elder

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Scipio Africanus the Elder

Scipio Africanus the Elder (Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Maior) lived from 236-184 BCE. The commander during the the Second Punic War. He went down in history as a brilliant commander and defender of Rome against Hannibal.

  • “[…] prepare for war, since you have been unable to endure a peace”
    • latin: [bellum parate, quoniam pacem pati non potuistis]
    • description: words addressed to Hannibal before the battle of Zama in 202 BCE.
    • source: Livy, Ab Urbe Condita XXX, 31
  • “Thankless country, thou shalt not possess even my bones!”
    • latin: [Ingrata patria, ne ossa quidem habebis]
    • source: Valerius Maximus, Factorvm et dictorvm memorabilivm libri Novem, V, III
  • “The end of the war and hardship was at hand, the spoils of Carthage within reach, and the return home to their native city, to parents, children, wives and household gods”
    • latin: [Adesse finem belli ac laboris; in manibus esse praedam Carthaginis, reditum domum in patriam ad parentes liberos coniuges penatesque deos]
    • description: Scipio’s words to soldiers before the battle of Zama.
    • source: Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, XXX, 32
  • “I would rather save the life of one citizen than kill a thousand enemies”
    • latin: [malle se unum civem servare quam mille hostes occidere]
    • source: Historia Augusta, Antoninus Pius, 9.10
  • “[…] never less at leisure than when at leisure, nor less lonely than when alone”
    • latin: [numquam se minus otiosum esse, quam cum otiosus; nec minus solum, quam cum solus esset]
    • description: according to Cato the Elder
    • source: Cicero, De Officiis, III, I
  • “I am mindful of human weakness, and I reflect upon the might of Fortune and know that everything that we do is exposed to a thousand chances”
    • latin: [Quod ad me attinet, et humanae infirmitatis memini et uim fortunae reputo et omnia quaecumque agimus subiecta esse mille casibus scio]
    • description: words addressed to Hannibal before the battle of Zama in 202 BCE.
    • source: Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, XXX, 31

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