The Accusation of Scipio

Scipio Africanus, victor of Zama, conqueror of Carthage, defeater of Hannibal, and savior of Rome, was once accused by Marcus Naevius, a tribune of the people, of making an easy peace with King Antiochus of the Seleucid Empire in exchange for a bribe.  Scipio bothered not to even address such accusations, but instead stood up, and before the Roman people reminded them, “I recall, my fellow citizens, that this is the day on which in Africa in a mighty battle I conquered Hannibal the Carthaginian, the most bitter enemy of your power, and won for you a splendid peace and a glorious victory. Let us then not be ungrateful to the gods, but, I suggest, let us leave this worthless man, and go at once to render thanks to Jupiter, best and greatest.”

At this, the entire assembly followed Scipio to the Capitol and then to his home with the joy and gratitude befitting such a celebration.


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