Lucius Cornelius Scipio (praetor)

Lucius Cornelius Scipio (Praetor)

Lucius Cornelius Scipio (praetor)

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Lucius Cornelius P.f. P.n. Scipio (fl. 174 BC), Roman praetor in 174 BC, was the younger son of Scipio Africanus Major the great Roman general and statesman by his wife Aemilia Paulla. He was the son and grandson of Roman consuls, but his own personal life and political career was vitiated by his dissolute habits and possibly by his continued ill-health.

Early life

Nothing is known about Lucius's early life, except that he was born during the Second Punic War. If his parents married circa 212 BC (possibly earlier or later), and if he had an elder brother, he was probably born around 210 BC or 209 BC when his father was already in Spain. In that case, he would have spent his entire childhood seeing little of his father who was winning Rome territories in Spain and then defeating Hannibal at Zama.

Lucius is most notable for probably being the unnamed son who was captured by pirates circa 192 BC. This son was released without ransom by Antiochus III of Syria before the Battle of Magnesia (190 BC). The fact that Scipio paid no ransom for his son's release would cause him political problems with the Senate two years later.

It is possible that Lucius learned in Syria the dissolute habits and lifestyle which marked the rest of his life.

Later life

In 174 BC, he was elected praetor with the help of his father's former scribe, Gaius Cicereius, now a considerably wealthy freedman. However, in the same year, he was expelled by the Senate, in a low point for the Scipionic...
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