Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The mighty and the sage. Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius and the quest for friendship in second century BC Rome

The mighty and the sage. Scipio Aemilianus, Polybius and the quest for friendship in second century BC Rome
http://historyoftheancientworld.com/2011/11/the-mighty-and-the-sage-scipio-aemilianus-polybius-and-the-quest-for-friendship-in-second-century-bc-rome/

By Michael Sommer

Published Online

Introduction: 'Now that the progress of my narrative and the date call our special attention to this family, I wish in order to satisfy the reader's curiosity to execute a promise I made in the previous book and left unfulfilled, and this was that I would tell how and why the fame of Scipio in Rome advanced so far and became so brilliant more quickly than it should, and to tell also how his friendship and intimacy with the author grew so great that this report about them not only spread to Italy and Greece, but that even further afield their liking and intercourse were a matter of common knowledge.'

With these words, Polybius sets out the story of the friendship between him and the man who was later to become Carthage's nemesis and, at least for many modern scholars, the leading figure of the so-called Scipionic Circle, a group of intellectuals that features in some of Cicero's works and has been subject to considerable speculation more recently. It is the present paper's objective to revisit Polybius' role in Scipio Aemilianus' life and, more broadly, both men's importance for the intellectual climate in second century BC Rome.

Click here to read this article from Academia.edu