Panaetius, Scipio Aemilianus, and the Man of Great Soul

Author: Barlow, J.
Title: Panaetius, Scipio Aemilianus, and the Man of Great Soul
Review/Collection: "Antichthon"
Editor: Cambridge University Press
Year edition: 2023
Pages: 1-21
Keywords: Histoire - Storia - History, Philosophie - Filosofia - Philosophy, Prosopographie - Prosopografia - Prosopography
Description: [Barlow, J. ][Abstract] In the second half of the second century BC, a single personality became ascendant in the Roman Republic. Scipio Aemilianus assumed the mantle of the first man in Rome from 146 BC until his death in 129 BC. Modern biographers of this leading statesman have drawn different conclusions about the influence of Greek ethics on the life of Scipio, either that he possessed a Hellenistic way of thinking or that he was a traditional Roman aristocrat. Much debate turns on historiography and the question of the usability of sources like Cicero for the history of the second century BC. This article focusses on de Officiis Books 1–2 and the issue of Cicero's debt to the writing of the Stoic philosopher Panaetius of Rhodes, Scipio's friend and tutor. I argue that sufficient evidence exists in the references to Scipio in Off. 1–2 to demonstrate that Panaetius had characterised Scipio as influenced by the Stoic way of living and explicitly as a Roman example of the virtue of greatness of soul. This argument is supported by corroborating evidence from Polybius, Scipio's friend and confidant, who also wrote about him in his Histories.
Author initials: Barlow 2023