What Happened to the Scipio Family and Why did They Fade From History.

Scipio Africanus had four children, two boys and two girls.

Neither of his sons had children. The elder, Publius, adopted the second son of Lucius Aemilius Paullus, who took the name Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus. He is known as Scipio Minor, and he conquered and destroyed Carthage in 146 B.C. He was married to Scipio’s granddaughter, Sempronia, but they had no children.

The elder daughter, Cornelia Major married her cousin Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum the grandson of Scipio Africanus’ uncle Gneius who died in the Battles of the Upper Baetis. Her husband was Pontifex Maximus. They had one son, Publius Cornelius Scipio Serapio, who was also Pontifex Maximus. He went into voluntary exile after organizing the Senate riot in which Tiberius Gracchus and 300 of his followers were killed. He died shortly thereafter and foul play is suspected.

The younger daughter, Cornelia Minor is famous as Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi. She married Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and bore twelve children, only three of whom survived to adulthood. They were Sempronia, who was probably the eldest, Tiberius, and Gaius. Tiberius and Gaius were about ten years apart. Tiberius was about eleven years old when Cornelia’s husband died, and Gaius was a baby. She never re-married and raised the children on her own. Of course, she was very wealthy and had plenty of servants.

Sempronia, who, as mentioned above, had no children. Tiberius and Gaius both married and had children, but nothing is known about their descendants.

The last Scipio to come to prominence was Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Cornelianus Scipio Nasica, the grandson of the above mentioned Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio, and adoptive son of Metellus Pius. He was Consul along with Pompey in 52 B.C. and married his daughter, Cornelia, to Pompey. She had been married to Publius, the son of Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was killed at the Battle of Carrhae. He fought along side Pompey at the battle of Pharsalus , and later fought against Caesar at the battle of Thapsus. He committed suicide after that battle. He had a son who died at the age of 18 with no progeny.

After that, there were no significant Scipiones. Like many of the other prominent Roman aristocratic families, the Cornelii went into severe decline during the first century B.C. due to all of the civil wars and proscriptions that took place during that century. By 30 B.C. the Roman aristocracy was so weakened that they were unable to effectively resist the restoration of monarchical rule by Emperor Augustus.

If interested in the story of the Gracchi, read my book, Sempronia, the Sister of the Gracchi. It’s available on Amazon and Kindle.,

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