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Scipio Africanus


General in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic.
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Scipio Africanus
Scipio had a clear grasp of what is just dawning on the mind of the world today that the true national object in war, as in peace, is a more perfect peace. War is a result of a menace to this policy, and is undertaken to remove the menace, and by the subjugation of the will of a hostile State. "to change this adverse will into a compliance with our own policy, and the sooner and more cheaply in lives and money we can do this, the better chance of national prosperity in the widest sense. The aim of a nation in war is, therefore, to subdue the enemy's will to resist with the least possible human and economic loss to itself."
Africanus quotes
Prepare to fight for, evidently, you have found peace intolerable.
Africanus
The art of generalship does not age, and it is because Scipio's battles are richer in stratagems and ruses many still feasible today than those of any other commander in history that they are an unfailing object-lesson to soldiers.




Africanus Scipio quotes
Cato tells us that Publius Scipio, who was called Africinus, used to say that he was never less at leisure than when at leisure, or less alone than when alone.
Africanus Scipio
We cannot separate the nobility of Scipio's moral conduct, throughout his career, from the transcendent clearness of his mental vision they blended to form not only a great general but a great man.
Scipio Africanus quotes
I am mindful of human weakness, and I reflect upon the might of Fortune and know that everything that we do is exposed to a thousand chances. But, just as I should admit that I were acting with arrogance and violence if, before I had crossed over to Africa, I were to reject you when you were voluntarily withdrawing from Italy and, while your army was already on shipboard, you were coming in person to sue for peace, so now, when I have dragged you to Africa, resisting and shifting ground as we almost came to blows, I am under no obligation to respect you. Therefore, if to the terms upon which peace was formerly about to be made, as it seemed, you are adding some kind of compensation for the ships loaded with supplies that were taken by force during the armistice, and for violence done to my envoys, I have reason to bring it before the council. But if that addition also seems too severe, prepare for war, since you have been unable to endure a peace.
Scipio Africanus
Let us make war, since evidently, you have found peace intolerable.
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