Scipio Nasica av Cornelii, född -183
i Roma, Lazio, Italien, död -132
i Pergamon, Bergama, Izmir, Turkiet.
Consul of the Roman Republic in 138 BC.
Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio was the third member of his family to bear the agnomen Nasica (pointed nose).
One important reference to Scipio Nasica’s participation in politics is as a mysterious “Cornelius” by the historian Appian. This
“Cornelius” is credited with a great Roman defeat at the hands of the widely feared “Pannonians.” After some deduction, one can
identify the leader of the Roman forces to be Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio, who in 141 BC was the praetor of
Macedonia. Some debate would classify a more likely candidate for the terrible “Pannonians” to be actually from the region of
Illyria, just south of Pannonia proper.
In the same year, Scipio Nasica would be awarded the title of Pontifex Maximus, inheriting it from his father who died in the same
year. In 138 BC, Nasica would be elected to the office of consul, part of a series of “strong men” to rectify the recent bouts of unrest
and defeats abroad. During his consulship, Scipio Nasica would attempt to avenge his own defeat as praetor; in doing so, he
attempted to raise harsh levies on the Romans. Discontent with his demands, opposition would rise against him under the
leadership of probably Nasica’s greatest political rival, the tribune Curiatius. Curiatius had Nasica arrested on the grounds of
withholding the legal privileges of the tribunes against the levy. While in custody, Nasica was given the name “Serapio” as an
insult, referring to the shape of his nose.
Scipio Nasica’s next major political involvement would be that in the murder of Tiberius Gracchus. Gracchus rose to office at a
time when the Roman Republic was bloated with the effects of extensive expansion abroad; a huge influx of slave labor and foreign
wealth, a change in the function of agriculture and devaluation in the crop market were causing a massive domestic crisis,
challenging the fundamental values of Roman culture (there is a debate over whether it was a grain crisis or a manpower crisis).
Tiberius Gracchus had taken the office of tribune and was passing laws of reform to help rectify this domestic crisis, though his
legislation was empowering the plebs of Roman society. Feeling threatened, the patrician favoring majority of the Senate aligned
with Scipio Nasica and his cousin Scipio Aemilianus, who would lead the opposition against Gracchus. Nasica would be the one
responsible for gathering senators to assassinate Gracchus during elections in 133 BC.
Scipio Nasica had gathered the senators to Gracchus’ bloody death claiming that the tribune desired to become king of Rome. To
commit the assassination Scipio Nasica covered his head with the hood of his pontifex maximus robe which possibly denoted the
killing as a ritualized sacrifice for the good of Rome. After his assassination, Scipio would lead a witch hunt to eradicate any
surviving members of Gracchus’ supporters. Those supporters would demand that Scipio be held responsible for murder, though
modern scholars believe that the majority of the Senate supported both of the Scipio men in the controversy.
Eventually the prolonged conflict between political parties caught up with Nasica, and the Senate sent him away to Pergamon on a
mission. This was unusual, as a Pontifex Maximus would never normally be sent away from Rome. He later died there in
Pergamon, allegedly at the hands of some of Gracchus’ supporters.
Married to Caecilia Metella av CAECILII -173--125 with
M Scipio Nasica av CORNELII -153--111
F Scipiona av CORNELII -147--89
Caecilia Metella av Caecilii, född -173
i Roma, Lazio, Italien, död -125 i Roma, Lazio, Italien.
Scipiona av Cornelii, född -147, död -89