Lucius Cornelius Scipio (consul 259 BC)

Lucius Cornelius Scipio (born c. 300 BC), consul in 259 BC during the First Punic War was a consul and censor of ancient Rome. He was the son of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, himself consul and censor, and brother to Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina, himself twice consul. Two of his sons (Publius Cornelius Scipio and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus) and three of his grandsons (Scipio Africanus, Scipio Asiaticus and Scipio Nasica) also became famous Roman generals and consuls; his most famous descendant being Scipio Africanus.

As consul in 259 BC, he led the Roman fleet in the capture of Aleria and then Corsica, but failed against Olbia in Sardinia. The Fasti Triumphales record that he was awarded a triumph, but two other inscriptions on his career do not mention it. The following year he was elected censor with Gaius Duilius. He was succeeded by Gaius Sulpicius Paterculus as second consul.[1]

He later dedicated a temple to the Tempestates, locating it near the Porta Capena.


Rubbing of the epitaph.

Fragments of his sarcophagus were discovered in the Tomb of the Scipios and are now in the Vatican Museums. They preserve his epitaph, written in Old Latin:


which has been transcribed and restored in modern upper- and lower-case script as:[2]

Honc oino ploirume cosentiont Romai
duonoro optumo fuise viro
Luciom Scipione. Filios Barbati
consol censor aidilis hic fuet apud vos,
hec cepit Corsica Aleriaque urbe,
dedet Tempestatebus aide meretod votam.

and also transcribed in classical Latin as:[3]

Hunc unum plurimi consentiunt Romae
bonorum optimum fuisse virum
Lucium Scipionem. Filius Barbati,
Consul, Censor, Aedilis hic fuit.
Hic cepit Corsicam Aleriamque urbem
dedit tempestatibus aedem merito.

A translation is:[4]

Romans for the most part agree,
that this one man, Lucius Scipio, was the best of good men.
He was the son of Barbatus,
Consul, Censor, Aedile.
He took Corsica and the city of Aleria.
He dedicated a temple to the Storms as a just return.

This inscription is number two of the elogia Scipionum, the several epitaphs surviving from the tomb.


  1. ^ Steinby, Christa (2014). Rome Versus Carthage: The War at Sea. South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword. p. 73. ISBN 9781844159192.
  2. ^ Wordsworth, John (1874). Fragments and specimens of early Latin. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 160.
  3. ^ Legaré, Hugh Swinton (1845). Mary Swinton Legaré Bullen (ed.). Writings of Hugh Swinton Legaré: Consisting of a Diary of Brussels, and Journal of the Rhine; Extracts from His Private and Diplomatic Correspondence; Orations and Speeches; and Contributions to the New-York and Southern Reviews. Prefaced by a Memoir of His Life. 2. Burges & James. p. 68.
  4. ^ Browne, Robert William (1857). A History of Greek Classical Literature (2 ed.). Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea. pp. 52–53.
Political offices
Preceded by
Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina
Gaius Duilius
Consul of the Roman Republic
259 BC
With: Gaius Aquillius Florus
Succeeded by
Aulus Atilius Calatinus
Gaius Sulpicius Paterculus