Facts and Events
Publius Cornelius Scipio (died 211 BC) was a general and statesman of the Roman Republic.
A member of the Cornelia gens, Scipio served as consul in 218 BC, the first year of the Second Punic War, and sailed with an army from Pisa to Massilia (today Marseille), with the intention of arresting Hannibal's advance on Italy. Failing to meet his enemy he returned to Cisalpine Gaul by sea, and sent his army on to Hispania under the command of his brother Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus with instructions to hold the Carthaginian forces there in check.
On his return to Italy, he advanced at once to meet Hannibal. In a sharp cavalry engagement near the Ticinus, a tributary of the Po river, he was defeated and severely wounded. In December of the same year he again witnessed the complete defeat of the Roman army at the Trebia, when his fellow consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus insisted on fighting against his advice.
Despite the military defeats, he still retained the confidence of the Roman people: his term of command was extended and the following year found him in Hispania with his brother Calvus, winning victories over the Carthaginians and strengthening Rome's position in the Iberian peninsula. He continued the Iberian campaigns until 211, when he was killed in the defeat of his army on the upper Baetis river by the Carthaginians and Indibilis and Mandonius's tribemen. That same year Calvus and his army were destroyed at Ilorci near Carthago Nova. The details of these campaigns are not completely known, but it seems that the ultimate defeat and death of the two Scipiones was due to the desertion of the Celtiberians, who were bribed by Hasdrubal Barca, Hannibal's brother.
A later Publius Cornelius Scipio, son of Scipio Africanus the elder and Aemilia Paulla, and grandson of the consul of 218 BC, was the adoptive father of Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. This latter Scipio served as praetor in 174 BC.