Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major (236 – 183 BC) was a general in the Second Punic War and statesman of the Roman Republic. He was best known for defeating Hannibal of Carthage, a feat that earned him the agnomen Africanus, the nickname the Roman Hannibal and recognition as one of the finest commanders in military history.
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 [bellum parate, quoniam pacem pati non potuistis].
More of Scipio Africanus thoughts
1: Go, therefore, to meet the foe with two objects before you, either victory or death. For men animated by such a spirit must always overcome their adversaries, since they go into battle ready to throw away their lives. Scipio Africanus
2: I’m never less at leisure than when at leisure, or less alone than when alone. Scipio Africanus
3: I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 96% how I react to it. Scipio Africanus
4: It is the part of a fool to say, I should not have thought. Scipio Africanus
5: Go, therefore, to meet the foe with two objects before you, either victory or death. For men animated by such a spirit must always overcome their adversaries, since they go into battle ready to throw away their lives. Scipio Africanus
Ingrata patria, ne ossa quidem mea habes.
Thankless country, thou shalt not possess even my bones!
Epitaph ordered by Scipio to be placed upon his tomb in Campania, as reported in Valerius Maximus Factorvm et dictorvm memorabilivm libri Novem, Lib. V, cap. iii; translation from Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men (1887).
I have always been a republican throughout history; I still am!