Nicolas Poussin, La continence de Scipion, 1640
Nicolas Poussin, La continence de Scipion (1640)

Quartum et vicesimum annum agens Scipio, cum in Hispania Carthagine oppressa maioris Carthaginis capiendae sumpsisset auspicia, multosque obsides, quos in ea urbe Poeni clausos habuerant, in suam potestatem redegisset, eximiae inter eos formae virginem aetatis adultae, et iuvenis et caelebs et victor, postquam comperit illustri loco inter Celtiberos natam, nobilissimoque gentis eius Indibili desponsam, arcessitis parentibus et sponso inviolatam tradidit. aurum quoque, quod pro redemptione puellae allatum erat, summae dotis adiecit. qua continentia ac munificentia Indibilis obligatus Celtiberorum animos Romanis applicando meritis eius debitam gratiam rettulit.
(Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia 4.3.1)

When Scipio was in his twenty-fourth year he had caputred Carthage in Spain and so taken auspices for the capture of the greater Carthage. He had brought many hostages into his power, whom the Carthaginians had kept shut up in the former city, among them a girl of adult age and exceptional beauty. Learning that she was born in an exalted station among the Celtiberi and betrothed to Indibilis, the noblest of that nation, Scipio, a young man, unmarried, and a victor, summoned her parents and fiancé and handed her over inviolate. He even added the gold which had been brought for the girl’s ransom to the amount of her dowry. Bound by such continence and generosity, Indibilis attached the hearts of the Celtiberi to Rome and so made due repayment to his benefactor. (tr. David Roy Shackleton Bailey)

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