Mind your language, Scipio: Sensitive peasant voters and Scipio Nasica

Alexander Yakobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Publius Scipio Nasica was a famous and powerful figure in ruling circles... As a young man, when he was seeking election to the curile ae-dilship, he shook the hand of a certain peasant somewhat assiduously, as candidates do. He noticed that the man's hand was hardened by his country work, and to make a joke asked him if he normally walked on his hands. The bystanders took exception to this jibe, which spread among the people and led to Scipio losing the election. All the rural tribes thought that he was casting a slur on their poverty and so turned their anger against his offensive wit. So our community, by restraining the minds of young nobles from insolence, made them great and useful citizens, and added to offices their due weight of authority by not letting elections be taken for granted.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)534-553
Number of pages20
JournalRivista Storica Italiana
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane SpA. All rights reserved.


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