Aemilius Paulus

(Lucius Aemilius Paulus)

d. 216 BC

Aemilius Paulus is known for being one of the consuls at the Battle of Cannae, the worst military disaster in Roman history. He is also known as the father of the more famous Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus, who led Rome to a decisive victory over Macedonia at Pydna. Aemilius Paulus the elder was one of the fifty thousand Romans who perished at Cannae, although he fought bravely to the very end. Paulus's co-consul, Varro, survived the battle and rallied the remaining troops to defend Rome. The two consuls represented the contrasting leadership styles of the divided Roman populace. Varro favored aggressive action against Hannibal, while Paulus favored caution and delay. Either approach may have proved successful, but in this case the divided leadership proved disastrous.

Key events during the life of Aemilius Paulus:

216 BC
Elected consul with Varro. Led Romans to defeat at Battle of Cannae.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Battle of Cannae  in  Hannibal  by  Jacob Abbott
Overthrow of Cannae  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Of Paulus Aemilius  in  Stories from Roman History  by  Lena Dalkeith
Romans Defeated  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Battle of Cannae  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor

Short Biography
Fabius Cunctator Elected dictator to resist Hannibal; counseled delay, not direct assault.
Hannibal Carthaginian general, invaded and laid waste to Italy for sixteen years.
Varro Led Rome to disastrous defeat at Cannae. Survived and tried to rally the troops.