Philosophical influences in the personality and public life of Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, consul in 147 and 134 b.c., were once emphasized in scholarship. In 1892, Schmekel demonstrated the reception of Stoic philosophy in the second half of the second century b.c. among the philhellenic members of the governing elite in general, and statesmen like Scipio Aemilianus in particular, in what he called the ‘Roman Enlightenment’. In the 1920s and 1930s, Kaerst showed influences of Stoic philosophy on Scipio, contemporary politics and the Principate to come, while Capelle and Pohlenz identified Stoic ideas in Scipio's foreign and domestic policies. Together they formed a body of scholarship which held that Scipio possessed a serious interest in philosophy which defined his character and informed his public life. In the 1960s, the challenge to this scholarship was led by Strasburger in two articles, and by Astin in his 1967 biography. Both scholars downplayed and devalued philosophical influences on Scipio and denied him the pursuit of the Greek virtuous life. They placed him within the traditions of the Roman elite, ambitious for glory and results-driven, and they have successfully formed influential views to this end, despite the critique made by Erskine. Astin remained the authoritative study of Scipio and there was much in his Realpolitik that scholarship found compelling, even when it allowed Scipio an attachment to Greek culture. For example, Gruen, Elvers and Badian acknowledged Scipio's interest in Greek culture and philosophy, in combination with the practices and goals of a traditional Roman aristocrat, but they placed their accent on the latter by affirming that Greek learning did not change the current of a traditional aristocratic life. The contention of this article is that the pre-Strasburger/Astin interpretation of Scipio, despite its shortcomings, was indeed correct to detect a deep current of philosophical influences on Scipio. The article argues that the evidence demonstrates that in education, character and public life Scipio was informed by the Greek moral and political tradition; that Scipio had claimed to possess the cardinal virtues, derived ultimately from Plato; and that he had acted under a moral imperative of power formulated by the Stoic philosopher Panaetius; the conclusion will address the ethical intention of Scipio.