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Chs. 1‑35

This webpage reproduces part of
The War With Jugurtha

by
Sallust

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1921 (revised 1931)

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chs. 77‑114

p213 Sallust
The War With Jugurtha
Chapters 36‑76

36 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Albinus meanwhile renewed hostilities and hastened to transport to Africa provisions, money for paying the soldiers, and other apparatus of war. He himself set out at once, desiring by arms, by surrender, or in any possible way to bring the war to an end before the elections, the time of which was not far off. 2 Jugurtha, on the contrary, tried in every way to gain time, inventing one pretext for delay after another. He promised a surrender and then feigned fear, gave way to the consul's attack and then, that p215his followers might not lose courage, attacked in his turn; thus baffling the consul now by the delays of war and now by those of peace.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] There were some who thought that even then Albinus was not unaware of the king's design, and who found it impossible to believe that the ease with which the king protracted a war begun with such urgency was not due rather to guile than to incompetence. 4 Now when in the course of time the day of the elections drew near, Albinus sailed for Rome, leaving his brother Aulus in charge of the camp.

37 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At that time the Roman commonwealth was cruelly racked by the dissensions of the tribunes. 2 Two of their number, Publius Lucullus and Lucius Annius, were trying to prolong their term of office, in spite of the opposition of their colleagues;65 and this strife blocked the elections of the whole year.66 3 Because of this delay Aulus, who, as I just said, had been left in charge of the camp, was inspired with the hope of either finishing the war or forcing a bribe from the king through fear of his army. He therefore summoned his soldiers in the month of January67 from their winter quarters for active duty in the field, and making forced marchea in spite of the severity of the winter season, reached the town of Suthul, where the king's treasure was kept. 4 He was unable either to take the town or lay siege to it because of the inclemency of the weather and the strength of its position; for all about the walls, which were built along the edge of a steep cliff, was a muddy plain, of which the winter rains had made a muddy pool. Yet either with the idea of making a feint, in order to frighten the king, or because he was blinded by a desire to possess the town p217for the sake of its treasure, he brought up the mantlets, constructed a mound, and hastily made the other preparations for an assault.

38 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Jugurtha, however, well aware of the presumption and incapacity of the acting commander, craftily added to his infatuation and constantly sent him suppliant envoys, while he himself, as if trying to avoid an encounter, led his army through woody places and by-paths. 2 Finally, by holding out hope of an agreement, he induced Aulus to leave Suthul and follow him in a pretended retreat into remote regions; thus, he suggested, any misconduct of the Roman's68 would be less obvious. 3 Meanwhile through clever emissaries the king was working upon the Roman army day and night, bribing the centurions and commanders of cavalry squadrons either to desert or to abandon their posts at a given signal.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After he had arranged these matters to his satisfaction, in the dead of night he suddenly surrounded the camp of Aulus with a throng of Numidians. 5 The Roman soldiers were alarmed by the unusual disturbance; some seized their arms, others hid themselves, a part encouraged the fearful; consternation reigned. The hostile force was large, night and clouds darkened the heavens, there was danger whichever course they took:69 in short, whether it was safer to stand or flee was uncertain. 6 Then from the number of those who had been bribed, as I just said, one cohort of Ligurians with two squadrons of Thracians and a few privates went over to the king, while the chief centurion of the Third legion gave the p219enemy an opportunity of entering the part of the fortification which he had been appointed to guard, and there all the Numidians burst in. 7 Our men in shameful flight, in most cases throwing away their arms, took refuge on a neighbouring hill. 8 Night and the pillaging of the camp delayed the enemy and prevented them from following up their victory. 9 Then on the following day, Jugurtha held a conference with Aulus. He said that he had the general and his army at the mercy of starvation or the sword; yet in view of the uncertainty of human affairs, if Aulus would make a treaty with him, he would let them all go free after passing under the yoke, provided Aulus would leave Numidia within ten days. 10 Although the conditions were hard and shameful, yet because they were offered in exchange for the fear of death,70 peace was accepted on the king's terms.

39 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now, when the news of this disaster reached Rome, fear and grief seized upon the community. Some grieved for the glory of the empire, others, who were unused to matters of war, feared for their freedom. All men, especially those who had often gained renown in war, were incensed at Aulus, because with arms in his hands he had sought safety by disgrace rather than by combat. 2 Therefore the consul Albinus, fearing odium and consequent danger as the result of his brother's misconduct, laid the question of the treaty before the senate; but in the meantime he enrolled reinforcements, summoned aid from the allies and the Latin peoples; in short, bestirred himself in every way.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The senate decided that no treaty could be binding p221without its order and that of the people; as indeed was to have been expected. 4 The consul was prevented by the tribunes of the commons from taking with him the forces which he had raised, but within a few days left for Africa; for the whole army had withdrawn from Numidia according to the agreement and was wintering in that province. 5 But although Albinus on his arrival was eager to pursue Jugurtha and atone for his brother's disgrace, yet knowing his soldiers, who were demoralized not only by their rout but by the licence and debauchery consequent upon lax discipline, he decided that he was in no condition to make any move.

40 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile, at Rome, Gaius Mamilius Limetanus, tribune of the commons, proposed to the people a bill, in which it was provided that legal proceedings should be begun against those at whose advice Jugurtha had disregarded decrees of the senate; against those who had accepted money from him while serving as envoys or commanders; against those who had handed back the elephants and deserters; and against those who had made terms of peace and war with the enemy. 2 Preparations for obstructing this bill were made both by all who were conscious of guilt and also by others who feared the dangers arising from factional hatred; but since they could not openly oppose it without admitting their approval of these and similar acts, they did so secretly through their friends, and especially through men of the Latin cities and the Italian allies. 3 But the commons passed the bill with incredible eagerness and enthusiasm, rather from hatred of the nobles, for whom it boded trouble, than from love of country: so high did party passion run.

p223 4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Upon this the rest were panic stricken; but in the midst of the exultation of the people and the rout of his party, Marcus Scaurus, who, as I have already said, had been Bestia's lieutenant, took advantage of the political confusion to have himself named one of the three commissioners71 authorized by the bill of Mamilius. 5 Nevertheless72 the investigation was conducted with harshness and violence, on hearsay evidence and at the caprice of the commons; for then the commons, as so often the nobles, had been made insolent by success.

41 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now the institution of parties and factions, with all their attendant evils, originated at Rome a few years before this as the result of peace and of an abundance of everything that mortals prize most highly. 2 For before the destruction of Carthage the people and senate of Rome together governed the republic peacefully and with moderation. There was no strife among the citizens either for glory or for power; fear of the enemy preserved the good morals of the state. 3 But when the minds of the people were relieved of that dread, wantonness and arrogance naturally arose, vices which are fostered by prosperity. 4 Thus the peace for which they had longed in time of adversity, after they had gained it proved to be more cruel and bitter than adversity itself. 5 For the nobles began to abuse their position and the people their liberty, and every man for himself robbed, pillaged, and plundered. Thus the community was split into two parties, and between these the state was torn to pieces.

p225 6 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But the nobles had the more powerful organization, while the strength of the commons was less effective because it was incompact and divided among many. 7 Affairs at home and in the field were managed according to the will of a few men, in whose hands were the treasury, the provinces, public offices, glory73 and triumphs. The people were burdened with military service and poverty. The generals divided the spoils of war with a few friends. 8 Meanwhile the parents or little children of the soldiers, if they had a powerful neighbour, were driven from their homes. 9 Thus, by the side of power, greed arose, unlimited and unrestrained, violated and devastated everything, respected nothing, and held nothing sacred, until it finally brought about its own downfall. 10 For as soon as nobles were found who preferred true glory to unjust power, the state began to be disturbed and civil dissension to arise like an upheaval of the earth.

42 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] For example, when Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, whose forefathers74 had added greatly to the power of the republic in the Punic and other wars, began to assert the freedom of the commons and expose the crimes of the oligarchs, the nobility, who were guilty, were therefore panic stricken. They accordingly opposed the acts of the Gracchi, now through the allies and the Latin cities and again through the knights, whom the hope of an alliance75 with the senate had estranged from the commons. And first Tiberius, then a few years later Gaius, who had followed in his brother's footsteps, were slain with the sword, although one was a tribune and the p227other a commissioner for founding colonies; and with them fell Marcus Fulvius Flaccus. 2 It must be admitted that the Gracchi were so eager for victory that they had not shown a sufficiently moderate spirit; 3 but a good man would prefer to be defeated rather than to triumph over injustice by establishing a bad precedent.76

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The nobles then abused their victory to gratify their passions; they put many men out of the way by the sword or by banishment, and thus rendered themselves for the future rather dreaded than powerful. It is this spirit which has commonly ruined great nations, when one party desires to triumph over another by any and every means and to avenge itself on the vanquished with excessive cruelty. 5 But if I should attempt to speak of the strife of parties and of the general character of the state in detail or according to the importance of the theme, time would fail me sooner than material. Therefore I return to my subject.

43 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After the foul pact of Aulus and the foul flight77 of our army the consuls elect,78 Metellus and Silanus, had shared the provinces between them; Numidia had fallen to Metellus, a man of spirit, and, although he was an opponent of the popular party, of a consistently unblemished reputation. 2 When he first entered upon his term of office, thinking that his colleague shared with him all the other business79 he devoted his attention to the war which he was going to conduct. 3 Accordingly, being distrustful of the old army, he enrolled soldiers, summoned auxiliaries from every hand, got together arms, weapons, p229horses, and other munitions of war, as well as an abundance of supplies; in short, he provided everything which commonly proves useful in a war of varied character and demanding large resources. 4 Furthermore, in making these preparations the senate aided him by its sanction, allies, Latin cities, and kings by the voluntary contribution of auxiliaries; in short, the whole state showed the greatest enthusiasm. 5 Therefore, after everything was prepared and arranged to his satisfaction, Metellus left for Numidia, bearing with him the high hopes the citizens, which were inspired not only by his good qualities in general, but especially because he possessed a mind superior to riches; for it had been the avarice of the magistrates that before this time had blighted our prospects in Numidia and advanced those of the enemy.

44 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But when Metellus reached Africa, the proconsul Spurius Albinus handed over to him an army that was weak, cowardly, and incapable of facing either danger or hardship, readier of tongue than of hand, a plunderer of our allies and itself a prey to the enemy, subject to no discipline or restraint. 2 Hence their new commander gained more anxiety from the bad habits of his soldiers than security or hope from their numbers. 3 Although the postponement of the elections had trenched upon the summer season and Metellus knew that the citizens were eagerly anticipating his success, yet, notwithstanding this, he resolved not to take the field until he had forced the soldiers to undergo the old-time drill and training. 4 For Albinus, utterly overcome by the disaster to his brother Aulus and the army, had decided not to leave the province;80 and during that part of the summer p231when he retained the command he kept the soldiers for the most part in a permanent camp, except when the stench or the need of fodder had compelled him to change his position. 5 But his camps were not fortified, nor was watch kept in military fashion; men absented themselves from duty whenever they pleased. Camp followers and soldiers ranged about in company day and night, and in their forays laid waste the country, stormed farmhouses, and vied with one another in amassing booty in the form of cattle and slaves, which they bartered with the traders for foreign wine and other luxuries. They even sold the grain which was allotted them by the state and bought bread from day to day. In short, whatever disgraceful excesses resulting from idleness and wantonness can be mentioned or imagined were all to be found in that army and others besides.

45 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But in dealing with these difficulties, as well as in waging war, I find that Metellus showed himself a great and prudent man, so skilful a course did he steer between indulgence and severity. 2 For in the first place he is said to have removed the incentives to indolence by an edict that no one should sell bread or any other cooked food within the camp, that sutlers should not attend the army, and that no private soldier should have a slave or a pack animal in the camp or on the march; and he set a strict limit on other practices of the kind. Moreover he broke camp every day for cross-country marches, fortified it with a palisade and moat just as if the enemy were near, and set guards at short intervals and inspected them in person attended by his lieutenants. On the march too he was now with those in the van, now in the rear, often in the middle of the line, to see that no one p233left the ranks, that they advanced in a body about the standards, and that the soldiers carried food and arms. 3 In this way, rather by keeping them from doing wrong than by punishing them, he soon restored the temper of his army.

46 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Jugurtha meanwhile learned through messengers what Metellus was about, and at the same time received word from Rome that his opponent was incorruptible. 2 He therefore began to lose heart in his cause and for the first time attempted to arrange a genuine surrender. Accordingly, he sent envoys to the consul with tokens of submission,81 merely asking that his own life and those of his children be spared and leaving all else to the discretion of the Roman people. 3 But Metellus had already learned from experience that the Numidians were a treacherous race, of fickle disposition, and fond of a change. He therefore separated the envoys and approached them one by one. 4 When by gradually sounding them he found that they could be used for his design, he induced them by lavish promises to deliver Jugurtha into his hand, alive if possible; or dead, if he could not be taken alive. But publicly he bade them take back a reply in accordance with the king's wishes.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] A few days later the consul with his army alert and ready for battle invaded Numidia, where he found nothing to indicate a state of war; the huts were full of men, and cattle and farmers were to be seen in the fields. The king's officers came out to meet him from the towns and villages,82 offering to furnish grain, transport provisions — in short, to do p235everything that they were ordered. 6 None the less, exactly as if the enemy were close at hand, Metellus advanced with his line protected on all sides, and reconnoitred the country far and wide, believing that these indications of submission were a pretence and that the enemy were seeking an opportunity for treachery. 7 Accordingly, he himself led the van with the light-armed cohorts as well as a picked body of slingers and archers, his lieutenant Gaius Marius with the cavalry had charge of the rear, while on both flanks he had apportioned the cavalry of the auxiliaries to the tribunes of the legions and the prefects83 of the cohorts. With these the light-armed troops were mingled,84 whose duty it was to repel the attacks of the enemy's horsemen, wherever they might be made. 8 For Jugurtha was so crafty, so well acquainted with the region and so versed in military science, that it was not certain whether he was more dangerous when absent or when present, at peace or making war.

47 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Not far from the route which Metellus was taking lay a town of the Numidians called Vaga, the most frequented emporium of the entire kingdom, where many men of Italic race traded and made their homes. 2 Here the consul stationed a garrison, both to see whether the inhabitants would accept his overtures and because of the advantages of the situation.85 He gave orders too that grain and other necessaries of war should be brought together there, p237believing, as the circumstances suggested, that the large number of traders would aid his army in getting studies and serve as a protection to those which he had already prepared.86

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] While this was going on, Jugurtha with even greater insistence sent suppliant envoys, begged for peace, and offered Metellus everything except his life and that of his children. These envoys too, like the former ones, the consul persuaded to turn traitors and sent home, neither refusing nor promising the king the peace for which he asked and meanwhile waiting for the envoys to fulfil their promises.

48 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When Jugurtha came to compare the words of Metellus with his actions, he realized that he was being attacked with his own weapons; for ostensibly peace was offered him but in reality the bitterest warfare was on foot. His principal city had been taken from him, the country was now familiar to the enemy, the loyalty of his subjects was being undermined. 2 He was therefore compelled to try the fortune of battle. Accordingly, having reconnoitred the enemy's march, he was led to hope for victory from the nature of the country, and after assembling the greatest possible forces of all kinds, he got in advance of Metellus' army by obscure by-paths.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In that part of Numidia which the partition had given to Adherbal there was a river flowing from the south called the Muthul, and about twenty miles from it was a naturally desolate and uncultivated range of hills running parallel with the river. From about the middle of this range an elevation branched p239off and extended for a long distance, clothed with wild olive, myrtles, and other varieties of trees which grow in a dry and sandy soil. 4 The intervening plain87 was uninhabited from lack of water except the parts along the river, which were covered with shrubs and frequented by cattle and farmers.

49 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] On this hill then, which flanked the Romans' line of march,88 as I have said, Jugurtha took his position with his line greatly extended. He gave the command of the elephants and a part of the infantry to Bomilcar and told him what his plan was. He placed his own men nearer the mountain with all the cavalry and the flower of his infantry. 2 Then going about to the various squads and companies, he admonished and besought them to be mindful of their old time valour and victories, and to defend themselves and their country from the greed of the Romans. They were to fight, he said, with men whom they had already vanquished and sent under the yoke; their leader was changed but not their spirit. For his own part, he had provided for his men everything that a leader ought: that on higher ground and prepared for action they might fight against men taken by surprise; that they might not have to fight few against many nor untrained against better soldiers. 3 Therefore they must be ready and eager to attack the Romans when the signal was given, for that day p241would either crown all their toil and victories, or would be the beginning of the utmost wretchedness. 4 He also addressed them individually and recalled his favours to the mind of every soldier whom he had ever rewarded with money or honour for any deed of arms, and pointed out the recipient to his comrades. Finally, by promises, threats or entreaties he incited one man after another, each in a different way according to his disposition, when meanwhile Metellus, unaware of the enemy and coming down the mountain with his army, caught sight of them. 5 At first the Roman wondered what the unusual appearance of things meant, for the Numidians with their horses had taken their places amid the woods, and while because of the lowness of the trees they were not entirely covered, yet it was difficult to make out just what they were, since the men and their standards were concealed both by the nature of the place and by disguise. But the consul soon detected the ambuscade, halted his army for a space, and then made a change in its formation. 6 His right flank, which was nearest the enemy, he strengthened with three lines of reserves. Between the maniples he placed the slinger and archers, while on the wings he stationed all the cavalry. Then after exhorting the soldiers briefly, as the time demanded, he led his army down into the plain, just as he had drawn it up, with those who had been in the van now forming the flank.89

50 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When Metellus saw that the Numidian remained quiet and did not come down from the hill, he feared that at that season of the year and because p243of the scarcity of water his army might be exhausted by thirst. He therefore sent his lieutenant Rutilius with the light-armed cohorts and a part of the cavalry towards the river, with instructions to occupy in advance a position for the camp; for he thought that the enemy would try to delay his progress by frequent assaults on the flank, and since they put little trust in their arms, that they would try the effect of fatigue and thirst upon his soldiers. 2 Then, as the circumstances and situation demanded, he advanced slowly in the same order in which he had come down from the mountain, keeping Marius behind what had been the front line,90 while he himself was with the cavalry on the left wing, which had now become the van.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] As soon as Jugurtha saw that Metellus' rear had passed by the first of his own men,91 he stationed a force about two thousand infantry on the mountain at the point from which the Romans had just come, so that if his opponents should give ground, they might not have this refuge and protection in their rear. Then he suddenly gave the signal and launched his attack. 4 Some of the Numidians cut down the hindermost Romans, while a part attacked them on the right and left, pressing on with vigour and energy and throwing the ranks into general confusion. For even those who had withstood the charge with a stout heart were baffled by this irregular manner of fighting, in which they were only wounded from a distance, without having the opportunity of striking back or of joining in hand to hand conflict. 5 Jugurtha's horsemen, following the instructions given them beforehand, whenever a squadron of the Roman cavalry began to attack them, gave way; not, however, in a body or in one p245direction, but dispersing as widely as possible. 6 Thus even if they had been unable to check the enemy's pursuit, with their superior numbers they cut off the stragglers in the rear or on the flanks. If the hill proved to be more favourable for their flight than the plains, there too the horses of the Numidians, being acquainted with the ground, easily made their escape amid the thickets, while the steep and unfamiliar ground proved a hindrance to our men.

51 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Thus the aspect of the whole affair was confused, uncertain, horrible and lamentable. Separated from their comrades, some of our men gave way, others attacked. They could neither follow the standards nor keep their ranks; but wherever each man had been overtaken by danger, there he stood his ground and defended himself. Arms and weapons, men and horses, Numidians and Romans were mingled in confusion. There was no opportunity for advice nor command; chance held sway everywhere.

2 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In this way a considerable part of the day had passed and the outcome of the battle was still uncertain. 3 Finally, when all the Romans were growing wearied from their exertions and the heat, Metellus noticed that the Numidians also were attacking with less vigour. He therefore gradually united his soldiers, reformed the ranks, and opposed four legionary cohorts to the enemy's infantry, the greater part of which through fatigue had taken refuge on the higher ground. 4 At the same time he begged and implored his men not to weaken or allow a fleeing enemy to win the victory; he pointed out that the Romans had no camp or fortress as a refuge, but must rely wholly upon their arms. 5 Meanwhile Jugurtha in his turn was not quiet, went about and p247encouraged his men, and endeavoured to renew the battle; in person with the flower of his troops he tried every device, aided his men, charged the enemy where they wavered, and by attacks at long range held at bay those whom he had found to be unshaken.

52 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Thus did these two men, both great commanders, struggle with each other; personally they were on an equality but they were ill matched in their resources; 2 for Metellus had valiant soldiers but an unfavourable position, while Jugurtha had the advantage in all except his men. 3 At last the Romans, realizing that they had no place of refuge and that the foe gave them no opportunity for fighting (and it was already evening), charged up the hill as they had been ordered and broke through. 4 Losing that position, the Numidians gave way and fled. A few were killed; the greater number were saved by their quickness and the Romans' lack of familiarity with the country.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the meantime Bomilcar, who had been put in command of the elephants and a part of the infantry by Jugurtha, as I have already said, when Rutilius had passed him, slowly led his forces down into the plain; and while the lieutenant was hastily making his way to the river, to which he had been sent on, Bomilcar drew up his line quietly, as the circumstances demanded, continuing to keep an eye on the enemy's movements in all parts of the field. 6 When he found that Rutilius had encamped and was now easy in mind,92 while the din from Jugurtha's battle increased, he feared that the lieutenant, if he knew the critical condition of his countrymen, might go to their aid. Accordingly, wishing to intercept the p249enemy's march, he extended his line, which he had drawn up in close order through distrust of his soldiers' courage, and in that formation approached Rutilius' camp.

53 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The Romans on a sudden became aware of a great cloud of dust, for the bushes which covered the ground cut off their view. At first they thought that the wind was blowing up the dry soil; but later, as they saw that the cloud remained unchanged and came nearer and nearer as the line advanced, they realized the truth, and hastily catching up their arms, took their places before the camp, as they were ordered. 2 Then, when they were at close quarters, both sides charged with loud shouts. 3 The Numidians stood their ground only so long as they thought the elephants could protect them; but when they saw that the brutes became entangled in the branches of the trees and were thus separated and surrounded, they took to flight. The greater number, after throwing away their arms, escaped unhurt, thanks to the hill and the night, which was now close at hand. 4 Four elephants were taken, and all the rest to the number of forty were killed. 5 But although the Romans were wearied by their march, by the work on the camp, and by the battle, yet because Metellus was later than they expected, they went to meet him in order of battle on the alert; 6 for the craft of the Numidians admitted of no relaxation or carelessness. 7 It was now dark night, and at first, when the armies were not far apart, the sound, as of a hostile force approaching, caused fear and confusion on both sides; and the mistake might have led to a deplorable catastrophe, had not the horsemen who were sent out by both sides to reconnoitre discovered what the p251situation was. 8 Thereupon in place of fear a sudden joy arose. The exultant soldiers called out to one another, told of their exploits and heard the tales of others. Each man praised his own valiant deeds to the skies. For so it is with human affairs; in time of victory the very cowards may brag, while defeat discredits even the brave.

54 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Metellus remained in the same camp for four days, giving careful attention to the wounded, rewarding good service in the battles with military prizes,93 praising and thanking all the troops in a body. He urged them to have like courage for the easy tasks which remained; their fight for victory was at an end, the rest of their efforts would be for booty. 2 Meanwhile, however, he sent deserters and other available spies to find out where in the world Jugurtha was and what he was about, whether he had but few followers or an army, how he conducted himself in defeat. 3 As a matter of fact, the king had retreated to a wooded district of natural strength and was there recruiting an army which in numbers was larger than before, but inefficient and weak, being more familiar with farming and grazing than with war. 4 The reason for this was, that except for the horsemen of his bodyguard not a single Numidian follows his king after a defeat, but all disperse whithersoever they choose, and this is not considered shameful for soldiers. Such are their customs.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Accordingly, when Metellus saw that the king was still full of confidence, and that a war was being renewed which could be carried on only as his opponent chose, he realized that his struggle with p253the enemy was an unequal one, since defeat cost them less than victory did his own men. He accordingly decided that he must conduct the campaign, not by pitched battles, but in another fashion. 6 He therefore marched into the most fertile parts of Numidia, laid waste the country, captured and burned many strongholds and towns which had been hurriedly fortified or left without defenders, ordered the death of all the adults and gave everything else to his soldiers as booty. In this way he caused such terror that many men were given to the Romans as hostages, grain and other necessities were furnished in abundance, and garrisons were admitted wherever Metellus thought it advisable.

7 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] These proceedings alarmed the king much more than the defeat which his men had suffered; 8 for while all his hopes depended upon flight, he was forced to pursue, and when he had been unable to defend favourable positions, he was obliged to fight in those which were unfavourable. 9 However, he adopted the plan which seemed best under the circumstances and ordered the greater part of the army to remain where it was, while he himself followed Metellus with a select body of cavalry. Making his way at night and through by-paths he suddenly fell upon the Roman stragglers when they least expected it; 10 the greater number of them were killed before they could arm themselves, many were taken, not one escaped unscathed. Before aid could be sent from the camp, the Numidians, as they had been ordered, scattered to the nearest hills.

55 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile, great joy had arisen at Rome from the news of Metellus' exploits, when it was learned that he conducted himself and treated his army after p255the fashion of old, that he, though caught in an unfavourable position, had nevertheless won the victory by his valour, was holding possession of the enemy's territory, and had compelled Jugurtha, who had been made insolent by Albinus' incapacity, to rest his hopes of safety on the desert or on flight. 2 The senate accordingly voted a thanksgiving to the immortal gods because of these successes, while the community, which before this had been in fear and anxiety as to the outcome of the war, gave itself up to rejoicing. Metellus' fame was brilliant. 3 He therefore strove the harder for victory, hastened matters in every way, yet was careful not to give the enemy an opening anywhere, remembering that envy follows hard upon glory. 4 Hence the greater his fame, the more caution he showed; after Jugurtha's ambuscade he no longer ravaged the country with his army in disorder; when he required grain or fodder, a number of cohorts stood on guard with all the cavalry; he led part of the army himself and Marius the rest. 5 But fire did more than plundering to devastate the land. 6 The consul and his lieutenant used to encamp in two places not far apart. 7 When necessity demanded the use of strength, they joined forces; otherwise they acted separately, in order that the enemy's terror and flight might be more widespread.

8 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile Jugurtha would follow along the hills, watching for a suitable time or place for battle: he spoiled the fodder and contaminated the springs, which were very few, in the places to which he had heard that the enemy were coming; showed himself now to Metellus, again to Marius; made an attempt on the hindermost in the line and at once retreated p257to the hills; again threatened others and afterwards others, neither gave battle nor let the enemy rest, but merely prevented them from carrying out their plans.

56 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When the Roman general began to realize that he was being exhausted by the strategy of his opponent, who gave him no chance for battle, he decided to lay siege to a large city called Zama, the citadel of the part of the kingdom in which it was situated. He thought that as a matter of course Jugurtha would come to the aid of his subjects in distress and that a battle would be fought in that place. 2 But Jugurtha, learning from deserters what was on foot, by forced marches outstripped Metellus; he encouraged the townspeople to defend their walls, and gave them the help of a band of deserters, who formed the strongest part of the king's forces because they dared not be treacherous.94 He promised too that he would come himself in due season with an army. 3 Having made these arrangements, the king withdrew to places as secluded as possible, and presently learned that Marius had been ordered to leave the line of march and go with a few cohorts to forage at Sicca, which was the very first town to revolt from the king after his defeat. 4 Thither Jugurtha hastened by night with the best of his cavalry and engaged the Romans at the gate just as they were coming out. At the same time, in a loud voice have urged the people of Sicca to surround the cohorts in the rear; fortune, he said, gave them the chance for a brilliant exploit. If they took advantage of it, he would be restored to his kingdom and they would live for the future in freedom and without fear. 5 And had not Marius hastened to advance and leave the town, surely the p259greater part of the townspeople, if not all of them, would have changed their allegiance; such is the fickleness with which the Numidians act. 6 Jugurtha's soldiers were held firm for a time by the king, but when the enemy attacked with greater force they fled in disorder after suffering slight losses.

57 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marius went on to Zama. That town, situated in an open plain and fortified rather by art than by nature, lacked no essential, and was well supplied with arms and men. 2 Therefore Metellus, making his preparations to suit the circumstances and the locality, completely invested the walls with his army, assigning to each of his lieutenants his special point of attack. 3 Then, upon a given signal, a mighty shout arose from all sides at once, but without in the least frightening the Numidians; ready and eager for action they awaited the fray without disorder and the battle began. 4 The Romans acted each according to his own quality: some fought at long range with slings or stones, others advanced and undermined the wall or applied scaling-ladders, striving to get at grips with the foe. 5 The townsmen met their attacks by rolling down stones upon the foremost and hurling at them beams, pikes, burning pitch mixed with sulphur, and firebrands. 6 Not even those of our men who had remained at a distance were wholly protected by their timidity, for very many of them were wounded by javelins hurled from engines or by hand. Thus the valiant and the craven were in like danger but of unlike repute.

58 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] While this struggle was going on at Zama, Jugurtha unexpectedly fell upon the Roman camp with a large force, and through the carelessness of the guards, who were looking for anything rather than p261a battle, forced one of the gates. 2 Our men were struck with a sudden panic and sought safety each according to his temperament; some fled, others armed themselves, nearly all were killed or wounded. 3 But out of the entire number forty or less remembered that they were Romans. These gathered together and took a position a little higher than the rest, from which they could not be dislodged by the greatest efforts of the enemy, but they threw back the weapons which were thrown at them from a distance, and few against many could hardly miss. But if the Numidians came nearer, they then showed their real quality, charging them with the greatest fury, routing and scattering them.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile, Metellus, who was vigorously pressing the attack on the town, heard shouts like the melley of a hostile force behind him; then, wheeling his horse about, he saw that the fugitives were coming his way, which indicated that they were his countrymen. 5 He therefore sent all the cavalry to the camp in haste and ordered Gaius Marius to follow at once with the cohorts of allies, begging him with tears in the name of their friendship and their common country not to allow any disgrace to stain their victorious army, and not to suffer the enemy to escape unpunished. Marius promptly did as he was ordered. 6 As for Jugurtha, he was hampered by the fortifications of the camp, since some of his men were tumbling over the ramparts and others, endeavouring to make haste in the crowded spaces, were getting in each other's way; he therefore, after considerable losses, withdrew to a place of safety. 7 Metellus was prevented by the coming of night from following up his victory and returned to camp with his army.

p263 59 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Accordingly, the next day, before going out to attack the town, Metellus ordered all the cavalry to ride up and down before that part of the camp where the king was likely to attack, assigned to the several tribunes the defence of the gates and their neighbourhood, and then himself proceeded to the town and assailed the wall as on the day before. 2 Meanwhile Jugurtha suddenly rushed upon our men from ambush. Those who were stationed nearest the point of attack were terrified and thrown into confusion for a time, but the rest quickly came to their help. 3 And the Numidians would not have been able to make a long resistance, had not their combination of infantry and cavalry done great execution in the melley; for the Numidian horsemen, trusting to this infantry, did not alternately advance and retreat, as is usual in a cavalry skirmish, but charged at full speed, rushing into and breaking up our line of battle; thus with their light-armed infantry they all but conquered their enemy.95

60 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At the same time the contest at Zama continued with great fury. Wherever each of the lieutenants or tribunes was in charge, there96 was the bitterest strife and no one relied more on another than on himself. The townspeople showed equal courage; men were fighting or making preparations at all points, and both sides were more eager to wound one another than to protect themselves. 2 There was a din of mingled encouragement, exultation, and groans; the clash of arms also rose to p265heaven, and a shower of missiles fell on both sides. 3 But whenever the besiegers relaxed their assault ever so little, the defenders of the walls became interested spectators of the cavalry battle. 4 As Jugurtha's fortunes shifted, you might see them now joyful, now alarmed; acting as if their countrymen could see or hear them, some shouted warnings, others urged them on; they gesticulated or swayed their bodies, moving them this way and that as if dodging or hurling weapons.97

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When Marius perceived all this (for he was in charge at that point) he purposely slackened his efforts and feigned discouragement, allowing the Numidians to witness their king's battle undisturbed. 6 When their attention was thus riveted upon their countrymen, he suddenly assaulted the wall with the utmost violence. Our soldiers, mounting on scaling-ladders, had almost reached the top of the wall, when the townsmen rushed to the spot and met them with a rain of stones, firebrands, and other missiles besides. 7 At first our men resisted; then, as ladder after ladder was shattered and those who stood upon them were dashed to the ground, the rest made off as best they could, some few unharmed but the greater number badly wounded. 8 At last night ended the combat on both sides.

61 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After Metellus saw that his attempt was vain, that the town was no nearer being taken, that Jugurtha would not fight except from ambush or on his own ground, and that the summer was now at an end, he left Zama and placed garrisons in such of the towns which had gone over to him p267as were strongly enough fortified by their situation or by walls. 2 The rest of his army he stationed in the part of our province98 which lies nearest to Numidia, that they might pass the winter there. 3 But he did not devote that season, as others commonly do, to rest or dissipation, but since the war was making little progress through arms, he prepared to lay snares for the king through his friends and to make their treachery his weapons.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now Bomilcar had been at Rome with Jugurtha,99 and then, after being released on bail, had fled to escape trial for the murder of Massiva. Since this man's special intimacy with the king gave him special opportunities for deceiving him, Metellus tried to win his co-operation by many promises. 5 First, he contrived that the Numidian should come to him secretly for a conference; then after he had pledged his honour that if Bomilcar would deliver Jugurtha into his hands alive or dead, the senate would grant him impunity and restore all his property, he persuaded him without difficulty; for he was treacherous by nature and besides feared that if peace should ever be made with the Romans, one condition would be his own surrender and execution.

62 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] As soon as an opportune time came, when Jugurtha was worried and lamenting his fate, Bomilcar approached him. He warned the king and begged him with tears that he should at last take thought for himself, his children, and the people of Numidia who had served him so faithfully. He reminded him that they had been worsted in every battle, that his country had been ravaged, many of his subjects killed or taken prisoners, and the resources of the kingdom drained. He had now made sufficient trial p269both of his soldiers' courage and of the will of fortune, and must take heed, lest while he hesitated the Numidians should take measures for their own safety. 2 By these and other similar arguments he reconciled the king to the thought of a surrender. 3 Envoys were sent to the Roman general to say that Jugurtha would submit to his orders and entrusted himself and his kingdom unconditionally to his honour. 4 Metellus at once gave orders that all men of senatorial rank should be summoned from the winter quarters; with them and with such others as he considered suitable he held a council. 5 He obeyed the decree of the council — thus conforming to the usage of our forefathers100 — and sent envoys to demand of Jugurtha two hundred thousand pounds' weight of silver, all his elephants, and a considerable quantity of horses and arms. 6 When these conditions had promptly been met, he ordered all the deserters to be brought to him in fetters. 7 The greater part of them were brought as ordered, but a few had taken refuge with King Bocchus in Mauretania as soon as the negotiations for surrender began.

8 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now, when Jugurtha, after being stripped of arms, men, and money, was himself summoned to Tisidium to receive his orders, he began once more to waver in his purpose, and prompted by a guilty conscience, to dread the punishment due to his crimes. 9 At last, after spending many days in hesitation, at one time so weary of adversity as to think anything better than war, and anon reflecting how great a fall it was from a throne to slavery, after having lost to no purpose many great resources, he renewed the war. 10 Meanwhile at Rome, when the question of the provinces came up, the senate had assigned Numidia to Metellus.

p271 63 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At about that same time it chanced that when Gaius Marius was offering victims to the gods at Utica a soothsayer declared that a great and marvellous career awaited him; the seer accordingly advised him, trusting in the gods, to carry out what he had in mind and put his fortune to the test as often as possible, predicting that all his undertakings would have a happy issue. 2 Even before this Marius had been possessed with a mighty longing for the consulship, for which he had in abundance every qualification except an ancient lineage: namely, diligence, honesty, great military skill, and a spirit that was mighty in war, unambitious101 in peace, which rose superior to passion and the lure of riches, and was greedy only for glory. 3 Nay more, having been born and reared at Arpinum, where he had spent all his boyhood, he had no sooner reached the age for military life than he had given himself the training of active service, not of Grecian eloquence or the elegance of the city. Thus engrossed in wholesome pursuits his unspoiled nature soon matured. 4 The result was that when he first sought the office of military tribune from the people, the greater number did not know him by sight; yet his deeds were familiar and he was elected by the vote of all the tribes. 5 Then, after that success, he won office after office, always so conducting himself in each of them as to be regarded worthy of a higher position than that which he was holding. 6 Nevertheless, although he had up to that time shown himself so admirable a man (for afterwards he was driven headlong102 by ambition), he did not venture to aspire to the consulship; for even as late as that time, although the commons could bestow the other magistracies, the p273nobles passed the consulate from hand to hand within their own order. 7 No "new man" was so famous or so illustrious for his deeds, that he was not considered unworthy of that honour, and the office, so to speak, sullied by such an incumbency.103

64 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now when Marius perceived that the words of the soothsayer pointed to the goal towards which his heart's desire was urging him, he asked Metellus for a furlough, in order to become a candidate. Now, although Metellus possessed in abundance valour, renown, and other qualities to be desired by good men, yet he had a disdainful and arrogant spirit, a common defect in the nobles. 2 At first then he was astonished at the unusual request, expressed his surprise at Marius' design, and with feigned friendship advised him not to enter upon so mad a course or to entertain thoughts above his station. All men, he said, should not covet all things; Marius should be content with his own lot and finally, he must beware of making a request of the Roman people which they would be justified in denying.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After Metellus had made this and other similar remarks without shaking Marius' resolution, he at last replied that as soon as the business of the state allowed he would do what he asked. 4 Later, when Marius often repeated the same request, Metellus is said to have rejoined: "Don't be in a hurry to go to Rome; it will be soon enough for you to be a candidate when my son becomes one." That young man at the time was about twenty years old104 and was serving in Numidia on his father's personal staff;105 p275hence the taunt resulted in inflaming Marius not only with greater desire for the honour to which he aspired, but also with a deep hatred of Metellus. 5 Accordingly, he allowed himself to be swayed by the worst of counsellors, ambition and resentment; he hesitated at no act or word, provided only it could win him popularity; he was less strict than before in maintaining discipline among the soldiers under his command in the winter quarters, and talked about the war to the traders, of whom there were a great number in Utica, at the same time disparagingly and boastfully. He declared that if but half the army were put in his charge, he would have Jugurtha in fetters within a few days. His commander, he said, was purposely protracting the war, because he was a man of extravagant and tyrannical pride, and enjoyed too much the exercise of power. 6 And all this talk appealed the more strongly to the traders, because they had suffered pecuniary loss from the long duration of the war, and for greedy spirits nothing moves fast enough.

65 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Furthermore, there was in our army a Numidian named Gauda, a son of Mastanabal and grandson of Masinissa, whom Micipsa had made one of his heirs in the second degree;106 he was enfeebled by ill health and was consequently of somewhat weak mind. 2 This man had petitioned Metellus that he might be given the privilege accorded to royalty and allowed to sit beside him, and afterwards also requested a squadron of Roman knights as a bodyguard. Metellus denied both requests: the honour, because it belonged only to those on whom the Romans had formally conferred the title of king; the guard, because it would have p277been an insult to Roman knights to make them the attendants of a Numidian. 3 While Gauda was brooding over this refusal, he was approached by Marius, who urged him to avenge himself on the general for his affronts and offered him his help. In flattering terms he lauded this man whose mind was weakened by illness, declaring that he was a king, a mighty hero, the grandson of Masinissa; that if Jugurtha should be taken or killed, he would without delay be made ruler of Numidia; and Marius asserted that this would very soon come to pass, if only he were made consul and sent to the war.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In this way Marius induced Gauda and the Roman knights, both those who were in the army and those who were doing business in the town, some by his personal influence, the most by the hope of peace, to write to their friends in Rome in criticism of Metellus' conduct of the war and to call for Marius as a commander. 5 As a result many men supported Marius' canvass for the consulship in a highly flattering fashion;107 moreover, just at that time the nobles had been given a check by the bill of Mamilius108 and the commons were striving to advance "new men." Thus everything favoured Marius.

66 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile Jugurtha, having abandoned the idea of surrender and having resumed hostilities, was making all his preparations with great care and despatch. He was levying a new army, trying either by intimidation or by offering rewards to win back the cities which had revolted from him, and fortifying advantageous positions. He was making or buying arms, weapons and other things which he had sacrificed to his hope of peace, tempting the Roman slaves to revolt, and trying to bribe even those who p279formed the Roman garrisons. In short, he left absolutely nothing untried or undisturbed, but kept everything in commotion. As a result of his efforts the Vagenses, in whose town Metellus had placed a garrison at first, at the time when Jugurtha was suing for peace, yielded to the entreaties of the king, towards whom they had always been well disposed, and the leading men of the town entered into a conspiracy. As to the commons, they were of a fickle disposition, as is usually the case and as is particularly true of the Numidians, prone to rebellion and disorder, fond of change and opposed to peace and quiet. Then, after arranging matters among themselves, they appointed the third day from that time, because it was observed as a holiday all over Africa and promised entertainment and festivity rather than danger. 3 ºHowever, when the appointed time arrived, they invited the centurions and military tribunes and even the prefect109 of the town himself, Titus Turpilius Silanus by name, to their several homes. There all except Turpilius were slain while feasting. The conspirators then fell upon the common soldiers, who were strolling about unarmed, as was natural on such a day, when they were off duty. 4 The commons joined in the massacre, some at the instigation of the nobles, others inspired by a natural fondness for such conduct; for although they knew neither what was being done nor its purpose, they found sufficient incentive in mere revolution and disorder.

67 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The Roman soldiers, being bewildered by this unexpected peril and not knowing what to do first, were thrown into disorder. They were cut off from the citadel of the town, where their standards and shields were, by a hostile force, and from flight p281by the gates, closed beforehand. Moreover, women and boys from the roofs of the houses were busily pelting them with stones and whatever else they could lay hands on. 2 It was quite impossible to guard against the double danger110 and brave men were helpless before the feeblest of opponents. Side by side valiant and cowardly, strong and weak, fell without striking a blow.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] During this merciless slaughter, although the Numidians were in a frenzy and the town was completely closed, Turpilius the commander, alone of all the Italians, escaped unscathed. Whether he owed this to the mercy of his host, to connivance, or to chance I have been unable to learn; at any rate, since in such a disaster he chose to live disgraced rather than die with an unsullied reputation, he seems to me a wretch utterly detestable.

68 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When Metellus learned what had happened at Vaga, for a time his grief was such that he would see no one. Then, when anger was mingled with his sorrow, he devoted all his thoughts to prompt vengeance for the outrage. 2 No sooner had the sun set than he led out the legion with which he was wintering, and as many Numidian horse as he could muster, all lightly equipped; and on the following day at about the third hour he arrived at a plain, which was surrounded on all sides by somewhat higher ground. 3 At that point, finding that his soldiers were worn out by the long march and were on the point of mutiny, he told them that the town of Vaga was only a mile away. They ought, he said, patiently to endure what toil remained, for the sake p283of avenging the unhappy fate of their brave fellow-citizens. He also made generous promises about the booty. 4 When he had thus roused their spirits, he ordered the cavalry to take the lead in open order, while the infantry followed in the closest possible formation and with their standards hidden.

69 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When the people of Vaga perceived that an army was coming their way, at first they closed their gates, thinking that it was Metellus, as in fact it was. Later, seeing that the fields were not being laid waste and that the horsemen in the van were Numidians, they changed their minds, and taking the newcomers for Jugurtha, went out full of joy to meet him. 2 Then on a sudden the signal sounded and some of the cavalry and infantry began of cut down the crowd which was pouring from the town; others hurried to the gates, while a part took possession of the towers; anger and desire for booty triumphed over their weariness.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Thus it was only two days that the people of Vaga exulted in their treachery; 4 then their rich and populous city in its entirety fell a victim to vengeance and plunder. Turpilius, the commandant of the town, who, as I have already said, had been the only one to escape, was summoned by Metellus before a court martial, and being unable to justify himself was condemned to be scourged and put to death; for he was only a Latin citizen.111

70 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At this same time Bomilcar, who had induced Jugurtha to begin the negotiations for surrender which he later discontinued through fear, being an object of suspicion to Jugurtha and himself looking p285on the king with suspicion, was desirous of a change of rulers; he therefore began to cast about for a stratagem by which to effect the ruin of Jugurtha, and racked his brains day and night. 2 Finally, while trying every device, he won the support of Nabdalsa, a man of rank, wealth and distinction, who was very popular with his countrymen. This man was in the habit of exercising a command independently of the king and of attending to all business which Jugurtha could not transact in person when he was weary or engaged in more important duties; 3 in this way he had gained fame and power. 4 He and Bomilcar accordingly took counsel together and chose a time for their plot, deciding to arrange the details on the spot according to circumstances. Nabdalsa then went to the army, which by the royal command he kept between the winter quarters of the Romans,112 for the purpose of preventing the enemy from ravaging the country with impunity. 5 There, however, he took fright at the enormity of the proposed crime, and since he did not appear at the appointed hour, his fears thwarted the attempt. Therefore Bomilcar, being at once eager to carry out his design and also fearing that the timidity of his accomplice might lead him to abandon their former plan and look for a new one, sent a letter to him by trusty messengers. In this he upbraided the man for his weakness and cowardice, called to witness the gods by whom he had sworn, and warned him not to exchange113 ruin for the rewards offered by Metellus. Jugurtha's end, he said, was at hand; the only question was whether he should succumb to their valour or that of Metellus. Nabdalsa must therefore consider whether he preferred rewards or torture.

p287 71 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now when this letter arrived, it chanced that Nabdalsa, fatigued by bodily exercise, was resting on his couch. 2 On reading Bomilcar's message, he was at first troubled, and then, as is usual with a wearied mind, sleep overcame him. 3 He had as his secretary a Numidian whom he trusted and loved, a man whom he had made acquainted with all his designs except this last one. 4 When this man heard that a letter had arrived, he thought that as usual his services or advice would be needed. He therefore entered the tent where his master was sleeping, took the letter, which Nabdalsa had carelessly left on the pillow above his head, and read it; then perceiving the plot, he went in haste to the king.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When Nabdalsa woke up a little later and did not find the letter, realizing exactly what had happened, he first made an attempt to overtake the informer, and failing in that went to Jugurtha in order to pacify him. He declared that he had been anticipated by his faithless dependant in doing what he himself had intended. Bursting into tears, he begged the king by his friendship and his own faithful service of old not to suspect him of such a crime.

72 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] To these words the king made a courteous reply, disguising his real feelings. After putting to death Bomilcar and many others whom he knew to be implicated in the plot, he restrained his anger, for fear that the affair might cause a rebellion. 2 But from that time forward Jugurtha never passed a quiet day or night; he put little trust in any place, person, or time; feared his countrymen and the enemy alike; was always on the watch; started at every sound; and spent his nights in different places, many of p289which were ill suited to the dignity of a king. Sometimes on being roused from sleep he would utter outcries and seize his arms; he was hounded by a fear that was all but madness.

73 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now when Metellus learned from deserters of the fate of Bomilcar and the discovery of the plot, he again hastened to make all his preparations, as if for a new war. 2 Since Marius constantly asked for a furlough, he sent him home, thinking that a man who was at once both discontented and at odds with his commander, would be of little service. 3 At Rome, too, the commons, on hearing the letters which had been written about Metellus and Marius, had readily accepted what was said in them about both men. 4 The general's noble rank, which before this had been an honour to him, became a source of unpopularity, while to Marius his humble origin lent increased favour; but in the case of both men their own good or bad qualities had less influence than party spirit. 5 More than this, seditious114 magistrates were working upon the feelings of the populace, in every assembly charging Metellus with treason and exaggerating the merits of Marius. 6 At length the commons were so excited that all the artisans and farmers, whose prosperity and credit depended upon the labour of their own hands, left their work and attended Marius, regarding their own necessities as less important than his success. 7 The result was that the nobles were worsted and after the lapse of many years the consulship was given to a "new man." Afterwards, when the tribune Titus Manlius Mancinus asked the people whom they wished to have as leader of the war with Jugurtha, they chose Marius by a large majority. It is true that the senate had p291shortly before this voted Numidia to Metellus, but their action was to no purpose.

74 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] By this time Jugurtha had lost all his friends, having himself slain the greater part of them, while others through fear had taken refuge either with the Romans or with King Bocchus. Therefore, since he could not carry on the war without officers, and at the same time considered it dangerous to trust to the fidelity of new friends when old friends had proved so treacherous, he lived in doubt and uncertainty. There was no measure, there was neither plan nor man that he could fully approve. He changed his routes and his officials from day to day, now went forth to meet the enemy, now took to the desert; often placed hope in flight and shortly afterwards in arms; was in doubt whether to trust less to the courage or to the good faith of his countrymen: thus, wherever he turned, he faced adversity.

2 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] While the king was thus procrastinating, Metellus unexpectedly appeared with his army; whereupon Jugurtha made ready and drew up his Numidians as well as time allowed. Then the battle began. 3 Wherever the king was present in person, there was some show of resistance; everywhere else his soldiers broke and fled at the first charge. The Romans captured a considerable number of standards and arms, but few prisoners; for in almost all their battles the Numidians depend more upon speed of foot than on arms.

75 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Reduced to even deeper despair by this defeat, Jugurtha took refuge with the fugitives and a part of the cavalry in the desert, and then made his p293way to Thala, a large and wealthy town in which the greater part of his treasure was kept, and his children were being brought up in grand style.115 2 As soon as Metellus learned of this, although he knew that between Thala and the nearest river lay fifty miles of dry and desolate country, yet in hope of ending the war by getting possession of so important a town he undertook to surmount all the difficulties and even to defeat Nature herself. 3 Accordingly, he gave orders that every pack animal should be relieved of all burdens except ten days' allowance of grain, and that in addition to this only skins and other vessels for carrying water should be taken. 4 Moreover, he scoured the fields to find as many domestic animals as possible and upon them he loaded utensils of every kind, but especially wooden ones, which he obtained from the huts of the Numidians. 5 Besides this, he ordered all the people who dwelt near by (they had surrendered to Metellus after the flight of the king), to bring each as much water as he could, naming the day and the place where they were to appear. 6 He himself loaded his animals from the river which, as I have already said, was the nearest water to the town, and with this supply began his march for Thala. 7 When Metellus had reached the place which he had appointed with the Numidians and had pitched and fortified his camp, suddenly such an abundance of rain is said to have fallen from heaven that this alone furnished the army with water enough and to spare. 8 The amount also which was brought to him116 was greater than he anticipated, since the Numidians, as is common just after a p295surrender, had more than done their duty.117 9 But religious motives led the soldiers to prefer the rain water and its fall added greatly to their spirits; for they thought that they enjoyed the favour of the immortal gods.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The next day, contrary to Jugurtha's expectation, the Romans arrived at Thala. 10 The townspeople had supposed themselves protected by their inaccessible situation; but although they were amazed at this great and unexpected feat, they none the less made diligent preparations for battle. Our men did the same.

76 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But the king now believed that there was nothing which Metellus could not accomplish, since his energy had triumphed over all obstacles: arms, weapons, places, seasons, even Nature herself, to whom all others bowed. He therefore fled from the town by night with his children and the greater part of his treasure. And after that he never lingered in any place for more than one day or one night, pretending that his haste was due to important affairs; but as a matter of fact he feared treachery and thought that he could escape it by rapid movements, since such designs require leisure and opportunity.

2 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But when Metellus saw that the inhabitants were eager for battle and also that the town was fortified both by its position and by defensive works, he encompassed the walls with a stockade and a moat. 3 Then in the two most suitable places that he could find he brought up the mantlets, built a mound, and upon it placed turrets to protect the besiegers and their work. 4 The townsmen for their part hastened their preparations; indeed, nothing was left undone by p297either side. 5 At last, after much exacting toil and many battles, the Romans, forty days after their arrival, got possession of the town only, all the booty having been destroyed by the deserters. 6 For when these men saw the wall battered by the rams and realized that all was lost, they carried the gold, silver, and other valuables to the palace. There, gorged with food and wine, they burned the treasure, the palace and themselves, thus voluntarily paying the penalty which they feared they would suffer at the hands of a victorious enemy.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

65 By using their veto to forbid the holding of elections.

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66 Up to Dec. 9, when the election of tribunes was held.

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67 109 B.C. The defeat of Aulus probably occurred before January, 109, since Metellus and Silanus are called consules designati after his defeat; see xliii.1.

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68 That is, any bargain which Aulus made with Jugurtha would be less likely to attract the attention of the senate.

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69 Namely, within the camp because of the panic, and without because of the difficulty of making their escape; the following sentence repeats the idea in a more definite form.

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70 That is, the Romans had to accept the terms or die.

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71 These quaesitores were doubtless to preside over three separate courts, in order to dispose more promptly of the great number of cases.

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72 In spite of what Scaurus could effect.

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73 The number is due to the influence of the other plurals; or gloriae may mean "opportunities for winning glory." Bernays suggested laureae (loriae) and Bergk adoreae.

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74 The Gracchi were grandsons on their mother's side of the elder Scipio Africanus; their father had served with distinction in Spain and Sardinia.

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75 That is, a share in their privileges.

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76 The connection of thought is not quite clear. The meaning apparently is that the excesses of the Gracchi did not justify the unconstitutional acts of the nobles.

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77 Sallust's word-play is on foedus, "treaty," and foeda fuga, "foul flight."

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78 For 109 B.C.; see note on xxxvii.3.

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79 But not the war, which was his special charge; he could leave to Silanus the chief responsibility in other matters.

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80 Of Africa; see note on xiii.4.

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81 Branches of laurel or olive, indicating that they came to sue for peace.

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82 Mapalia (see chap. xviii) is here used collectively of a collection of huts; we may compare the various uses of vicus (οἶκος) in Latin.

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83 This title was peculiar to the allied contingent of the Roman army, which was divided into two alae of ten cohorts each; each cohort was made up of men of the same nationality under the command of a native praefectus.

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84 Between their ranks; see Livy 26.4.9, institutum ut velites in legionibus essent. Auctorem peditum equiti immiscendorum centurionem Q. Naevium ferunt.

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85 Text and meaning are somewhat uncertain.

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86 The meaning is not clear. Apparently Metellus counted upon the traders to furnish him with supplies and to protect those which he had ordered to be sent to the town. Capes, however, takes rebus paratis the preparations made by the inhabitants "for a revolt against Jugurtha."

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87 That is, between the range of hills and the Muthul.

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88 Transverso itinere is taken by some to mean simply "cross-wise"; that is, at right angles to the river and the mountains (mons), as in the diagram belowº, exclusive of the dotted line. Others take it as "across the line of march." The collis would then be represented by the dotted line.


[image ALT: A very schematic map showing a movement of the troops of Metellus from the right (marked 'mountain') to the left (marked 'Muthul river'), either bounded by a range of hills at the top (the North) or traversing a downward curving range of hills, depending on the interpretation of the text, as discussed in the note.]
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89 He made the marching column face to the right (towards the enemy), and placed the cavalry on what were the wings as long as the army faced in that direction; he then wheeled towards the river and continued his march with those who had formed the front rank (of the battle line) sideways to the enemy: i.e., forming the flank of his marching column. In other words, those who had faced the enemy now had them on the right hand.

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90 That is, they would form the van if the army wheeled about to face the Numidians.

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91 Those nearest to the mountain from which Metellus had come.

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92 That is, unaware of the danger; cf. Tacitus, Ann. 2.46, ires vacuas legiones et ducis fraudis ignarum.

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93 Some of these are enumerated in lxxxv.29.

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94 The Romans punished deserters with great severity. They were sometimes crucified or thrown to wild beasts; see Valerius Maximus 2.7.

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95 Victos dare is equivalent to vincere: cf. Livy, 8.6.6, stratas legiones Latinorum dabo.

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96 In this sentence eo is said to be used in the unusual sense of eo locoubi; cf. Tac. Ann. 15.74: (decernitur) ut templum Saluti extrueretur eo loci . . . ex quo Scevinus ferrum prompserat, where the addition of loci makes the construction less bold than here. It may, however, be taken (with Summers) as "against that part of the wall."

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97 This description is an obvious imitation of Thucydides' account of the Athenians at Syracuse (7.71) watching the naval battle in the harbour.

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98 Of Africa.

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99 See xxxv.4 ff.

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100 More maiorum means ex concili decreto. There was no private arrangement with Jugurtha; cf. xxix.5.

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101 cf. lxxxv.1.

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102 cf. Cat. xxv.4; xxxi.9; Jug. viii.2.

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103 If is is retained before indignus, we must translate "unworthy of the honour and, as it were, unclean."

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104 The earliest age at which the consulship could legally be held was forty-three; Marius was forty-nine.

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105 In this way young nobles commonly gained their first military experience; cf. Suetonius, Jul. 2: stipendia prima in Asia (Caesar) fecit M. Thermi praetoris contubernio.

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106 They inherited only in case of the disability of the heirs in the first degree (primi heredes).

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107 Their support was a high compliment to Marius because it was the result, not of bribery, but of his merits.

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108 See chap. xl.

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109 His title may refer to his command of the city garrison; but it is also possible that he was the Latin praefectus cohortis (see note on xlvi.7). Plutarch (Marius, 8) says that he was praefectus fabrum.

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110 From the armed force, on the one hand, between them and the citadel, and, on the other, the women and boys on the housetops.

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111 Neither of these punishments might be inflicted upon a Roman citizen; see note, p94. According to Plutarch (Marius, 8) Turpilius was innocent, but was condemned through the efforts of Marius.

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112 That is, he kept it moving about between the various points where the Romans were encamped for the winter.

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113 converteret means "allow to turn."

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114 Referring to the tribunes of the commons; see Cat. xxxviii.1.

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115 The meaning seems to be that a large establishment was kept there for the maintenance of the royal children in a manner befitting their station.

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116 By the neighbouring people; see lxxv.5 above.

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117 That is, they had done more than was required, they had strained their services.

Page updated: 4 Feb 09