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Chs. 36‑76

This webpage reproduces part of
The War With Jugurtha


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

The text is in the public domain.

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and I believe it to be free of errors.
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 p297  Sallust
The War With Jugurtha
Chapters 77‑114

77 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now simultaneously with the capture of Thala envoys had come to Metellus from the town of Lepcis, begging him to send them a garrison and a commandant. They declared that one Hamilcar, a man of rank and given to intrigue, was plotting a revolution and could be restrained neither by the commands of the magistrates nor by the laws: unless Metellus acted promptly, they would be in extreme peril of their lives; the Romans, of losing their allies.118 2 And in fact the citizens of Lepcis at the very beginning of the war with Jugurtha had sent messengers to Bestia the consul and later to Rome, asking for friendship and an alliance. 3 After their request was granted, they had always remained true and loyal, and had diligently executed all the commands of Bestia, Albinus and Metellus. 4 Therefore Metellus willingly granted their petition, and four cohorts of Ligurians were sent to their aid under the command of Gaius Annius.

78 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The town of Lepcis was founded by Sidonians, who are reported to have left their homes  p299 because of civil discord and come to that region in ships. It lies between the two Syrtes, which derive their name from their nature; 2 for they are two bays situated almost at the extreme end of Africa,119 of unequal size but alike in character. 3 Near the shore the water is very deep, elsewhere it is sometimes deep and sometimes shoal, just as it happens;120 for when the breeze causes the sea to swell and rage, the waves sweep along mud, sand, and great rocks, so that the aspect of the place changes with the winds. From this "sweeping"121 the Syrtes get their name.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Only the speech of this city has been affected by intermarriage with the Numidians; its laws and customs are for the most part Sidonian, and these the inhabitants retained the more easily because they passed their life at a distance from the Numidian capital. 5 For between them and the thickly settled part of Numidia lay an extensive desert.

79 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Since the affairs of the people of Lepcis have brought us to this region, it seems fitting to relate the noble and memorable act of two Carthaginians; the place calls the event to mind. 2 At the time when the Carthaginians ruled in the greater part of Africa, the people of Cyrene were also strong and prosperous. 3 Between that city and Carthage lay a sandy plain of monotonous aspect. There was neither river nor hill to mark the frontiers, a circumstance which involved the two peoples in bitter and lasting strife.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After many armies and fleets had been beaten and put to flight on both sides, and the long struggle  p301 had somewhat wearied them both, they began to fear that presently a third party might attack victors and vanquished in their weak state. They therefore called a truce and agreed that on a given day envoys should set out from each city and that the place where they met should be regarded as the common frontier of the two peoples. 5 Accordingly, two brothers were sent from Carthage, called Philaeni, and these made haste to complete their journey. Those from Cyrene went more deliberately. Whether this was due to sloth or chance I cannot say, 6 but in those lands a storm often causes no less delay than on the sea; for when the wind rises on those level and barren122 plains, it sweeps up the sand from the ground and drives it with such violence as to fill the mouth and eyes. Thus one is halted because one cannot see. 7 Now when the men of Cyrene realized that they were somewhat belated and feared punishment for their failure when they returned, they accused the Carthaginians of having left home ahead of time and refused to abide by the agreement; in fact they were willing to do anything rather than go home defeated. 8 But when the Carthaginians demanded other terms, provided they were fair, the Greeks gave them the choice, either of being buried alive in the place which they claimed as the boundary of their country, or of allowing the Greeks on the same condition to advance as far as they wished. 9 The Philaeni accepted the terms and gave up their lives for their country; so they were buried alive. 10 The Carthaginians consecrated altars on that spot to the Philaeni brothers, and other honours were established for them at home. I now return to my subject.

 p303  80 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Since Jugurtha after the loss of Thala was convinced that nothing could resist Metellus, he journeyed through vast deserts with a few followers until he came to the Gaetulians, a wild and uncivilized race of men, who at that time had never heard the name of Rome. 2 He mustered their population in one place and gradually trained them to keep ranks, follow the standards, obey orders, and perform the other duties of soldiers. 3 He also won the favour of the nearest friends of King Bocchus by lavish gifts and still more lavish promises, and through their aid approached the king and induced him to make war upon the Romans. 4 This was an easier and simpler matter, because at the beginning of this very war Bocchus had sent envoys to Rome, to ask for a treaty of alliance; 5 but this arrangement, so advantageous for the war which was already under way, had been thwarted by a few men, blinded by greed, whose habit it was to traffic in everything, honourable and dishonourable. 6 Even before that Bocchus had married a daughter of Jugurtha, but such a tie is not considered very binding among the Numidians and Moors, since each of them has as many wives as his means permit — some ten, others more, and kings a still greater number. 7 Thus their affection is distributed among a large number; none of the wives is regarded as a consort, but all are equally misprised.

81 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now the armies met in a place mutually agreed upon. There, after an exchange of pledges, Jugurtha strove to inflame the heart of Bocchus by a speech. The Romans, he said, were unjust, of boundless greed, and the common foes of all mankind. They had the same motive for a war with Bocchus as  p305 for one with himself and other nations, namely, the lust for dominion, and their hatred of all monarchies. Just now Jugurtha was their enemy, a short time before it had been the Carthaginians and King Perses; in the future it would be whoever seemed to them most powerful. 2 After he had spoken these and similar words, the kings directed their march towards the town of Cirta, because there Metellus had placed his booty, his prisoners and his baggage. 3 Hence Jugurtha thought that if the city could be taken, it would be worth the effort, while if the Roman leader came to the help of his countrymen, there would be a battle. 4 And as a matter of fact, there was nothing about which the wily king was in such haste as to involve Bocchus in war, for fear that delay might lead him to choose another course.

82 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When the Roman general heard of the league of the kings, he did not offer battle heedlessly and in all places alike, as had been his custom with Jugurtha after he had so often defeated him; but he waited for them in a fortified camp not far from Cirta, thinking it better to learn to know the Moors, since this new enemy had appeared, and so to fight to better advantage. 2 Meanwhile he was informed by letters from Rome that the province of Numidia had been given to Marius; for he had already heard of his election to the consulship. He was more affected by this news than was right or becoming, neither refraining from tears nor bridling his tongue; although he had the other qualities of a great man, he showed little fortitude in bearing mortification. 3 Some attributed his conduct on this occasion to arrogance; others declared that a noble spirit had been exasperated by insult; many thought that it was due  p307 to the fact that the victory which he had already won was snatched from his grasp. Personally, I feel confident that he was tormented more by the honour done to Marius than by the affront to himself, and that he would have felt less annoyance if the province had been taken from him to be given to any other man than Marius.

83 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Checked therefore as he was by this grievance and thinking it folly to promote another's interests at his own peril, Metellus sent envoys to Bocchus, to demand that he should not unprovoked become an enemy to the Roman people; he declared that in the crisis before them the king had a golden opportunity to form a friendly alliance, which was preferable to war, and that however much confidence he might feel in his strength, he ought not to exchange certainty for uncertainty. It was always easy to begin a war, but very difficult to stop one, since its beginning and end were not under the control of the same man. Anyone, even a coward, could commence a war, but it could be brought to an end only with the consent of the victors. Therefore the Moor ought to have regard to his own interests and those of his kingdom and ought not to unite his own prosperity with the desperate plight of Jugurtha.

2 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] To these words the king made a sufficiently conciliatory reply, saying that he desired peace, but pitied the misfortunes of Jugurtha; that if the same opportunity were offered his ally, agreement would be easy. 3 Upon this, Metellus again sent envoys to object to the demands of Bocchus, who partly heeded and partly rejected his remonstrances. In this way, while messengers were continually being sent to and fro, time passed and, as Metellus wished, the war remained at a standstill.

 p309  84 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now Marius, as we have already said, was chosen consul with the ardent support of the commons. While even before his election he had been hostile to the nobles, as soon as the people voted him the province of Numidia he attacked the aristocracy persistently and boldly, assailing now individuals and now the entire city. He boasted that he had wrested the consulship from them as the spoils of victory, and made other remarks calculated to glorify himself and exasperate them. 2 All the while he gave his first attention to preparation for the war. He asked that the legions should be reinforced, summoned auxiliaries from foreign nations and kings, besides calling out the bravest men from Latium and from our allies, the greater number of whom he knew from actual service but a few only by reputation. By special inducements, too, he persuaded veterans who had served their time to join his expedition.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The senate, although it was hostile to him, did not venture to oppose any of his measures; the addition to the legions it was particularly glad to vote, because it was thought that the commons were disinclined to military service and that Marius would thus lose either resources for the war or the devotion of the people. But such a desire of following Marius had seized almost everyone, that the hopes of the senate were disappointed. 4 Each man imagined himself enriched by booty or returning home a victor, along with other visions of the same kind. Marius too had aroused them in no slight degree by a speech of his; 5 for when all the decrees for which he had asked had been passed and he wished to enrol soldiers, in order to encourage men to enlist and at the same time,  p311 according to his custom, to bait the nobles, he called an assembly of the people. Then he spoke in the following manner:

85 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "I know, fellow citizens, that it is by very different methods that most men ask for power at your hands and exercise it after it has been secured; that at first they are industrious, humble and modest, but afterwards they lead lives of indolence and arrogance. 2 But the right course, in my opinion, is just the opposite; for by as much as the whole commonwealth is of more value than a consulate or a praetorship, so much greater ought to be the care with which it is governed than that which is shown in seeking those offices. 3 Nor am I unaware how great a task I am taking upon myself in accepting this signal favour of yours. To prepare for war and at the same time to spare the treasury; to force into military service those whom one would not wish to offend; to have a care for everything at home and abroad — to do all this amid envy, enmity and intrigue, is a ruder task, fellow citizens, than you might suppose. 4 Furthermore, if others make mistakes, their ancient nobility, the brave deeds of their ancestors, the power of their kindred and relatives, their throng of clients, are all a very present help. My hopes are all vested in myself and must be maintained by my own worth and integrity; for all other supports are weak.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "This too I understand, fellow citizens, that the eyes of all are turned towards me, that the just and upright favour me because my services are a benefit to our country, while the nobles are looking for a chance to attack me. 6 Wherefore I must strive the more earnestly that you may not be deceived and that  p313 they may be disappointed. 7 From childhood to my present time of life I have so lived that I am familiar with every kind of hardship and danger. 8 As to the efforts, fellow citizens, which before your favours were conferred upon me I made without recompense, it is not my intention to relax them now that they have brought me their reward. 9 To make a moderate use of power is difficult for those who from interested motives have pretended to be virtuous; for me, who have spent my entire life in exemplary conduct, habit has made right living a second nature. 10 You have bidden me conduct the war against Jugurtha, a commission which has sorely vexed the nobles. I pray you, ponder well whether it would be better to change your minds and send on this or any similar errand one of that ring of nobles, a man of ancient lineage and many ancestral portraits — but no campaigns; in order, no doubt, that being wholly in ignorance of the duties of such an office, he might hurry and bustle about and select some one of the common people to act as his adviser. 11 In fact, it very often happens that the man whom you have selected as a commander looks about for someone else to command him. 12 I personally know of men, citizens, who after being elected consuls began for the first time to read the history of our forefathers and the military treatises of the Greeks, preposterous123 creatures! for though in order of time administration follows election, yet in actual practice it comes first.124

13 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Compare me now, fellow citizens, a 'new man,' with those haughty nobles. What they know from  p315 hearsay and reading, I have either seen with my own eyes or done with my own hands. What they have learned from books I have learned by service in the field; 14 Think now for yourself whether words or deeds are worth more. They scorn my humble birth, I their worthlessness; I am taunted with my lot in life, they with their infamies. 15 For my part, I believe that all men have one and the same nature, but that the bravest is the best born; 16 and if the fathers of Albinus and Bestia could now be asked whether they would prefer to have me or those men for their descendants, what do you suppose they would reply, if not that they desired to have the best possible children?

17 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "But if they rightly look down on me, let them also look down on their own forefathers, whose nobility began, as did my own, in manly deeds. 18 They begrudge me my office; then let them begrudge my toil, my honesty, even my dangers, since it was through those that I won the office. 19 In fact, these men, spoiled by pride, live as if they scorned your honours, but seek them as if their own lives were honourable. 20 Surely they are deceived when they look forward with equal confidence to things which are worlds apart, the joys of idleness and the rewards of merit. 21 Even when they speak to you or address the senate, their theme is commonly a eulogy of their ancestors; by recounting the exploits of their forefathers they imagine themselves more glory. 22 The very reverse is true. The more glorious was the life of their ancestors, the more shameful is their own baseness. 23 Assuredly the matter stands thus: the glory of ancestors is, as it were, a light shining upon their posterity, suffering  p317 neither their virtues nor their faults to be hidden. 24 Of such glory I acknowledge my poverty, fellow citizens; but — and that is far more glorious — I have done deeds of which I have a right to speak. 25 Now see how unfair those men are; what they demand for themselves because of others' merit they do not allow me as the result of my own, no doubt because I have no family portraits and because mine is a new nobility. And yet surely to be its creator is better than to have inherited and disgraced it.

26 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "I am of course well aware that if they should deign to reply to me, their language would be abundantly eloquent and elaborate. But since after the great honour which you have done me they take every opportunity to rend us both with their invectives, I thought it best not to be silent, for fear that someone might interpret my reticence as due to a guilty conscience.125 27 In point of fact, I am confident that I can be injured by no speech; for if they tell the truth, they cannot but speak well of me, and falsehood my life and character refutes. 28 But since it is your judgment in giving me your highest office and a most important commission which they criticize, consider again and yet again whether you ought to regret those acts. 29 I cannot, to justify your confidence, display family portraits or the triumphs and consulships of my forefathers; but if occasion requires, I can show spears, a banner, trappings and other military prizes,126 as well as scars on my breast. 30 These are my portraits, these my patent of nobility, not left me by inheritance as theirs were, but won by my own innumerable efforts and perils.

 p319  31 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "My words are not well chosen; I care little for that. Merit shows well enough in itself. It is they who have need of art, to gloss over their shameful acts with specious words. 32 Nor have I studied Grecian letters. I did not greatly care to become acquainted with them, since they had not taught their teachers virtue. 33 But I have learned by far the most important lesson for my country's good — to strike down the foe, to keep watch and ward, to fear nothing save ill repute, to endure heat and cold alike, to sleep on the ground, to bear privation and fatigue at the same time. 34 It is with these lessons that I shall encourage my soldiers; I shall not treat them stingily and myself lavishly, nor win my own glory at the price of their toil. 35 Such leadership is helpful, such leadership is democratic;127 for to live in luxury oneself but control one's army by punishments is to be a master of slaves, not a commander. 36 It was by conduct like this that your forefathers made themselves and their country famous; 37 but the nobles, relying upon such ancestors though themselves of very different character, despise us who emulate the men of old, and claim from you all honours, not from desert, but as a debt.

38 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "But those most arrogant of men are greatly in error. Their ancestors have left them all that they could — riches, portrait busts, their own illustrious memory; virtue they have not left them, nor could they have done so; that alone is neither bestowed nor received as a gift. 39 They say that I am common and of rude manners, because I cannot give an elegant dinner and because I pay no actor or cook  p321 higher wages than I do my overseer. This I gladly admit, fellow citizens; 40 for I learned from my father and other righteous men that elegance is proper to women but toil to men, that all the virtuous ought to have more fame than riches, and that arms and not furniture confer honour.

41 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Well then, let them continue to do what pleases them and what they hold dear; let them make love and drink; let them pass their old age where they have spent their youth, in banquets, slaves to their belly and the most shameful parts of their body. Sweat, dust, and all such things let them leave to us, to whom they are sweeter than feasts. 42 But they will not; for when those most shameless of men have disgraced themselves by their crimes, they come to rob the virtuous of their rewards. 23 Thus, most unjustly, their luxury and sloth, the most abominable of faults, in no wise injure those who practise them, but are the ruin of their blameless country.

44 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Now that I have replied to them to the extent that my character — but not their crimes — demanded128 I shall say a few words about our country. 45 First of all, be of good cheer as to Numidia, citizens; for you have put away everything which up to this time has protected Jugurtha — avarice, incompetence, and arrogance. Furthermore, there is an army in Africa familiar with the country, but by heaven! more valiant than fortunate; 46 for a great part of it has perished through the greed or rashness of its leaders. 47 Therefore do you, who are of military age, join your efforts with mine and serve your country, and let no one feel fear because of disasters to others or the arrogance of generals. I, Marius, shall be  p323 with you on the march and in battle, at once your counsellor and the companion of your dangers, and I shall treat myself and you alike in all respects. 48 And surely with the help of the gods everything is ripe for us — victory, spoils, glory; but even though these were uncertain or remote, yet all good men ought to fly to the aid of their fatherland. 49 Truly, no one ever became immortal through cowardice, and no parent would wish for his children that they might live forever, but rather that their lives might be noble and honoured. 50 I would say more, citizens, if words could make cowards brave. For the resolute I think I have spoken abundantly."

86 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After Marius had made a speech in these terms and saw that it had fired the spirit of the commons, he made haste to load his ships with provisions, money, arms, and other necessities, with which he bade his lieutenant Aulus Manlius set sail. 2 He himself in the meantime enrolled soldiers, not according to the classes129 in the manner of our forefathers, but allowing anyone to volunteer, for the most part the proletariat.130 3 Some say that he did this through lack of good men, others because of a desire to curry favour, since that class had given him honour and rank. As a matter of fact, to one who aspires to power the poorest man is the most helpful, since he has no regard for his property, having none, and considers anything honourable for which he receives pay. 4 The result was that Marius set sail for Africa with a considerably greater contingent than had been authorized. A few days later he arrived at Utica, where the army was handed over to him by the  p325 second in command, Publius Rutilius. 5 For Metellus had avoided meeting Marius, that he might not see what he had been unable even to hear of with composure.

87 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The consul, after having filled up131 the ranks of the legions and the cohorts of auxiliaries, marched into a district which was fertile and rich in booty. There he gave to the soldiers everything that was taken, and then attacked some fortresses and towns not well defended by nature or by garrisons, fighting many battles, but slight ones and in various places. 2 Meanwhile the raw soldiers learned to enter battle fearlessly and saw that those who ran away were either taken or slain, while the bravest were the safest; they realized that it was by arms that liberty, country, parents, and all else were protected, and glory and riches won. 3 Thus in a short time the old and the new soldiers were assimilated and all became equally courageous.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But the two kings, on hearing of the arrival of Marius, withdrew each to a different place, difficult of access. This was a device of Jugurtha's, who hoped that the enemy could presently be divided and attacked, and that the Romans, like most soldiers, would have less restraint and discipline when they feared no danger.

88 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Metellus meanwhile returned to Rome, where, contrary to his expectation, he was received with great rejoicing; for the feeling against him had died out and he found himself popular with people and senators alike. 2 But Marius watched the conduct of his own men and of the enemy alike untiringly and sagaciously, learned what was to the advantage or disadvantage of both sides,  p327 observed the movements of the kings and anticipated their plans and plots, allowing his soldiers no relaxation and the enemy no security. 3 He made frequent attacks on Jugurtha and the Gaetulians while they were plundering our allies, routing them and compelling the king himself to throw away his arms132 not far from the town of Cirta. 4 But when he found that such exploits merely brought him glory, but did not tend to finish the war,a he decided to invest one after the other the cities which by reason of their garrison or their situation were most serviceable to the enemy and most detrimental to his own success. In that way he thought that Jugurtha would either be deprived of his defences, if he made no opposition, or would be forced to fight. 5 As for Bocchus, he had sent Marius frequent messengers, saying that he desired the friendship of the Roman people and bidding Marius to fear no hostile act on his part. 6 Whether he feigned this, in order that he might strike an unexpected, and therefore a heavier blow, or from natural instability of character was in the habit of wavering between peace and war, is not altogether clear.

89 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But the consul, as he had planned, appeared before the fortified towns and strongholds, and in some cases by force, in others by intimidation or bribery, took them from the enemy. 2 At first his attempts were modest, since he thought that Jugurtha would fight in defence of his subjects. 3 But when he learned that the king was far off and intent upon other matters, he thought the time ripe for undertaking greater and harder tasks.

4 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] There was in the midst of a great desert a large and strong town called Capsa, whose reputed founder was the Libyan Hercules. Under Jugurtha's rule its  p329 citizens were free from tribute and mildly treated, and were therefore counted upon as most loyal. They were protected from their enemies not only by walls and armed men, but still more by their inaccessible position; 5 for except in the neighbourhood of the town the whole country was desolate, wild, without water, and infested by serpents, whose fierceness, like that of all wild animals, was made greater by scarcity of food. Moreover, the venom of serpents, which is always deadly, is especially aggravated by thirst. 6 Marius was inspired with a great desire of taking this town, not only from its military importance, but also because the undertaking seemed hazardous and because Metellus had gained great renown by the capture of Thala. For Thala was similar in its situation and defences, except that there were some springs not far from the town, whereas the people of Capsa had but one flowing spring, which was within the walls, otherwise depending upon rain water. 7 This condition was the more readily endured there and in all the less civilized part of Africa133 remote from the sea, since the Numidians lived for the most part on milk and game, making no use of salt and other whets to the appetite; for in their opinion the purpose of food was to relieve hunger and thirst, not to minister to caprice and luxury.

90 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The consul then, after reconnoitring everywhere, must have put his trust in the gods; for against such great difficulties he could not make sufficient provision by his own wisdom. Indeed, he was even threatened with scarcity of grain, both because the Numidians give more attention to grazing  p331 than to agriculture, and because such grain as there was had been transported by the king's command to fortified places. Moreover, the fields were dry and stripped of their crops at that season, for it was the end of summer. In spite of these difficulties, Marius made the best possible provision under the circumstances. 2 He gave all the cattle which had been captured on previous days to the auxiliary cavalry to drive, and directed his lieutenant Aulus Manlius to go with the light-armed cohorts to the town of Laris, where he had deposited his money and supplies, telling him that a few days later he would himself come to the same place to forage. 3 Having thus concealed his real purpose, he proceeded to the river Tanaïs.

91 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now every day during the march Marius had distributed cattle equally among the centuries and the divisions of cavalry, taking care that bottles for water should be made from the hides; thus at the same time he made good the lack of grain and without revealing his purpose provided something which was soon to be useful. When they finally reached the river on the sixth day, a great quantity of bottles had been prepared. 2 Having pitched his camp by the river and fortified it slightly, he ordered the soldiers to eat their dinners and be ready to march at sunset, throwing aside all their baggage and loading themselves and the pack-animals with water only. 3 Then, when he thought the proper time had come, he left the camp and marched all night before halting. He did the same thing the next night, and on the third night long before daybreak he came to a hilly tract, distant not more than two miles from Capsa. There he waited with all his forces, keeping  p333 as much in concealment as possible. 4 When day dawned and the Numidians, who had no fear of an attack, sallied forth in large numbers from the town, he suddenly ordered all the cavalry and with them the swiftest of the foot-soldiers to hasten at the double-quick to Capsa and beset the gates. Then he himself quickly followed, keeping on the alert and not allowing his soldiers to plunder. 5 When the townspeople perceived what was going on, their disorder, their great panic, their unexpected plight and the fact that a part of their fellow citizens were outside the walls and in the power of the enemy, compelled them to surrender. 6 But nevertheless the town was burned and the adult Numidians put to the sword; all the rest were sold and the proceeds divided among the soldiers. 7 The consul was guilty of this violation of the laws of war, not because of avarice or cruelty, but because the place was of advantage to Jugurtha and difficult of access for us, while the people were fickle and untrustworthy and had previously shown themselves amenable neither to kindness nor to fear.

92 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marius was already great and famous, but after he had won this important success without loss to his own men he began to be regarded as still greater and more famous. 2 All his rash acts, even when ill-advised, were regarded as proofs of his ability. The soldiers, who were kept under mild discipline134 and at the same time enriched, extolled him to the skies, the Numidians feared him as if he were more than mortal; all, in short, friends and enemies alike, believed that he either possessed divine insight or that everything was revealed to him by the favour of the gods.

 p335  3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After his success at Capsa the consul proceeded to other towns. A few he took in spite of the resistance of the Numidians, but the greater number were abandoned through dread of the wretched fate of Capsa, and burned; all Numidia was filled with bloodshed and lamentation. 4 Finally, after capturing many places, for the most part without loss of life, he essayed another feat, not involving the same danger as the taking of Capsa, but no less difficult.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Not far from the river Muluccha, which separated the realms of Jugurtha and Bocchus, there was in the midst of a plain a rocky hill which was broad enough for a fortress of moderate size and very high, and accessible only by one narrow path; for the whole place was naturally steep, as if it had been made so by art and design. 6 This place Marius aimed to take by a supreme effort, because it held the king's treasures, but in this case his success was the result of chance rather than of skill; 7 for the fortress was well supplied with arms and men, besides having an abundance of grain and a spring of water. The situation was impracticable for mounds, towers, and other siege works, while the path to the fortifications was extremely narrow and had precipices on either side. 8 Mantlets were pushed forward with extreme danger and to no purpose; for when they had gone but a short distance they were ruined by fire or by stones. 9 The soldiers could not keep their footing before the works because of the steepness of the hill nor operate within the mantlets without peril; the bravest of them were killed or wounded, and the rest gradually lost courage.

93 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After Marius had spent many days in great labour, he was anxiously considering whether  p337 he should abandon the attempt as fruitless or await the favour of fortune, which he had so often enjoyed. 2 For many days and nights he had been a prey to indecision, when it chanced that a Ligurian, a common soldier of the auxiliary cohorts, who had left the camp to fetch water, noticed near the side of the fortress which was farthest from the besiegers some snails creeping about among the rocks. Picking up one or two of these and then looking for more, in his eagerness to gather them he gradually made his way almost to the top of the mountain.135 3 When he found that he was alone there, the love of overcoming difficulties which is natural to mankind seized him. 4 It happened that a great oak tree had grown up there among the rocks; it bent downward for a little way, then turned and grew upward, as is the nature of all plants. With the help, now of the branches of this tree and now of projecting rocks, the Ligurian mounted to the plateau about the fortress, while all the Numidians were intent upon the combatants. 5 After examining everything that he thought would be useful later, he returned by the same way, not heedlessly, as he had gone up, but testing and observing everything. 6 Then he hastened to Marius, told him what he had done, and urged him to make an attempt on the fortress at the point where he himself had mounted, offering himself as a guide for the ascent and leader in the dangerous undertaking.

7 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marius thereupon ordered some of his staff to go with the Ligurian and look into his proposal, and each of them, according to his temperament, pronounced the attempt difficult or easy; on the whole, however, the consul was somewhat encouraged. 8 Accordingly, out of all his horn-blowers and trumpeters he chose  p339 the five who were most agile, and with them four centurions136 as a protection. He put them all under command of the Ligurian and set the next day for the attempt.

94 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now, when the Ligurian thought the appointed137 time had come, he made all his preparations and went to the spot. Those who were going to make the ascent, following the previous instructions of their guide had changed their arms and accoutrements, baring their heads and feet so as to be able to see better and climb among the rocks more easily. They carried their swords and shields on their backs, but took Numidian shields of hide, because they were lighter and would make less noise when struck. 2 Then the Ligurian led the way, fastening ropes to the rocks or to old projecting roots, in order that with such help the soldiers might more easily make the ascent. Sometimes he lent a hand to those whom the unusual nature of the route alarmed, and where the ascent was unusually difficult, he would send men ahead one by one unarmed and then follow himself, bringing the arms. He was first to try the places which it seemed dangerous to attempt, and by often climbing up and returning the same way, and then at once stepping aside, he lent courage to the rest. 3 In this way, after a long time and great exertion, they at last reached the fortress, which was deserted at that point because all the men, as on other days, were face to face with the enemy.

 p341  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marius had devoted the whole day to keeping the Numidians intent upon the battle; but as soon as he heard that the Ligurian had accomplished his purpose, he began to urge on his soldiers. He himself went outside the mantlets, formed the tortoise-shed,138 and advanced to the wall, at the same time trying to terrify the enemy at long range with artillery, archers and slingers. 4 But the Numidians, since they had often before overturned the mantlets of the enemy and set fire to them, no longer protected themselves within the walls of the fortress, but spent day and night outside, reviling the Romans and taunting Marius with madness. Emboldened by their successes, they threatened our soldiers with slavery at the hands of Jugurtha.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the meantime, while all the Romans and all the enemy were intent upon the conflict, and both sides were exerting themselves to the utmost, the one for glory and dominion and the other for safety, suddenly the trumpets sounded in the rear of the foe. Then the women and children, who had come out to look on, were the first to flee, followed by those who were nearest the wall, and finally by all, armed and unarmed alike. 6 Upon this the Romans pressed on with greater vigour, routing the enemy, but for the most part only wounding them. Then they rushed on over the bodies of the slain, eager for glory and each striving to be first to reach the wall; not one stayed to plunder. Thus Marius's rashness was made good by fortune and he gained glory through an error in judgment.

95 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] During the attack on the fortress the quaestor Lucius Sulla arrived in camp with a large force of horsemen which he had mustered from Latium and  p343 the allies, having been left in Rome for that purpose. 2 And since the event has brought that great man to our attention, it seems fitting to say a few words about his life and character; for we shall not speak elsewhere of Sulla's affairs, and Lucius Sisenna,139 whose account of him is altogether the best and most careful, has not, in my opinion, spoken with sufficient frankness.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Sulla, then, was a noble of patrician descent, of a family almost reduced to obscurity through the degeneracy of his ancestors. He was well versed alike in Grecian and Roman letters, of remarkable mental power,140 devoted to pleasure but more devoted to glory. In his leisure hours he lived extravagantly, yet pleasure never interfered with his duties, except that his conduct as a husband might have been more honourable. He was eloquent, clever, and quick to make friends. He had a mind deep beyond belief in its power of disguising its purposes, and was generous with many things, especially with money. 4 Before his victory in the civil war he was the most fortunate of all men, but his fortune was never greater than his deserts, and many have hesitated to say whether his bravery or his good luck was the greater. As to what he did later, I know not if one should speak of it rather with shame or with sorrow.

96 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now Sulla, as I have already said, after he came with his cavalry to Africa and the camp of Marius, although he was without previous experience and untrained in war, soon became the best soldier in the whole army. 2 Moreover, he was  p345 courteous in his language to the soldiers, granted favours to many at their request and to others of his own accord, unwilling himself to accept favours and paying them more promptly than a debt of money. He himself never asked for payment, but rather strove to have as many men as possible in his debt. 3 He talked in jest or earnest141 with the humblest, was often with them at their work, on the march, and on guard duty, but in the meantime did not, like those who are actuated by depraved ambition, try to undermine the reputation of the consul or of any good man. His only effort was not to suffer anyone to outdo him in counsel or in action, and as a matter of fact he surpassed almost all. Such being his character and conduct, he was soon greatly beloved by both Marius and the soldiers.

97 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now, Jugurtha, having lost Capsa and other fortified places which were helpful to his cause, as well as a great sum of money, sent messengers to Bocchus, urging him to lead his troops into Numidia as soon as possible, since the time for a battle was at hand. 2 But when he learned that Bocchus was hesitating and doubtfully weighing the advantages of peace and war, he once more bribed the king's intimates with gifts and promised the Moor himself a third part of Numidia, if the Romans should be driven from Africa or the war brought to a close without any loss of his own territory. 3 Tempted by this prize, Bocchus joined Jugurtha with a great throng. Then the kings united their forces and attacked Marius just as he was going into winter quarters, when scarcely a tenth part of the day was left; for they thought that the approaching night would be a protection to them if they were  p347 unsuccessful and would be no hindrance if they conquered, because of their familiarity with the region; while to the Romans darkness would be more dangerous in either victory or defeat. 4 Then, at the very moment that the consul learned from many of his scouts of the coming of the enemy, the foe themselves appeared, and before the army could be drawn up or the baggage piled, in fact before any signal or order could be given, the Moorish and Gaetulian cavalry fell upon the Romans, not in order or with any plan of battle but in swarms, just as chance had brought them together.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Our men were all bewildered by the unlooked-for danger, but nevertheless did not forget their valour. Some took arms, while others kept off the enemy from their comrades who were arming; a part mounted their horses and charged the foe. The combat was more like an attack of brigands than a battle. Without standards and in disorder horse and foot massed together, some gave ground, others slew their opponents; many who were bravely fighting against their adversaries were surrounded from the rear. Valour and arms were no sufficient protection against a foe who were superior in numbers and attacked on every side. At last the Romans, both the raw recruits and the veterans (who as such were skilled in warfare), if the nature of the ground or chance brought any of them together, formed a circle, thus at once protecting themselves on every side and presenting an orderly front to the attacks of the enemy.

98 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In so dangerous a crisis Marius was neither frightened nor less confident than before, but with his bodyguard of cavalry, which he had  p349 formed of the bravest soldiers rather than of his most intimate friends, he went from place to place, now succouring those of his men who were in difficulty, now charging the enemy where they were pressing on in greatest numbers. He directed the soldiers by gestures, since in the general confusion his orders could not be heard. 2 And now the day was spent, yet the barbarians did not at all relax their efforts, but thinking that darkness would favour them, as the kings had declared, they attacked with greater vigour. 3 Then Marius, adapting his tactics to the situation and wishing to provide a place of refuge for his men, took possession of two neighbouring hills, one of which was too small for a camp but had a large spring of water, while the other was adapted to his purpose because it was for the most part high and steep and required little fortification. 4 But he ordered Sulla to pass the night with the cavalry beside the spring, while he himself gradually rallied his scattered forces and the enemy were in no less disorder, and then led them all at the double quick to the hill. 5 Thus the kings were compelled by the strength of his position to cease from battle. However, they did not allow their men to go far away, but encompassing both hills with their huge army, they bivouacked in loose order.

6 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then, after building many fires, the barbarians, as is their usual habit, spent the greater part of the night in rejoicing, in exultation and in noisy demonstrations, while even their leaders, who were filled with confidence because they had not been put to flight, acted as if they were victorious. 7 Now, all this was clearly visible to the Romans from their higher position in the darkness and encouraged them greatly.

 p351  99 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Marius, who was particularly heartened by the enemy's lack of discipline, ordered the utmost possible silence to be kept and not even the customary signals to be sounded to mark the night watches.142 Then, as daylight was drawing near and the enemy having at length become exhausted had just yielded to sleep, on a sudden he ordered the watch and at the same time the horn-blowers of the cohorts,143 of the divisions of cavalry and of the legions to sound the signal together, and the soldiers to raise a shout and burst forth from the gates of their camp. 2 The Moors and Gaetulians, being suddenly awakened by the strange and terrible sound, could not flee, arm themselves, or do or provide for anything at all; 3 into such a panic, all but frenzy, were they thrown by the clash of arms, the shouting, the lack of help, the charge of our men, the confusion and terror. To make a long story short, they were all routed and put to flight, the greater number of their arms and military standards were taken, and in that one battle more of the enemy fell than in all those that had gone before; for sleep and the unlooked-for danger hampered flight.

100 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then Marius proceeded, as he had been about to do, to his winter quarters, for he had decided to winter in the coast towns for the sake of supplies. His victory, however, did not make him careless or over-confident, but he advanced in square formation,144 as though he were under the  p353 eyes of the enemy. 2 Sulla had charge of the right, together with the cavalry, on the left was Aulus Manlius with the slingers, the archers and the cohorts of Ligurians, while in front and in the rear Marius had stationed the tribunes with the light-armed companies. 3 The deserters, who were least esteemed and best acquainted with the region, reconnoitred the enemy's line of march. At the same time the consul was as careful as if he had no officers, looking out for everything, being everywhere present, and distributing praise or blame where each was deserved. 4 He himself was armed and alert, and he compelled the soldiers to follow his example. With the same care that he showed in making his march he fortified his camp, sent cohorts from the legions to keep ward at the gate and the auxiliary cavalry to perform the like duty before the camp, and in addition stationed others on the ramparts above the palisade. He personally inspected the guards, not so much because he feared that his orders would not be executed, as to make the soldiers willing to endure labour of which their commander did his full share. 5 Obviously Marius at that time, and at other times during the war with Jugurtha controlled his army rather by appealing to their sense of shame than by punishment.145 Many said that he did this through a desire for popularity; that146 he himself took pleasure in hardship, to which he had been accustomed from childhood, and in other things which the rest of mankind call afflictions. But at all events, its service to our country147  p355 was as great and as glorious as it could have been with the severest discipline.

101 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Finally on the fourth day, when they were not far from the town of Cirta, the scouts quickly appeared from all sides at once, showing that the enemy were at hand. 2 But since the different parties, though returning from various quarters, all made the same report, the consul was in doubt what order of battle to take; he therefore waited where he was, without changing his formation, but prepared for any emergency. 3 In this way he disappointed Jugurtha, who had made four divisions of his troops, in the expectation that if they attacked from all quarters alike, some of them at least would take the Romans in the rear. 4 Meanwhile Sulla, whom the enemy had reached first, after encouraging his men attacked the Moors with a part of his force, charging by squadrons and in as close order as possible; the rest of his troops held their ground, protecting themselves from the javelins which were hurled at long range, and slaying all who succeeded in reaching them. 5 While the cavalry were fighting thus, Bocchus with the infantry brought by his son Volux, which had been delayed on the way and had not taken part in the former battle, charged the Roman rear. 6 Marius at the time was busy with the van, since Jugurtha was there with the greater part of his forces. Then the Numidian, on learning of the arrival of Bocchus, made his way secretly with a few followers to the king's infantry.148 When he reached them, he cried out in Latin (for he had learned to speak the language at Numantia) that our men were fighting in vain, since he had a short time before slain Marius with his own hand. And with these words  p357 he displayed a sword smeared with blood, which he had made gory during the battle by valiantly slaying one of our foot-soldiers.149 7 When our men heard this, they were shocked rather by the horror of the deed than because they believed the report, while at the same time the barbarians were encouraged and charged upon the appalled Romans with greater vigour. 8 And our men were just on the point of flight, when Sulla, who had routed his opponents, returned and fell upon the flank of the Moors. Bocchus at once gave way. 9 As for Jugurtha, while he was trying to hold his men and grasp the victory which he had all but won, he was surrounded by the cavalry; but though all on his right and left were slain, he broke through alone, escaping amid a shower of hostile weapons. 10 Marius in the meantime, after putting the cavalry to flight, was hastening to the aid of his men, of whose imminent defeat he had now heard. Finally the enemy were everywhere routed. 11 Then there was a fearful sight in the open plains — pursuing, fleeing, killing, capturing, horses and men dashed to the ground, many of the wounded unable either to flee or to remain quiet, now making an effort to rise and at once collapsing; in short, wherever the eye could reach, the ground was soaked in blood and strewn with weapons, arms, and corpses.

102 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After this the consul, now beyond all question victor, came to the town of Cirta, which had been his destination from the first. 2 Thither came envoys from Bocchus five days after the second defeat of the barbarians, to ask of Marius in the king's name that he should send him two of his most trusty officers; they said that Bocchus wished to confer with them  p359 about his own interests and those of the Roman people. 3 Marius immediately selected Lucius Sulla and Aulus Manlius, and they, although they had been sent for by the king,150 decided to address him, with the view of changing his purpose, if unfavourable, or of making him more eager for peace if he already desired it. 4 Therefore Sulla, to whom Manlius gave place, not because of his years, but because of his eloquence, spoke briefly to the following purport:

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "King Bocchus, it gives us much joy that the gods have led you, so great a man, at last to prefer peace to war; to refuse to contaminate yourself, one of the best of men, by association with Jugurtha, the very worst; and at the same time to relieve us of the bitter necessity of meting out the same treatment to your error and to his crimes. 6 I may add that the Roman people from the beginning of their rule have preferred to seek friends rather than slaves, and have thought it safer to govern by consent than by compulsion. 7 For you, indeed, no friendship is more desirable than ours: first, because we are at a distance from you, a condition which offers less friction than if we were near at hand, with no less power;151 and secondly, because we already have more than enough subjects, while neither we nor anyone else ever had friends enough. 8 I only wish that you had felt thus disposed from the first! In that event, the favours which by this time you would have received from the Roman people would far outnumber the misfortunes which you have suffered. 9 But since Fortune has the chief control of human destiny, and since it seems to have been her  p361 pleasure that you should experience both our power and our kindness, make haste now that she allows it and follow the course which you have begun. 10 You have many good opportunities easily to atone for your mistakes by good offices. 11 Finally, let this thought sink into your heart, that the Roman people has never been outdone in kindness; its prowess in war you know by experience."

12 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] To these words Bocchus made a conciliatory and courteous reply, at the same time offering a brief defence of his conduct, declaring that he had taken arms, not in a spirit of hostility, but to protect his kingdom; 13 for the part of Numidia from which he had driven Jugurtha, he said, was his by right of conquest and he could not allow it to be laid waste by Marius. 14 Furthermore, he had previously sent envoys to Rome, but his friendship had been rejected. 15 He waived the past, however, and if Marius would allow him, he would again send ambassadors to the senate. But after the consul had granted his request, the barbarian's purpose was changed by some of his friends, whom Jugurtha had bribed; for he knew of the embassy of Sulla and Manlius and feared its effects.

103 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile Marius, having settled his army in winter quarters, went with the light-armed cohorts and a part of the cavalry into the desert, in order to besiege a stronghold of the king, which Jugurtha had garrisoned with deserters only. 2 Then Bocchus again,152 led either by the recollection of what had happened to him in two battles or by the warnings of other friends of his whom Jugurtha had failed to bribe, chose out of the whole body of his relatives five of those whom he knew to be faithful and of pre-eminent  p363 ability. 3 These he ordered to go as envoys to Marius and then, if it seemed advisable, to Rome, giving them complete freedom of action and permission to make peace on any terms. 4 These envoys left betimes for the Roman winter quarters, but on the way they were set upon and robbed by Gaetulian brigands and fled in terror and disgrace to Sulla, whom the consul had left in command when beginning his expedition. 5 Sulla did not treat them as liars and enemies, as he might well have done,153 but received them with a sympathy and generosity which led the barbarians to think that the Romans' reputation for avarice was unmerited and that Sulla because of his liberality towards them was really their friend. 6 For even then many men did not know the significance of largess; no one who was generous was suspected of insincerity, and all gifts were regarded as indications of kind feeling. 7 Therefore they confided to the quaestor what Bocchus had ordered and at the same time begged him to help them with his favour and advice. They exaggerated the wealth, integrity and might of their sovereign and everything else which they thought would help them or ensure kind treatment. Then, after Sulla had promised to do all that they asked and had instructed them how to address Marius and the senate, they tarried with him about forty days.154

104 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After finishing the task which he had set himself, Marius returned to Cirta. There being informed of the arrival of the envoys, he ordered them to come from Utica with Sulla; he also summoned Lucius Bellienus the praetor from Utica, as well as  p365 every member of the senatorial order to be found in all parts of the province. In consultation with these men he considered the proposals of Bocchus. 2 Among these proposals the consul was asked to give the envoys permission to go to Rome, and in the meantime a truce was requested. This met the approval of the majority, including Sulla; a few hot-heads were for rejecting them, doubtless unaware that human affairs, which are shifting and unstable, are always changing for better or worse.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now when the Moors had obtained everything that they desired, three of them departed for Rome with Gnaeus Octavius Ruso, the quaestor who had brought the soldiers' pay to Africa, while two returned to the king. Bocchus heard the report of the latter with joy, especially the friendly interest of Sulla. 4 And at Rome his envoys, after urging in excuse that their king had made a mistake and been led astray by the wickedness of Jugurtha, asked for a treaty of friendship and received this reply: 5 "The Senate and People of Rome are wont to remember both a benefit and an injury. But since Bocchus repents, they forgive his offence; he shall have a treaty of friendship when he has earned it."

105 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Upon receiving news of this, Bocchus wrote to Marius to send Sulla to him with power to adjust their common interests. 2 He was accordingly sent with a guard of horsemen and Balearic slingers, also taking with him the archers and a cohort of Paelignians, who wore light armour for the sake of speed and because they were as well protected by this as by any other armour against the weapons of the enemy, which are also light.

 p367  3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] On the fifth day of their march Volux, the son of Bocchus, suddenly appeared in the open plains with not more than a thousand horsemen; but since they were riding in disorder and widely scattered, they seemed to Sulla and all the rest much more numerous and excited fear of an attack. 4 Therefore each man prepared himself, tried his arms and weapons, and was on the alert; there was some anxiety, but greater confidence, as was natural to victors in the presence of those whom they had often vanquished. 5 Meanwhile the horsemen who had been sent to reconnoitre announced that the intentions of the newcomers were peaceful, as in fact they were.

106 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When he came up, Volux addressed the quaestor, saying that he had been sent by his father Bocchus to meet them and act as their escort. Then they went on in company that day and the next without any cause for alarm. 2 Later in the day, when the camp was pitched and evening came on, the Moor on a sudden with a troubled countenance ran in terror to Sulla and said that he had learned from his scouts that Jugurtha was not far off; at the same time he begged and implored Sulla to make his escape with him secretly during the night. 3 But the Roman boldly declared that he did not fear the Numidian whom he had so often routed and that he had absolute trust in the valour of his men; he added that even if inevitable destruction threatened, he would rather stand his ground than betray the men under his command, and by cowardly flight save a life that he might perhaps be fated soon to lose from natural causes. 4 When, however, Volux recommended that they continue their march during the night, he approved the plan, ordered the soldiers  p369 to have their dinners at once, to build as many fires in the camp as possible, and at the first watch to withdraw in silence.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] And now, when all were wearied from the night march, Sulla was measuring off his camp at sunrise, when suddenly the Moorish horsemen reported that Jugurtha was encamped about two miles in advance of them. 6 Upon hearing this, the Romans were at last seized with great fear; they believed that they had been betrayed by Volux and led into a trap. Some said that he ought to be put to death and not allowed to escape the penalty of such a crime.

107 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Although Sulla shared this opinion, he forbade them to harm the Moor. He urged his men to keep a stout heart, saying that often before a handful of valiant soldiers had worsted a multitude. The less they spared themselves in the fight the safer they would be. It was not seemly for any man who had weapons in his hands to resort to the help of his unarmed feet and in time of great fear to turn towards the enemy the defenceless and blind part of his body.155 2 Then calling upon great Jupiter to witness the crime and perfidy of Bocchus, he ordered Volux to quit the camp, since he was playing a hostile part. 3 The young man begged Sulla with tears not to believe such a thing; he insisted that the situation was due to no treachery on his part, but to the cunning of Jugurtha, who had evidently learned from spies of their expedition. 4 But since the Numidian had no great force and all his hopes and resources depended upon Bocchus, Volux was sure, he said, that he would venture upon no open attempt when the king's son was present as a witness. 5 He therefore advised that they should march fearlessly through the midst  p371 of Jugurtha's camp; he said that he himself would accompany Sulla alone, whether his Moors were sent ahead or left behind.

6 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] This plan seemed the best possible one under the circumstances. They set out at once, and because their action was unexpected, Jugurtha wavered and hesitated and they passed through unscathed. 7 A few days later they reached their destination.

108 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] There was in that place a Numidian called Aspar, who was on very familiar terms with Bocchus. He had been sent on by Jugurtha, after he heard of the summoning of Sulla, to plead for the Numidian and craftily spy upon Bocchus' designs. There was also a certain Dabar, son of Massugrada, of the family of Masinissa, a man of inferior birth on his mother's side (for her father was the son of a concubine), but dearly beloved by the Moor because of many good qualities. 2 Having found Dabar faithful to the Romans on many previous occasions, Bocchus at once sent him to Sulla, to report that he was ready to do what the Roman people wished. He suggested that Sulla should select the day, place and hour for a conference and told him to have no fear of Jugurtha's envoy, declaring that he was purposely maintaining friendly relations with the Numidian, in order that they might discuss their common interests more freely; in no other way could he have guarded against his plots.156

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But I believe that it was rather with Punic faith than for the reasons which he made public that Bocchus beguiled both the Roman and the Numidian with the hope of peace, and that he pondered for a long time whether to betray Jugurtha to the Romans or Sulla to Jugurtha; that his inclination counselled against us, but his fears in our favour.

 p373  109 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now Sulla replied to the king's proposal, that he would speak briefly in the presence of Aspar, but would discuss other matters privately with Bocchus either with no one else present or before as few as possible; at the same time he instructed the envoys what reply was to be made to him. 2 When the meeting had been arranged according to his wishes, Sulla said that he had been sent by the consul to ask of Bocchus whether he desired peace or war. 3 Then the king, as had been arranged, directed him to return ten days later, saying that even yet he had made no decision, but would give his answer at that time. 4 Then they both withdrew to their camps. But when a good part of the night had passed, Sulla was secretly summoned by Bocchus; both were attended only by trustworthy interpreters in addition to Dabar as mediator, an upright man who was trusted by both of them. Then the king immediately began as follows:

110 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "I never believed it possible that I, the greatest monarch in these lands and of all kings whom I know, should owe gratitude to a man of private station. 2 And by Heaven! Sulla, before I knew you many have prayed for my help, which I gave often to their prayers, often unasked, needing no man's help myself. 3 At such a curtailment of independence others are wont to grieve, but I rejoice in it; let the need which I at last feel be the price that I pay for your friendship;157 for in my heart I hold nothing dearer. 4 As a proof of this, take arms, men, money, in short whatever you like; use them, and as long as you live never think that you are repaid; for I shall always feel a fresh sense of obligation towards you. In short, there will be  p375 nothing for which you can wish in vain, provided your desires are known to employ. 5 For in my opinion it is less disgraceful for a king to be vanquished in war than to be outdone in gratitude.

6 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Now hear a few words with regard to your country, as whose representative you have been sent hither. I did not make war on the Roman people and I never wished to do so; but I defended my realm with arms against armed invaders. 7 Even that I now cease to do, since it is your wish. Carry on the war with Jugurtha as you think best. 8 I shall not pass the river Muluccha, which was the boundary between Micipsa and myself, nor will I allow Jugurtha to do so. If you have anything further to ask which is honourable for us both, you shall not go away disappointed."

111 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] To these words Sulla replied on his own account briefly and modestly; he spoke at length about peace and their common interests. Finally, he made it clear to the king that the senate and people of Rome would feel no gratitude for his promises, since they had shown themselves his superior in arms. He must do something which would clearly be for their interests rather his own. This would be easy, since he could get control of Jugurtha; if he would deliver the king into the hands of the Romans, they would be greatly indebted to him. Then friendship, alliance, and the part of Numidia which he now desired would freely be given him.

2 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At first the king refused, saying that relationship and kinship forbade, as well as a treaty; moreover, he feared that if he showed treachery he would alienate his subjects to whom Jugurtha was dear  p377 and the Romans hateful. 3 At last, after many importunities, he gave way and promised to do all that Sulla desired. 4 They also took the necessary steps for pretending to make the peace which was most desired by the Numidian, who was weary of war. Having thus perfected their plot, they parted.

112 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Now, on the following army the king summoned Aspar, Jugurtha's envoy, and said that he had learned from Sulla through Dabar that terms of peace could be arranged; he therefore desired him to find out the intentions of his king. 2 The envoy joyfully departed to Jugurtha's camp; then after eight days he returned in haste to Bocchus with full instructions from the king and reported to him that Jugurtha was willing to do anything that he desired, but put little trust in Marius. He said that peace had often before been agreed upon with Roman generals to no purpose; 3 but that Bocchus, if he wished to consult for the interests of both and to have a lasting peace, ought to arrange for a general interview under pretext of agreeing upon conditions and there deliver Sulla to him. When he had so important a man in his power, a treaty would surely be made by order of the senate or of the people; for a man of rank would not be left in the power of the enemy when he had fallen into it, not through his own cowardice, but in the service of the country.

113 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After long consideration, the Moor at last promised this. Whether his hesitation was feigned or genuine I cannot say; but as a rule the desires of kings, although strong, are changeable and often contradictory. 2 Afterwards, when time and place were agreed upon for holding the peace conference, Bocchus addressed now Sulla and now the envoy of  p379 Jugurtha, received both courteously and made them the same promises. Both alike were joyful and full of human hope.

3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] That night, however, which was the one preceding the day appointed for the conference, the Moor summoned his friends and at once changed his purpose and dismissed all others; then he is said to have had a long struggle with himself, during which the conflict in his mind was reflected in his expression and eyes, which, though he was silent, revealed the secrets of his heart. 4 At last, however, he ordered Sulla to be summoned and yielding to his wish, set a trap for the Numidian.

5 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When day came and he was told that Jugurtha was not far off, he proceeded with a few friends and the Roman quaestor158 to a mound in full sight of those who were in ambush, as if he were honouring Jugurtha by going to meet him. 6 Jugurtha came to the same place unarmed and with only a few followers, as had been agreed, and immediately on a given signal those who were in concealment rushed upon him from all sides at once. His companions were killed; the king himself was bound and delivered to Sulla, who took him to Marius.

114 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] At this same time our generals Quintus Caepio and Gnaeus Manlius were defeated by the Gauls159 and terror at this had made all Italy tremble. 2 The Romans of that time and even down to our own day believed that all else was easy for their valour, but that with the Gauls they fought for life and not for glory. 3 But when it was announced that the war in Numidia was ended and that Jugurtha was being  p381 brought captive to Rome, Marius was made consul in his absence and Gaul was assigned him as his province. On the Kalends of January160 he entered upon his office and celebrated a triumph of great magnificence. 4 At that time the hopes and welfare of our country were in his hands.161

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

118 Sallust's brevity makes his meaning obscure. The safety of the Lepcitani would be jeopardized, and the Romans would run the risk of losing the Lepcitani as allies, owing to the intrigues of Hamilcar.

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119 That is, close to the Egyptian frontier. Sallust seems to have confused Leptis Minor with the later city of Leptis Magna.

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120 That is, according to the wind and weather.

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121 From the Greek σύρω, to sweep.

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122 nuda gignentium, "bare of vegetation." Gignentium is the n. pl. used as a substantive with an active sense ("growing things"). It is gen. with nuda in place of the usual abl. Cf. frugum vacuosxc.1.

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123 That is to say, who reverse the natural order of events or things.

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124 Sallust's brevity again makes his meaning obscure. With gerere and fieri we must supply magistratum, meaning "office" with the former and "official" with the latter. Re atque usu, "in actual practice," is contrasted with tempore. Election to an office precedes the administration of the office, but the training which fits one to administer an office well comes before election.

[decorative delimiter]

125 That is, to a consciousness of my unworthiness for the office.

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126 Common military prizes were the hasta pura, or unused spear, and phalerae, ornamented discs of metal, which could be attached to a belt or a horse's harness.

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127 cf. Suetonius, Claud. I.4.

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128 "He feels it an injury to his own character even to have to speak of their offences." Summers.

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129 That is, the classes said to have been established by Servius Tullius, based upon property qualifications. See Livy I.43.

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130 The capite censi were those below the lowest Servian class, without property and exempt from military service. They were entered on the censor's list only as regarded their persons (caput).

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131 cf. Cat. lvi.2.

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132 That is, his troops threw away their arms and fled in disorder.

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133 Quae, referring to Africa, is used for the people; cf. the use of civitas in chap. lv.

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134 Summers translates modesto imperio "strictly," comparing vii.4. The two passages, however, are not parallel, since modesto is used of the commander, modestissume of the subordinate.

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135 On which the fortress was situated.

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136 The reading and the sense are uncertain; see the critical notes. It is obvious from the account that a certain number of soldiers accompanied the centurions.

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137 Namely, the time which he had arranged with Marius.

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138 In this formation the soldiers held their shields above their heads in such a way that they overlapped and made a continuous covering.

Thayer's Note: For further details (and illustrations), see the article Testudo in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; and the Loeb edition of Ammian (Book 23).

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139 A younger contemporary of Sulla and an adherent of the aristocratic party. He wrote a history in at least twenty-three books, from the beginning of the Social War to the end of the Civil War of Marius and Sulla, preceded by a brief sketch of the early history of Rome.

[decorative delimiter]

140 cf. Tac. Ann. 1.69.2; Sall. Hist. 3.91 Maur., ingens virium atque animi (of Mithridates).

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141 cf. Ovid, Met. 3.319, agitasse iocos. Ioca atque seria is formulaic; see Cic. Fin. 2.26.85, quicum ioca seria, ut dicitur.

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142 cf. Livy 7.35.1: ubi secundae vigiliae bucina datum signum esset . . .

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143 When contrasted with the legions, as here, "cohort" refers to the auxiliary troops.

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144 That is, with the baggage in the centre, surrounded by the heavy-armed troops, and with front, rear, and flanks protected by cavalry and light-armed soldiers.

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145 cf. Ter. Adelph. 69:

Malo coactus qui suom officium facit,

dum id rescitum iri credit, tantisper pavet.

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146 The meaning and the text are uncertain; see the critical note.

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147 cf. Caes. Bell. Civ. 1.7.7; hortatur cuius imperatoris ductu viiii annis rem publicam felicissime gesserint . . . ut eius existimationem ab inimicis defendant.

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148 That is, Jugurtha secretly left the van, where he was leading his cavalry against Marius, and went back to the rear where Bocchus and his infantry were attacking the Romans from behind.

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149 Some take pedite as collective, but satis impigre seems to be sarcastic.

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150 They had been summoned to hear the king's proposal, not to speak.

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151 That is, "our alliance will be as powerful as if we were nearer neighbours."

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152 Returning to the plans mentioned in cii.2.

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153 Their appearance belied the assertion that they were envoys of the king.

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154 Apparently waiting for Marius to return.

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155 cf. Xen. Cyrop. 3.3.45.

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156 Except by receiving Jugurtha's envoy and pretending friendship with the king. Text and meaning are somewhat uncertain.

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157 He is willing to put up with the loss of his former independence for the sake of Sulla's friendship.

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158 Sulla.

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159 In 105 B.C. Really by the Cimbri, a Germanic tribe.

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160 January 1st, 105 B.C.

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161 Jugurtha was taken to Rome, where, after being led with his two sons before Marius's chariot in the triumphal procession, he was starved to death, or, according to some, strangled, in the Tullianum.

Thayer's Note:

a Or, a baseball paraphrase that should make it crystal clear for American students, "when he found that he was pumping up his stats but his team wasn't winning games."

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Page updated: 21 Jan 13