The Jugurthine War (Trans. anonymous)
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The human race falsely complains of its own nature, that being infirm and of a short duration it is ruled more by chance than virtue. For on the other hand, by considering the matter, you can find nothing more great nor more excellent, and that men’s industry rather than ability or time is wanting to their nature. But the leader and commander of the life of men is the soul, which, when it marches to glory in the path of virtue, is abundantly vigorous, able, and glorious, nor has any need of fortune; inasmuch as it can neither give to, nor take from, any one, probity, industry, or other good qualities. But if captivated by wicked desires it is given up to sloth and the pleasures of the body, after it has for a little while indulged its fatal desire, and when by sloth, vigour, time, and ability have disappeared, the infirmity of nature is blamed, since the actors always throw what is their own fault upon circumstances. But if men had as much concern for things good, as they anxiously pursue things of a different kind, and which will in no ways profit them, nay are really very dangerous, they neither would rather be governed by, than govern, chance; and would advance to that degree of grandeur where, instead of being mortals, they would become immortal in glory.
For as mankind is made up of body and soul, so all our concerns and all our pursuits follow, some the nature of the body, and others the nature of the soul. Therefore a beautiful countenance, great riches, moreover strength of body, and all other things of the same kind dissolve speedily. But the noble productions of the mind like the soul itself are immortal. Lastly, as there is a beginning so there is an end to the goods of the body and of fortune, and all things that have risen, set, and those that have grown become old. But the soul, incorruptible, eternal, the ruler of mankind, manages and possesses all things, nor is itself overruled. Wherefore their depravity is the more to be wondered at, who being given up to the pleasures of the body pass their life in luxury and idleness, but allow their mind, than which there is nothing else in human nature either better or greater, to slumber in neglect and sloth; when especially there are so many and various resources of the mind by which the utmost renown is acquired.
But of these, magistracies and generalships, and lastly all concern for public affairs appear to me at this time by no means desirable. Since honour is neither given to virtue, nor are those who have obtained offices by fraudulent means secure, or on that account more honourable. For to govern your country or parents by violence indeed, although you are both able, and may correct faults, is nevertheless troublesome, since especially all revolutions of affairs portend slaughter, flight, and other hostile things. But to go on striving to no purpose and by fatiguing oneself to gain nothing else but hatred, is the act of the greatest madness, except perhaps a dishonest and dangerous desire prompts any one to sacrifice his honour and liberty to the power of a few.
But of those pursuits which are exercised by the mind, the relation of noble actions is especially of great use. Of the excellency of which because many have written I think we must pass it over, as also lest any one should think that out of vanity I am extolling myself by praising my own employment; and I believe that there will be those who, because I have determined to pass my life far from the republic, will give the name of idleness to this so great and so useful a labour of mine, at least those to whom it seems the greatest industry to canvass the people, and by entertainments to gain popularity. Who, if they would reflect both at what times I obtained office, and what sort of men were unable to obtain the same honour, and what sort of men afterwards got into the senate, will certainly think that I altered the opinion of my mind more from the sense of my own merit than from sloth; and that greater advantage will arise to the republic from my retirement than from the exertions of others; for I have often heard that Quintus Maximus, Publius Scipio, and other illustrious men besides of our state were accustomed thus to speak, that when they looked upon the statues of their ancestors their own minds were most vehemently inflamed to virtue. Not forsooth that that wax or image had so great power in itself, but this flame grew in the hearts of these illustrious men by the recollection of their great actions, nor was extinguished before that their own virtue equalled the fame and glory of these men. But on the other hand, who is there of all of such qualities as not to vie with his ancestors in riches and expenses, instead of probity and industry? Even men of low origin who before were accustomed by means of virtue to outstrip the nobility, by stealth and roguery rather than by good arts, strive for commands and honours. Just as if the prætorship and consulship and all other offices of this kind were in themselves illustrious and magnificent, and not esteemed just as is the virtue of those who sustain them. But I have run on too freely and too far on this subject, while I am ashamed and disgusted with the morals of the state. Now I return to my purpose.
I am about to narrate the war which the Roman people waged with Jugurtha, the king of the Numidians; first, because it was great and terrible and of doubtful victory; and secondly because then was the first stand made against the insolence of the nobility; which dispute confounded all things both divine and human, and advanced to such a pitch of madness, that by civil factions war and desolation were making an end of Italy. But before I make a beginning of this subject, I must go back a little, in order that, to understand the matter, all things may be more clear and more open. In the second Punic war, in which Hannibal the general of the Carthaginians had in the greatest degree since the grandeur of the Roman name injured the power of Italy, Masinissa, the king of the Numidians, being received into friendship by Publius Scipio, who had afterwards the surname of Africanus from his valour, had exhibited many gallant deeds of arms. In consideration of which, when the Carthaginians were conquered, and Syphax was taken, whose empire in Africa was great and widely powerful, the Roman people gave whatever cities and countries it had taken by war to the king for a gift. Therefore Masinissa’s alliance remained useful and faithful to us. But the end of his empire and life was the same. Then Micipsa his son by himself obtained the empire, his brothers Mastanabal and Gulussa having been taken off by disease. He himself begot Atherbal and Hiempsal, and maintained at his house, in the same manner as his own children, Jugurtha, the son of his brother Mastanabal, whom Masinissa, because he was born of a concubine, had left in the condition of a private person.
Who, as soon as he came to man’s estate, being powerful in bodily strength, and of handsome countenance, but principally of most vigorous mind, did not give himself up to be ruined by luxury and idleness, but as is the custom of that nation, he rode, threw the lance, contended in running with his companions, and although he excelled all in glory, he was nevertheless beloved by all. Besides he spent most of his time in hunting, he was either the first or amongst the first to strike the lion and other wild beasts, he did the most and yet he said the least of himself. With which things though Micipsa was at first well pleased, as supposing that Jugurtha’s valour would be a glory to his kingdom, yet when he finds that the young man grows more and more in fame, his own life being now far spent, and his children being but small, being very much disturbed by this circumstance, he revolved many things in his mind. The nature of mankind terrified him, greedy of power and headlong to gratify the desire of their mind; moreover the advantage offered by his own age and that of his children, which leads astray by the hope of plunder even moderate men. Added to this, the affections of the Numidians were very strong towards Jugurtha; from all which things, were he secretly to kill such a man, he was fearful lest any sedition or war should arise.
Surrounded by these difficulties, when he sees that neither by force nor by secret contrivances a man so dear to the populace can be taken off; as Jugurtha was ready with his hand, and eager for military glory, he determined to expose him to dangers, and in this way to make trial of fortune. Therefore in the war with Numantia, Micipsa, when he was sending to the Roman people assistance both of horse and foot, hoping that he would easily perish either by displaying his valour or by the fury of the enemy, made him commander of those Numidians whom he sent to Spain. But that matter ended quite otherwise to what he expected. For Jugurtha, as he was of an active and enterprising mind, when he understood the nature of P. Scipio, who was then the commander of the Romans, and the custom of the enemy, by much labour and much industry, moreover by most modestly obeying his orders, and often by going to meet dangers, in a short time arrived to so great renown that he became exceedingly beloved by our men, and the greatest terror to the Numantines. And indeed, what is especially difficult, he was both active in battle and wise in council. One of which qualities from a foresight of danger is frequently apt to cause fear, the other from boldness, rashness. Therefore the general executed almost all desperate projects by means of Jugurtha, received him into the number of his friends, and grew every day more and more fond of him, as a man none of whose councils nor undertakings were in vain. To this was added liberality of mind and dexterity of genius, by which things he had united many of the Romans to himself in intimate friendship.
There were at that time in our army several men both of high and low rank, to whom riches were preferable to virtue and honour, party men, at home powerful, amongst the allies more renowned than honest; who inflamed the ambitious mind of Jugurtha by promising that if king Micipsa should die, it should be managed that he should possess the kingdom of Numidia all to himself; that in him was the greatest virtue, at Rome all things were sold. But when upon the reduction of Numantia, Publius Scipio determined to dismiss the allies, and himself to return home, he led Jugurtha into the general’s tent, having been rewarded and magnificently praised in the face of the army, and there secretly advised him to cultivate the friendship of the Roman people rather publicly than privately, nor accustom himself to use bribery with any; that that was purchased with danger from the few which belonged to the many. If he would persevere in his own good practices, both glory and a kingdom would fall to him of their own accord, but if he should go on too hastily, he would by means of his money fall headlong.
Having thus spoken he dismissed him with a letter to deliver to Micipsa, the purport of which was as follows:―“The valour of your Jugurtha has been by far the greatest in the Numantian war; which thing I know for certain will be a joy to you. To us he is dear on account of his merits, and that he may be the same to the senate and people of Rome, we shall strive with all our power. You indeed I congratulate in regard to our friendship. Behold you have a man worthy of you and his grandfather Masinissa.” The king therefore, when those things he had heard by report he now found by the letter of the general were true, being excited as well by the valour as the favour of the man, changed his mind and endeavoured to conquer Jugurtha by kindness. He immediately adopted him and in his will appointed him his heir equally with his children. But he himself a few years after, worn out by disease and old age, when he knew that the end of his life had arrived, in the presence of his friends and relations as well as of Atherbal and Hiempsal his sons, is said to have addressed Jugurtha in the following words:―
“I received you, Jugurtha, into my kingdom, when a little one, having lost your father, without hope and without fortune, thinking that I should not be less dear to you for these benefits than if I had begotten you. Nor did this thing deceive me, for to pass by other great and noble deeds of yours, having just returned from Numantia you did me and my kingdom honour by your glory, and by your valour hast made the Romans from mere friends most friendly to us. In Spain the name of our family is renewed. Lastly, what is most difficult amongst mortals, you have overcome envy by your glory. Now since nature is putting an end to my life, by this right hand, by the faith of royalty, I advise and call you to witness, to hold dear to you these who in race are your relations, by my kindness your brothers; and not to prefer to attach to yourself foreigners, than to retain those who are united to you by blood. Armies and treasures are not the securities of a kingdom, but friends, whom you can neither force to be so by arms nor procure by gold. They are procured by good offices and fidelity. Who should be more a friend than one brother to another? or what stranger will you find faithful to you if you are an enemy to your own relations? I for my part deliver you a secure kingdom if you are good to each other, but if you are wicked, a weak one. For by unanimity small states grow great, by discord the greatest melt away. But it becomes you, Jugurtha, more than these, who are more advanced in age and wisdom than they are, to take care lest any thing should happen otherwise. For in every contest he who is more opulent, although he receives an injury, yet as he is more powerful, appears to do it. But do ye Atherbal and Hiempsal cultivate and reverence this great man, imitate his virtue, and strive that I may not appear to have adopted better sons than I have begotten.”
To this Jugurtha although he was aware that the king spoke what was not sincere and he himself was planning very differently in his mind, yet made a kind answer suitable to the occasion. Micipsa died a few days after. After they had magnificently celebrated the proper funeral rites after the royal manner, the princes met together to discuss one with another concerning all their affairs. But Hiempsal, who was the youngest of them, being by nature fierce, even before this despising the meanness of Jugurtha’s origin, because by the mother’s side he was inferior in family, sat by Atherbal on his right hand, lest Jugurtha should be in the middle of the three, which place is considered a mark of honour among the Numidians. Afterwards however being pressed by his brother to pay deference to Jugurtha’s age, he with great difficulty went over to the other side. Then when they discoursed a good deal concerning carrying on the government, Jugurtha amongst other things proposes “That the acts and decrees of the last five years ought to be repealed, for during that time Micipsa, worn out with age, was scarcely in his right senses.” Then Hiempsal answered “that the same thing was agreeable to him, for that Jugurtha within these three last years had come into the kingdom by adoption.” Which speech sunk deeper into the heart of Jugurtha than any one thought. Therefore from that time being perplexed with anger and fear he laid schemes and contrived, and only had this thought in his mind, how Hiempsal might be taken off by treachery. But when these plans went on too slowly, and his enraged soul could not be appeased, he determined to accomplish his purpose by any way whatsoever.
In the first assembly which I above said was held by the princes, on account of the dissension it was determined that the treasures should be divided, and the boundaries of their empire marked out for each. Therefore a time is marked out for each business, but first for dividing the money. The princes in the mean time retired, one in one, and another in another direction to places near the treasures. But Hiempsal, when in the town Thirmida, by chance made use of the house of a man who had been Jugurtha’s chief lictor, and always prized and valued by him. Which minister offered by fortune he loads with promises, and prevails upon him that under the pretence of visiting his house he should prepare false keys of the doors, for the true ones used to be carried to Hiempsal.
But when the affair required it, he himself would come with a large force. The Numidian quickly executed his orders, and as he was instructed introduces Jugurtha’s soldiers by night; who, as soon as they had burst into the house, in different directions sought for the king, some men they slew sleeping, others as they met them; they searched hidden places, broke open what were shut, and filled every thing with noise and tumult. Whilst in the mean time Hiempsal is found, hiding himself in the cottage of a maid servant, whither at first he had fled, frightened and ignorant of the place. The Numidians carry his head, as they were ordered, to Jugurtha.
But the news of so great a crime was in a short time spread through all Africa. Fear came upon Atherbal, and all who had been under Micipsa’s rule. The Numidians divide into two parties, the greater number follow Atherbal, but those who were braver in war, the other man. Jugurtha therefore arms as many forces as he is able. The cities, partly by force and partly with their own good will, he adds to his power, and prepares to be king of all Numidia. Atherbal, although he had sent ambassadors to Rome to inform the senate concerning the slaughter of his brother and his own fortunes, yet relying on the number of his soldiers prepared to resist him by arms. But when the matter came to the trial, being defeated he fled from the battle to the province, and thence went to Rome. Then Jugurtha, his plans being laid open, as he was now become master of all Numidia, coolly reflecting upon his crime in his mind, began to dread the Roman people, and had no hope against its resentment at all, except in the avarice of the nobility and his own money. Therefore in a few days he sends ambassadors to Rome with much gold and silver, to whom he gives orders that they should first fill his old friends with gifts, and then gain new ones, in short not to hesitate to gain over whomever they could by bribes. But when the ambassadors came to Rome, and according to the king’s orders sent great presents to their hosts and others, whose authority at that time had great weight in the senate, so great a change ensured, that from the greatest odium Jugurtha came into the good graces and favour of the nobility, part of whom induced by hopes, others by reward, endeavoured by canvassing every individual member of the senate, that no severe resolution should be passed against him. Therefore when the ambassadors are sufficiently secure, on an appointed day an audience is given to both parties. Atherbal spoke we have heard in this way,
“O conscript fathers, Micipsa my father at his death gave me a charge that I should look upon the administration of the kingdom of Numidia only as mine, but that the right and sovereignty should be in your power; at the same time that I should strive both at home and in war to be of as much service as I could to the Roman people, and regard you in the place of relations and connexions to me; if I did so I should find an army, riches, and the safeguard of my kingdom in your friendship. Which precepts of my father when I was revolving in my mind, Jugurtha the most wicked man of all whom the earth sustains, despising your authority, drove from my kingdom and all my possessions me the grandson of Masinissa, and even from my birth the ally and friend of the Roman people. And yet, O conscript fathers, since I was to be reduced to such a state of misery, I could wish that I could seek assistance from you rather on account of my own than my ancestors’ services, and above all that kind acts were due to me by the Roman people, which I should not want; in the next place, if they were needed, that I might make use of them as my due. But since integrity itself is alone by no means secure, nor was it in my power to direct how Jugurtha should turn out, I have fled to you, O conscript fathers, to whom, a thing most disagreeable to me, I am compelled to be a burden before I am of any use. Other kings, either having been conquered in war, have been received into friendship by you, or in their own difficulties have sought for your alliance.
“Our family commenced their friendship with the Roman people in the Carthaginian war, at which time their honour was more to be regarded than their fortune. Me the offspring of whom and the grandson of Masinissa, suffer not to implore assistance from you in vain. If I had no other reason for procuring it except my miserable fortune; that I a little before, a king, by birth, fame, and forces powerful, am now, disgraced by cares and in poverty, waiting for foreign assistance; yet it were the office of the majesty of the Roman people to ward off injustice, nor to allow the kingdom of any one to increase by crime. But I have been forced out of those boundaries which the Roman people gave to my ancestors, from whence my father and grandfather together with you expelled Syphax and the Carthaginians. Your favours have been taken from me, O conscript fathers, have been slighted by my wrong. Alas! wretch that I am; have your kingdnesses O father Micipsa come to this, that the man whom you made equal with your children and a sharer in your kingdom should above all others be the destroyer of your race? Shall our family then never be at rest? Shall we always be concerned with blood, the sword, and exile? While the Carthaginians were unchecked, we naturally used to suffer all kinds of misfortunes. An enemy was close at hand, you our friends at a distance; all our hopes were in our arms. But when that plague was ejected from Africa, we gladly enjoyed peace, as men who had no enemy except perhaps some one whom you had appointed to us. But behold on a sudden, Jugurtha carrying himself with intolerable boldness, crime and pride, having slain my brother, and him too his own relation, first made his kingdom the prize of his crime; then as he was unable to take by the same treachery me, who was expecting nothing less than violence and war, me I say, even in your kingdom, as you see banished from my country, from home, and poor and overwhelmed with miseries, he has brought it to pass that I should be in more safety any where rather than in my own kingdom.
“I used thus to think, O conscript fathers, as I heard my father asserting, that those who diligently cultivated your friendship, must take upon themselves much trouble, but were of all mankind most secure. That which it was in the power of our family to do, it afforded; so that it assisted you in every war; that we should be secure and in ease is in your power, O conscript fathers. My father left us two brothers, and thought that Jugurtha would be joined to us as the third by his favours. One of the three is murdered; I myself have scarcely escaped the impious hands of the other. What shall I do? Or whither especially shall I wretched betake myself? All the assistances of my own family are destroyed; my father, as was necessary, has yielded to nature; a relation, whom least of all such a crime became, has by wickedness taken away my brother’s life; as for my relations, my friends and connexions, one kind of murder has taken off some, another others. Being taken prisoners by Jugurtha, some have been crucified, some thrown to wild beasts, a few whose life has been spared, being shut up in darkness with sorrow and grief, are leading a life worse than death. If all the things which I have either lost, or which instead of being friendly have been made hostile to me, were still untouched, I should nevertheless make supplication to you, O conscript fathers, were any misfortune to have happened suddenly; to whom, by reason of your vast dominion, it is becoming that justice and all injustice should be a care. Now however to whom shall I go, or whom shall I address, an exile from my country and home, deserted and destitute of every thing respectable? Shall I apply to those nations or kinds who are all hostile to our family on account of our friendship with you? Or is it in my power to go any whither where there are not many hostile monuments of my ancestors? Or can any one pity me who has ever been an enemy to you?
“Lastly, Masinissa gave us these instructions, O conscript fathers, that we should court no one except the Roman people, nor engage in any alliances or new treaties; that we should have in all abundance great security in your friendship, but if the fortune of this empire should be changed, that we must perish with it. By your valour and the favour of the gods, ye are great and opulent, all things are prosperous and obedient to you, so that it is in your power with more ease to attend to the injuries of your allies. I only fear this, lest the private favour of Jugurtha, not enough understood, should lead astray any men; who I understand are striving with all their power, canvassing and importuning you man by man, not to determine any thing concerning him in his absence, while his cause is unheard; that I am making up a story, and pretending exile, who might have remained in my kingdom. But would that I could see him, by whose impious crime I am hurled into these miseries, pretending these same things, and that at length either with you or the immortal gods there should arise some regard for human affairs; that he who is now fierce and proud through his crimes, tormented by all kinds of evils, may pay a heavy penalty for his impiety towards our parent, the murder of my brother, and my miseries. Now, now, O brother, dearest to my soul, although life has been taken away from you before the time, and from a quarter whence such a crime was least fitting, I think your calamity was rather to be rejoiced over than bewailed. For you did not lose together with your life a kingdom, so much as exile, banishment, and all those other calamities which are now oppressing me. But I, wretch that I am, being hurled into so great evils, being driven from my father’s kingdom, afford an instance of human affairs; uncertain what to do, whether to prosecute the wrongs due to you, I myself being destitute of assistance, or whether to take measures for my kingdom, I a man, the disposal of whose life and death depends on the power of others. Would that I could die, that there might be an honourable termination to my misfortunes; that I might not seem to live despised, if worn out by wrongs I must yield to injustice. Now I neither wish to live, nor is it permitted me to die without disgrace. O conscript fathers, by yourselves, by your children and parents, by the majesty of the Roman people, assist me wretched, advanced against injustice, refuse to suffer the kingdom of Numidia which is yours, to waste away by crime and the blood of our family.”
When the king had made an end of speaking, the ambassadors of Jugurtha, relying more upon their bribes than their cause, answer in a few words “That Hiempsal had been slain by reason of his own cruelty by the Numidians; that Atherbal who had on his own accord begun the war, when he had been overcome, now complained because he could not effect the injury; that Jugurtha besought the senate not to believe him different to what he was known to be at Numantia, nor place his enemy’s words before his own actions.” Then both parties depart out of the senate house. The senate immediately deliberates. The favourers of the ambassadors, and a great party besides corrupted by their influence, began to slight Atherbal’s speech, and extol with their praises Jugurtha’s bravery; and by their influence, their voice, and in a word by all ways, they struggled in behalf of another man’s crime and wickedness as if for their own glory. But on the other hand, a few men to whom virtue and justice were dearer than riches, gave it as their opinion that assistance ought to be given to Atherbal, and Hiempsal’s murder severely punished. But the most eminent of all these was Æmilius Scaurus, a man of noble birth, active, factious, greedy of power, honour, and riches, but cunningly concealing his vices. He, when he sees that the bribery of the king was notorious and barefaced, fearing, as it usually happens in such a case, lest the abandoned licentiousness should increase the odium, restrained his mind from his accustomed desire.
That party however prevailed in the senate which preferred money and favour to truth. It was decreed that ten ambassadors should divide between Atherbal and Jugurtha the kingdom which Micipsa had possessed. Of which commission Lucius Opimius was the head, an illustrious man, and then powerful in the senate, because when consul, Caius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius having been slain, he had very severely executed the vengeance of the nobility against the common people. Him Jugurtha, although he had had him in the number of his friends at Rome, nevertheless received with great ceremony, and by giving and promising him many things, he contrived that he should prefer the interest of the king to his fame, his honour, and in short to all other things. Having gone to work with the other ambassadors in the same way, he overcomes the greatest number of them; to a few their honour was dearer than money. In the division, that part of Numidia which touches on Mauritania, as being richer in land and in people, is assigned to Jugurtha. The other part, better in appearance than reality, which was more full of harbours, and better adorned with buildings, Atherbal had. The circumstances seem to require that I should explain in a few words the situation of Africa, and touch upon those nations with whom we had war or friendship. But those places and nations which were less inhabited on account of their heat or ruggedness, and also their desert state, about them I must narrate what is not very certainly known, but the rest I will despatch in as few words as possible.
In the division of the earth most authors have placed Africa in the third part; a few say that there are but two, Asia and Europe, but that Africa is in Europe. This has for its boundaries on the weset the strait between our sea and the ocean; on the east a declivitous wide place, which the inhabitants call Catabathmos. The sea is rough and without any harbours. The land is fertile in fruits, good for cattle, but unfavourable for trees; there is great want of water both from the clouds and the earth; the race of men there are of healthy body, swift of foot, and patient of labour; the greatest number old age despatches, except those who have died by the sword or by wild beasts; for disease very seldom destroys any one. But to this there are many animals of a noxious nature. But what men originally possessed Africa, and who afterwards arrived there, or how they were mixed one with another, I will give an account in as few words as possible, although my account be different from that report which prevails with most, but nevertheless as it was translated to me from the Carthaginian books which were said to be king Hiempsal’s, and just as the cultivators of that land think the truth to be. But the credibility of this matter must rest with the authors of it.
The Gætulians and Libyans possessed Africa in the beginning; rough and unpolished; whose food was the flesh of wild beasts and the herbage of the ground, just as cattle. These were governed neither by customs nor by the law or rule of any one; strolling about and wandering they had for their resting place whatever the night compelled them to take. But after Hercules died in Africa as the Africans have it, his army, composed of various nations, having lost their leader, and many persons every where seeking for the command, each one for himself, in a short time falls to pieces. Of that number the Medes, Persians, and Armenians being carried over in ships to Africa, seized those parts which are nearest to our sea. But the Persians were more upon the ocean; and these men had the hulls of their ships turned bottom upwards instead of cottages, because there were neither any materials in the fields nor had they any opportunity of buying or bartering any from Spain. A wide sea and a language unknown to them prevented any commerce. These men by degrees mingled the Gætulians with themselves by means of marriages, and because as they made trial of the soils, they had sought first one place and then another, they called themselves Numidæ. But even to this day the cottages of the rustic Numidæ, which they call mapalia, being oblong and covered over with curved sides are just like the keels of ships. But the Libyans joined the Medes and Armenians; for these lived nearer the African sea. The Gætulians lived more to the sun, not far from the torrid zone, and they quickly had towns. For being divided by a narrow sea from Spain they soon began to exchange goods one with another. The Libyans by degrees altered their names, calling them in their barbarous language Mauri instead of Medi. But the affairs of the Persians increased in a short time, and afterwards the Nomo-Numidæ, on account of their great numbers, having separated from their parents, possessed that region, which being close to Carthage is called Numidia. Then each party relying on the other, reduced, either by their arms or their fear, their neighbours under their power, and added a name and glory to themselves, especially those who had gone to our sea, because the Libyans were less warlike than the Gætulians. Finally the lower part of Africa was most of it overrun by the Numidians; and all who were conquered fell into the race and name of the conquerors.
Afterwards the Phœnicians, some for the sake of lessening the great population at home, some from a desire of power, the common people being excited, and others being desirous of novelty, founded Hippo, Hadrumentum, Leptis, and other cities upon the sea coast. And these having grown considerably in a short time, because some a security and others an ornament to their founders. For as to Carthage I think it better to be silent than to speak but little, since the time admonishes me to hasten to another subject. Wherefore by Catabathmos, which place separates Ægypt from Africa, down the sea, the first place is Cyrene, a colony of the Thereans; and then the two Syrtes, and between them Leptis; then the altars of the Phileni, which place the Carthaginians had as the boundary of their empire towards Ægypt; and after them other Carthaginian cities. The other places, as far as Mauritania, the Numidæ possess. The Moors are next to Spain. Above Numidia we have heard that the Gætulians dwell, some in cottages, others wandering more savagely: next to them are the Æthiopians; and then, places burnt up by the sun’s heat. Therefore in the Jugurthine war, most of the Carthaginian towns, and the territories of the Carthaginians, which they had lately had, the Roman people used to govern by magistrates. A great part of the Gætulians and Numidia up to the river Mulucha, was under Jugurtha. King Bocchus ruled over all the Moors, a stranger to the Roman people in every thing else but his name; and also not known to us before, either by peace or war. Concerning Africa and its inhabitants I have spoken sufficiently for the demand of my subject.
When the commissioners had departed from Africa after having divided the kingdom, and Jugurtha, contrary to the apprehensions of his mind sees that he has gained the rewards of his villainy, thinking it certain as he had heard from his friends at Numantia that all things were to be bought and sold at Rome, being also inflamed by the promises of those whom a little while before he had loaded with presents, he sets his mind upon the kingdom of Atherbal. He himself was active and warlike, but the man whom he intended to attack was quiet, unwarlike, of a peaceful disposition, a fit subject for injury, and more fearful than to be feared. Therefore on a sudden Jugurtha attacks his territories with a great army, takes many men with cattle and other plunder, burns the houses, and approaches many towns in a hostile manner with his cavalry. Then he returned with all his forces into his own kingdom, thinking that Atherbal excited with anger would resent his own injuries by force, and that this would be a reason for war. But he, as he neither considered himself equal in arms and relied more on the friendship of the Roman people than on the Numidians, sent ambassadors to Jugurtha to complain of these injuries; and although they brought back an insulting message, he determined to undergo every thing rather than commence war, because as it had been before tried, it had turned out unfavourably. Nor was Jugurtha’s ambition on this account more diminished, as he was a man who had already in mind devoured his whole kingdom. Therefore not as before with a band of plunderers, but with a numerous and regular army he began to wage war, and openly to seek the kingdom of all Numidia. But wherever he went, he laid waste town and country, drove away plunder, and increased the confidence of his own men but the terror of the enemies.
Atherbal, when he understands that matters are come to this, that either his kingdom must be abandoned or retained by arms, from necessity levies troops and marches to meet Jugurtha. In the mean time the army of each encamped not far from the sea, and near the town Cirta, and because it was the close of the day the battle was not begun. But when most of the night was spent, the light being yet very dim, the soldiers of Jugurtha, a signal having been given, attack the enemies’ camp and put to flight and rout them partly half asleep and others taking up their arms. Atherbal with a few soldiers fled to Cirta, and had there not been a great multitude of Romans, which repulsed the pursuing Numidians from the walls, the war between the two kings would have been begun and ended in one day. Therefore Jugurtha surrounded the town, and by pent houses, towers, and engines of all kinds endeavours to take it, especially hastening to anticipate the return of the ambassadors who he had heard were sent to Rome by Atherbal before the battle was fought. But when the senate heard of their war, three young men are sent as ambassadors into Africa, to visit both kings, and tell them in the words of the senate and the Roman people, “That they wished and commanded them to depart from their arms, and dispute concerning their quarrels by law rather than by war; and that in this way it would be for the honour of the Romans and themselves.”
The ambassadors come to Africa with all speed, the rather as news had arrived at Rome, whilst they were preparing to set out, of the battle that had been fought, and the siege of Cirta. But that rumour was too favourable. When the oration of these men had been heard, Jugurtha replied, “That nothing was greater or dearer to him than the authority of the senate. That from his youth he had always so endeavoured to act as to be approved by every excellent man. That by virtue and not by crime he had been pleasing to Publius Scipio, that most illustrious man, and on account of the same good qualities he had been adopted into the kingdom by Micipsa, and not for want of sons. But the more actions he had done well and bravely, by so much his mind could less endure injustice. That Atherbal had with treachery formed a plot against his life, which when he had found out, he had resisted his crime. That the Roman people would do neither well nor for their advantage if they debarred him from the common right of nations. Finally, that he would send in a short time ambassadors to Rome about all these matters.” Therefore both parties separate. There was no opportunity of addressing Atherbal.
Jugurtha, when he thought that they had departed from Africa, and is unable from the nature of the place to take Cirta by assault, surrounds the walls with a rampart and a ditch, builds up towers and strengthens them with garrisons, and besides by day and night makes attempts either by assault or stratagems; at one time offers rewards to the defenders of the walls, at another time threats; by exhorting his own men, excites them to valour, and very intently makes every preparation. Atherbal, as he finds all his fortunes placed in the last extremity, a bitter enemy, no hope of assistance, and that from the want of necessaries the war could not be prolonged, chose two most active men out of those who had fled with him to Cirta; and prevails upon them by promising them many things, and by lamenting his condition, to go by night through the enemies’ lines to the nearest sea-port and then to Rome. The Numidians in a few days execute his orders. Atherbal’s letter was read in the senate, the contents of which were as follows:―
“From no fault of mine I so often send to you to make supplication, O conscript fathers, but Jugurtha’s violence compels me, on whom there has come so great a desire of destroying me, that he neither cares for you or the immortal gods, and had rather have my blood than all things besides; and therefore this is now the fifth month that I, the ally and friend of the Roman people, am kept blocked up by arms, nor do the kindnesses of my father Micipsa, nor your decrees assist me. I am uncertain whether I am more sharply pressed by sword or famine. My misfortune discourages me from writing more things concerning Jugurtha. I have even before this experienced that there is but little credit given to the wretched. But however I am certain that he seeks something beyond what I am now, and never expects to enjoy your friendship and my kingdom together; which of the two he considers the more important is a secret to no man. For at first he murdered Hiempsal my brother, and then drove me from my father’s kingdom. Which injuries let them be ours only, and having nothing to do with you. But now he holds your kingdom by force of arms; me, whom ye made king of the Numidians, he besieges shut up, and how much he values the words of your ambassadors, my dangers show. What then is left except your power by which he can be moved? For I indeed could wish that both these things which I am writing, and those things which I before complained of were groundless, rather than that my misery should gain credit to my words. But since I was born for this purpose to be a proof of Jugurtha’s crimes, I do not now deprecate death or misery, but only the power of my enemy and the torture of my body. Take measures for the kingdom of Numidia which is yours, just as you please, but rescue me from his impious hands, by the majesty of your empire, by the honour of our alliance, if any memory remains yet with you of my grandfather Masinissa.”
This letter being read, there were some who gave it as their opinion that an army should be sent to Africa, and assistance given as soon as possible to Atherbal; in the meanwhile that a consultation should be held concerning Jugurtha, as he had not obeyed the ambassadors. But a struggle was made by the same creatures of the king with all their power, that no such decree should be passed. Thus the public good, as often happens, was overcome by private interest. Some elderly noblemen however are sent over into Africa, who had held the greatest dignities, amongst whom was Marcus Scaurus, concerning whom I have above spoken, a man of consular rank, and then the chief of the senate. These men, as this affair was viewed with great odium, and being at the same time pressed by the Numidians, embarked in three days, and then in a short time landing at Utica, they send a letter to Jugurtha, ordering him to repair as quickly as possible to his province, that they were sent to him by the senate. He, when he understood that illustrious men, whose authority he had heard was great at Rome, had come against his designs, was at first differently agitated, excited by fear as well as ambition. He feared the anger of the senate were he to disobey the ambassadors; but then his mind blinded by desire hurried him on to the wickedness already begun. A bad plan however prevailed in his ambitious soul. Therefore an army having surrounded the place, he endeavours with all his power to burst into Cirta, hoping more especially if the army of the enemies were divided, he might find some lucky chance for victory either by force or cunning. But as this turned out unfavourably and as he could not as he had intended manage to seize Atherbal before he met the ambassadors, for fear lest by delaying any longer he might incense Scaurus, whom he especially feared, he came with a few horsemen to the province; and although heavy threats in the words of the senate were uttered, because he did not desist from the siege, a long oration having been made, the ambassadors returned with their purpose unanswered.
When these things were heard at Cirta, the Italians, by whose valour the walls were defended, trusting that if a surrender were made they themselves on account of the grandeur of the Roman people would be secure, persuade Atherbal to deliver up himself and his city to Jugurtha, and only bargain for his life from him, since for all other things the senate would provide. But he, although he thought every thing better than putting confidence in Jugurtha, yet since the power of compelling him, were he to refuse, was in the hands of the same men, made a surrender just as the Italians had proposed. Therefore Jugurtha in the first place puts Atherbal to death after being tortured, and then slew all the full grown Numidians and merchants, without any distinction, just as each met him in their arms.
When this was known at Rome, and the matter began to be debated in the senate, these same servants of the king, by offering objections and often by their interest, and sometimes by prolonging time by their debates, endeavoured to lessen the odiousness of the act. And had not Caius Memmius, tribune of the commons elect, a man of activity, and hostile to the power of the nobility, informed the Roman people that this was done that by means of a few factious men Jugurtha’s crime might be overlooked, without doubt all the odium, by delaying these consultations, would have passed away. So great was the power of the king’s interest and money. But when the senate, from the consciousness of their guilt, is afraid of the people; by the Sempronian law Numidia and Italy are voted as provinces to the succeeding consuls; Publius Scipio Nasica and Lucius Bestia Calpurnius were made consuls, Numidia fell to Calpurnius, Italy to Scipio. Then an army is levied to be conveyed to Africa, and other things which would be necessary to the war are voted.
But Jugurtha, this intelligence so contrary to his expectation being communicated, as a man in whose mind it was impressed that all things were bought and sold at Rome, sends his son and two intimate friends to the senate as ambassadors; and orders them, as he had those whom he had sent after the murder of Hiempsal, to tempt every one with bribes. As soon as they reached Rome the senate was consulted by Bestia, whether it was their pleasure that the ambassadors of Jugurtha should be received within the walls. And they voted, that unless they had come to surrender Jugurtha’s kingdom and himself, they should begone out of Italy within the next ten days. The consul orders a message to be given to the Numidians according to the decree of the senate. Thus they return home without having gained their purpose.
In the mean time Calpurnius, having raised an army, chooses as his lieutenants noble but factious men, by whose interest he hoped that the crimes which he should commit would be protected; amongst whom was Scaurus, of whose character and habits we have spoken above. For in our consul there were many good qualities of mind and body, all of which his avarice checked. He was patient of labour, of a keen perception, sufficiently prudent, not ignorant of war, and much upon his guard against dangers and surprises. But the legions were led through Italy to Rhegium, and thence to Sicily, and then from Sicily to Africa. Therefore Calpurnius, his supplies being in the first place provided, briskly entered Numidia, and took several prisoners and some cities by his arms.
But when Jugurtha began to tempt him by his messengers, and to show him the difficulty of the war he was carrying on, his mind corrupted by avarice was easily turned. But Scaurus is made the partner and assistant of all his plans; who, though at first, when most of his faction had been corrupted, he had most fiercely opposed the king, was nevertheless by the greatness of his bribes seduced from virtue and honesty to wickedness. But Jugurtha at first only bought a suspension of the war, thinking that he himself could in the mean time easily effect every thing at Rome by bribery or interest. When however he finds that Scaurus is an assistant in the business, being raised to the greatest hope of recovering peace, he determined to treat in person with them concerning all their agreements. But in the mean time, for the sake of security, Sextus the quæstor is sent by the consul into a town belonging to Jugurtha, called Vacca, the pretext of which movement was the receipt of corn, which Calpurnius had openly enjoined upon the lieutenants, as now from a delay in the surrender a truce was observed. Therefore the king as he had appointed came to the camp, and having spoken a few words to the assembled council concerning the odium attached to his actions, and that he might be admitted to a surrender, he transacts the rest of the matters in private with Bestia and Scaurus; and then on the following day their votes being asked as in a hurry he is admitted to a surrender. But as it had been commanded in the presence of the council, thirty elephants, some cattle, and many horses, with a small quantity of silver, are delivered up to the quæstor. Calpurnius sets out for Rome to take the votes at the election of magistrates, and peace was kept in Numidia and our army.
But when fame had divulged the transactions in Africa, and how they had been managed, many opinions were given concerning the consul’s conduct in all places and companies at Rome. By the commons great indignation was expressed, and the senators were perplexed, and whether they should approve so great a crime or annul the consul’s decree was by no means clear. And especially the power of Scaurus, because he was said to be the adviser and friend of Bestia, diverted them from what was just and honest. But Caius Memmius, concerning whose boldness of spirit and hatred to the power of the nobility we have before spoken, during the doubts and delay of the senate, exhorted the people by his harangues to punish the consul, and admonished them not to desert the state and their own liberty; he brought forward many proud and cruel deeds of the nobility, and very intently by every possible means inflamed the minds of the common people. But because at that time the eloquence of Memmius was illustrious and powerful at Rome, I have thought it fit to copy one oration out of so many of his, and especially I will write down those arguments which he discussed in the following strain in the assembly of the people after the return of Bestia.
“Many things discourage me from applying to you, O Romans, did not my zeal for the state prevail over every thing else; power of the faction, your endurance, and want of rights; and principally that innocence is attended with more danger than honour. For indeed I am ashamed to recount such things as these, how you have been a sport these fifteen years to the pride of a few; how disgracefully, how unavenged your defenders have perished, that your minds have been corrupted by cowardice and sloth; ye who not even now, when your enemies are in your power, arouse yourselves; and even now ye fear those to whom it is right that you should be a terror. But although these things are so, yet my mind forces me to withstand the power of the faction; at least I will try the liberty that has been left me by my father; but whether I shall do that in vain or with success is placed in your hands, Romans.
“Nor do I exhort you, as your ancestors have often done, to advance in arms against your injuries. There is no need of violence, no need of retiring from the town. It is absolutely necessary that they themselves will fall headlong by their own conduct. After Tiberius Gracchus was slain, who they said was seeking the sovereignty, heavy punishments were inflicted on the common people. After the murder of Caius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius, a great many persons also of your rank were put to death in prison. To both these slaughters not the law but their pleasure put an end. But let the attempt to restore their own privileges to the common people be granted to be an attempt at the government. Let whatever cannot be punished without the blood of the citizens be warrantably so done. In former years, though silent ye were indignant that the treasury should be robbed, that kings and free people should pay tribute to a few nobles, and that the greatest glory and the greatest riches should be in the possession of the same parties. But however they thought it but a little thing to have performed these crimes with impunity, and therefore at last your laws, your majesty, and all divine and human affairs were betrayed to your enemies. Nor are those who did these things ashamed or sorry; but they strut in a stately manner before your eyes, showing off their priesthoods, their consulships, and some too their triumphs, just as if they had them as rewards and not plunder. Slaves bought with money do not endure the unjust commands of their masters; and do you, Romans, born for empire endure slavery with contentment? But who are these who have seized upon the state? Men the most abandoned, of bloody hands, monstrous avarice, most mischievous, and the same too most proud; to whom honour, shame, piety, and in short all honourable and dishonourable things are matters of traffic. Some of these have for their protection, the slaughter of tribunes of the commons, others, the contrivance of unjust punishments, and most, murder against you. Thus by how much each man is the worst, by so much is he the most secure. All fear they have transferred from their crimes to your cowardice, all of whom the desire of the same things, the hatred of the same things, and the fear of the same things, have united together. But this amongst good men is friendship, amongst bad man faction.
“But if you held your liberty as dear as they are inflamed for despotic power; both the state would neither, as it is, be laid waste, and your favours would be possessed by the best and not by the most audacious men. Your ancestors for the sake of gaining their rights, and establishing their authority, twice by means of retiring from the city in arms seized the Aventine Mount. And will not you struggle with all your might for that liberty which ye have received from them? And the more so, as it is a greater disgrace to lose what has been once obtained than never to have acquired it at all. Some one will say ‘What opinion do you then give?’ We must then punish them who have betrayed the state to the enemy, not by violence or by hand, (which is more unworthy that you should do, than that it should happen to them), but by prosecutions and the witness of Jugurtha himself. Who if he has surrendered himself will of course be obedient to your commands, but if he despise them, you will forsooth judge what kind of peace and submission that is by virtue of which there has fallen to Jugurtha impunity for his crimes, to a few great men immense riches, but to the republic losses and disgrace. Unless perhaps not even yet weariness of their tyranny possesses you, and those times rather than these are pleasing to you, when kingdoms, provinces, laws, rights, the courts, war and peace, and lastly all human and divine things were in the power of a few; but you, that is the Roman people, unconquered by your enemies, and the conquerors of all nations, thought it enough to retain your lives. For indeed which of your dared to refuse the yoke? And although I think it most dishonourable to have received an injury without resenting it, I would still contentedly suffer you to pardon those wicked men, since they are your fellow citizens, were not your compassion to be about to terminate in your destruction.
“For to have committed these crimes with impunity is both a little thing to them, so great is their mischief, unless the power of committing the same be taken from them for the future, and there will always remain for you a constant anxiety when you shall understand, that you must either be slaves or your liberty must be maintained by force of arms. For what hope indeed is there of faith or concord? They wish to lord it over us, you to be free, they to do mischief, you to hinder. Finally, they use your allies as enemies, your enemies as allies. Can there be any peace or friendship in minds so differently disposed? Wherefore I advise and exhort you not to let so great villany go unpunished. No robbery of the treasury has been committed, nor has money been violently forced from your allies; which things although they are grievous are nevertheless now from custom considered as nothing. The authority of the senate has been betrayed to a most bitter enemy, your empire has been betrayed, and at home and abroad your commonwealth has been offered for sale. And if these things be not sought into, except punishment be inflicted on the guilty, what will be left for us except to live as slaves to those who have done these things? For to do with impunity whatever a man pleases that is to be a king. Nor do I exhort you, O Romans, now to wish that your citizens had done wickedly rather than justly, but by pardoning the bad not to go to destroy the good. Besides, in a government it is far better to be forgetful of a kindness than of an injury. The good man only becomes more idle when you overlook him, but the bad man becomes still worse. Besides, if injustice be done, you do not often require assistance against it.”
By often speaking these things and others of the same kind, Caius Memmius persuades the Roman people that Lucius Cassius, who was then prætor, should be sent to Jugurtha, and having given him the public faith should bring him to Rome, in order that by the evidence of the king, the crimes of Scaurus and the rest, whom they accused of having received money, might be more easily exposed. Whilst these things are being done at Rome, they who had been left in Africa by Bestia, and had the command of the army, following the example of their commander, did many most wicked actions. There were some who, corrupted by bribes, returned Jugurtha his elephants; others sold him deserters; and some drove away plunder from places at peace with us. So great avarice had like a plague come over their minds. But Cassius the prætor, the bill having been carried by Caius Memmius, and all the nobility being in consternation, sets out to Jugurtha and persuades him much terrified, and from consciousness of his crimes distrusting his affairs, as he had surrendered himself to the Roman people, not to prefer to try their power to their clemency. Besides, he privately gives his own faith, which the other valued not less than the public faith; so excellent was the character of Cassius at that time.
Therefore Jugurtha comes with Cassius to Rome in as wretched a state as possible, contrary to the dignity of a prince. And although there was in himself great strength of mind, being encouraged by all by whose wickedness he had done all these crimes which I have above mentioned, he gains over Caius Bæbius the tribune of the people by a great bribe, by whose impudence he might be protected against all right and his crimes. But Caius Memmius having summoned an assembly (although the common people were hostile to the king, and some recommended that he should be thrown into prison, and others that, unless he declared his partners in villany, punishment should be taken upon him as an enemy, according to the custom of their ancestors, consulting their honour rather than their passion), appeased their anger, and softened their minds; and lastly declared, that as far as he was concerned the public faith should not be violated. Afterwards, when silence began, Jugurtha being brought before the assembly, he speaks, and recounts his actions at Rome and Numidia, and set forth his crimes towards his father and his brothers; “and although the Roman people knew by whose assistance and support he had done all these things, yet they wished to have them more clearly explained by himself; if he unfolded the truth, there would be great hope remaining for him in the faith and clemency of the Roman people, but if he kept silence, he would be no assistance to his friends, but would destroy himself and his hopes.”
When Memmius had made an end of speaking, and Jugurtha was ordered to answer, Caius Bæbius, the tribune of the people, whom I have above said had been bribed, bids the king to be salient. And although the multitude which was present at the assembly, being excessively enraged, attempted to terrify him with clamour, angry looks and often with violence, and all other things which passion wishes to be displayed, yet his impudence prevailed. Thus the people, treated as a laughing stock, departed from the assembly. The spirits of Jugurtha, Bestia, and the others whom that investigation affected, are increased.
There was at that time at Rome a certain Numidian, by name Massiva, the son of Gulussa, and grandson of Masinissa; who, because in the quarrel between the kings he had been against Jugurtha, when Cirta had been surrendered and Atherbal slain, had departed in flight out of Africa. Him, Spurius Albinus, who the next year after Bestia had held the consulship with Quintus Minucius Rufus, persuades, since he was of the race of Masinissa, to load Jugurtha on account of his crimes with odium together with fear, and ask the kingdom of Numidia from the senate. The consul being greedy of carrying on the war, preferred that every thing should be excited rather than die away. To him, Numidia had fallen out as a province, to Minucius, Macedonia. Which things when Massiva began to agitate, and as Jugurtha had but little dependence on his friends, because one of them a consciousness of his crime, another evil report and fear of mind checked, he gives orders to Bomilcar his nearest relation and most trusty friend, to provide by bribery, as he had accomplished many things, assassins for Massiva, and if possible, privately, but if that should not be successful, by any means in their power to slay the Numidian. Bomilcar speedily executes the king’s commands, and by means of men skilled in such work he watches his journeys and movements, and lastly his haunts and all his habits; and then when the time required, he lays his plot. One therefore of the number of those who were hired for his murder attacks Massiva too inconsiderately and kills him, but he himself being apprehended, many persons exhorting him, and especially Albinus the consul, gives evidence. Bomilcar is accused more agreeably to what was right and just than to the law of nations, as being a companion of him who had come to Rome on the public faith. But Jugurtha, although proved guilty of so great a crime, did not give over striving against the truth before he perceived that the odium of the action was beyond the reach of his interest and money. And therefore though in the first action he had given fifty of his friends as bail for Bomilcar’s appearance, yet caring more for his kingdom than his sureties, he secretly sends Bomilcar to Spain, fearing lest a dread of obeying him should come upon the rest of his subjects were punishment to be inflicted upon him. And he himself in a few days set out for the same place, being commanded by the senate to depart from Italy. But after he had departed out of Rome, he is reported, frequently looking back thither in silence, to have said at last, “That the city was to be sold, and would soon be ruined if it could find a purchaser.”
In the mean time, Albinus, the war being renewed, hastens to transport into Africa provisions, pay, and all other things which would be of use to the soldiers; and himself immediately set off, that before the election, which period was not far distant, he might put an end to the war by arms, surrender, or any way he could. But on the other hand, Jugurtha protracted every thing, made first one and then another cause for delay, promised a surrender, and then pretended alarm, retreated as the enemy pursued, and a little after, lest his own men should become distrustful, pursued: and thus by delay at one time of war, at another time of peace, he mocked the consul. And there were some who then thought that Albinus was not ignorant of the king’s purpose, and did not believe that, after so great haste, the war was thus easily protracted so much by inactivity as by design.
But when, the time having slipped away, the day for the election arrived, Albinus, his brother Aulus being left as pro-prætor in the camp, departed for Rome. At that time the state of Rome was fiercely agitated by the seditions of the tribunes; Publius Lucullus, and Lucius Annius, tribunes of the commons, their colleagues opposing them, struggled to renew their office, which dispute hindered the election for the whole year. By this delay Aulus, whom we have just said was left as pro-prætor in the camp, being put in hopes of either finishing the war or of exacting money from the king by the terror of his army, draws his soldiers, in the month of January, out of their winter quarters upon an expedition, and came by great marches, in a severe winter, to the town of Suthul, where were the king’s treasures. And although this place, both from the sharpness of the weather and the natural strength of its position, could neither be taken nor besieged, (for around the wall, built upon the extremity of a craggy mountain, the level ground, from being muddy, had formed a marsh, through the winter’s rains), yet either for the sake of a feint, in order to increase the king’s alarm, or blinded by desire of seizing the town for the treasures within, he began to form vineæ, to cast up a mound, and hasten on other things which would be necessary to his undertaking.
But Jugurtha, having found out the vanity and unskilfulness of the lieutenant, craftily increased his madness, and frequently sent submissive ambassadors; and himself, as if on purpose to shun him, led his army through woody places and by-roads; and lastly he induced Aulus by the hopes of a reward, having left Suthul, to follow him into a lonely part of the country as if he was flying before him, and thus their crimes would be more concealed. In the mean time by night and by day he was tampering with the army by means of crafty men. The centurions and leaders of troops of horse he partly corrupted to desert; and others to quit their post when the signal was given. Which things when he had arranged according to his mind, in the dead of night on a sudden he surrounds the camp of Aulus with a large body of Numidians. The Roman soldiers, alarmed with the unaccustomed noise, began some of them to take up arms, others to hide themselves, some to encourage those who were frightened; there was consternation in every place, the force of the enemy was great; the heaven was obscured by the night and clouds, and the danger was on every side; lastly, it was uncertain whether it would be safe to fly or stay. But of the number of those whom I have just said had been bribed, one cohort of the Ligurians, with two troops of Thracian horse, and a few common soldiers deserted to the king, and a centurion of the first rank of the third legion gave the enemy opportunity of entering by that part of the fortification which he had received to defend, and by it the Numidians rushed in; our men by a shameful flight and most of them having thrown away their arms, got safe to the nearest hill. Night and the plunder of the camp delayed the enemy from following up their victory. Then on the following day Jugurtha addresses Aulus at a conference. That although he held him with his army distressed both by hunger and the sword, yet that he being mindful of human affairs, would, if he would conclude a treaty with him, send them under the yoke without further violence; but still he must depart from Numidia within ten days. And although these terms were hard and full of disgrace, yet because the men were changed by fear of death, peace was agreed as the king chose.
But when these things were known at Rome, fear and sorrow came upon the state. Some mourned for the glory of the empire, others unacquainted with warlike affairs feared for their liberty. All were enraged with Aulus, and especially those who had often been distinguished in war, because with arms in his hand he had sought safety rather by a disgrace than by his hand. Upon this the consul Albinus, fearing the odium from his brother’s fault, and thereby danger, consulted the senate concerning this treaty, and yet in the mean time raised recruits for the army, summoned auxiliary forces from the allies and Latin name, and in short made speedy preparations in every way. The senate, as it was fit, votes “that without their own consent and that of the people no treaty was competent to be concluded.” The consul being prevented by the tribunes of the people from taking with him the troops which he had levied, sets off in a few days to Africa. For all the army, as had been settled, having been led out of Numidia was wintering in the province. After he arrived thither, (although he burned in his mind to pursue Jugurtha, and make atonement for the odium attached to his brother), yet when he understood the state of the soldiers, whom, over and above the defeat, he had corrupted by the destruction of all discipline, by licence and wantonness, he determined, as matters were, that he must do nothing.
In the mean time at Rome, Caius Memmius Limetanus, a tribune of the people, proposes a bill to the people, that enquiry should be made concerning those by whose advice Jugurtha had despised the decrees of the senate, and who had received from him in their embassies or their commands money; who also had delivered up elephants and deserters; as also those who had made agreements with the enemy relating to war or peace. Since in part those who were conscious of their own guilt, and those again who feared the danger from the odium attached to their party, would not openly oppose the bill, but rather confessed that these things and others of the same kind were agreeable to them, yet secretly, by means of their friends, and especially by means of men of the Latin name and the Italian allies, they prepared obstacles. But it is incredible to say how very eager the commons were, and with what violence they passed the bill; more out of hatred to the nobility, against whom these evils were prepared, than from any care for the republic: so great was the fury in the parties. Wherefore, whilst all the rest were struck with fear, Marcus Scaurus, who we have above said was Bestia’s lieutenant, amidst the exultation of the commons, and the flight of his own party, and while the state was even still distracted, contrived that as by the Mamilian bill three commissioners should be appointed, he himself should be elected in that number. But as the commission was executed with violence and severity, according to the vulgar report and the pleasure of the commons, as insolence from prosperity had often seized the nobility, so at this time it did the commons.
But the customs of the party of the commons, and the faction of the senate, and lastly of all bad acts, arose at Rome a few years before from idleness and plenty of those things which men consider of the first consequence. For before the destruction of Carthage the people and the senate quietly and with moderation managed the state one with another, nor was there any contest for glory and power amongst the citizens; the fear of their enemies kept the state in good practices. But when this apprehension departed from their minds, then indeed those things which prosperity loves, namely wantonness and pride, came in. Thus when they had obtained the peace which they had longed for in adversity, it became more severe and harsh; for the nobility began to turn their power, and the people their liberty into licentiousness; every man began to steal, purloin, and plunder for himself. Thus every thing was stolen for these two parties: the state, which was in the middle between them, was torn to pieces. But the nobility was more powerful in their party; the power of the commons, being loosened and divided, was of little avail, by reason of their numbers; and the republic was managed both in peace and war according to the pleasure of a few. The treasury, the provinces, the magistracies, glory and triumphs were in the power of the same persons. The people were oppressed by service in war, and want; the generals with a few friends made prize of all the spoils of the war: in the mean time the parents or the young children of the soldiers were driven away from their abodes, just as each happened to be a neighbour to him who was more powerful. Thus did avarice, in conjunction with power without bounds or moderation, attack, pollute, and lay waste all things; nor had it any thought or religion until it had ruined itself. For as soon as those of the nobility were found who preferred true glory to unjust power, the state became in an uproar, and civil discord, just as if there were a dissolution of the earth, began to arise.
For after Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, whose ancestors, in the Carthaginian and other wars, had made many additions to the state, began to assert the rights of the commons to liberty, and to expose the wickedness of the few, the nobility, being guilty and therefore alarmed, did at one time oppose the exertions of the Gracchi, by means of their allies and those of the Latin name, at another time by means of the Roman knights, whom the hope of a share in the plunder had separated from the commons.
They opposed the proceedings of the Gracchi; and first they killed with the sword Tiberius, and then a few years after Caius pursuing the same measures, the one a tribune of the commons, and the other a triumvir for the planting of colonies, together with Marcus Fulvius Flaccus; and indeed the mind of the Gracchi, from their desire of victory, was not sufficiently moderate. But it would be preferable to a good man to be overcome, than to conquer injustice by bad measures. Therefore the nobility, following up their victory according to their pleasure, put out of the way many men either by the sword or flight; and gained for themselves for the future more dread than power, which thing has often destroyed great cities; while one party wishes to conquer the other at any rate, and punish the conquered too severely. But should I attempt to descant concerning the fury of parties and all the actions of the state at large, and according to the importance of the subject, the time would fail me sooner than the matter, wherefore I return to my subject.
After the treaty of Aulus, and the disgraceful flight of our men, Metellus and Silanus, consuls elect, had divided the provinces between them, and Numidia had fallen to Metellus, an active man, and though hostile to the party of the people, yet of general good character and without spot. He, as soon as he entered upon his office, thinking that all other things concerned himself equally with his colleague, gives his mind to the war which he was to carry on. Therefore distrusting the old army he began to enrol soldiers, summon assistance from every quarter, and prepare arms, weapons, horses, and all other instruments of war; besides provision in abundance, and in short all things, which in an irregular war and one destitute of many things, are wont to be of use. But to accomplish these things, the senate by their authority, the allies, and those of the Latin name, and foreign princes of their own accord, by sending assistance, and finally the whole city, exerted themselves with all their might. Therefore all things being prepared and arranged according to his mind, he sets out for Numidia, with great hope of the citizens, as well on account of his good qualities, as especially because he kept his mind unconquered against riches; and before that time our affairs in Numidia had been ruined, and those of the enemy increased, by the avarice of our commanders.
But when he came to Africa, the troops of the proconsul Spurius Albinus are delivered up to him, slothful, unwarlike, and patient neither of danger nor labour, more ready with their tongue than their hand, plunderers from their allies, and themselves the prey of the enemies, and kept without any command or moderation. Thus more anxiety was caused to the new commander from their bad dispositions than assistance or good hope from the number of the soldiers. Metellus however determined (although the lateness of the election had lessened the time for summer operations, and he thought that the minds of the citizens were on the stretch from expectation of the event) not to begin the war before he had compelled the soldiers by the discipline of the ancients to work. For Albinus, dismayed by the defeat of his brother Aulus and the army, when he had determined not to stir out of the province for as long a period as there was for summer operations while he was in the command, for the most part kept the soldiers in stationary camps, except when the stench or want of forage compelled him to change his ground. But neither were the watches kept according to the military custom, and just as each man pleased he was absent from the standards. Sutlers mingled with the soldiers wandered about by day and night, and as they wandered they laid waste the fields, forced open the houses, and in opposition drove off their booty of cattle and slaves, and bartered them with merchants for imported wines and other such things. Besides, they sold the corn given them by the state, and bought bread every day. In short, whatever scandalous effects of idleness and luxury can either be narrated, or imagined, were all of them in that army, and others besides.
But I find that Metellus in that difficulty, not less than in warlike affairs, was a great and wise man, with so great moderation did he keep the mean between a desire of popularity and cruelty. For, in the first place, he removed all the supports of idleness, by an edict that no one should sell bread or any other dressed food in the camp; that no sutlers should follow the army, nor any common soldier have in the camp or upon a march any servant or beast of burden. In other things he sparingly made an allowance. Moreover every day he moved his camp by cross marches, and, just as if the enemy were at hand, he surrounded it by a rampart and a ditch, set frequent watches, and himself with his lieutenants went the rounds: and also, when on the march, was present sometimes in the van, sometimes in the rear, and often in the centre, that no one might go out of his rank, and that they should march in full numbers with their standards, and that the soldier should carry his food and arms. Thus by prohibiting them from offences rather than by punishing them, he in a short time reformed the army.
In the mean time Jugurtha, when he had heard by messengers what Metellus was doing, and at the same time had been informed at Rome of his integrity, began to distrust his own affairs, and then at length endeavoured to make a true surrender. Therefore he sent ambassadors to the consul with entreaties, who were only to ask for the lives of himself and his children, and surrender every thing else to the Roman people. But it was already known to Metellus by experiments, that the Numidian race were faithless, of fickle dispositions, and fond of change. Therefore he tampers with the ambassadors separately one from the other, and by trying them by degrees, when he found them favourable to himself, he persuades them by promises to deliver up Jugurtha to him alive by all means, but if that plan should not succeed, dead. But openly he orders that a message, which would be agreeable to his desire, should be sent to the king. And then he himself in a few days marches into Numidia with a vigorous and hostile army, where instead of any show of war, the cottages were full of men, the cattle and labourers in the fields, and the king’s governors came to meet him from the towns and villages, ready to give him corn and convey provisions, and in short to do every thing that was commanded. But Metellus on that account did not march with a less careful army, but just as if the enemies were at hand, he reconnoitered every place far and wide, believed that these signs of surrender were only for a show, and examined the ground for ambuscades. Wherefore he himself with some light-armed cohorts, as well as with a chosen band of slingers and archers, was in the van. In the rear Caius Marius, his lieutenant, commanded with the cavalry. On both sides he had distributed the auxiliary cavalry to the tribunes of the legions and præfects of the cohorts, that the light armed troops being mixed with them might repulse the enemy’s cavalry wherever they made their attack. For in Jugurtha there was so much subtlety, and so great an acquaintance with places and war, that it was considered uncertain whether he was more mischievous when absent or present, engaged in peace or war.
There was not far from that route by which Metellus was marching, a town of the Numidians by name Vacca; a market for things to be sold, the most celebrated in the whole kingdom, where many men of the Italian race had been accustomed to inhabit and trade. Hither the consul sent a garrison, as well for the sake of trying the people, as well as to see if the position of the place would permit it; besides, he ordered them to collect corn and other things which would be of use for the war, thinking, as the circumstances suggested, that the great number of merchants and the provisions would assist his army, and would be a protection to the preparations already made. While these things were going on, Jugurtha at one time more anxiously sent submissive ambassadors, begged for peace, and gave up every thing but his own life and that of his children to Metellus. Whom just as the former ones the consul sends home, having been seduced to betray their master; and he neither denies nor promises the peace to the king which he demanded, and amidst these delays waited for the promises of the ambassadors.
Jugurtha, (when he compared Metellus’ sayings with his actions, and perceived that he himself was attacked by his own arts, as one to whom in words peace was proclaimed, but in reality there was a most difficult war, his largest city alienated from him, the country well known to the enemy, and the minds of his subjects tampered with), being compelled by the necessity of his affairs, determined to contend with arms. Therefore the route of the enemy being found out, and being led to hope for victory from the advantage their situation presented, he collects as large forces as he can of all kinds, and by means of some secret cross roads gets before Metellus’ army. There was in that part of Numidia which Atherbal had upon the division possessed, a river rising in the south, by name Muthul, from which there was distant at about twenty miles a mountain, of table land, waste both by nature and as far as human cultivation went, but from the middle of it a hill as it were rose, reaching to a great height, covered with wild olives and myrtles, and other kinds of trees, which grow in a dry and sandy soil. But the plain in the middle was desert from want of water, all but those places near the river. These being planted with brushwood were crowded with cattle and inhabitants.
Therefore on this hill, which we have shown was extended across Metellus’ march, Jugurtha sat down, with the line of his own men stretched out to a great length. Over the elephants and part of the infantry he placed Bomilcar, and instructs him what to do. He himself nearer the mountain draws up his men with all his cavalry and his picked infantry; and then going round the several troops and companies, he admonishes and beseeches them, that mindful of their valour and victory, they should defend themselves and their kingdom from the avarice of the Romans. That the struggle was about to be with those whom they had before sent when conquered under the yoke, that their general but not their spirit was changed. That all the things which became a commander were provided for his men, higher ground so that they might engage, skilful with unskilful, and not of smaller numbers with larger numbers, or ignorant with those who were better in warfare. Therefore they should be prepared and ready to attack the Romans when the signal was given; that that day would either confirm all their labours or victories, or be the beginning of the greatest calamities. Besides, he put them in mind of his kindness, man by man, just as he had rewarded any one for their gallant behaviour with riches or honour, and showed that person to the rest. Lastly, he roused one in one way, and another in another, by promising, threatening, or entreating them, according to the temper of each; whilst Metellus in the mean while, being not aware of the enemy, was beheld coming down from the mountain with his army. And at first in some doubt what that unusual appearance meant, (for the horses and Numidians were posted among the brushwood, but not sufficiently covered by reason of the lowness of the trees, but still as one could not be certain what they were, since they and their military standards were concealed as well by the nature of the ground as by stratagem), but the ambuscade being in a short time discovered, he halted his army for a short time. Then the ranks being changed, he furnished the line with three bodies of reserve on the right wing which was nearest the enemies, distributes the slingers and archers amongst the companies, places all his cavalry on the wings, and having exhorted his soldiers in a few words suitably to the occasion, he leads them down into the plain, the front line being turned into the flank.
But when he perceives that the Numidians remained quiet, nor came down from the hill, fearing from the season of the year and the want of water lest the army should be distressed by thirst, he sent on Rutilius his lieutenant with some light-armed cohorts and a part of the cavalry to the river, to secure a place for his camp; thinking that the enemy by frequent onsets and attacks on the flank would retard his march; and as they had no confidence in their arms they would take advantage of the weariness and thirst of the soldiers. Then he himself, according to circumstances and the nature of the place, advanced slowly just as he had come down from the mountain; Marius he kept behind the principes, he himself was with the cavalry of the left wing, who were now become the front in the march. But Jugurtha, when he sees that the rear of Metellus had passed by his van, occupies the mountain with a guard of about two thousand men, where Marius had descended, that it might not by chance serve as a retreat to the enemies if they retreated, and afterwards as a strong hold; and then, the signal being suddenly given, he attacks the enemies. Some of the Numidians attack the rear, others make sallies on the left and right; with fierceness they are present and press on, and in every direction throw the ranks of the Romans into confusion, of whom even those, who met the enemy with the most gallant spirit, being baffled by the unsteady mode of fighting, were themselves now wounded from a distance, nor had they any opportunity of striking them in return, or engaging in close fight. For the cavalry being before instructed by Jugurtha, whenever a troop of the Romans began to attack them, did not retreat in a mass, or to any one place, but dispersed one one way and another another, as much as possible. And so being superior in numbers, if they could not deter the enemy from pursuing them, they attacked them when divided in the rear or the flank. But if there were a hill more convenient for flight than were the fields, the horses of the Numidians being truly accustomed to such things easily escaped through the bushes, but the roughness and strangeness of the ground kept back our troops.
But the aspect of the whole of this affair was various, uncertain, dismal and miserable. Being separated from their comrades, some fled, others pursued the enemy. They neither regarded their standards nor ranks. Wherever danger seized each, there he made a stand and repelled the enemy. Arms, weapons, horses, men, enemies and citizens were jumbled together. Nothing was done under any certain plan or command, chance ruled every thing. Therefore much of the day had advanced when even then the event was still uncertain. Finally, all being worn out by labour and the heat, Metellus, when he sees the Numidians pressing on with less vigour, by degrees collects his soldiers together, restores his ranks, and posts four legionary cohorts against the enemies’ infantry, a great part of whom being wearied had sat down on the rising ground. At the same time he intreated and exhorted his soldiers not to faint nor suffer the flying enemy to gain the victory. That they had neither any camp nor any fortification whither retreating they might fly; all their hopes were in their arms. But neither was Jugurtha in the mean while idle, but went round and exhorted his men to renew the battle, and he himself with some chosen men made every attempt, assisted his own men, pressed on the enemy when wavering, and those whom he knew were firm, by attacking them from a distance, he kept in check.
In this manner did these two commanders, most illustrious men, contend one with another, they themselves a match, but of different means. For on Metellus’ side was the valour of his soldiers, but a disadvantageous position; but to Jugurtha every thing except his soldiers was favourable. But at last the Romans, when they understand that they had neither any place of safety, nor that any opportunity was given them by the enemy of fighting, and it was now late in the day, march up the hill as it had been commanded them. Their ground being lost the Numidians were routed and put to flight, and some perished. The most of them their speed and the country strange to their enemies defended. In the mean time Bomilcar, who we before said was set over the elephants and part of the infantry by Jugurtha, when Rutilius had passed him, by degrees leads down his own men into the plain; and whilst the lieutenant marches with speed to the river, whither he had been despatched, he unmolested draws up his troops, as the occasion demanded, nor neglects to reconnoitre what the enemy was every where doing. When he heard that Rutilius had now encamped and was secure in his mind, and at the same time that the noise from Jugurtha’s flight was increasing, fearing lest the lieutenant when the matter was understood should be an assistance to his friends in distress, he extends more widely his line, which, as he distrusted the bravery of his troops, he had drawn up closely in order to oppose the enemies’ march; and in that array he marches to the camp of Rutilius.
The Romans all of a sudden see a great quantity of dust, for the country being thick-set with shrubs hindered the view; and at first they thought that the dry soil was agitated by the wind, but afterwards when they see that it remains constant, and approached nearer and nearer as the army moved, finding out the truth, they take up their arms with all speed, and draw themselves up before the camp, as it was commanded them. Then when they came nearer, the engagement is begun on both sides with a great shout, the Numidians only making a stand as long as they think there is any assistance in their elephants; when they see them entangled with the boughs of the trees, and thus, from being dispersed, surrounded, they take to flight; and most of them, having thrown away their arms, escape unhurt by the assistance of a hill, or the night which now came on. Four elephants were taken, all the rest, in number forty, were killed. But the Romans, although they were wearied by their march, the toil of encamping, and the battle, and were as well overjoyed, yet as Metellus delayed beyond their expectation, march to meet him in order and with precaution. For the wiles of the Numidians allowed no slackness or neglect. And first, the night being dark, when they were not far from one another; by the noise, just as if enemies were approaching, the one party caused a panic and tumult to the other at the same time, and a fatal catastrophe would almost have taken place from the mistake, had not some cavalry, sent in advance by both parties, discovered the truth. Therefore instead of fear, joy on a sudden arose. The soldiers with joy call to each other, relate and hear their exploits; whilst each man extols his own brave deeds to the heavens. For such is the condition of mankind; upon a victory it is permitted even to cowards to boast; but ill success affects even the brave.
Metellus remaining in the same camp four days, recruits his wounded with care, rewards those who had distinguished themselves in the engagements according to the custom of warfare, praises them all in a speech, and returns them thanks, and exhorts them to have the like courage to what remained, which was trifling; that they had now fought enough for victory, and their remaining labours would be for booty. Yet in the mean time he sent deserters and other fit persons to reconnoitre where Jugurtha was, or what he was planning; whether he was attended by a few, or had an army; and how, now that he was conquered, he was conducting himself. But he had betaken himself to a position covered by thickets and protected by nature, and there he was collecting an army larger indeed in the number of men, but dispirited and feeble, and experienced in agriculture and cattle rather than in war. This happened on this account, because no one of all the Numidians, except the royal cavalry, attends the king after a defeat. Whithersoever each man’s mind leads him, thither they depart. Nor is this considered a disgrace in their warfare, such is the custom.
Therefore Metellus, when he sees that even then the king’s mind was fierce, and that the war was renewed which could not be carried on except according to Jugurtha’s pleasure; moreover that he had an unequal contest with the enemy, and that they were defeated with less loss than his own men sustained by conquering them, determined that the war should not be carried on by battles nor in open fight, but in a different manner. Therefore he marches into the wealthiest parts of Numidia, lays waste the land, takes and burns many towns and forts slightly fortified or without any garrison, and orders that all the males who were grown up should be slain, and every thing else become the booty of his soldiers. From this alarm many men were given as hostages to the Romans, corn and other things which would be useful were afforded in abundance, and wherever occasion required a garrison was placed. Which things alarmed the king much more than the battle unsuccessfully fought by his own men; since he whose every hope rested in a retreat was compelled to pursue, and he who had been unable to defend his own towns was compelled to carry on war in places unfavourable to him. Yet in this difficulty he adopts the plan which seems best, he commands his army to wait generally in the same parts, and he himself with some chosen cavalry pursues Metellus, and being concealed by nightly and difficult marches he unexpectedly attacks the Romans wandering about. Most of them fall unarmed, many are taken, and no one of them all escapes unwounded. And the Numidians, before any relief could be sent from the camp, retire as they were ordered to the next hills.
In the mean while great rejoicing had begun at Rome when Metellus’ success was known, how he conducted himself and his army after the example of their ancestors, how he had by his valour, though on disadvantageous ground, still proved the conqueror, had gained possession of the enemies’ land, and had compelled Jugurtha, elated by Aulus’ idleness, to have his hopes of safety either in solitude or flight. Wherefore the senate on account of these happy exploits voted public thanksgivings to the immortal gods.
The state which was before full of fear, and anxious about the issue of the war, conducted itself with joy, and the fame of Metellus was spread about. Therefore he the more eagerly strove for the victory, hastened on in every way, but still was careful not to become exposed to the enemy, and remembered that envy follows after glory. Thus the more renowned he was, the more anxious he became, nor ever after Jugurtha’s ambuscade did he go on foraging expeditions with a dispersed force. Whenever he had need of corn or forage, the cohorts with all the cavalry kept guard, while he himself led part of the army, Marius the rest. But the country was wasted more by fire than by plundering. They used to pitch their camps in two places not far from one another. Whenever there was need of main force they all collected together, but in order that the enemies’ flight and alarm might increase more widely, they acted separately. At that time Jugurtha followed through the hills, sought for the time and opportunity to attack them, and wherever he heard the enemy was coming, he destroyed the forage and springs of water, of which there was a scarcity. At one time he shewed himself to Metellus, at another to Marius, would attack the rear in the march, and immediately retire to the hills, and again threaten others and then others still, and neither gave them an opportunity for engaging, nor allowed them repose, but only kept back the enemy from their purpose.
The Roman general, when he sees himself harassed by these stratagems, and that no opportunity of fighting was offered him by the enemy, resolved to attack a great city, by name Zama, and in that neighbourhood where it was situated, the citadel of the kingdom; supposing, as indeed the case required, that Jugurtha would come to the assistance of his subjects in distress, and that there a battle would take place. But he, being informed by deserters of the things which were prepared, by great marches got thither before Metellus, and exhorts the townsmen to defend their walls, some deserters being added as a garrison, which class was the most to be relied upon of all the king’s troops, because they could not deceive him. He promises moreover, that he himself would arrive in due time with an army. Thus, affairs being arranged, he departs to places as concealed as possible, and a little after understands that Marius had been despatched from the army, then on a march, to Sicca with a few cohorts, to fetch corn, which was the first town of all that revolted from the king after his unfortunate fight. Thither he marches with some picked cavalry by night, and as the Romans were coming out of the town, he attacks them at the very gate. At the same time with a loud voice he exhorts the Siccensians to surround the cohorts in the rear; that fortune had given them an opportunity of performing a noble deed. If they would do this, in future he himself in his kingdom, and they in their liberty, would pass their lives without fear. And had not Marius hastened to push forward and escape from the town, without doubt all or a large portion of the Siccensians would have changed sides; with so great fickleness do the Numidians conduct themselves. But Jugurtha’s soldiers, being for a little while encouraged by the king, when the enemy press them with greater vigour, having lost a few of their men, depart in flight.
Marius came to Zama. That town was situated in the plain, and fortified more by art than nature; wanting in no necessary, and rich in arms and men. Therefore Metellus, things being prepared suitably to the time and place, surrounds all the walls with his army, and gives orders to his lieutenants where each should act; and then upon a signal being given, a great shout is set up on all sides at once. Nor does this circumstance alarm the Numidians, without confusion they remain firm and prepared, and a battle begins. The Romans each man according to his ability fight, some from a distance with bullets or stones, some retire, others take their places; and at one time undermine, at another attack the wall with ladders, and are eager to come to close fight with the enemy. On the other hand, the townsmen roll stones on those nearest them, and hurl sharp stakes and lances, besides torches mingled with pitch and sulphur, all burning. But not even those who kept at a distance did their fear of mind sufficiently protect; for javelins, sent from engines or the hand, wounded most of them; and in equal danger but unequal reputation were the brave and cowardly.
Whilst the fight is thus going on at Zama, Jugurtha unexpectedly attacks the enemies’ camp with a large force; those who were as guards being careless, and expecting any thing rather than a battle, he breaks through the gate. But our men, being confounded by the sudden alarm, consult each man for himself, according to their natural dispositions. Some fled, others took up arms, and a great portion were wounded or slain. But of all that multitude not more than forty, mindful of the Roman name, forming themselves into a body, seized upon a place a little higher than the rest, nor could they be driven thence by the greatest strength, but threw back the weapons thrown at them from a distance, and as they were but few while the others were many, they were more successful in their aim; and if the Numidians came nearer them, then they truly displayed their valour, and slew them with the greatest fierceness, routed them and put them to flight. In the mean while Metellus, when he was most actively carrying on the assault, heard the clamour and tumult of the enemy in his rear; and then turning his horse he perceived the rout turned towards himself; which circumstances showed that they were his own men. Therefore with speed he sent all the cavalry to the camp, and directly afterwards Caius Marius with the cohorts of the allies, and with tears implores him by their friendship and the state, not to allow any disgrace to remain upon a victorious army, or the enemy to retreat unavenged. He executes his commands in a short time. But Jugurtha, hindered by the rampart of the camp, when some were rushing headlong over the mound, and others by crowding in the narrow passages were hindering each other, having lost many men, betakes himself to his fortified positions. Metellus, his purpose not effected, when night came on, returns to the camp with his army.
Wherefore the next day, before they went out to the attack, he orders all the cavalry to patrole before the camp on that side by which the attack of the king would be; the gates and parts adjoining he assigns to the tribunes; and then he himself advances up to the town and makes an attack upon the wall as he had done the day before. In the mean time Jugurtha from his cover suddenly attacks our men; those who had been placed nearest him are for a little while frightened and thrown into confusion, but the rest soon come to their assistance. Nor could the Numidians any longer have resisted, had not their infantry mixed with their horse done great execution in the battle. On whom they relying did not, as is generally the custom in a cavalry engagement, pursue and then retire, but charge with horses breast to breast, mingle themselves with, and confound our line, and so delivered up their enemies almost conquered to their own light infantry.
At the same times the fight was going on at Zama with great fierceness; wherever each lieutenant or tribune commanded, there he most vigorously exerted himself, nor did any other person rest his hope on any one more than on himself. And just in the same way did the townsmen act, attack the enemy, and make preparations in every place, and each party were more eager to attack the enemy than protect themselves. Shouts were mixed with encouragements, exultations, and groans; the noise of arms was also borne to the heavens, and weapons flew on both sides. But those who were defending the walls, whenever the enemies did even a little abate their attack, beheld with eagerness the battle of the horse. And you might see them, just according to Jugurtha’s different fortunes, at one time glad, at another fearful. And just as they could be heard or be seen by their own men, some admonished them, other exhorted them or made signs with their hands, or made motions with the bodies, and moved hither and thither just as if avoiding or discharging weapons. And when this was known to Marius, for he commanded in that quarter, he designedly acted with less vigour, and feigned a fear for the result, and suffered the Numidians without disturbance to behold the engagement of the king. And thus when they were completely engaged in zeal for their friends, on a sudden he attacks the wall with great violence. And the soldiers having advanced upon ladders had almost gained the summit, when the townsmen flock to the place, and pour upon them stones, fire, and other weapons besides. Our men at first stood firm, but then when one or two ladders were broken, those who stood upon them were thrown down, the rest, just as each could, retreat, few unhurt, but the greater part covered with wounds. At last night put an end to the battle on both sides.
Metellus, when he sees that his attack is in vain, and that the town was not taken, nor that Jugurtha would fight except by stratagem, or on his own choice of ground, and that the summer was now over, marches away from Zama, and places garrisons in those cities which had revolted from him and were sufficiently protected by nature or walls. But his army he places in the province which is nearest to Numidia for the sake of winter quarters. Yet he does not according to the custom of others give that time up to idleness and luxury; but since the war was but little advancing by arms, he lays snares for the king by means of his friends, and prepares to make use of their treachery instead of arms. Therefore he attacks with great promises Bomilcar, who had been at Rome with Jugurtha, and from thence, after having secretly given bail for the murder of Massiva, had evaded his trial; because he had the greatest opportunity of deceiving him by reason of his very great intimacy with him. And first he contrives that he should come to him in private for the sake of conversation, and then having given him his word, that if he delivered up Jugurtha alive or dead to him, it should be managed that the senate would grant him a pardon and all his possessions; he easily persuades the Numidian, who together with a perfidious disposition was then afraid, lest if peace should be concluded with the Romans he should by the articles of it be delivered up to punishment.
He, as soon as there was an opportunity, accosts Jugurtha full of perplexity, and lamenting his misfortunes, advises and beseeches him with tears to take at length measures for himself and his children, and the nation of the Numidians, who had deserved so well at his hands. That they were conquered in every battle, their land laid waste, and many men taken and slain; that the strength of the kingdom was broken, that now both the valour of his soldiers and his fortune had been often enough tried; and that he must beware lest, while he is delaying, the Numidians should provide for their own safety. By these and the like arguments he brings the king’s mind to make a surrender. Ambassadors are sent to the commander, to say that Jugurtha would obey his commands, and without any conditions would deliver up himself and his kingdom to his honour. Metellus immediately orders all the men of senatorial rank to be summoned from their winter quarters, and holds a council with them and others whom he considered proper. Thus according to the custom of their ancestors, by a vote of the council, he by the ambassadors orders Jugurtha to deliver up two hundred thousand pounds of silver, all his elephants, and some horses and arms. And when these things were done without delay, he orders that all the deserters should be brought in chains. A great part of them, as was commanded, were brought, a few, as soon as the surrender began, fled to king Bocchus to Mauritania. Therefore Jugurtha, when he was deprived of his arms, his troops and money, and when he himself was summoned to Tisidium for further commands, began again to change his mind, and from a guilty conscience to fear his deserts. Lastly, many days being spent in doubt, when at one time from disgust at his misfortunes he considered any thing better than war, and sometimes when he reflected with himself how heavy a misfortune slavery would be after royalty, though many and great means of defence were lost all to no purpose, he begins the war afresh. And the senate at Rome, being consulted about the provinces, had voted Numidia to Metellus.
About the same time by chance the haruspex had told Caius Marius, when he was at Utica paying his devotions by means of victims to the gods, that great and wonderful prodigies were portended, and therefore he must do what he was revolving in his mind with full reliance on the gods, and should try as often as possible his fortune, for all things would turn out prosperously. But already before this a great desire for the consulship had seized him, to gain which, besides the antiquity of his family, he had other qualifications in abundance; industry, honesty, great skill in warfare, a spirit great in war, but modest at home, the conqueror of covetousness and riches, and only greedy of glory. But he, born and brought up all his youth at Arpinum, where first of all his age could bear warfare, exercised himself in campaigns, not in Grecian eloquence nor town fopperies, and thus among these honourable pursuits his pure genius grew up in a short time. And therefore when first of all he sought the tribuneship of the soldiers from the people, though most men were ignorant of his face, being speedily made famous he is chosen by all the tribes. And then from that office he obtained one after another for himself, and always used so to behave himself in these dignities, that he was worthy of a greater one than he enjoyed. Yet such a man as he was up to that time, (for afterwards he was hurried on headlong by ambition) he durst not apply for the consulship. Even then the common people enjoyed the other offices, but the consulship the nobility handed down from one to another. No person of low birth was ever so illustrious or distinguished for his noble actions but he was considered unworthy of that honour, and as if a disgrace to it.
Wherefore when Marius sees that the words of the soothsayer tend to the same point as the desire of his mind exhorted him, he requests leave of absence from Metellus for the sake of canvassing. And though Metellus had virtue, glory, and other qualifications to be desired by the good in abundance, yet there was in him a haughty spirit and pride, the common bane of the nobility. Wherefore being at first startled by this unheard of thing, he wondered at his meaning, and as if through friendship advised him, “not to begin so foolish an undertaking, nor carry his thoughts above his situation; all things were not to be coveted by all men; his present condition ought abundantly to please him; and lastly he should beware of seeking from the Roman people what might rightly be denied him.” When he had spoken these and other words of the same kind, nor was the mind of Marius diverted, he answered “That as soon as it might be done consistently with the public interest he would grant what he asked.” And afterwards he is said to have answered him, often making the same request, “that he need not be making haste to begone, that it would be quite time enough for him to seek the consulship with his son.” He at that time served there in his father’s tent, being about twenty years old. Which circumstance very much inflamed Marius, as well for the dignity which he desired, as against Metellus. And thus he proceeded according to the instigation of the worst counsellors, ambition and anger, nor abstained from any deed or word, provided only it were popular; kept the soldiers, over whom in their winter quarters he commanded, under a more relaxed discipline than before; and amongst the merchants, of whom there was a great multitude at Utica, talked disparagingly and at the same time haughtily concerning the war. That if half of the army were entrusted to him he would in a few days have Jugurtha in chains; that the war was purposely protracted by the general because he, a vain man and of royal pride, was too much pleased with command. All which things appeared to them the more plausible, because they had injured their property by the continuance of the war, and to a covetous mind no expedition seems enough.
There was besides in our army a certain Numidian, by name Gauda, the son of Mastanabal, and grandson of Masinissa, whom Micipsa in his will had left second heir, a man worn out by disease, and therefore of a mind a little affected. To whom, when he asked that according to the privilege of kings he would place a chair next him, and afterwards for the sake of guard a troop of Roman horse, Metellus had refused both requests; the honour, because it was only theirs whom the Roman people saluted as kings, the body-guard because it would be an affront to them if Roman knights were handed over as guardsmen to a Numidian. This man thus annoyed Marius addresses, and exhorts him to seek for satisfaction, by his aid from the general, for these insults; he magnifies in a flattering speech this man who on account of his diseases was of weak intellect. “That he was a king, a great man, the grandson of Masinissa; if Jugurtha were taken or slain he would without delay have the kingdom of Numidia, and that this might thus quickly come to pass if he himself were sent as consul to the war.” Wherefore both him, the Roman knights, the soldiers, and merchants, partly Marius, but most of them the hope of peace induces, to write to their friends at Rome in a severe manner against Metellus for his conduct of the war, and to demand Marius as their general. So the consulship was sought for him by many men with a most honourable interest. At that time also the common people, the nobility being defeated by the Mamilian law, was raising some of low birth, and thus all things went on favourably for Marius.
In the mean time Jugurtha, when foregoing his surrender, he renews the war, was preparing every thing and hastening it on with great industry, was collecting an army, and gaining over to him those cities which had revolted from him, either by threats or holding out rewards, was fortifying his towns, and repairing or purchasing arms, weapons, and other things which he had lost in hopes of peace, was enticing the Roman slaves, and tampering by money with those very persons who were in garrisons: in short he left nothing untried or at rest, but set all means to work. Therefore the inhabitants of Vacca, where Metellus at first had placed a garrison, when Jugurtha made his offer of peace, being wearied out by the solicitations of the king, nor indeed disaffected to him before—that is to say the principal men of the state form a conspiracy amongst themselves; for the common people, as is generally the custom, and especially that of the Numidians, were of a fickle disposition, seditious and contentious, desirous of change, and enemies to peace and quietness. Then when matters were arranged among themselves, they make an appointment for the third day, as that being a festival and famous through the whole of Africa, gave occasion for mirth and jollity rather than alarm. But when the day came, they invite the centurions and tribunes of the soldiers, and the prefect himself of the town, Titus Turpilius Silanus, to their houses, one to one, and another to another; all of them except Turpilius they murder during the feast, and then attack the soldiers dispersed about the town and unarmed, since it was on a day of this kind, and under no command. The common people does the same thing, part being induced by the nobility, part being excited by their eagerness for such things, to whom, though they knew not what they did or the design, the commotion itself and the novelty were quite agreeable enough.
The Roman soldiers upon this sudden alarm, being in great doubt and uncertainty what was the best thing for them to do, ran in great haste to the citadel of the town, where were the standards and shields, but a guard of the enemy and the gates before closed interrupted their flight; besides this, women and children upon the tops of the houses hurled down in concert stones and whatever else the place supplied. Thus this two-fold evil could neither be guarded against, nor could resistance be offered by the bravest against the weakest kind of foe. The courageous and the cowardly, the vigorous and the inactive, were all alike unavenged and slain. In this dreadful case, the Numidians being in the greatest fury, and the town being on every side closed, Turpilius the prefect was the only one out of all the Italians who escaped unhurt, whether this so happened by the pity of his host, or by agreement, or by chance, we are unable to ascertain. But however as a base life appeared better than an honest name in so great a calamity, he appears a bad and detestable man.
Metellus, when he hears of the deeds done at Vacca, departs for a short time out of sight in sorrow, and then when his anger and sorrow were mixed together, he hastens to go and revenge these injuries with the greatest diligence. The legion with which he wintered, and as many light-armed Numidian cavalry as he can, he draws out as soon as the sun set; and the next day about the third hour, he came to a certain plain, surrounded by ground a little loftier; there he informs the soldiers, who were wearied by the length of their march, and were now refusing to obey orders, that Vacca was not distant more than a thousand paces; that they ought to endure the remaining fatigue with patience, provided that they could take vengeance for their fellow citizens, men most brave but most unhappy. Moreover he kindly offers them the plunder of the place. Their minds being thus encouraged, he orders the cavalry to advance in the first line, and the infantry to follow after in as close array as possible, and to conceal their standards.
The Vaccensians, as soon as they perceived that the army was marching against them, supposing at first, as was indeed the fact, that it was Metellus, shut their gates; but then when they see that neither their lands are wasted, and that those who first came up were Numidian horsemen, believing on second thoughts that it was Jugurtha, go out to meet him with great joy. The horse and infantry, a signal being suddenly given, some made havoc of the mob that had poured out from the town, whilst others hastened to the gates, and others seized the towers; their passion and their hopes of plunder were more powerful than their fatigue.
Thus the Vaccensians only enjoyed themselves for two days after their perfidy, their great and wealthy city was all either punished or made a prey. Turpilius, who we have already said was prefect of the town, and was the only one of all who escaped, being commanded by Metellus to make his defence, when he but poorly clears himself, being condemned and beaten with rods is beheaded; for he was a citizen only with the privilege of Latium.
About the same time Bomilcar, by whose instigation Jugurtha had begun the surrender which through fear he relinquished, being suspected by the king, and himself suspicious of him, began to long for a change, and seek out some plan for his ruin, by day and by night wearied his mind; and lastly in contriving every thing, he joins Nabdalsa to himself as an assistant, a nobleman, renowned for his great power, and beloved by his countrymen; who generally commanded an army apart from the king, and was accustomed to execute every thing which remained to Jugurtha to do when fatigued, or engaged in more important matters, by which means glory and wealth were procured for himself. Wherefore by the plan of both, a day is fixed for their plot, but they decided that all other things, as circumstances required, should be prepared according to the exigency of the time. Nabdalsa set off to the army, which according to his orders he had within the winter quarters of the Romans, that the land might not be ravaged by the enemy without revenge. When he, staggered at the greatness of the undertaking of the deed, did not arrive at the time appointed, and alarm prevented the execution; Bomilcar at the same time, from a desire of accomplishing his designs, and fearful from the alarm of his accomplice, lest dropping his former plan he should adopt a new one, sends a letter to him by some faithful messengers, in which he upbraided the cowardice and sloth of the man, called the gods to witness by whom he had sworn, and advised him not to turn Metellus’ rewards to their ruin, that Jugurtha’s end was approaching; but this only was being considered whether he was to perish by their resolution or that of Marius; wherefore he ought to consider the matter well in his mind, whether he preferred rewards or a cruel death.
But when this letter was brought, Nabdalsa by chance being wearied from having exercised his body, was resting on his bed. Where, when Bomilcar’s words were read, first anxiety, and then, as is wont in the case of a tired mind, sleep seized him. He had a certain Numidian, the manager of his business, faithful and well beloved, and acquainted with all his counsels, except these last; who, when he heard that a letter was brought, supposing according to custom that there was need of his assistance or advice, entered into the tent, and while his master was sleeping takes the letter carelessly placed above his head on the pillow, and reads it though, and then with all speed, the plot being discovered, he hastens to the king. Nabdalsa awaking a little while after, when he neither found the letter, and heard from deserters all the matter how it had been done, first of all attempted to overtake the informer, but when that was in vain he goes to Jugurtha for the purpose of appeasing him; he tells what he himself had prepared to do, that he had been prevented by the treachery of his servant, and with tears conjures him by their friendship, by his former faithful services, not to suspect him of such a crime.
To these things the king, very differently to what were the feelings he had in his mind, gave a kind answer. Bomilcar and many others, whom he knew to be privy to these plots, being put to death, he suppressed his anger, for fear any insurrection should arise from this matter. From this time forward Jugurtha had no quiet day or night, nor put any confidence in any place, man, or time; but feared alike citizens and enemies; explored every thing around him, and grew pale at every noise, and first in one and then in another place, contrary to the majesty of a king, he took his rest by night; sometimes awakening out of sleep would make a disturbance having snatched up his arms, and thus was tormented by alarm as if by madness.
Therefore Metellus, as soon as he understood by deserters concerning Bomilcar’s fate, and the information given, again prepares every thing as if for a renewed war and makes all haste. Marius continuing to weary him for his discharge, and thinking him at the same time if unwilling and angry with him but of little service, he sends home. At Rome too the common people, the letters being known which were sent concerning Metellus and Marius, heard the accounts of both with minds well pleased. The nobility which was before an ornament to the general, was now the cause of odium; but for the other, who was of a different race, his low birth procured popularity. But in the case of both, party spirit ruled more than their own good or bad qualities. Besides, some seditious magistrates inflamed the common people, by accusing Metellus of capital crimes in all their harangues, and magnifying Marius’ valour. In short, the common people were so excited, that the mechanics and all rustics, whose substance and credit lay in their daily labour, leaving their toils, constantly attended Marius, and esteemed their own necessities inferior to his honour. The nobility being thus alarmed, after many disturbances the consulship is given to an upstart, and afterwards the people being asked by Manlius Mancinus the tribune of the commons, whom they wished to carry on the war with Jugurtha? in a full assembly named Marius. But the senate a little before had voted Numidia to Metellus, but that was in vain.
At the same time Jugurtha, having lost his friends, most of whom he himself had slain, and the rest through fear had some of them fled to the Romans, others to king Bocchus; when he was neither able to carry on the war without ministers, and thought it dangerous to try the faith of new friends after so much treachery from old ones, was tossed about in great doubt and uncertainty. Neither did any thing, nor any counsel, nor any man sufficiently please him; he changed his marches and his præfects every day; at one time he marched against the enemies, sometimes into deserts, often in flight, and then a little after in arms he placed his hopes; and was uncertain whether to trust less the courage or the fidelity of his subjects. Thus whithersoever he turned his thoughts all things were against him. But amidst these delays Metellus suddenly shows himself with his army. The Numidians were prepared and drawn up as well as the shortness of time allowed: then the battle began. In what part of the fight the king was, there the fight lasted for some time; all his other soldiers were beaten and put to flight at the first attack. The Romans seized their standards and arms, and a small number of men. For in almost all their battles, their heels rather than their arms secured the Numidians.
From this defeat Jugurtha, much more now despairing of his prospects, departed with some deserters and a part of his horse to the deserts, and then to Thala. That was a large and wealthy town, where were most of his treasures, and the ordinary education of his sons’ infancy. And when these things were known to Metellus, although he knew that between Thala and the next river for the space of forty miles was a dry and desolate space, yet from a hope of finishing the war, if he could obtain that town, he prepares to surmount all difficulties, and to conquer even nature itself. Wherefore he orders all the beasts of burden to be eased of their burdens except of corn for ten days, and that only some skins and other vessels fit for water should be carried. Moreover he collects from the fields as many trained beasts as he can, and on them places vessels of every description, most of them of wood, collected from the cottages of the Numidians. Besides he commands the neighbours, who had surrendered themselves after the king’s defeat to Metellus, to carry as much water as each could, and fixes a day and a place where they should meet him. He himself loads the beasts out of the river, which we before said, was the nearest water to the town.
Furnished in this way he arrives at Thala. Then when he had come to that place which he had appointed to the Numidians, and his camp was pitched and fortified, so great a quantity of water is said on a sudden to have fallen from heaven that it alone was sufficient and even more than sufficient for the army. Moreover their provisions were more plentiful than they expected, because the Numidians, as most men after a late submission, had carefully performed their duties. But the soldiers from superstition used the rain water more than the other, and this circumstance added much to their courage, for they thought they were objects of care to the immortal gods. Then the next day, contrary to Jugurtha’s expectation, they come to Thala. The townsmen, who had believed themselves protected by the roughness of the ground, astonished by so great and strange an event, did none the less idly prepare for war, and our men did the same.
But the king thinking that nothing was now impossible to Metellus, as a man who had by his industry conquered all arms, weapons, places, times, and lastly nature herself who rules over all things else, fled with his children and a great part of his money from the town by night, and never after remaining above one day or night in the same place, pretended that he was thus hasty on account of business; but he was afraid of treachery, which he thought he could avoid by his quick movements. For such designs were undertaken in leisure and by opportunity. But Metellus, when he sees the townsmen resolved upon battle, and at the same time the town fortified by art and position, surrounds the walls with a mound and ditch. Then he orders his men to push up their vineæ in such places as were best fit for them, and to erect a mound over them, and from towers placed over the mound to protect the work and workmen. In opposition to these things the townsmen made all haste and preparation, and in short nothing was left undone by both parties. At length the Romans before wearied out with much labour and fighting, within only forty days after they had arrived thither, made themselves masters of the town, but all the plunder was destroyed by deserters. For they as soon as they see that the wall was attacked by battering rams, and their prospects were ruined, carry together to the palace, gold and silver, and all other things which are considered most precious, and there glutted with wine and feasting, they destroy with fire them and the palace and themselves; and the punishments which if conquered they feared from the enemy these they themselves voluntarily paid. But just as Thala was taken, ambassadors came from the town Leptis to Metellus, intreating him to send a garrison and a præfect thither; that one Hamilcar a noble but factious man was plotting for a revolution, against whom neither the authority of the magistrates nor the laws were of avail; and if he did not despatch this assistance, they the Roman’s allies, would be in the greatest danger. For the Leptitani at the very beginning of the war with Jugurtha had sent to the consul Bestia, and afterwards to Rome, to ask for their friendship and alliance; and then when these requests were obtained, they had always remained good and faithful, and had done with spirit every thing commanded by Bestia, Albinus, and Metellus. Therefore they easily obtained from the general what they asked. Four cohorts of the Ligurians are sent thither, and Caius Annius as præfect.
That town was built by the Sidonians, who we have heard, when fugitives on account of civil discords, came by ships to those places; but it is situated between the two Syrtes, to which the name is given from their nature; For they are two bays almost in the extremity of Africa, unequal in size, but of like nature; whereof the parts nearest the land are very deep, the rest, just as chance has made them, are both deep, and some of them shallow, especially in a storm; for when the sea begins to be rough and to rage with the winds, the waves drag the mud and sand and large stones about, and thus the appearance of the places is changed together with the winds; and they are named Syrtes from this dragging. The language of that town has been lately changed through their intermarriages with the Numidians, but most things in their laws and living are Sidonian, which they retained so much the more easily, because they lived at some distance from the government of the king of Persia; Between them and the populous part of Numidia were many and desolate tracts.
But since we are got into these parts through the affairs of the Leptitani, it does not seem amiss to mention the famous and wonderful exploits of two Carthaginians, of which thing the place has put us in mind. At the time the Carthaginians ruled over the greatest part of Africa the Cyrenians were both great and opulent. The country between was sandy and uniform, neither was there any river nor mountain to fix their boundaries, which thing kept them in a terrible and constant war one with another. After the legions on both sides and also fleets had been often routed and put to flight, and each party had a good deal injured the other, fearing lest some other state should presently attack both the conquered and the conquerors when weary, they make an agreement under an armistice; that on a certain day commissioners should set out from home, and in whatever place they should meet one another, that place should be the common boundary for each people. Therefore two brothers were sent from Carthage whose names were Philæni, who hastened to accomplish their journey. The Cyrenians proceeded more slowly; whether this happened through laziness or accident I am not informed. But in those parts a storm is wont to detain travellers as effectually as by sea; for when a wind having arisen in those parts which are level and barren of life heaves up the sand from the earth, this being driven about with great violence is wont to fill men’s faces and eyes; and thus, their view being hindered, it delays the journey. When the Cyrenians find themselves a little behind hand, and fear punishment at home for their mismanagement, they accuse the Carthaginians of having left home before the time appointed, and make a disturbance about it, and in a word are desirous to do any thing rather than return defeated. But when the Carthaginians desired some other conditions that were only fair, the Greeks offer the Carthaginians this choice, either that they should be buried alive there where they demanded the boundaries of their nation should be, or that they themselves would advance on the same times to whatever place they chose. The Philæni accepting the terms, gave themselves and their life to the state, and thus were buried alive. The Carthaginians consecrated altars there to the brothers the Philæni, and other honours were instituted to them at home. Now I return to my subject.
Jugurtha, when after the loss of Thala he considers nothing sufficiently secure against Metellus, having marched with a few attendants through vast deserts, came to the Gætulians, a fierce race of men, and uncultivated, and at that time unacquainted with the Roman name. He collects a great number of them together, and by degrees accustoms them to form their ranks, follow standards, observe orders, and also to execute other military duties. Besides he brings to his own interest the nearest relations of king Bocchus by great presents and greater promises, by whose assistance having prevailed upon the king, he induces him to take up arms against the Romans. This was for this reason more easy and ready, because Bocchus had at the commencement of this war sent ambassadors to Rome, to ask for alliance and friendship; which thing, although most serviceable in a war just begun, a few men had prevented, blinded by avarice, whose custom it was to make a traffic of all things both honourable and dishonourable. Even already the daughter of Bocchus had married Jugurtha. But this connexion is reckoned but slight amongst the Numidians and Moors, because all of them according to their means, marry each of them as many wives as possible, and some have ten, others more; but the kings from their station more than any one else. Thus their mind is divided by the numbers, and regards none of them as a companion, but all are equally despised.
Wherefore the armies meet in a place appointed by the two kings; there their faith being pledged to one another, Jugurtha inflames the mind of Bocchus by an harangue. “That the Romans were unjust, of immense avarice, and common enemies to them both. They had just the same cause for war with Bocchus as with himself and other nations, namely, the lust of empire, and therefore all kings’ countries were their enemies. At that time he himself was, just before the Carthaginians, as also king Perses were, and in future every man, just as he became rich, would be reckoned hostile to the Romans.” These and other things of the same kind having been uttered, they resolve on a march to the town of Cirta, because Metellus had placed there his plunder, captives, and baggage. Thus Jugurtha reckoned either, that if the city were taken, the attempt would be worth their while; or that if the Roman came to the aid of his men, they must fight for it. For he now was craftily making all haste to break the peace between Bocchus and the Romans, lest by delaying he might prefer some other thing to war.
When the Roman general heard of the alliance of these two kings, he does not carelessly, nor as he had been accustomed when Jugurtha had been often defeated, give the enemy an opportunity of fighting in every place, but having pitched his camp not far from Cirta, he waits for the kings, thinking it better when he knew something of the Moors, since this was a new enemy that was added, then to fight upon some advantage offered. In the mean time he is informed by letters from Rome, that Numidia is given as a province to Marius; for he had already heard that he was made consul. By which things being affected beyond equity and decency, he could neither refrain his tears nor bridle his tongue; and though a man illustrious in all other respects, he bore disappointment too impatiently. Which thing some imputed to pride, others thought that his good natural disposition was goaded by the insult put upon him; many believed because the victory now gained was snatched out of his hands; to me it seems plain enough that he was more tormented at Marius’ promotion than the injury done to himself, nor that he would have borne it so heavily if the province that was taken from him had been given to some one else than Marius.
Therefore being prevented by this trouble, and because it seemed an act of folly to take care of another man’s business at his own hazard, he sends ambassadors to Bocchus, to require him “not to become an enemy to the Roman people without reason; that he had now a grand opportunity of entering into alliance with them, and of joining friendship, which would be better than war. And though he might put confidence in his own resources, yet he ought not to change certain things for uncertain; that every war could easily be taken up, but was most difficult to be ended; that its beginning and its end were not in the power of the same person; that it was in the power of any one, even a coward, to begin war, but that it could only be laid down when the conquerors chose. Wherefore he ought to consult for himself and his kingdom, nor unite his own flourishing prospects with Jugurtha’s ruined ones.” To this the king makes a smooth reply: “That he himself was anxious for peace, but pitied Jugurtha’s misfortune; if the same opportunity were given him too, every thing would be settled.” Again the general sends messengers to answer Bocchus’ demands. He partly agreed with some things, but refused others. In this way messengers being often sent backwards and forwards by both parties, the time was spun out and the war prolonged without any advance, according to Metellus’ wish.
But Marius, as we have said above, being made consul by the people with very great zeal, when the people decreed to him Numidia as a province, already before this being hostile to the nobility began now to be very violent and furious against them. At one time he attacked them individually, at another time in a body; and constantly asserted that he had taken from them now conquered the consulship as a prey, as well as other things that were boasting as far as he was concerned, and annoying to them. In the mean time he considered those things, which were necessary for the war, his first care. He demanded levies for his legions, and summoned auxiliary forces from states, kings, and allies; and moreover summoned from Latium all the bravest men, most of them known by serving with him, and a few by reputation, and by persuading them he induced soldiers who had served their time to march with him. Nor did the senate although it was opposed to him venture to refuse him in any matter, but had even with alacrity decreed him a levy, because it was neither thought that the people was eager for the war, and thus Marius would lose either his opportunity for the war or the affections of the common people. But this thing was hoped for in vain. So great a desire of marching with Marius had seized most men, and every man had it in his mind that he would be enriched by plunder, and return home a conqueror, as well as other things of the same kind; and Marius had not a little excited them by his oration. For when, all things which he had demanded having been voted him, he is desirous of enrolling soldiers; for the sake of exhorting the people, and at the same time of attacking the nobility, as he was accustomed, he summoned an assembly of the people, and then spoke as follows:―
“I know, O Romans, that most men do not seek for command at your hands by the same arts as they behave when they have obtained it. At first they are industrious, suppliant, and modest; but afterwards they pass their life in idleness and pride: but to me the contrary course seems right. For by how much the whole state is of more importance than the consulship or prætorship, with so much the greater care ought it to be administered than these honours sought. Nor am I ignorant how much business caused by your very great kindness I am sustaining. To make preparations for war and at the same time to spare the treasury; to force those to war whom you are unwilling to offend; to provide every thing at home and abroad; and to do these things amongst the envious, the thwarting, and factious is, O Romans, more difficult than can be imagined. Besides, if other men have failed, their ancient nobility, the brave deeds of their ancestors, the riches of their relations and friends, and many clientships, all these are present as a protection; but all my hopes are placed in myself, which must be defended both by virtue and innocence, for every thing else is weak. And this I know, O Romans, that the faces of all are turned towards me, that the just and good are my friends, for my benefits are of advantage to the state, but that the nobility are seeking an opportunity for attacking me. Wherefore I must the more actively strive, that you may be neither deceived, and they may be disappointed. Thus have I lived to this age from my infancy, to consider all labours and dangers customary things. Those good deeds which I used to do gratuitously before your favours, it is not my intention to neglect to do, O Romans, when I have received my reward. It is very difficult to those to keep within any bounds when in power who in their efforts to obtain it pretended to be honest men; but to me who have spent all my life in the best practices, to act rightly has now from habit become nature. You have ordered me to wage war with Jugurtha, which thing the nobility has taken very ill. I beseech you consider if you should send any one of that crowd of nobility to this or on any other similar service, a man of an ancient family, and of many ancestral statues, and of no experience; forsooth that he should, in a matter of so great importance, from his ignorance of every thing, tremble, be confused, and take some one from the people to counsel him in his business. Thus it generally happens that the very man whom you have appointed to command seeks some one else to command himself.
“But I know some, O Romans, who after they were made consuls have begun to read the deeds of their ancestors and the military instructions of the Greeks. Absurd men! For the management of an office is in point of time posterior to the being elected to it; but with respect to the reality and qualifications it is prior to it. Compare me, O Romans, the first nobleman of my family, with the pride of those men. What they are accustomed to hear and read, of those things I have seen a part, and others I myself have achieved; what they have learnt by books, I have learnt by service. Now do you yourselves judge, whether deeds or words are of more account. They despise the meanness of my birth, I their inactivity. To me my fortune, to them their disgrace, is objected. Although I think the nature of all is the same and common, but that the bravest is the most noble.
“And if now we could enquire from the fathers of Albinus or Bestia whether they would prefer that I or those men should be descended from them, what else do you think they would answer but that they should have desired the most deserving men as their children. But if they despise me with any reason, let them do the same by their ancestors, whose nobility as mine began from their virtue. They envy my advancement, let them then envy my labour, my integrity, and my dangers too, since I have obtained it by these means. But men corrupted with pride pass their life so as if they despise your honours, and yet so sue for them as if they had lived honourably. Truly they are mistake who expect at the same time two things the most different, the pleasure of idleness and the rewards of virtue. And yet when they harangue before you or in the senate, they extol their ancestors in the greatest part of their oration, and think that by relating their brave actions they themselves are more famous, the contrary to which is the case. For by how much their lives are more illustrious, by so much is the sloth of these men more disgraceful. And indeed the case is thus—The glory of the ancients is as it were a light to their descendants, and suffers neither their good nor bad qualities to be concealed. It is of this thing I suffer the want, O Romans. But that which is of much more importance I can tell you, I mean my own actions. Now see how unreasonable they are. What they arrogate to themselves from the virtue of others, that they do not yield to me from my own; forsooth because the nobility is of recent date, which it is certainly better to have created, than to have disgraced it when inherited.
“I indeed am not ignorant if they are now desirous to answer me, that they will have eloquent and set language in abundance. But from your very great kindness to me, since they are every where attacking me and you with reproaches, I have determined not to keep silence, lest any should construe my modesty into guilt. But myself indeed, according to the opinion of my mind, no speech can hurt, since if it be true it must be that it speaks well of me, and a false speech my life and behaviour will confute. But since your counsels are blamed, ye who have intrusted to me the greatest honour and the most important business, reflect over and over again whether you ought to repent. I cannot indeed for the sake of raising your confidence exhibit any images, triumphs, or consulships of my ancestors, but if the matter requires it I can show you spear, a banner, horse trappings, and other military rewards, and besides scars in front. These are my images, this my nobility, not left me like that of theirs by inheritance, but things which I have obtained by my unnumbered labours and dangers. My words are not polished—that I care for but little, my virtue itself sufficiently displays itself; they have need of those arts to conceal base deeds by their eloquence. Nor have I learnt Greek literature, and I little cared to learn that, since it is a thing which in point of virtue was of no assistance to the teachers. But I have been instructed in those things which are by far the best for the state, to strike the enemy, to keep guard, to fear nothing except an infamous character, to endure alike winter and summer, to sleep on the ground, and at the same time to endure want and toil. With these precepts will I exhort my soldiers, nor will I treat them with severity, myself with indulgence, nor will I make their toil my glory. This is useful, this the command fit for a citizen. For when you yourself live in luxury, to confine the army to severe discipline, that is to be a tyrant not a general. By doing these and other such things have your ancestors made themselves and the state famous; upon which our nobility relying, themselves nothing like them in behaviour, despise us their equals, and demand from you all their honours, not on the ground of their merit, but as if their due. But these most haughty men are very much mistaken. Their ancestors left them all they could, riches, images, their own illustrious memory, but not their virtue, nor could they; that alone is neither given nor received.
“They say that I am rough and of uncultivated manners, because I can with little elegance set out an entertainment, nor have I a player, or a cook of higher price than my steward. Which things I am very well pleased to confess, O Romans, for I have thus learnt from my father and other illustrious men, that elegance belongs to women, toil to men, and that to all brave men there ought to be more glory than riches, and that arms and not furniture ought to be an honour. Let them then always do what pleases them, and what they reckon dear, let them love, drink, and where they had their youth there let them spend their old age, in banquets, abandoned to their appetite and the worst part of their body. Let them leave sweat and dust and such other things to us, to whom those things are more pleasant than feasts: but this is not so. For since those most base men have disgraced themselves by all manner of crimes, they are eager to take away the rewards of the good. Thus, contrary to all justice, luxury and sloth, the worst qualities do not at all stand in the way of those who have practised them, and are the ruin of the innocent republic. Now, since I have answered them as far as my character and not their crimes required, I will speak a few words concerning the state. First of all have a good heart, O Romans, concerning Numidia, for you have removed all those things which have hitherto defended Jugurtha, avarice, ignorance, and pride. Then there is an army there acquainted with the ground, but by Hercules rather active than fortunate, for a great part of it has been destroyed by the avarice or rashness of its commanders. Wherefore do you, whose age is fit for war, strive together with me, and take in hand the republic, nor let fear, either from the calamity of others or the pride of the commanders, seize any one. I myself on the march and in battle will be present among you, at the same time your adviser and the sharer in your danger; I will treat myself and you in all things alike, and indeed by the help of the gods all things are ready, victory, plunder, praise; and though they might be uncertain or at a distance, yet it becomes all good men to assist the state. Indeed no man was ever made immortal by sloth, nor did ever any father wish for his sons that they might never die, but rather that they might pass their lives as good and honest men. I would say more, O Romans, if words could give courage to cowards; for to the valiant I think I have said enough.”
After this speech had been delivered, when Marius sees the minds of the common people elated, he hastily loads his ships with provisions, pay, arms, and other necessaries, and orders Aulus Manlius his lieutenant, to go along with them. He in the mean while enrols soldiers, not according to the custom of our ancestors, nor out of the various classes, but just as each man’s desire prompted him, and most of them the very lowest in rank. Some said that this was done for want of better men, others on account of the consul’s desire for popularity, because he had been much cried up, and advanced by that class of people, and to a man seeking power the most needy is most useful, as one to whom neither his own interests are any care since he has none at all, and all things appear honourable when accompanied with gain. Marius therefore with a number a little greater than what had been voted him, having set sail to Africa, arrives in a few days at Utica. The army is delivered up to him by Publius Rutilius the lieutenant. For Metellus had kept out of Marius’ sight, that he might not see those things which his mind could not bear even when heard.
But the consul, having completed his legions and the auxiliary cohorts, sets out into a country both fruitful and full of plunder. All that was there taken he gives to the soldiers, and then attacks the forts and towns which were but little protected by nature and men, and fought several battles but inconsiderable ones, some in one place and some in another. In the mean time the fresh soldiers were present at the battle without any fear, they saw that the flying were taken or slain, that all the bravest were the safest, and that by arms their liberty, their country, their parents, and all other things were defended, and glory and riches obtained. Thus in a short time both the new and old soldiers united, and the value of all was made equal. But when the kings heard of Marius’ arrival, they retired different ways into places of difficult access. This was Jugurtha’s contrivance who hoped that the enemy might when straggling soon be attacked; and that the Romans as most other men, when fear was removed, would be more loose and licentious.
Metellus in the mean time having gone to Rome, is received contrary to his expectations with very joyful feelings, being alike dear to the commons and senate, since envy had departed. But Marius with activity and prudence equally attended to his own affairs and those of the enemy, discovered what would be advantageous and what the reverse to both armies, watched the marches of the kings, and prevented their designs and plots, and suffered no remissness in his own army, or security with the enemy. Therefore he had often when on his march attacked and routed both the Gætulians and Jugurtha, when driving away plunder from our allies, and had disarmed the king himself not far from the town of Cirta. But when he found that these things were only glorious and had nothing to do with finishing the war, he determined to surround all those cities which were either from their garrisons or situation most useful for the enemies and against himself, and thus Jugurtha would either be stripped of his garrisons, if he suffered these things, or would engage in battle. For Bocchus had often sent ambassadors to him to say that “he wished for the friendship of the Roman people, and that Marius need not fear any hostilities from him.” Whether he pretended this that he might fall the heavier upon him by surprise, or whether from the fickleness of his disposition he was accustomed to vary war and peace, has not been sufficiently ascertained.
But the consul as he had planned, tried the towns and fortified castles, and partly by force and partly by fear, or showing them rewards he alienated them from the enemy. And at first he attempted but moderately sized places, thinking that Jugurtha to protect his subjects would come to a battle. But when he heard that he was at a great distance, and intent upon other matters, it seemed time to attack larger and more difficult places. There was in the midst of great deserts a town large and powerful, by name Capsa, whose founder was said to be Hercules the Libyan. Its citizens were untaxed by Jugurtha, under a mild government, and therefore they were accounted very faithful, and were fortified against the enemies not only by walls and arms, but even much more by the natural strength of the place. For except the parts next the town, all the rest of the country was waste and uncultivated, destitute of water and infested with serpents, whose fierceness, like that of all wild beasts, was increased by their want of food; besides the nature of serpents, itself deadly, is inflamed by thirst more than by any other thing. A very great desire of seizing this place took possession of Marius, as well on account of its convenience for the war, as also because the exploit seemed difficult, and Metellus had taken the town Thala with great glory, not very differently situated and fortified, except that at Thala there were some fountains not far from the walls. The Capsensians used only one spring and that within the town, flowing constantly, all the water they used besides being rain water. This scarcity both there and in all Africa, which lay at a distance from the sea without cultivation, was the more easily borne, because the Numidians for the most part fed upon milk and the flesh of wild beasts, and did not seek for salt or other excitements of their appetite. Their food was designed against hunger and thirst, not for lust and luxury.
Therefore the consul having examined every thing, I suppose in full reliance on the gods, for against so great difficulties he could not sufficiently provide by his own counsel, since he was even harassed by want of corn, as the Numidians are more anxious for grazing for their cattle than tillage, and whatever corn had been grown they had by the command of the king carried into fortified towns, but the land was parched, and at that time destitute of fruits, for it was the end of summer; the consul, I say, does nevertheless, considering his means, provide pretty well. All the cattle which had been a prey for some days before he gives to be driven by the auxiliary horse; orders Aulus Manlius his lieutenant to march with some light-armed cohhorts to the town Laris, where he had laid up the pay and provisions, and tells him that he himself would after a few days come thither on a plundering expedition. And his design being concealed he goes to the river Tana.
But in his march he daily distributed cattle to his army by centuries, as also by troops fairly, and took care that leathern bottles should be made out of the skins; at the same time both to make the want of corn less, and to provide, whilst all were ignorant, things which would soon be of service; and at last on the sixth day, when he arrived at the river, a great quantity of leathern bottles was made. There the camp being pitched with a slight fortification, he orders the soldiers to take food, and to be ready to march out as soon as the sun set, and having laid aside all their baggage to load themselves and their beasts of burden with water only. Then when it seemed time he marches from the camp, and having marched all night he encamped, and did the same the next night. Then on the third night, a good deal before day-light, he arrived at a hilly place, not more than a distance of two miles from Capsa, and there as secretly as he is able he remains with all his forces. But when the day began, and the Numidians fearing no danger had left the town in numbers, on a sudden he orders all his cavalry and with them the swiftest of his infantry to make for Capsa with all speed, and secure the gates, and then he himself quickly followed with all diligence, nor allowed the soldiers to plunder.
Which things when the citizens understood, their dangerous condition, great alarm, a part besides of the citizens being without the walls in the enemies’ power, compelled them to make a surrender. But the town was burnt, the Numidians who were of full age were slain, all others sold, and the plunder divided among the soldiers. This deed, contrary to the rights of war, was not done from any avarice or cruelty of the consul, but because the place was advantageous to Jugurtha, difficult of access for us, the race of the inhabitants were fickle and faithless, and before this neither restrained by kindness or fear.
After Marius had accomplished so important an action without any loss to his own troops, though he was great and famous before, he now began to be esteemed greater and more illustrious, and all his performances though ill advised were placed to the account of his good conduct. The soldiers too being kept under a gentle command, and at the same time rich, extolled him to the skies. The Numidians feared him as more than mortal, and in a word all, both allies and enemies, believed that he had either a divine mind or that all things were signified to him by the intimation of the gods. But the consul, when this plan turned out well, marches to other towns and takes a few, when the Numidians resisted; the greater number deserted, because of the terrible treatment of the Capsensians, he destroys by fire, and all places are filled with grief and slaughter. Then having gained many places, and most of them without his army having lost any blood, he begins another plan, but not of the same cruelty as that against the Capsensians, but not less difficult. For not far from the river Mulucha, which separated the kingdoms of Jugurtha and Bocchus, there was in the midst of the country which was else level, a rocky mountain, with a small castle, sufficiently open, and raised to a great height, one very narrow approach being only left, for it was by nature steep on all sides, just as if by art and design. Which place, as there were the king’s treasures, Marius attempts with all his might to take, but this plan was better effected by chance than good management. For in the castle there was a sufficiently large quantity of men, and arms, and corn, as also a fountain of water. The place was rendered difficulty by mounds, towers, and other works; the way up to the castle was very narrow, and the vineæ were pushed along in vain and with great danger. For when they had advanced a little they were destroyed by fire or stones; the soldiers could neither stand before the works on account of the steepness of the ground, nor could serve among the vineæ without danger; all the bravest either fell or were wounded, and the fear of the rest was increased.
But Marius, having spent many days and much trouble, was anxiously revolving in his mind whether he should give up his undertaking, since it was in vain, or wait for fortune, which he had often successfully used. Which things as he revolved in perplexity many days and nights, by chance a certain Ligurian, a common soldier of the auxiliary cohorts, having gone out of the camp to get water, observed some snails creeping among the stones, not far from that side of the castle which was opposite to the besiegers; of which snails when he had picked up one or two and then more, from a desire of gathering more, he by degrees advanced almost to the summit of the mountain; where when he found all quiet, after the custom of human curiosity to pry into what is unknown, he looks about him; and by chance in that place a great oak tree had grown among the rocks, by degrees at first slipping downwards, and then twisting and increasing to a great height, whither the nature of things that grow carries everything. By the boughs of which at one time, and at another by the projecting rocks, the Ligurian climbing has a good view of the plain of the castle, because all the Numidians were down intent upon the besiegers. All things being examined which he thought would afterwards be of use, he returns by the same way, not carelessly as he went up, but trying and viewing all things around. Therefore he hastily goes to Marius, tells him what he had done, and advises him to attack the castle on that side where he went up, and promises that he himself will be the leader of the way and the danger. Marius sends some of those who were present with the Ligurian to enquire into his proposals; who, just as was each man’s temper, either pronounced the plan difficult or easy. The consul’s mind however was a little roused. Therefore of the number of the horse and foot trumpeters he chooses in all five of the swiftest, and with them four centurions, to be for a guard, and commands all to obey the Ligurian, and appoints the next day for that plan.
But when it seemed the time according to what was fixed, all things being provided and prepared, he goes to the place. But those who commanded the centuries, being instructed by their leader had changed their arms and their dress, being naked as to their head and feet, that their sight and climbing over the rocks might be more easy. Upon their backs were their swords and shields, but these were of the Numidian kind made of skins, for the sake of lightness; as also at the same time that they might sound the less if they clashed. Therefore the Ligurian going first attached cords to the stones and any roots that through age were projecting, by which the soldiers supporting themselves could more easily ascend; sometimes when they were discouraged by the roughness of the road he raised them up with his hand, and when the ascent was a little more difficult than usual, he sent them one by one unarmed before him, and then followed himself with their arms; but places which appeared scarcely fit for climbing, he particularly examined, and by going up and down by the same way more than once, and descending and then immediately advancing again, he added courage to the rest. Therefore being much and for a long time fatigued, they at length reach the castle, deserted on that side, because all the garrison as on other days were watching against the enemy. Marius, when he ascertained from the messengers what the Ligurian had done, though he had kept the Numidians all the day intent upon the battle, then however having exhorted his soldiers and he himself having sallied out beyond the vineæ, having made a testudo approached the wall, and at the same time from a distance terrified the enemy with his engines and archers and slingers. But the Numidians, having often before destroyed the Roman vineæ, and burnt them, did not defend themselves in the walls of the castle, but kept guard night and day before the wall, railed at the Romans and threw madness in the teeth of Marius; they threatened the slavery of Jugurtha also to our soldiers, and were emboldened by their success. In the mean time while all the Romans and enemies were intent on the battle with great fierceness on both sides, the one party contending for glory and dominion, the other for their lives, on a sudden the trumpets sounded on the rear, and at first sight women and boys who had gone out to see what was being done began to fly, and then all together armed and unarmed just as each man was nearest the wall. And when this happened, the more fiercely did the Romans press upon and rout the enemy, but only wounded the greater number, and then made their way over the bodies of the slain, and greedy of glory sought the wall with rivalry, nor did plunder delay any of them. Thus the rashness of Marius being accidentally corrected gained glory instead of blame.
But while this matter is being carried on, Lucius Sulla, the quæstor, came with a large body of horse to the camp, who had been left at Rome to collect an army from Latium and the allies. But since the subject has put me in mind of so great a man, it seems fitting to speak in a few words of his origin and education. For neither in any other place shall we speak of the affairs of Lucius Sulla; and Lucius Sisenna, having given us his history with the greatest accuracy and diligence of all who have written upon the subject, appears to me to have spoken with scarcely sufficient freedom. Sulla therefore was of a noble patrician family, but that family was almost extinct through the inactivity of his ancestors. In Greek and Latin learning he was alike excellently instructed, of a great soul, fond of pleasures but fonder of glory. He spent his leisure in luxury, but his pleasures never delayed him from business, except however that he might have consulted more for his honour in the case of his wife. He was eloquent, artful, and easy to be made one’s friend, for dissimulation the deepness of his mind was incredible, he was prodigal of many things especially of money, and though he was the most fortunate of men before the civil war, yet his fortune was never beyond his industry, and many men doubted whether he was more brave or more fortunate; for as to the things he did afterwards I am uncertain whether I shall not be ashamed or sorry to recount them.
Sulla therefore, as has been before said, when he came into Africa and to the camp of Marius with his cavalry, though he had been before unskilled and ignorant in the art of war, became in a short time the ablest of all. Besides, he used to accost the men with much urbanity, and granted favours to many at their own request, to others of his own accord, but was very unwilling himself to receive any, but those he did, he repaid with much more haste than a debt, while he himself never demanded any return from others, but rather was desirous that as many as possible should be his debtors. He would joke or be serious with the humblest, was very often seen in the encampments, in the march and amidst the watches, nor did he in the mean time, as is the custom with bad ambition, lessen the character of the consul or any worthy man. He only would not suffer any one to be before him in counsel or action, and excelled most. By which behaviour and practice he became very dear to Marius and the soldiers.
But Jugurtha, when he had lost the town Capsa, and other places fortified and of great use to him, as well as much treasure, sends messengers to Bocchus to lead his army as soon as possible to Numidia, for the time for fighting had arrived. But when he heard that he demurred, and in doubt was weighing the chances of war and peace, he again, as he had done before, corrupts his nearest servants with bribes, and promises to the Moor himself a third part of Numidia if the Romans should either be driven out of Africa, or the war should be concluded with his own dominions entire. Bocchus tempted by that reward comes to Jugurtha with a large force. Thus the army of each being united, they attack Marius now marching to winter quarters, when scarcely a tenth part of the day remained; thinking that the night, which was now at hand, would be a protection to themselves if conquered, and if they were the conquerors it would be no impediment to them, since they were well acquainted with the ground, and that both these chances would on the other hand from the darkness be more adverse to the Romans. Therefore as soon as the consul knew from many persons concerning the arrival of the enemies, they themselves also were at hand, and before the army could either be drawn up or collect their baggage, in short before they could receive any watchword or word of command, the Moorish and Gætulian cavalry, not in due array nor any regular method of fighting, but in companies, just as chance had brought each together, make an attack upon our men; all of whom being suddenly frightened at this alarm, and yet mindful of their valour, either took up arms or defended others who were taking them up from the enemy. Some mounted their horses and met the enemy; while the battle was fought more like an affair of robbers than a regular engagement; horse and foot were mixed together without standards and ranks; while the enemy struck down some and cut others to pieces, and surrounded in the rear many fighting most bravely against those in the front: and neither could their valour nor arms sufficiently protect them, since the enemies were more in number, and had surrounded them on all sides. But at last the Roman veterans as well as new soldiers, and therefore skilled in war, if the ground or chance had united any of them, formed round bodies, and thus being at the same time secured on all sides, and regularly drawn up, they sustained the attack of the enemy.
Nor in this so dangerous extremity was Marius daunted or more disheartened than before; but with his own troops, which he had raised more from the bravest men in his army than of his friends, he flew about in every direction, and at one time relieved his own men when hard pressed, at another attacked with his band the enemies where they were the thickest, and provided for his soldiers since he could not command them all thus disturbed. And now the day was spent, when however the barbarians did not at all remit their attacks, and thinking, as the kings had told them, that night would be in their favour, they pressed on the more fiercely. Then Marius takes his measures as well as the circumstances would allow him, and in order that there might be a place of retreat for his men, he seizes upon two hills the one near the other. On one of which not large enough for his camp there was a large fountain of water, the other was fit for encamping upon, because it was in the greater part of it lofty and steep, and wanted but little fortification. But he orders Sulla to pass the night with his cavalry around the water. He himself collects together his dispersed soldiers, the enemy being not less thrown into confusion, and then leads them all together upon a full march up the hill. Thus the kings, being obliged by the difficulty of the ground, are deterred from the battle, but they do not however allow their men to withdraw to any distance, but both the hills being surrounded by their forces, they encamped in a scattered manner. Then, having made many fires, the barbarians were enjoying themselves the greatest part of the night after their custom, were dancing and shouting with all their voices, and their leaders were themselves fierce, because not to fly was to behave as conquerors. But all these things were easy to be seen by the Romans from their being in darkness and on loftier ground, and gave them great confidence.
But Marius being very much encouraged by the ignorance of the enemy, commands silence to be kept as much as possible, and that not even the trumpets should sound as they were wont during the watches; and then when light arrived, when the enemy was wearied out, and a little before buried in sleep, on a sudden the trumpets of the tributary states, the cohorts, troops, and legions all at once sounded their trumpets, the soldiers raised a clamour, and sallied out of the gates. The Moors and Gætulians being on a sudden awakened by this unexpected and terrible sound, could neither fly nor take up arms, nor in a word do or provide any thing. Thus a panic like madness had seized all with this noise, clamour, tumult, and dread, no one assisting them, and our men pressing upon them. Lastly, all were routed and put to flight, most of the arms and military standards were taken, and more men were slain in that battle than in all the former; for by sleep and unwonted fear their retreat was prevented.
Then Marius as he had begun marches to winter quarters, which he had determined to keep in the sea towns, because of the plenty of provisions; nor however was he rendered slothful, or insolent by victory, but just as if he were in the sight of the enemy he marched in a square. Sulla was with the cavalry on the right, on the left Aulus Manlius was with the slingers and archers, and moreover he commanded the cohorts of the Ligurians; he had placed the tribunes in the van and rear with some light-armed companies. Deserters who were but little valued, and best acquainted with the country, were to reconnoitre the enemies’ march. At the same time the consul, as if no one had any command, provided every thing, was present with every one, and praised and blamed those who deserved it. He himself was armed, and intent himself compelled his soldiers to do the same, nor did he fortify his camp differently than he marched, but placed a guard before the camp out of the legions, and auxiliary cavalry before the camp, besides he placed others above the ramparts on the fortifications; he himself went round the watches, not from any distrust of the future as to his orders, but that the labour of the soldiers if endured equally by the commander might be undergone with willingness on their parts. And indeed Marius at that and other times of the Jugurthine war, restrained the army more by shame than by punishment; a thing which many said was done from a desire of popularity, others because from his infancy he esteemed his accustomed severity and other things which others call miseries, a pleasure. The state however was as well and gloriously managed as if it has been by the severest discipline.
At length therefore on the fourth day, several swift scouts show themselves in various directions all at the same time not far from the town of Cirta, by which circumstance it is known that the enemy is approaching. But because the different parties as they returned were arriving from different quarters but all gave the same information; the consul being uncertain how to draw up his army without altering the arrangement of his troops, being prepared against every thing, waits for the enemy in the same place. Thus Jugurtha’s hope was disappointed, who had divided his forces into four parts, thinking that certainly some out of all would attack the enemy in the rear. In the mean time Sulla, whom the enemies first reached, having exhorted his men, by troops and with his horses as close as possible, himself and others attack the Moors; the rest keeping their ground defended their bodies from javelins thrown at a distance, and if any came up to them they slew them.
While the cavalry are thus fighting, Bocchus with the infantry whom Volux his son had brought, and who had not been present at the former battle from delaying on their march, attacks the rear of the Roman army. Marius was then in the front, because Jugurtha was there pressing upon him with most of his troops. Then the Numidian, being aware of Bocchus’ arrival, secretly wheels off with a few men to the infantry, and then exclaims in Latin, (for he had learnt it to speak it in Numantia,) “that our men were fighting to no purpose, that a little before Marius had been slain by his own hand,” and at the same time he shewed his sword stained with blood, which he had blooded, having slain a foot soldier of ours actively enough. Which when the soldiers heard they are shocked, more by the horridness of the thing than any belief in the speaker, and at the same time the barbarians took courage and attacked the disheartened Romans more fiercely. And now they were but little from flying, when Sulla, having routed those men against whom he had marched, returning attacks the Moors on their flank. Bocchus is immediately put to flight. But Jugurtha, while he is desirous to support his own men, and secure the victory he had almost gained, being surrounded by the cavalry on the right, on the left while all were slain, by himself gets off and escapes amidst the darts of the enemy. And in the mean time Marius, having put the cavalry to flight, comes up to the assistance of his men, who he heard were routed. Finally, the enemies were now routed on all sides.
And now there was a dreadful spectacle in the wide fields; some pursuing, others flying, some were killed, others taken, horses and men dashed down, and many having received wounds could neither fly nor be quiet, they at one time struggled to get up and immediately fell down again. Lastly, all places, as far as the eye could reach, were covered with weapons, arms, and corpses, and amongst them the ground was stained by blood. Afterwards, the consul being now clearly the conqueror, arrived at the town of Cirta, whither he had first purposed to go. Thither, five days after the barbarians had been again beaten, ambassadors came from Bocchus who in the king’s name requested of Marius to send to him two men who were the most faithful to him; that he wished to treat with them concerning his own interest and that of the Roman people. He immediately orders Lucius Sulla and Aulus Manlius to go to him. And although they went at the king’s request, yet they determined to speak first to the king, that they might change his mind if it were still obstinate, or if it were desirous of peace that they might the more encourage it. Sulla therefore, to whose eloquence and not to whose age Manlius had yielded, speaks a few words to this effect:―
“King Bocchus, it is a great joy to us since the gods have advised you, so great a man, to prefer at length peace to war, and not to defile yourself, the best of all men, by uniting with Jugurtha, the worst man alive; and at the same time that you are removing from us the painful necessity of punishing alike you who are merely under a mistake, and him that most vile wretch. Besides, it has always seemed better to the Roman people from their low origin to procure friends rather than slaves, and they have always thought it safer to rule over willing than coerced subjects. But to you no alliance can be more advantageous than ours; first, because we are at a considerable distance, in which case there is the least chance of difference, and yet the good understanding is the same as if we were close at hand; and in the next place, because we have subjects in abundance, but neither have we nor any one else enough friends. And I wish this course had seemed good to you at first. You would certainly by this time have received more good at the hands of the Roman people than you have suffered evil. But since fortune governs most human affairs, to whom forsooth it has seemed good to make trial both of our power and our favour, now since you are allowed by her, be quick, and as you have begun, go on. You have many and favourable opportunities, wherefore you may the more easily correct your former errors by your services. Lastly, lay this up in your breast, that the Roman people has never been outdone in acts of kindness. For what they can do in war you yourself know.”
To this Bocchus answered softly and civilly, and at the same time makes a brief excuse for his misconduct. “That he had not taken up arms from any hostile intention, but for the defence of his kingdom; for that part of Numidia out of which he had driven Jugurtha was by right of war become his own, and he could not suffer it to be laid waste by Marius. Moreover, when he had previously sent ambassadors to Rome he had been refused their alliance, but he should decline mentioning old grievances, and then if leave were given him by Marius he would send ambassadors to the senate.” Then when permission was given, the mind of the barbarian was changed by his friends, whom Jugurtha, being aware of the embassy of Sulla and Manlius, had corrupted with bribes.
Marius in the mean while, having placed his army in winter quarters, with some light cohorts and a body of cavalry, marches into desert places to besiege a tower of the king, in which Jugurtha had placed all the deserters as a garrison. Then Bocchus again luckily, either from reflecting upon what had happened to him in the two battles, or being advised by other friends whom Jugurtha had left uncorrupted, chose five out of all the number of his friends, whose fidelity was both well known and their abilities very great. These he orders to go as ambassadors to Marius, and then, if it was agreeable, to Rome, and gives them full powers to carry on the business, and to conclude the war on any terms.
They quickly depart to the winter quarters of the Romans, and then being surrounded on their march by some Gætulian robbers, spoiled and fearful, and in shameful plight they come to Sulla, whom the consul setting out upon his expedition had left as prætor. He did not treat them as fickle enemies as they deserved, but attentively and generously. By which thing the barbarians believed the report of the Roman avarice to be false, and Sulla on account of his munificence to be their friend. For even then the practice of giving was unknown to many, nobody was thought generous, but only of good will; and all presents were reckoned as kindness. Therefore they unfold to the quætor the commands of Bocchus, and at the same time they beg him to be present as their supporter and adviser; and they extol in their speech the forces, honesty, and greatness of their king, and other things which they believed would be either useful or means to gain favour. When Sulla had promised every thing, the ambassadors being instructed how they should address Marius and the senate, wait in the same place about forty days.
When Marius returns to Cirta, not having succeeded in the business as he had expected, being informed of the arrival of the ambassadors, he bids both them and Sulla come to him, and also Lucius Bestia the prætor, from Utica, besides all others of senatorian rank from every quarter, with whom he examines the commands of Bocchus, in which was mentioned the leave for the ambassadors to go to Rome; and in the mean while a truce was asked from the consul.
These things seemed good to Sulla and the majority; a few give a fiercer opinion, in truth being ignorant of human affairs, which being fickle and uncertain are subject to adversity. But three of the Moors having obtained all their petitions set off to Rome with Cneius Octavius Rufus, who as quæstor had brought pay for the army, and two return to the king. From these Bocchus very gladly heard both other circumstances, as well as the kindness and zeal of Sulla. And at Rome the following answer is given to the ambassadors seeking for alliance and friendship, after they had confessed that their king had erred, and had fallen by the wickedness of Jugurtha:―“The senate and the Roman people is accustomed to mindful of any kindness or injury done to them; but they forgive Bocchus’ offence, since he is sorry for it, and alliance and friendship shall be given when he deserves them.”
Which things being known, Bocchus asked Marius by means of a letter to send Sulla to him, under whose judgment they might consult concerning their common concerns. He was sent with a guard of horse and foot, and Balearian slingers; besides some archers marched, and a Pelignian cohort with light arms, for the sake of quickly performing their journey; nor would they be worse defended by these than other arms against the weapons of the enemies, as they are light. But on the march, about the fifth day, Volux, the son of Bocchus, on a sudden throws himself upon the wide fields with not more than a thousand horse, who marching loosely and disorderly caused Sulla and the rest to think that the number was greater than the reality, and that there was a danger of enemies. Every man therefore prepared himself, tried his arms and weapons, and was all readiness; their fear was considerable, but their hope greater, as they were conquerors, and about to fight with those whom they had often conquered. In the mean time the cavalry, being sent out to reconnoitre, report that the matter was, as was the truth, pacific.
Volux coming up addresses the quæstor, “That he had been sent by his father Bocchus to meet them, as well as for an escort.” Then they marched together that day and the following without any alarm. Afterwards when the camp was pitched, and it was evening, the Moor on a sudden trembling, and with a perplexed face, runs up to Sulla and says, “That he was informed by scouts that Jugurtha was not far distant,” and at the same time he asks and exhorts them to fly away with him by night secretly. He with a determined spirit declares that “he does not fear the Numidian so often defeated; that he had sufficient confidence in the courage of his men; and even though certain destruction awaited him, he would rather remain than, having betrayed those whom he commanded, save by a base flight his life which was very uncertain, and might perhaps shortly after perish by disease.” But being advised by the same man to march by night he approves of that advice, and immediately gives orders that the soldiers should go to supper in the camp, and that very many fires should be lighted, and then that his men should march out in silence at the first watch. And all being now wearied by their night march, Sulla pitched his camp at sunrise, when the Moorish horse bring word that Jugurtha had already taken up his station at a distance of about two miles. When this was heard, then indeed a great fear came upon our men, and they believed they were betrayed by Volux, and surrounded by ambushes. And there were some who said that he ought to be punished by their hands, nor that so great a crime in him should be left unpunished.
But Sulla, though he was of the same opinion, yet keeps the Moor from receiving any injury, and exhorts his men “to have a good heart, that often before this time a few brave men had fought successfully against a multitude, by how much the less they spared themselves in the battle, by so much the safer they would be; nor ought any one who had armed his hands to seek assistance from his unarmed feet when the danger was the greatest, and turn an undefended and blind body toward the enemy.” Then he orders Volux to be gone out of the camp, as he had acted in a hostile way, invoking the supreme Jupiter to be present as a witness of the crime and perfidy of Bocchus. He with tears implored him “not to believe those things, that nothing was done by deceit, but rather through Jugurtha’s superior skill, to whom forsooth, as he was reconnoitering, their march had been communicated. But as he had neither any large force, and as all his hopes and resources depended upon his father, he thought he would not dare to do any thing openly, when the son himself was present as a witness. Wherefore it seemed the best thing to be done, to march openly through his camp, and that he himself, the Moors being either sent before or left in the same place, would go alone with Sulla.” This proposal, as matters now were, was approved of; and having immediately set out, since they came upon him on a sudden, they pass safely, while Jugurtha was doubtful and uncertain what to do. Then in a few days they arrived whither they had purposed to go.
There a certain Numidian, by name Aspar, lived in great freedom and intimacy with Bocchus, having been despatched thither by Jugurtha, as soon as he had heard that Sulla had been sent for, as his ambassador and secretly to spy out Bocchus’ designs; and besides him Dabar, the son of Massagrada, of the family of Masinissa, but by his mother’s side of not equal rank, for her father was the son of a concubine. He was beloved and prized by the Moor on account of the many excellent qualities of his mind, whom Bocchus having found upon several occasions before to be faithful to the Romans immediately sends to Sulla to say, “That he was ready to do what the Roman people wished; that he might fix the day, place, and time for their interview; that he had full confidence in him, and that he need not fear Jugurtha’s ambassador; that he had been sent for in order that their common business might be more freely transacted, for otherwise it would have been impossible to have guarded against Jugurtha’s schemes.” But I find, that Bocchus rather according to the ill faith of his nation, than on account of those things which he asserted, kept the Romans and Numidians at the same time at bay with the hope of peace, and was accustomed for a long time to revolve in his mind whether to betray Jugurtha to the Romans or Sulla to him; that his inclination pleaded against, his fear for, us.
Sulla therefore answered that “he would say but a few words in the presence of Aspar, the rest in private, or with no one, or but very few being present.” At the same time he instructs him what answer is to be returned. After they had met according to agreement, he says that “he had arrived having been sent by the king to enquire from him whether he intended to maintain peace or war.” Then the king as had been agreed, bids him return in ten days, for that nothing was even now determined, but he would give him an answer on that day. Then both departed to their camps. But when much of the night was spent, Sulla is secretly sent for by Bocchus, and on either side trusty interpreters alone are allowed to be present. Dabar also the messenger, a man of honour, swears secrecy to both by their desire, and the king immediately opens the conference.
“I never imagined that it would come to pass that I, the greatest king in this part of the world, and the richest of all those whom I know, should ever be indebted for a favour to a private person. And indeed, Sulla, before you were known to me, I have on my own accord granted assistance to many other persons imploring me, but I myself never stood in need of any. I am glad that the case is altered, a thing which others are apt to regret. It was worth my while at length to stand in need of your friendship, than which I have nothing dearer in my soul. This therefore I can experience; take, use my arms, men, money, in short whatever you have a mind for, and as long as you shall live, never think that I have repaid you your favour; it will always be the same with me, and in a word you shall never desire any thing in vain if I know it. For as I think, it is less dishonourable for a king to be overcome in arms than in generosity. But as to your republic of which you have been sent hither as the protector, hear me in a few words. I have never made war against the Roman people, nor have ever wished it to be made, I only defended my territories by arms against an armed force. This I pass over, since it so pleases you; carry on as you wish war with Jugurtha. I will not pass the river Mulucha which was the boundary between me and Micipsa, nor will I suffer Jugurtha to come within it. Moreover, if you have any thing to ask worthy of me and yourselves, you shall not depart denied.”
To this Sulla, as far as he was concerned, replied briefly and modestly, but at length about peace and public concerns. Finally, he explained to the king that, “since the senate and people of Rome had proved more powerful in arms, they would never consider what he promised as a favour; that he must do something which would appear to be more for their interest than his own; that this was very easy for him to do, since he had Jugurtha in his power, whom if he would deliver up to the Romans, then it would come to pass that there would be a great debt owed to him, and that friendship, alliance, and that part of Numidia which he was now demanding would forthwith come to him.” The king at first refused over and over to agree to this proposal, affirming that “there was between them relationship both by blood and marriage, as well as an alliance; besides he feared lest if he acted a treacherous part he should turn away the affections of his subjects; to whom Jugurtha was dear and the Romans odious.” At last being often besought he is softened, and promises to do every thing according to Sulla’s pleasure. But to carry on the pretence of peace, of which the Numidian worn out by war was very desirous, they make such arrangements as appear proper. And thus having arranged their plot they separate.
But the following day the king calls Aspar, Jugurtha’s ambassador, and tells him that “he was informed by Sulla through Dabar, that the war might be ended on certain conditions; wherefore he ought to learn his master’s sentiments.” He went full of joy to Jugurtha’s camp. Then being instructed by him as to every thing, after a hasty march he returns eight days after to Bocchus, and tells him, that “Jugurtha is desirous of doing every thing which was ordered him; but he durst not trust Marius, that peace had very often before been concluded with Roman commanders, but in vain. But Bocchus, if he wished to provide for them both, and that the peace should be confirmed, must do his best, that an interview should take place with all as if concerning peace, and there should betray Sulla to him. When he had so great a man in his power, then it would come to pass that a treaty would be made by the orders of the senate and Roman people, and that so noble a man, from no cowardice of his own but from serving the state, would not be left in the hands of the enemies.”
These things the Moor revolving in his own mind for a long time at length agrees. But whether he delayed through treachery or from good faith I cannot find out. But very generally the wills of princes, as they are violent so they are fickle and often contradictory. Then when time and place were agreed upon, they come to an interview as if concerning peace; Bocchus at one time addressed Sulla, at another the ambassador of Jugurtha, treated them kindly, and promised both the same thing. They were both equally delighted and full of good hope. But on that night which was the next before the day appointed for the conference, the Moor having collected his friends and immediately having changed his mind, all others being sent away, is said to have reflected much with himself, with strange alterations of countenance, colour, motions of his body equally with his intentions, which things forsooth, though he was silent, he discovered by his countenance. However at last he orders Sulla to be sent for, and by his advice he lays a plot for the Numidian. Then when the day arrived, and it was told him that Jugurtha was not far distant, with a few friends and our quæstor, as if he went to meet him for the sake of doing him honour, he marches to a hill very open to the view of those who were lying in wait for him. Thither as had been appointed the Numidian came unarmed with many of his friends, and immediately upon a signal given they suddenly attack him on all sides at once from the ambush. The rest are slain, Jugurtha is delivered in chains to Sulla, and by him he was led to Marius.
About the same time a disastrous battle is fought by our generals Quintus Cæpio and Marcus Manlius against the Gauls. By which alarm all Italy was in trepidation. And both it, and from that time to our own recollection the Romans, have thus been of opinion, that all other wars were easy to their valour, but that they fought with the Gauls for their existence, not for glory. But when the war in Numidia was ended, and it was reported that Jugurtha was being brought in chains to Rome, Marius though absent was made consul, and Gaul was assigned to him as his province, and he as consul triumphed with great glory on the kalends of January. From that time all the hopes and resources of the state depended upon him.