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Plutarch's Lives

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sent about in his service to several cities, verified the saying of
Euripides, that

-- the force of words
Can do whate'er is done by conquering swords.

And Pyrrhus was used to say, that Cineas had taken more towns with
his words, than he with his arms, and always did him the honor to
employ him in his most important occasions. This person, seeing
Pyrrhus eagerly preparing for Italy, led him one day when he was at
leisure into the following reasonings: "The Romans, sir, are
reported to be great warriors and conquerors of many warlike nations;
if God permit us to overcome them, how should we use our victory?"
"You ask," said Pyrrhus, "a thing evident of itself. The Romans once
conquered, there is neither Greek nor barbarian city that will resist
us, but we shall presently be masters of all Italy, the extent and
resources and strength of which anyone should rather profess to be
ignorant of, than yourself." Cineas, after a little pause, "And
having subdued Italy, what shall we do next?" Pyrrhus not yet
discovering his intention, "Sicily," he replied, "next holds out her
arms to receive us, a wealthy and populous island, and easy to be
gained; for since Agathocles left it, only faction and anarchy, and
the licentious violence of the demagogues prevail." "You speak,"
said Cineas, "what is perfectly probable, but will the possession of
Sicily put an end to the war?" "God grant us," answered Pyrrhus,
"victory and success in that, and we will use these as forerunners of
greater things; who could forbear from Libya and Carthage then within
reach, which Agathocles, even when forced to fly from Syracuse, and
passing the sea only with a few ships, had all but surprised?
These conquests once perfected, will any assert that of the enemies
who now pretend to despise us, anyone will dare to make further
resistance?" "None," replied Cineas, "for then it is manifest we may
with such mighty forces regain Macedon, and make all absolute
conquest of Greece; and when all these are in our power, what shall
we do then?" Said Pyrrhus, smiling, "we will live at our ease, my
dear friend, and drink all day, and divert ourselves with pleasant
conversation." When Cineas had led Pyrrhus with his argument to this
point: "And what hinders us now, sir, if we have a mind to be merry,
and entertain one another, since we have at hand without trouble all
those necessary things, to which through much blood and great labor,
and infinite hazards and mischief done to ourselves and to others, we
design at last to arrive?" Such reasonings rather troubled Pyrrhus
with the thought of the happiness he was quitting, than any way
altered his purpose, being unable to abandon the hopes of what he so
much desired.

And first, he sent away Cineas to the Tarentines with three thousand
men; presently after, many vessels for transport of horse, and
galleys, and flat-bottomed boats of all sorts arriving from Tarentum,
he shipped upon them twenty elephants, three thousand horse, twenty
thousand foot, two thousand archers, and five hundred slingers. All
being thus in readiness, he set sail, and being half way over, was
driven by the wind, blowing, contrary to the season of the year,
violently from the north, and carried from his course, but by the
great skill and resolution of his pilots and seamen, he made the land
with infinite labor, and beyond expectation. The rest of the fleet
could not get up, and some of the dispersed ships, losing the coast
of Italy, were driven into the Libyan and Sicilian Sea; others not
able to double the Cape of Japygium, were overtaken by the night; and
with a boisterous and heavy sea, throwing them upon a dangerous and
rocky shore, they were all very much disabled except the royal
galley. She, while the sea bore upon her sides, resisted with her
bulk and strength, and avoided the force of it, till the wind coming
about, blew directly in their teeth from the shore, and the vessel
keeping up with her head against it, was in danger of going to
pieces; yet on the other hand, to suffer themselves to be driven off
to sea again, which was thus raging and tempestuous, with the wind
shifting about every way, seemed to them the most dreadful of all
their present evils. Pyrrhus, rising up, threw himself overboard.
His friends and guards strove eagerly who should be most ready to
help him, but night and the sea with its noise and violent surge,
made it extremely difficult to do this; so that hardly, when with the
morning the wind began to subside, he got ashore, breathless, and
weakened in body, but with high courage and strength of mind
resisting his hard fortune. The Messapians, upon whose shore they
were thrown by the tempest, came up eagerly to help them in the best
manner they could; and some of the straggling vessels that had
escaped the storm arrived; in which were a very few horse, and not
quite two thousand foot, and two elephants.

With these Pyrrhus marched straight to Tarentum, where Cineas, being
informed of his arrival, led out the troops to meet him. Entering
the town, he did nothing unpleasing to the Tarentines, nor put any
force upon them, till his ships were all in harbor, and the greatest
part of the army got together; but then perceiving that the people,
unless some strong compulsion was used to them, were not capable
either of saving others or being saved themselves, and were rather
intending, while he engaged for them in the field, to remain at home
bathing and feasting themselves, he first shut up the places of
public exercise, and the walks where, in their idle way, they fought
their country's battles and conducted her campaigns in their talk; he
prohibited likewise all festivals, revels, and drinking-parties, as
unseasonable, and summoning them to arms, showed himself rigorous and
inflexible in carrying out the conscription for service in the war.
So that many, not understanding what it was to be commanded, left the
town, calling it mere slavery not to do as they pleased. He now
received intelligence that Laevinus, the Roman consul, was upon his
march with a great army, and plundering Lucania as he went. The
confederate forces were not come up to him, yet he thought it
impossible to suffer so near an approach of an enemy, and drew out
with his army, but first sent an herald to the Romans to know if
before the war they would decide the differences between them and the
Italian Greeks by his arbitrament and mediation. But Laevinus
returning answer, that the Romans neither accepted him as arbitrator.
nor feared him as an enemy, Pyrrhus advanced, and encamped in the
plain between the cities of Pandosia and Heraclea, and having notice
the Romans were near, and lay on the other side of the river Siris,
he rode up to take a view of them, and seeing their order, the
appointment of the watches, their method and the general form of
their encampment, he was amazed, and addressing one of his friends
next to him: "This order," said he, "Megacles, of the barbarians, is
not at all barbarian in character; we shall see presently what they
can do;" and, growing a little more thoughtful of the event, resolved
to expect the arriving of the confederate troops. And to hinder the
Romans, if in the meantime they should endeavor to pass the river,
he planted men all along the bank to oppose them. But they,
hastening to anticipate the coming up of the same forces which he had
determined to wait for, attempted the passage with their infantry,
where it was fordable, and with the horse in several places, so that
the Greeks, fearing to be surrounded, were obliged to retreat, and
Pyrrhus, perceiving this and being much surprised, bade his foot
officers draw their men up in line of battle, and continue in arms,
while he himself, with three thousand horse, advanced, hoping to
attack the Romans as they were coming over, scattered and disordered.
But when he saw a vast number of shields appearing above the water,
and the horse following them in good order, gathering his men in a
closer body, himself at the head of them, he began the charge,
conspicuous by his rich and beautiful armor, and letting it be seen
that his reputation had not outgone what he was able effectually to
perform. While exposing his hands and body in the fight, and bravely
repelling all that engaged him, he still guided the battle with a
steady and undisturbed reason, and such presence of mind, as if he
had been out of the action and watching it from a distance, passing
still from point to point, and assisting those whom he thought most
pressed by the enemy. Here Leonnatus the Macedonian, observing one
of the Italians very intent upon Pyrrhus, riding up towards him, and
changing places as he did, and moving as he moved: "Do you see,
sir," said he, "that barbarian on the black horse with white feet? he
seems to me one that designs some great and dangerous thing, for he
looks constantly at you, and fixes his whole attention, full of
vehement purpose, on you alone, taking no notice of others. Be on
your guard, sir, against him." "Leonnatus," said Pyrrhus, "it is
impossible for any man to avoid his fate; but neither he nor any
other Italian shall have much satisfaction in engaging with me."
While they were in this discourse, the Italian, lowering his spear
and quickening his horse, rode furiously at Pyrrhus, and run his
horse through with his lance; at the same instant Leonnatus ran his
through. Both horses falling, Pyrrhus's friends surrounded him and
brought him off safe, and killed the Italian, bravely defending
himself. He was by birth a Frentanian, captain of a troop, and named

This made Pyrrhus use greater caution, and now seeing his horse give
ground, he brought up the infantry against the enemy, and changing
his scarf and his arms with Megacles, one of his friends, and,
obscuring himself, as it were, in his, charged upon the Romans, who
received and engaged him, and a great while the success of the battle
remained undetermined; and it is said there were seven turns of
fortune both of pursuing and being pursued. And the change of his
arms was very opportune for the safety of his person, but had like to
have overthrown his cause and lost him the victory; for several
falling upon Megacles, the first that gave him his mortal wound was
one Dexous, who, snatching away his helmet and his robe, rode at
once to Laevinus, holding them up, and saying aloud he had killed
Pyrrhus. These spoils being carried about and shown among the ranks,
the Romans were transported with joy, and shouted aloud; while equal
discouragement and terror prevailed among the Greeks, until Pyrrhus,
understanding what had happened, rode about the army with his face
bare, stretching out his hand to his soldiers, and telling them aloud
it was he. At last, the elephants more particularly began to
distress the Romans, whose horses, before they came near, not
enduring them, went back with their riders; and upon this, he
commanded the Thessalian cavalry to charge them in their disorder,
and routed them with great loss. Dionysius affirms near fifteen
thousand of the Romans fell; Hieronymus, no more than seven thousand.
On Pyrrhus's side, the same Dionysius makes thirteen thousand slain,
the other under four thousand; but they were the flower of his men,
and amongst them his particular friends as well as officers whom he
most trusted and made use of. However, be possessed himself of the
Romans' camp which they deserted, and gained over several confederate
cities, and wasted the country round about, and advanced so far that
he was within about thirty-seven miles of Rome itself. After the
fight many of the Lucanians and Samnites came in and joined him, whom
he chid for their delay, but yet he was evidently well pleased and
raised in his thoughts, that he had defeated so great an army of the
Romans with the assistance of the Tarentines alone.

The Romans did not remove Laevinus from the consulship; though it is
told that Caius Fabricius said, that the Epirots had not beaten the
Romans, but only Pyrrhus, Laevinus; insinuating that their loss was
not through want of valor but of conduct; but filled up their
legions, and enlisted fresh men with all speed, talking high and
boldly of war, which struck Pyrrhus with amazement. He thought it
advisable by sending first to make an experiment whether they had any
inclination to treat, thinking that to take the city and make an
absolute conquest was no work for such an army as his was at that
time, but to settle a friendship, and bring them to terms, would be
highly honorable after his victory. Cineas was dispatched away, and
applied himself to several of the great ones, with presents for
themselves and their ladies from the king; but not a person would
receive any, and answered, as well men as women, that if an agreement
were publicly concluded, they also should be ready, for their parts,
to express their regard to the king. And Cineas, discoursing; with
the senate in the most persuasive and obliging manner in the world,
yet was not heard with kindness or inclination, although Pyrrhus
offered also to return all the prisoners he had taken in the fight
without ransom, and promised his assistance for the entire conquest
of all Italy, asking only their friendship for himself, and security
for the Tarentines, and nothing further. Nevertheless, most were
well-inclined to a peace, having already received one great defeat,
and fearing another from an additional force of the native Italians,
now joining with Pyrrhus. At this point Appius Claudius, a man of
great distinction, but who, because of his great age and loss of
sight, had declined the fatigue of public business, after these
propositions had been made by the king, hearing a report that the
senate was ready to vote the conditions of peace, could not forbear,
but commanding his servants to take him up, was carried in his chair
through the forum to the senate house. When he was set down at the
door, his sons and sons-in-law took him up in their arms, and,
walking close round about him, brought him into the senate. Out of
reverence for so worthy a man, the whole assembly was respectfully

And a little after raising up himself: "I bore," said he, "until
this time, the misfortune of my eyes with some impatience, but now
while I hear of these dishonorable motions and resolves of yours,
destructive to the glory of Rome, it is my affliction, that being
already blind, I am not deaf too. Where is now that discourse of
yours that became famous in all the world, that if he, the great
Alexander, had come into Italy, and dared to attack us when we were
young men, and our fathers, who were then in their prime, he had not
now been celebrated as invincible, but either flying hence, or
falling here, had left Rome more glorious? You demonstrate now that
all that was but foolish arrogance and vanity, by fearing Molossians
and Chaonians, ever the Macedonian's prey, and by trembling at
Pyrrhus who was himself but a humble servant to one of Alexander's
life-guard, and comes here, not so much to assist the Greeks that
inhabit among us, as to escape from his enemies at home, a wanderer
about Italy, and yet dares to promise you the conquest of it all by
that army which has not been able to preserve for him a little part
of Macedon. Do not persuade yourselves that making him your friend
is the way to send him back, it is the way rather to bring over other
invaders from thence, contemning you as easy to be reduced, if
Pyrrhus goes off without punishment for his outrages on you, but,
on the contrary, with the reward of having enabled the Tarentines and
Samnites to laugh at the Romans." When Appius had done, eagerness
for the war seized on every man, and Cineas was dismissed with this
answer, that when Pyrrhus had withdrawn his forces out of Italy,
then, if he pleased, they would treat with him about friendship and
alliance, but while he stayed there in arms, they were resolved to
prosecute the war against him with all their force, though he should
have defeated a thousand Laevinuses. It is said that Cineas, while
he was managing this affair, made it his business carefully to
inspect the manners of the Romans, and to understand their methods of
government, and having conversed with their noblest citizens, he
afterwards told Pyrrhus, among other things, that the senate seemed
to him an assembly of kings, and as for the people, he feared lest it
might prove that they were fighting with a Lernaean hydra, for the
consul had already raised twice as large an army as the former, and
there were many times over the same number of Romans able to bear

Then Caius Fabricius came in embassy from the Romans to treat about
the prisoners that were taken, one whom Cineas had reported to be a
man of highest consideration among them as an honest man and a good
soldier, but extremely poor. Pyrrhus received him with much
kindness, and privately would have persuaded him to accept of his
gold, not for any evil purpose, but calling it a mark of respect and
hospitable kindness. Upon Fabricius's refusal, he pressed him no
further, but the next day, having a mind to discompose him, as he had
never seen an elephant before, he commanded one of the largest,
completely armed, to be placed behind the hangings, as they were
talking together. Which being done, upon a sign given the hanging
was drawn aside, and the elephant, raising his trunk over the head of
Fabricius, made an horrid and ugly noise. He, gently turning about
and smiling, said to Pyrrhus, "neither your money yesterday, nor this
beast today make any impression upon me." At supper, amongst all
sorts of things that were discoursed of, but more particularly Greece
and the philosophers there, Cineas, by accident, had occasion to
speak of Epicurus, and explained the opinions his followers hold
about the gods and the commonwealth, and the object of life, placing
the chief happiness of man in pleasure, and declining public affairs
as an injury and disturbance of a happy life, removing the gods afar
off both from kindness or anger, or any concern for us at all, to a
life wholly without business and flowing in pleasures. Before he had
done speaking, "O Hercules!" Fabricius cried out to Pyrrhus, "may
Pyrrhus and the Samnites entertain themselves with this sort of
opinions as long as they are in war with us." Pyrrhus, admiring the
wisdom and gravity of the man, was the more transported with desire
of making friendship instead of war with the city, and entreated him,
personally, after the peace should be concluded, to accept of living
with him as the chief of his ministers and generals. Fabricius
answered quietly, "Sir, this will not be for your advantage, for they
who now honor and admire you, when they have had experience of me,
will rather choose to be governed by me, than by you." Such was
Fabricius. And Pyrrhus received his answer without any resentment or
tyrannic passion; nay, among his friends he highly commended the
great mind of Fabricius, and entrusted the prisoners to him alone, on
condition that if the senate should not vote a peace, after they had
conversed with their friends and celebrated the festival of Saturn,
they should be remanded. And, accordingly, they were sent back after
the holidays; it being decreed pain of death for any that stayed

After this, Fabricius taking the consulate, a person came with a
letter to the camp written by the king's principal physician,
offering to take off Pyrrhus by poison, and so end the war without
further hazard to the Romans, if he might have a reward
proportionable to his service. Fabricius, hating the villainy of the
man, and disposing the other consul to the same opinion, sent
dispatches immediately to Pyrrhus to caution him against the treason.
His letter was to this effect: "Caius Fabricius and Quintus
Aemilius, consuls of the Romans, to Pyrrhus the king, health. You
seem to have made an ill judgment both of your friends and enemies;
you will understand by reading this letter sent to us, that you are
at war with honest men, and trust villains and knaves. Nor do we
disclose this to you out of any favor to you, but lest your ruin
might bring a reproach upon us, as if we had ended the war by
treachery, as not able to do it by force." When Pyrrhus had read the
letter, and made inquiry into the treason, he punished the physician,
and as an acknowledgment to the Romans sent to Rome the prisoners
without ransom, and again employed Cineas to negotiate a peace for
him. But they, regarding it as at once too great a kindness from an
enemy, and too great a reward of not doing an ill thing to accept
their prisoners so, released in return an equal number of the
Tarentines and Samnites, but would admit of no debate of alliance or
peace until he had removed his arms and forces out of Italy, and
sailed back to Epirus with the same ships that brought him over.
Afterwards, his affairs demanding a second fight, when he had
refreshed his men, he decamped, and met the Romans about the city
Asculum, where, however, he was much incommoded by a woody country
unfit for his horse, and a swift river, so that the elephants, for
want of sure treading, could not get up with the infantry. After
many wounded and many killed, night put an end to the engagement.
Next day, designing to make the fight on even ground, and have the
elephants among the thickest of the enemy, he caused a detachment to
possess themselves of those incommodious grounds, and, mixing
slingers and archers among the elephants, with full strength and
courage, he advanced in a close and well-ordered body. The Romans,
not having those advantages of retreating and falling on as they
pleased, which they had before, were obliged to fight man to man upon
plain ground, and, being anxious to drive back the infantry before
the elephants could get up, they fought fiercely with their swords
among the Macedonian spears, not sparing themselves, thinking only to
wound and kill, without regard of what they suffered. After a long
and obstinate fight, the first giving ground is reported to have been
where Pyrrhus himself engaged with extraordinary courage; but they
were most carried away by the overwhelming force of the elephants,
not being able to make use of their valor, but overthrown as it were
by the irruption of a sea or an earthquake, before which it seemed
better to give way than to die without doing anything, and not gain
the least advantage by suffering the utmost extremity, the retreat to
their camp not being far. Hieronymus says, there fell six thousand
of the Romans, and of Pyrrhus's men, the king's own commentaries
reported three thousand five hundred and fifty lost in this action.
Dionysius, however, neither gives any account of two engagements at
Asculum, nor allows the Romans to have been certainly beaten, stating
that once only, after they had fought till sunset, both armies were
unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a
javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites, that
in all there died of Pyrrhus's men and the Romans above fifteen
thousand. The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to
one that gave him joy of his victory, that one other such would
utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he
brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal
commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found
the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a
fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was
quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating
in courage for the losses they sustained, but even from their very
anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.

Among these difficulties he fell again into new hopes and projects
distracting his purposes. For at the same time some persons arrived
from Sicily, offering into his hands the cities of Agrigentum,
Syracuse, and Leontini, and begging his assistance to drive out the
Carthaginians, and rid the island of tyrants; and others brought him
news out of Greece that Ptolemy, called Ceraunus, was slain in a
fight, and his army cut in pieces by the Gauls, and that now, above
all others, was his time to offer himself to the Macedonians, in
great need of a king. Complaining much of fortune for bringing him
so many occasions of great things all together at a time, and
thinking that to have both offered to him, was to lose one of them,
he was doubtful, balancing in his thoughts. But the affairs of
Sicily seeming to hold out the greater prospects, Africa lying so
near, he turned himself to them, and presently dispatched away
Cineas, as he used to do, to make terms beforehand with the cities.
Then he placed a garrison in Tarentum, much to the Tarentines'
discontent, who required him either to perform what he came for, and
continue with them in a war against the Romans, or leave the city as
he found it. He returned no pleasing answer, but commanded them to
be quiet and attend his time, and so sailed away. Being arrived in
Sicily, what he had designed in his hopes was confirmed effectually,
and the cities frankly surrendered to him; and wherever his arms and
force were necessary, nothing at first made any considerable
resistance. For advancing with thirty thousand foot, and twenty-five
hundred horse, and two hundred ships, he totally routed the
Phoenicians, and overran their whole province, and Eryx being the
strongest town they held, and having a great garrison in it, he
resolved to take it by storm. The army being in readiness to give
the assault, he put on his arms, and coming to the head of his men,
made a vow of plays and sacrifices in honor to Hercules, if he
signalized himself in that day's action before the Greeks that dwelt
in Sicily, as became his great descent and his fortunes. The sign
being given by sound of trumpet, he first scattered the barbarians
with his shot, and then brought his ladders to the wall, and was the
first that mounted upon it himself, and, the enemy appearing in great
numbers, he beat them back; some he threw down from the walls on each
side, others he laid dead in a heap round about him with his sword,
nor did he receive the least wound, but by his very aspect inspired
terror in the enemy; and gave a clear demonstration that Homer was in
the right, and pronounced according to the truth of fact, that
fortitude alone, of all the virtues, is wont to display itself in
divine transports and frenzies. The city being taken, he offered to
Hercules most magnificently, and exhibited all varieties of shows and

A sort of barbarous people about Messena, called Mamertines, gave
much trouble to the Greeks, and put several of them under
contribution. These being numerous and valiant (from whence they had
their name, equivalent in the Latin tongue to warlike), he first
intercepted the collectors of the contribution money, and cut them
off, then beat them in open fight, and destroyed many of their places
of strength. The Carthaginians being now inclined to composition,
and offering him a round sum of money, and to furnish him with
shipping, if a peace were concluded, he told them plainly, aspiring
still to greater things, there was but one way for a friendship and
right understanding between them, if they, wholly abandoning Sicily,
would consent to make the African sea the limit between them and the
Greeks. And being elevated with his good fortune, and the strength
of his forces, and pursuing those hopes in prospect of which he first
sailed thither, his immediate aim was at Africa; and as he had
abundance of shipping, but very ill equipped, he collected seamen,
not by fair and gentle dealing with the cities, but by force in a
haughty and insolent way, and menacing them with punishments. And as
at first he had not acted thus, but had been unusually indulgent and
kind, ready to believe, and uneasy to none; now of a popular leader
becoming a tyrant by these severe proceedings, he got the name of an
ungrateful and a faithless man. However, they gave way to these
things as necessary, although they took them very ill from him; and
especially when he began to show suspicion of Thoenon and
Sosistratus, men of the first position in Syracuse, who invited him
over into Sicily, and when he was come, put the cities into his
power, and were most instrumental in all he had done there since his
arrival, whom he now would neither suffer to be about his person, nor
leave at home; and when Sosistratus out of fear withdrew himself, and
then he charged Thoenon, as in a conspiracy with the other, and put
him to death, with this all his prospects changed, not by little and
little, nor in a single place only, but a mortal hatred being raised
in the cities against him, some fell off to the Carthaginians, others
called in the Mamertines. And seeing revolts in all places, and
desires of alteration, and a potent faction against him, at the same
time he received letters from the Samnites and Tarentines, who were
beaten quite out of the field, and scarce able to secure their towns
against the war, earnestly begging his help. This served as a color
to make his relinquishing Sicily no flight, nor a despair of good
success; but in truth not being able to manage Sicily, which was as a
ship laboring in a storm, and willing to be out of her, he suddenly
threw himself over into Italy. It is reported that at his going off
he looked back upon the island, and said to those about him, "How
brave a field of war do we leave, my friends, for the Romans and
Carthaginians to fight in," which, as he then conjectured, fell out
indeed not long after.

When he was sailing off, the barbarians having conspired together, he
was forced to a fight with the Carthaginians in the very road, and
lost many of his ships; with the rest he fled into Italy. There,
about one thousand Mamertines, who had crossed the sea a little
before, though afraid to engage him in open field, setting upon him
where the passages were difficult, put the whole army in confusion.
Two elephants fell, and a great part of his rear was cut off. He,
therefore, coming up in person, repulsed the enemy, but ran into
great danger among men long trained and bold in war. His being
wounded in the head with a sword, and retiring a little out of the
fight, much increased their confidence, and one of them advancing a
good way before the rest, large of body and in bright armor, with an
haughty voice challenged him to come forth if he were alive.
Pyrrhus, in great anger, broke away violently from his guards, and,
in his fury, besmeared with blood, terrible to look upon, made his
way through his own men, and struck the barbarian on the head with
his sword such a blow, as with the strength of his arm, and the
excellent temper of the weapon, passed downward so far that his body
being cut asunder fell in two pieces. This stopped the course of the
barbarians, amazed and confounded at Pyrrhus, as one more than man;
so that continuing his march all the rest of the way undisturbed, he
arrived at Tarentum with twenty thousand foot and three thousand
horse, where, reinforcing himself with the choicest troops of the
Tarentines, he advanced immediately against the Romans, who then lay
encamped in the territories of the Samnites, whose affairs were
extremely shattered, and their counsels broken, having been in many
fights beaten by the Romans. There was also a discontent amongst
them at Pyrrhus for his expedition into Sicily, so that not many came
in to join him.

He divided his army into two parts, and dispatched the first into
Lucania to oppose one of the consuls there, so that he should not
come in to assist the other; the rest he led against Manius Curius,
who had posted himself very advantageously near Beneventum, and
expected the other consul's forces, and partly because the priests
had dissuaded him by unfavorable omens, was resolved to remain
inactive. Pyrrhus, hastening to attack these before the other could
arrive, with his best men, and the most serviceable elephants,
marched in the night toward their camp. But being forced to go round
about, and through a very woody country, their lights failed them,
and the soldiers lost their way. A council of war being called,
while they were in debate, the night was spent, and, at the break of
day, his approach, as he came down the hills, was discovered by the
enemy, and put the whole camp into disorder and tumult. But the
sacrifices being auspicious, and the time absolutely obliging them to
fight, Manius drew his troops out of the trenches, and attacked the
vanguard, and, having routed them all, put the whole army into
consternation, so that many were cut off, and some of the elephants
taken. This success drew on Manius into the level plain, and here,
in open battle, he defeated part of the enemy; but, in other
quarters, finding himself overpowered by the elephants and forced
back to his trenches, he commanded out those who were left to guard
them, a numerous body, standing thick at the ramparts, all in arms
and fresh. These coming down from their strong position, and
charging the elephants, forced them to retire; and they in the flight
turning back upon their own men, caused great disorder and confusion,
and gave into the hands of the Romans the victory, and the future
supremacy. Having obtained from these efforts and these contests the
feeling, as well as the fame of invincible strength, they at once
reduced Italy under their power, and not long after Sicily too.

Thus fell Pyrrhus from his Italian and Sicilian hopes, after he had
consumed six years in these wars, and though unsuccessful in his
affairs, yet preserved his courage unconquerable among all these
misfortunes, and was held, for military experience, and personal
valor and enterprise much the bravest of all the princes of his time,
only what he got by great actions he lost again by vain hopes, and by
new desires of what he had not, kept nothing of what he had. So that
Antigonus used to compare him to a player with dice, who had
excellent throws, but knew not how to use them. He returned into
Epirus with eight thousand foot and five hundred horse, and for want
of money to pay them, was fain to look out for a new war to maintain
the army. Some of the Gauls joining him, he invaded Macedonia, where
Antigonus, son of Demetrius, governed, designing merely to plunder
and waste the country. But after he had made himself master of
several towns, and two thousand men came over to him, he began to
hope for something greater, and adventured upon Antigonus himself,
and meeting him at a narrow passage, put the whole army in disorder.
The Gauls, who brought up Antigonus's rear, were very numerous and
stood firm, but after a sharp encounter, the greatest part of them
were cut off, and they who had the charge of the elephants being
surrounded every way, delivered up both themselves and the beasts.
Pyrrhus, taking this advantage, and advising more with his good
fortune than his reason, boldly set upon the main body of the
Macedonian foot, already surprised with fear, and troubled at the
former loss. They declined any action or engagement with him; and
he, holding out his hand and calling aloud both to the superior and
under officers by name, brought over the foot from Antigonus, who,
flying away secretly, was only able to retain some of the seaport
towns. Pyrrhus, among all these kindnesses of fortune, thinking what
he had effected against the Gauls the most advantageous for his
glory, hung up their richest and goodliest spoils in the temple of
Minerva Itonis, with this inscription: --

Pyrrhus, descendant of Molossian kings,
These shields to thee, Itonian goddess, brings,
Won from the valiant Gauls when in the fight
Antigonus and all his host took flight;
'Tis not today nor yesterday alone
That for brave deeds the Aeacidae are known.

After this victory in the field, he proceeded to secure the cities,
and having possessed himself of Aegae, beside other hardships put
upon the people there, he left in the town a garrison of Gauls, some
of those in his own army, who, being insatiably desirous of wealth,
instantly dug up the tombs of the kings that lay buried there, and
took away the riches, and insolently scattered about their bones.
Pyrrhus, in appearance, made no great matter of it, either deferring
it on account of the pressure of other business, or wholly passing it
by, out of a fear of punishing those barbarians; but this made him
very ill spoken of among the Macedonians, and his affairs being yet
unsettled and brought to no firm consistence, he began to entertain
new hopes and projects, and in raillery called Antigonus a shameless
man, for still wearing his purple and not changing it for an ordinary
dress; but upon Cleonymus, the Spartan, arriving and inviting him to
Lacedaemon, he frankly embraced the overture. Cleonymus was of royal
descent, but seeming too arbitrary and absolute, had no great respect
nor credit at home; and Areus was king there. This was the occasion
of an old and public grudge between him and the citizens; but, beside
that, Cleonymus, in his old age, had married a young lady of great
beauty and royal blood, Chilonis, daughter of Leotychides, who,
falling desperately in love with Acrotatus, Areus's son, a youth in
the flower of manhood, rendered this match both uneasy and
dishonorable to Cleonymus, as there was none of the Spartans who did
not very well know how much his wife slighted him; so these domestic
troubles added to his public discontent. He brought Pyrrhus to
Sparta with an army of twenty-five thousand foot, two thousand horse,
and twenty-four elephants. So great a preparation made it evident to
the whole world, that he came not so much to gain Sparta for
Cleonymus, as to take all Peloponnesus for himself, although he
expressly denied this to the Lacedaemonian ambassadors that came to
him at Megalopolis, affirming he came to deliver the cities from the
slavery of Antigonus, and declaring he would send his younger sons to
Sparta, if he might, to be brought up in Spartan habits, that so they
might be better bred than all other kings. With these pretensions
amusing those who came to meet him in his march, as soon as ever he
entered Laconia, he began to plunder and waste the country, and on
the ambassadors complaining that he began the war upon them before it
was proclaimed: "We know," said he, "very well, that neither do you
Spartans, when you design anything, talk of it beforehand." One
Mandroclidas, then present, told him, in the broad Spartan dialect:
"If you are a god, you will do us no harm, we are wronging no man;
but if you are a man, there may be another stronger than you."

He now marched away directly for Lacedaemon, and being advised by
Cleonymus to give the assault as soon as he arrived, fearing, as it
is said, lest the soldiers, entering by night, should plunder the
city, he answered, they might do it as well next morning, because
there were but few soldiers in town, and those unprovided against his
sudden approach, as Areus was not there in person, but gone to aid
the Gortynians in Crete. And it was this alone that saved the town,
because he despised it as not tenable, and so imagining no defense
would be made, he sat down before it that night. Cleonymus's
friends, and the Helots, his domestic servants, had made great
preparation at his house, as expecting Pyrrhus there at supper. In
the night the Lacedaemonians held a consultation to ship over all the
women into Crete, but they unanimously refused, and Archidamia came
into the senate with a sword in her hand, in the name of them all,
asking if the men expected the women to survive the ruins of Sparta.
It was next resolved to draw a trench in a line directly over against
the enemy's camp, and, here and there in it, to sink wagons in the
ground, as deep as the naves of the wheels, that, so being firmly
fixed, they might obstruct the passage of the elephants. When they
had just begun the work, both maids and women came to them, the
married women with their robes tied like girdles round their
underfrocks, and the unmarried girls in their single frocks only, to
assist the elder men at the work. As for the youth that were next
day to engage, they left them to their rest, and undertaking their
proportion, they themselves finished a third part of the trench,
which was in breadth six cubits, four in depth, and eight hundred
feet long, as Phylarchus says; Hieronymus makes it somewhat less.
The enemy beginning to move by break of day, they brought their arms
to the young men, and giving them also in charge the trench, exhorted
them to defend and keep it bravely, as it would be happy for them to
conquer in the view of their whole country, and glorious to die in
the arms of their mothers and wives, falling as became Spartans. As
for Chilonis, she retired with a halter about her neck, resolving to
die so rather than fall into the hands of Cleonymus, if the city were

Pyrrhus himself, in person, advanced with his foot to force through
the shields of the Spartans ranged against him, and to get over the
trench, which was scarce passable, because the looseness of the fresh
earth afforded no firm footing for the soldiers. Ptolemy, his son,
with two thousand Gauls, and some choice men of the Chaonians, went
around the trench, and endeavored to get over where the wagons were.
But they, being so deep in the ground, and placed close together, not
only made his passage, but also the defense of the Lacedaemonians
very troublesome. Yet now the Gauls had got the wheels out of the
ground, and were drawing off the wagons toward the river, when young
Acrotatus, seeing the danger, passing through the town with three
hundred men, surrounded Ptolemy undiscerned, taking the advantage of
some slopes of the ground, until he fell upon his rear, and forced
him to wheel about. And thrusting one another into the ditch, and
falling among the wagons, at last with much loss, not without
difficulty, they withdrew. The elderly men and all the women saw
this brave action of Acrotatus, and when he returned back into the
town to his first post, all covered with blood, and fierce and elate
with victory, he seemed to the Spartan women to have become taller
and more beautiful than before, and they envied Chilonis so worthy a
lover. And some of the old men followed him, crying aloud, "Go on,
Acrotatus, be happy with Chilonis, and beget brave sons for Sparta."
Where Pyrrhus himself fought was the hottest of the action, and many
of the Spartans did gallantly, but in particular one Phyllius
signalized himself, made the best resistance, and killed most
assailants; and when he found himself ready to sink with the many
wounds he had received, retiring a little out of his place behind
another, he fell down among his fellow-soldiers, that the enemy might
not carry off his body. The fight ended with the day, and Pyrrhus,
in his sleep, dreamed that he threw thunderbolts upon Lacedaemon, and
set it all on fire, and rejoiced at the sight; and waking, in this
transport of joy, he commanded his officers to get all things ready
for a second assault, and relating his dream among his friends,
supposing it to mean that he should take the town by storm, the rest
assented to it with admiration, but Lysimachus was not pleased with
the dream, and told him he feared, lest as places struck with
lightning are held sacred, and not to be trodden upon, so the gods
might by this let him know the city should not be taken. Pyrrhus
replied, that all these things were but idle talk, full of
uncertainty, and only fit to amuse the vulgar; their thought, with
their swords in their hands, should always be

The one good omen is king Pyrrhus' cause,

and so got up, and drew out his army to the walls by break of day.
The Lacedaemonians, in resolution and courage, made a defense even
beyond their power; the women were all by, helping them to arms, and
bringing bread and drink to those that desired it, and taking care of
the wounded. The Macedonians attempted to fill up the trench,
bringing huge quantities of materials and throwing them upon the arms
and dead bodies, that lay there and were covered over. While the
Lacedaemonians opposed this with all their force, Pyrrhus, in person,
appeared on their side of the trench and the wagons, pressing on
horseback toward the city, at which the men who had that post calling
out, and the women shrieking and running about, while Pyrrhus
violently pushed on, and beat down all that disputed his way, his
horse received a shot in the belly from a Cretan arrow, and, in his
convulsions as he died, threw off Pyrrhus on slippery and steep
ground. And all about him being in confusion at this, the Spartans
came boldly up, and making good use of their missiles, forced them
off again. After this Pyrrhus, in other quarters also, put an end to
the combat, imagining the Lacedaemonians would be inclined to yield,
as almost all of them were wounded, and very great numbers killed
outright; but the good fortune of the city, either satisfied with the
experiment upon the bravery of the citizens, or willing to prove how
much even in the last extremities such interposition may effect,
brought, when the Lacedaemonians had now but very slender hopes left,
Aminias, the Phocian, one of Antigonus's commanders, from Corinth to
their assistance, with a force of mercenaries; and they were no
sooner received into the town, but Areus, their king, arrived there
himself, too, from Crete, with two thousand men more. The women upon
this went all home to their houses, finding it no longer necessary
for them to meddle with the business of the war; and they also were
sent back, who, though not of military age, were by necessity forced
to take arms, while the rest prepared to fight Pyrrhus.

He, upon the coming of these additional forces, was indeed possessed
with a more eager desire and ambition than before, to make himself
master of the town; but his designs not succeeding, and receiving
fresh losses every day, he gave over the siege, and fell to
plundering the country, determining to winter thereabout. But fate
is unavoidable, and a great feud happening at Argos between Aristeas
and Aristippus, two principal citizens, after Aristippus had resolved
to make use of the friendship of Antigonus, Aristeas, to anticipate
him, invited Pyrrhus thither. And he always revolving hopes upon
hopes, and treating all his successes as occasions of more, and his
reverses as defects to be amended by new enterprises, allowed neither
losses nor victories to limit him in his receiving or giving trouble,
and so presently went for Argos. Areus, by frequent ambushes, and
seizing positions where the ways were most unpracticable, harassed
the Gauls and Molossians that brought up the rear. It had been told
Pyrrhus by one of the priests that found the liver of the sacrificed
beast imperfect, that some of his near relations would be lost; in
this tumult and disorder of his rear, forgetting the prediction, he
commanded out his son Ptolemy with some of his guards to their
assistance, while he himself led on the main body rapidly out of the
pass. And the fight being very warm where Ptolemy was, (for the most
select men of the Lacedaemonians, commanded by Evalcus, were there
engaged,) one Oryssus of Aptera in Crete, a stout man and swift of
foot, running on one side of the young prince, as he was fighting
bravely, gave him a mortal wound and slew him. On his fall those
about him turned their backs, and the Lacedaemonian horse, pursuing
and cutting off many, got into the open plain, and found themselves
engaged with the enemy before they were aware, without their
infantry; Pyrrhus, who had received the ill news of his son, and was
in great affliction, drew out his Molossian horse against them, and
charging at the head of his men, satiated himself with the blood and
slaughter of the Lacedaemonians, as indeed he always showed himself a
terrible and invincible hero in actual fight, but now he exceeded all
he had ever done before in courage and force. On his riding his
horse up to Evalcus, he, by declining a little to one side, had
almost cut off Pyrrhus's hand in which he held the reins, but
lighting on the reins, only cut them; at the same instant Pyrrhus,
running him through with his spear, fell from his horse, and there on
foot as he was, proceeded to slaughter all those choice men that
fought about the body of Evalcus; a severe additional loss to Sparta,
incurred after the war itself was now at an end, by the mere
animosity of the commanders. Pyrrhus having thus offered, as it
were, a sacrifice to the ghost of his son, and fought a glorious
battle in honor of his obsequies, and having vented much of his pain
in action against the enemy, marched away to Argos. And having
intelligence that Antigonus was already in possession of the high
grounds, he encamped about Nauplia, and the next day dispatched a
herald to Antigonus, calling him a villain, and challenging him to
descend into the plain field and fight with him for the kingdom. He
answered, that his conduct should be measured by times as well as by
arms, and that if Pyrrhus had no leisure to live, there were ways
enough open to death. To both the kings, also, came ambassadors from
Argos, desiring each party to retreat, and to allow the city to
remain in friendship with both, without falling into the hands of
either. Antigonus was persuaded, and sent his son as a hostage to
the Argives; but, Pyrrhus, although he consented to retire, yet, as
he sent no hostage, was suspected. A remarkable portent happened at
this time to Pyrrhus; the heads of the sacrificed oxen, lying apart
from the bodies, were seen to thrust out their tongues and lick up
their own gore. And in the city of Argos, the priestess of Apollo
Lycius rushed out of the temple, crying she saw the city full of
carcasses and slaughter, and an eagle coming out to fight, and
presently vanishing again.

In the dead of the night, Pyrrhus, approaching the walls, and finding
the gate called Diamperes set open for them by Aristeas, was
undiscovered long enough to allow all his Gauls to enter and take
possession of the marketplace. But the gate being too low to let in
the elephants, they were obliged to take down the towers which they
carried on their backs, and put them on again in the dark and in
disorder, so that time being lost, the city took the alarm, and the
people ran, some to Aspis the chief citadel, and others to other
places of defense, and sent away to Antigonus to assist them. He,
advancing within a short distance, made an halt, but sent in some of
his principal commanders, and his son with a considerable force.
Areus came thither, too, with one thousand Cretans, and some of the
most active men among the Spartans, and all falling on at once upon
the Gauls, put them in great disorder. Pyrrhus, entering in with
noise and shouting near the Cylarabis, when the Gauls returned the
cry, noticed that it did not express courage and assurance, but was
the voice of men distressed, and that had their hands full. He,
therefore, pushed forward in haste the van of his horse that marched
but slowly and dangerously, by reason of the drains and sinks of
which the city is full. In this night engagement, there was infinite
uncertainty as to what was being done, or what orders were given;
there was much mistaking and straggling in the narrow streets; all
generalship was useless in that darkness and noise and pressure; so
both sides continued without doing anything, expecting daylight. At
the first dawn, Pyrrhus, seeing the great citadel Aspis full of
enemies, was disturbed, and remarking, among a variety of figures
dedicated in the market-place, a wolf and bull of brass, as it were
ready to attack one another, he was struck with alarm, recollecting
an oracle that formerly predicted fate had determined his death when
he should see a wolf fighting with a bull. The Argives say, these
figures were set up in record of a thing that long ago had happened
there. For Danaus, at his first landing in the country, near the
Pyramia in Thyreatis, as he was on his way towards Argos, espied a
wolf fighting with a bull, and conceiving the wolf to represent him,
(for this stranger fell upon a native, as he designed to do,) stayed
to see the issue of the fight, and the wolf prevailing, he offered
vows to Apollo Lycius, and thus made his attempt upon the town, and
succeeded; Gelanor, who was then king, being displaced by a faction.
And this was the cause of dedicating those figures.

Pyrrhus, quite out of heart at this sight, and seeing none of his
designs succeed, thought best to retreat, but fearing the narrow
passage at the gate, sent to his son Helenus, who was left without
the town with a great part of his forces, commanding him to break
down part of the wall, and assist the retreat if the enemy pressed
hard upon them. But what with haste and confusion, the person that
was sent delivered nothing clearly; so that quite mistaking, the
young prince with the best of his men and the remaining elephants
marched straight through the gates into the town to assist his
father. Pyrrhus was now making good his retreat, and while the
marketplace afforded them ground enough both to retreat and fight,
frequently repulsed the enemy that bore upon him. But when he was
forced out of that broad place into the narrow street leading to the
gate, and fell in with those who came the other way to his assistance
some did not hear him call out to them to give back, and those who
did, however eager to obey him, were pushed forward by others behind,
who poured in at the gate. Besides, the largest of his elephants
falling down on his side in the very gate, and lying roaring on the
ground, was in the way of those that would have got out. Another of
the elephants already in the town, called Nicon, striving to take up
his rider, who, after many wounds received, was fallen off his back,
bore forward upon those that were retreating, and, thrusting upon
friends as well as enemies, tumbled them all confusedly upon one
another, till having found the body, and taken it up with his trunk,
he carried it on his tusks, and, returning in a fury, trod down all
before him. Being thus pressed and crowded together, not a man could
do anything for himself, but being wedged, as it were, together into
one mass, the whole multitude rolled and swayed this way and that all
together, and did very little execution either upon the enemy in
their rear, or on any of them who were intercepted in the mass, but
very much harm to one another. For he who had either drawn his sword
or directed his lance, could neither restore it again, nor put his
sword up; with these weapons they wounded their own men, as they
happened to come in the way, and they were dying by mere contact with
each other.

Pyrrhus, seeing this storm and confusion of things, took off the
crown he wore upon his helmet, by which he was distinguished, and
gave it to one nearest his person, and trusting to the goodness of
his horse, rode in among the thickest of the enemy, and being wounded
with a lance through his breastplate, but not dangerously, nor indeed
very much, he turned about upon the man who struck him, who was an
Argive, not of any illustrious birth, but the son of a poor old
woman; she was looking upon the fight among other women from the top
of a house, and perceiving her son engaged with Pyrrhus, and
affrighted at the danger he was in, took up a tile with both hands,
and threw it at Pyrrhus. This falling on his head below the helmet,
and bruising the vertebrae of the lower part of the neck, stunned and
blinded him; his hands let go the reins, and sinking down from his
horse, he fell just by the tomb of Licymnius. The common soldiers
knew not who it was; but one Zopyrus, who served under Antigonus, and
two or three others running thither, and knowing it was Pyrrhus,
dragged him to a door way hard by, just as he was recovering a little
from the blow. But when Zopyrus drew out an Illyrian sword, ready to
cut off his head, Pyrrhus gave him so fierce a look, that confounded
with terror, and sometimes his hands trembling, and then again
endeavoring to do it, full of fear and confusion, he could not strike
him right, but cutting over his mouth and chin, it was a long time
before he got off the head. By this time what had happened was known
to a great many, and Alcyoneus hastening to the place, desired to
look upon the head, and see whether he knew it, and taking it in his
hand rode away to his father, and threw it at his feet, while he was
sitting with some of his particular favorites. Antigonus, looking
upon it, and knowing it, thrust his son from him, and struck him with
his staff, calling him wicked and barbarous, and covering his eyes
with his robe, shed tears, thinking of his own father and
grandfather, instances in his own family of the changefulness of
fortune, and caused the head and body of Pyrrhus to be burned with
all due solemnity. After this, Alcyoneus, discovering Helenus under
a mean disguise in a threadbare coat, used him very respectfully, and
brought him to his father. When Antigonus saw him, "This, my son,"
said he, "is better; and yet even now you have not done wholly well
in allowing these clothes to remain, to the disgrace of those who it
seems now are the victors." And treating Helenus with great
kindness, and as became a prince, he restored him to his kingdom of
Epirus, and gave the same obliging reception to all Pyrrhus's
principal commanders, his camp and whole army having fallen into his


We are altogether ignorant of any third name of Caius Marius; as also
of Quintus Sertorius, that possessed himself of Spain; or of Lucius
Mummius that destroyed Corinth, though this last was surnamed
Achaicus from his conquests, as Scipio was called Africanus, and
Metellus, Macedonicus. Hence Posidonius draws his chief argument to
confute those that hold the third to be the Roman proper name, as
Camillus, Marcellus, Cato; as in this case, those that had but two
names would have no proper name at all. He did not, however, observe
that by his own reasoning he must rob the women absolutely of their
names; for none of them have the first, which Posidonius imagines the
proper name with the Romans. Of the other two, one was common to the
whole family, Pompeii, Manlii, Cornelii, (as with us Greeks, the
Heraclidae, and Pelopidae,) the other titular, and personal, taken
either from their natures, or actions, or bodily characteristics, as
Macrinus, Torquatus, Sylla; such as are Mnemon, Grypus, or Callinicus
among the Greeks. On the subject of names, however, the irregularity
of custom, would we insist upon it, might furnish us with discourse

There is a likeness of Marius in stone at Ravenna, in Gaul, which I
myself saw, quite corresponding with that roughness and harshness of
character that is ascribed to him. Being naturally valiant and
warlike, and more acquainted also with the discipline of the camp
than of the city, he could not moderate his passion when in
authority. He is said never to have either studied Greek, or to have
made use of that language in any matter of consequence; thinking it
ridiculous to bestow time in that learning, the teachers of which
were little better than slaves. So after his second triumph, when at
the dedication of a temple he presented some shows after the Greek
fashion, coming into the theater, he only sat down and immediately
departed. And, accordingly, as Plato often used to say to Xenocrates
the philosopher, who was thought to show more than ordinary harshness
of disposition, "I pray you, good Xenocrates, sacrifice to the
Graces"; so if any could have persuaded Marius to pay his devotions
to the Greek Muses and Graces, he had never brought his incomparable
actions, both in war and peace, to so unworthy a conclusion, or
wrecked himself, so to say, upon an old age of cruelty and
vindictiveness, through passion, ill-timed ambition, and insatiable
cupidity. But this will further appear by and by from the facts.

He was born of parents altogether obscure and indigent, who supported
themselves by their daily labor; his father of the same name with
himself, his mother called Fulcinia. He had spent a considerable
part of his life before he saw and tasted the pleasures of the city;
having passed previously in Cirrhaeaton, a village of the territory
of Arpinum, a life, compared with city delicacies, rude and
unrefined, yet temperate, and conformable to the ancient Roman
severity. He first served as a soldier in the war against the
Celtiberians, when Scipio Africanus besieged Numantia; where he
signalized himself to his general by courage far above his comrades,
and, particularly, by his cheerfully complying with Scipio's
reformation of his army, before almost ruined by pleasures and
luxury. It is stated, too, that he encountered and vanquished an
enemy in single combat, in his general's sight. In consequence of
all this he had several honors conferred upon him; and once when at
an entertainment a question arose about commanders, and one of the
company (whether really desirous to know, or only in complaisance)
asked Scipio where the Romans, after him, should obtain such another
general, Scipio, gently clapping Marius on the shoulder as he sat
next him, replied, "Here, perhaps." So promising was his early youth
of his future greatness, and so discerning was Scipio to detect the
distant future in the present first beginnings. It was this speech
of Scipio, we are told, which, like a divine admonition, chiefly
emboldened Marius to aspire to a political career. He sought, and by
the assistance of Caecilius Metellus, of whose family he as well as
his father were dependents, obtained the office of tribune of the
people. In which place, when he brought forward a bill for the
regulation of voting, which seemed likely to lessen the authority of
the great men in the courts of justice, the consul Cotta opposed him,
and persuaded the senate to declare against the law, and call Marius
to account for it. He, however, when this decree was prepared,
coming into the senate, did not behave like a young man newly and
undeservedly advanced to authority, but, assuming all the courage
that his future actions would have warranted, threatened Cotta unless
he recalled the decree, to throw him into prison. And on his turning
to Metellus, and asking his vote, and Metellus rising up to concur
with the consul, Marius, calling for the officer outside, commanded
him to take Metellus into custody. He appealed to the other
tribunes, but not one of them assisted him; so that the senate,
immediately complying, withdrew the decree. Marius came forth with
glory to the people and confirmed his law, and was henceforth
esteemed a man of undaunted courage and assurance, as well as a
vigorous opposer of the senate in favor of the commons. But he
immediately lost their opinion of him by a contrary action; for when
a law for the distribution of corn was proposed, he vigorously and
successfully resisted it, making himself equally honored by both
parties, in gratifying neither, contrary to the public interest.

After his tribuneship, he was candidate for the office of chief
aedile; there being two orders of them, one the curules, from the
stool with crooked feet on which they sat when they performed their
duty; the other and inferior, called aediles of the people. As soon
as they have chosen the former, they give their voices again for the
latter. Marius, finding he was likely to be put by for the greater,
immediately changed and stood for the less; but because he seemed too
forward and hot, he was disappointed of that also. And yet though he
was in one day twice frustrated of his desired preferment, (which
never happened to any before,) yet he was not at all discouraged, but
a little while after sought for the praetorship, and was nearly
suffering a repulse, and then, too, though he was returned last of
all, was nevertheless accused of bribery.

Cassius Sabaco's servant, who was observed within the rails among
those that voted, chiefly occasioned the suspicion, as Sabaco was an
intimate friend of Marius; but on being called to appear before the
judges, he alleged, that being thirsty by reason of the heat, he
called for cold water, and that his servant brought him a cup, and
as soon as he had drunk, departed; he was, however, excluded from the
senate by the succeeding censors, and not undeservedly either, as was
thought, whether it might be for his false evidence, or his want of
temperance. Caius Herennius was also cited to appear as evidence,
but pleaded that it was not customary for a patron, (the Roman word
for protector,) to witness against his clients, and that the law
excused them from that harsh duty; and both Marius and his parents
had always been clients to the family of the Herennii. And when the
judges would have accepted of this plea, Marius himself opposed it,
and told Herennius, that when he was first created magistrate he
ceased to be his client; which was not altogether true. For it is
not every office that frees clients and their posterity from the
observance due to their patrons, but only those to which the law has
assigned a curule chair. Notwithstanding, though at the beginning of
the suit it went somewhat hard with Marius, and he found the judges
no way favorable to him; yet, at last, their voices being equal,
contrary to all expectation, he was acquitted.

In his praetorship he did not get much honor, yet after it he
obtained the further Spain; which province he is said to have
cleared of robbers, with which it was much infested, the old
barbarous habits still prevailing, and the Spaniards, in those days,
still regarding robbery as a piece of valor. In the city he had
neither riches nor eloquence to trust to, with which the leading men
of the time obtained power with the people, but his vehement
disposition, his indefatigable labors, and his plain way of living,
of themselves gained him esteem and influence; so that he made an
honorable match with Julia, of the distinguished family of the
Caesars, to whom that Caesar was nephew who was afterwards so great
among the Romans, and, in some degree, from his relationship, made
Marius his example, as in his life we have observed.

Marius is praised for both temperance and endurance, of which latter
he gave a decided instance in an operation of surgery. For having,
as it seems, both his legs full of great tumors, and disliking the
deformity, he determined to put himself into the hands of an
operator; when, without being tied, he stretched out one of his legs,
and silently, without changing countenance, endured most excessive
torments in the cutting, never either flinching or complaining; but
when the surgeon went to the other, he declined to have it done,
saying, "I see the cure is not worth the pain."

The consul Caecilius Metellus. being declared general in the war
against Jugurtha in Africa, took with him Marius for lieutenant;
where, eager himself to do great deeds and services that would get
him distinction, he did not, like others, consult Metellus's glory and
the serving his interest, and attributing his honor of lieutenancy
not to Metellus, but to fortune, which had presented him with a
proper opportunity and theater of great actions, he exerted his
utmost courage. That war, too, affording several difficulties, he
neither declined the greatest, nor disdained undertaking the least of
them; but surpassing his equals in counsel and conduct, and matching
the very common soldiers in labor and abstemiousness, he gained great
popularity with them; as indeed any voluntary partaking with people
in their labor is felt as an easing of that labor, as it seems to
take away the constraint and necessity of it. It is the most
obliging sight in the world to the Roman soldier to see a commander
eat the same bread as himself, or lie upon an ordinary bed, or assist
the work in the drawing a trench and raising a bulwark. For they do
not so much admire those that confer honors and riches upon them, as
those that partake of the same labor and danger with themselves; but
love them better that will vouchsafe to join in their work, than
those that encourage their idleness.

Marius thus employed, and thus winning the affections of the
soldiers, before long filled both Africa and Rome with his fame, and
some, too, wrote home from the army that the war with Africa would
never be brought to a conclusion, unless they chose Caius Marius
consul. All which was evidently unpleasing to Metellus; but what
more especially grieved him was the calamity of Turpillius. This
Turpillius had, from his ancestors, been a friend of Metellus, and
kept up constant hospitality with him; and was now serving in the
war, in command of the smiths and carpenters of the army. Having the
charge of a garrison in Vaga, a considerable city, and trusting too
much to the inhabitants, because he treated them civilly and kindly,
he unawares fell into the enemy's hands. They received Jugurtha into
the city; yet, nevertheless, at their request, Turpillius was
dismissed safe and without receiving any injury; whereupon he was
accused of betraying it to the enemy. Marius, being one of the
council of war, was not only violent against him himself, but also
incensed most of the others, so that Metellus was forced, much
against his will, to put him to death. Not long after the accusation
proved false, and when others were comforting Metellus, who took
heavily the loss of his friend, Marius, rather insulting and
arrogating it to himself, boasted in all companies that he had
involved Metellus in the guilt of putting his friend to death.

Henceforward they were at open variance; and it is reported that
Metellus once, when Marius was present, said, insultingly, "You, sir,
design to leave us to go home and stand for the consulship, and will
not be content to wait and be consul with this boy of mine?"
Metellus's son being a mere boy at the time. Yet for all this Marius
being very importunate to be gone, after several delays, he was
dismissed about twelve days before the election of consuls; and
performed that long journey from the camp to the seaport of Utica, in
two days and a night, and there doing sacrifice before he went on
shipboard, it is said the augur told him, that heaven promised him
some incredible good fortune, and such as was beyond all expectation.
Marius, not a little elated with this good omen, began his voyage,
and in four days, with a favorable wind, passed the sea; he was
welcomed with great joy by the people, and being brought into the
assembly by one of the tribunes, sued for the consulship, inveighing
in all ways against Metellus, and promising either to slay Jugurtha
or take him alive.

He was elected triumphantly, and at once proceeded to levy soldiers,
contrary both to law and custom, enlisting slaves and poor people;
whereas former commanders never accepted of such, but bestowed arms,
like other favors, as a matter of distinction, on persons who had the
proper qualification, a man's property being thus a sort of security
for his good behavior. These were not the only occasions of ill-will
against Marius; some haughty speeches, uttered with great arrogance
and contempt, gave great offense to the nobility; as, for example,
his saying that he had carried off the consulship as a spoil from the
effeminacy of the wealthy and high-born citizens, and telling the
people that he gloried in wounds he had himself received for them, as
much as others did in the monuments of dead men and images of their
ancestors. Often speaking of the commanders that had been
unfortunate in Africa, naming Bestia, for example, and Albinus, men
of very good families, but unfit for war, and who had miscarried
through want of experience, he asked the people about him, if they
did not think that the ancestors of these nobles had much rather have
left a descendant like him, since they themselves grew famous not by
nobility, but by their valor and great actions? This he did not say
merely out of vanity and arrogance, or that he were willing, without
any advantage, to offend the nobility; but the people always
delighting in affronts and scurrilous contumelies against the senate,
making boldness of speech their measure of greatness of spirit,
continually encouraged him in it, and strengthened his inclination
not to spare persons of repute, so he might gratify the multitude.

As soon as he arrived again in Africa, Metellus, no longer able to
control his feelings of jealousy, and his indignation that now when
he had really finished the war, and nothing was left but to secure
the person of Jugurtha, Marius, grown great merely through his
ingratitude to him, should come to bereave him both of his victory
and triumph, could not bear to have any interview with him; but
retired himself, whilst Rutilius, his lieutenant, surrendered up the
army to Marius, whose conduct, however, in the end of the war, met
with some sort of retribution, as Sylla deprived him of the glory of
the action, as he had done Metellus. I shall state the circumstances
briefly here, as they are given at large in the life of Sylla.
Bocchus was king of the more distant barbarians, and was
father-in-law to Jugurtha, yet sent him little or no assistance in
his war, professing fears of his unfaithfulness, and really jealous
of his growing power; but after Jugurtha fled, and in his distress
came to him as his last hope, he received him as a suppliant, rather
because ashamed to do otherwise, than out of real kindness; and when
he had him in his power, he openly entreated Marius on his behalf,
and interceded for him with bold words, giving out that he would by
no means deliver him. Yet privately designing to betray him, he sent
for Lucius Sylla, quaestor to Marius, and who had on a previous
occasion befriended Bocchus in the war. When Sylla, relying on his
word, came to him, the African began to doubt and repent of his
purpose, and for several days was unresolved with himself, whether he
should deliver Jugurtha or retain Sylla; at length he fixed upon his
former treachery, and put Jugurtha alive into Sylla's possession.
Thus was the first occasion given of that fierce and implacable
hostility which so nearly ruined the whole Roman empire. For many
that envied Marius, attributed the success wholly to Sylla; and Sylla
himself got a seal made on which was engraved Bocchus betraying
Jugurtha to him, and constantly used it, irritating the hot and
jealous temper of Marius, who was naturally greedy of distinction,
and quick to resent any claim to share in his glory, and whose
enemies took care to promote the quarrel, ascribing the beginning and
chief business of the war to Metellus, and its conclusion to Sylla;
that so the people might give over admiring and esteeming Marius as
the worthiest person.

But these envyings and calumnies were soon dispersed and cleared away
from Marius, by the danger that threatened Italy from the west; when
the city, in great need of a good commander, sought about whom she
might set at the helm, to meet the tempest of so great a war, no one
would have anything to say to any members of noble or potent
families who offered themselves for the consulship, and Marius,
though then absent, was elected.

Jugurtha's apprehension was only just known, when the news of the
invasion of the Teutones and Cimbri began. The accounts at first
exceeded all credit, as to the number and strength of the approaching
army; but in the end, report proved much inferior to the truth, as
they were three hundred thousand effective fighting men, besides a
far greater number of women and children. They professed to be
seeking new countries to sustain these great multitudes, and cities
where they might settle and inhabit, in the same way as they had
heard the Celti before them had driven out the Tyrrhenians, and
possessed themselves of the best part of Italy. Having had no
commerce with the southern nations, and traveling over a wide extent
of country, no man knew what people they were, or whence they came,
that thus like a cloud burst over Gaul and Italy; yet by their gray
eyes and the largeness of their stature, they were conjectured to be
some of the German races dwelling by the northern sea; besides that,
the Germans call plunderers Cimbri.

There are some that say, that the country of the Celti, in its vast
size and extent, reaches from the furthest sea and the arctic regions
to the lake Maeotis eastward, and to that part of Scythia which is
near Pontus, and that there the nations mingle together; that they
did not swarm out of their country all at once, or on a sudden, but
advancing by force of arms, in the summer season, every year, in the
course of time they crossed the whole continent. And thus, though
each party had several appellations, yet the whole army was called by
the common name of Celto-Scythians. Others say that the Cimmerii,
anciently known to the Greeks, were only a small part of the nation,
who were driven out upon some quarrel among the Scythians, and passed
all along from the lake Maeotis to Asia, under the conduct of one
Lygdamis; and that the greater and more warlike part of them still
inhabit the remotest regions lying upon the outer ocean. These, they
say, live in a dark and woody country hardly penetrable by the
sunbeams, the trees are so close and thick, extending into the
interior as far as the Hercynian forest; and their position on the
earth is under that part of heaven, where the pole is so elevated,
that by the declination of the parallels, the zenith of the
inhabitants seems to be but little distant from it; and that their
days and nights being almost of an equal length, they divide their
year into one of each. This was Homer's occasion for the story of
Ulysses calling up the dead, and from this region the people,
anciently called Cimmerii, and afterwards, by an easy change, Cimbri,
came into Italy. All this, however, is rather conjecture than an
authentic history.

Their numbers, most writers agree, were not less, but rather greater
than was reported. They were of invincible strength and fierceness
in their wars, and hurried into battle with the violence of a
devouring flame; none could withstand them; all they assaulted became
their prey. Several of the greatest Roman commanders with their
whole armies, that advanced for the defense of Transalpine Gaul, were
ingloriously overthrown, and, indeed, by their faint resistance,
chiefly gave them the impulse of marching towards Rome. Having
vanquished all they had met, and found abundance of plunder, they
resolved to settle themselves nowhere till they should have razed the
city, and wasted all Italy. The Romans, being from all parts alarmed
with this news, sent for Marius to undertake the war, and nominated
him the second time consul, though the law did not permit any one
that was absent, or that had not waited a certain time after his
first consulship, to be again created. But the people rejected all
opposers; for they considered this was not the first time that the
law gave place to the common interest; nor the present occasion less
urgent than that when, contrary to law, they made Scipio consul, not
in fear for the destruction of their own city, but desiring the ruin
of that of the Carthaginians.

Thus it was decided; and Marius, bringing over his legions out of
Africa on the very first day of January, which the Romans count the
beginning of the year, received the consulship, and then, also,
entered in triumph, showing Jugurtha a prisoner to the people, a
sight they had despaired of ever beholding, nor could any, so long as
he lived, hope to reduce the enemy in Africa; so fertile in
expedients was he to adapt himself to every turn of fortune, and so
bold as well as subtle. When, however, he was led in triumph, it is
said that he fell distracted, and when he was afterwards thrown into
prison, where some tore off his clothes by force, and others, whilst
they struggled for his golden ear-ring, with it pulled off the tip of
his ear, and when he was, after this, cast naked into the dungeon, in
his amazement and confusion, with a ghastly laugh, he cried out, "O
Hercules! how cold your bath is!" Here for six days struggling with
hunger, and to the very last minute desirous of life, he was
overtaken by the just reward of his villainies. In this triumph was
brought, as is stated, of gold three thousand and seven pounds
weight, of silver bullion five thousand seven hundred and
seventy-five, of money in gold and silver coin two hundred and
eighty-seven thousand drachmas. After the solemnity, Marius called
together the senate in the capitol, and entered, whether through
inadvertency or unbecoming exultation with his good fortune, in his
triumphal habit; but presently observing the senate offended at it,
went out, and returned in his ordinary purple-bordered robe.

On the expedition he carefully disciplined and trained his army
whilst on their way, giving them practice in long marches, and
running of every sort, and compelling every man to carry his own
baggage and prepare his own victuals; insomuch that thenceforward
laborious soldiers, who did their work silently without grumbling,
had the name of "Marius's mules." Some, however, think the proverb
had a different occasion; that when Scipio besieged Numantia, and was
careful to inspect not only their horses and arms, but their mules
and carriages too, and see how well equipped and in what readiness
each one's was, Marius brought forth his horse which he had fed
extremely well, and a mule in better case, stronger and gentler than
those of others; that the general was very well pleased, and often
afterwards mentioned Marius's beasts; and that hence the soldiers,
when speaking jestingly in the praise of a drudging, laborious
fellow, called him Marius's mule.

But to proceed; very great good fortune seemed to attend Marius, for
by the enemy in a manner changing their course, and falling first
upon Spain, he had time to exercise his soldiers, and confirm their
courage, and, which was most important, to show them what he himself
was. For that fierce manner of his in command, and inexorableness in
punishing, when his men became used not to do amiss or disobey, was
felt to be wholesome and advantageous, as well as just, and his
violent spirit, stern voice, and harsh aspect, which in a little
while grew familiar to them, they esteemed terrible not to
themselves, but only to their enemies. But his uprightness in
judging, more especially pleased the soldiers, one remarkable
instance of which is as follows. One Caius Lusius, his own nephew,
had a command under him in the army, a man not in other respects of
bad character, but shamefully licentious with young men. He had one
young man under his command called Trebonius, with whom
notwithstanding many solicitations he could never prevail. At length
one night, he sent a messenger for him, and Trebonius came, as it was
not lawful for him to refuse when he was sent for, and being brought
into his tent, when Lusius began to use violence with him, he drew
his sword and ran him through. This was done whilst Marius was
absent. When he returned, he appointed Trebonius a time for his
trial, where, whilst many accused him, and not any one appeared in
his defense, he himself boldly related the whole matter, and brought
witness of his previous conduct to Lusius, who had frequently offered
him considerable presents. Marius, admiring his conduct and much
pleased, commanded the garland, the usual Roman reward of valor, to
be brought, and himself crowned Trebonius with it, as having
performed an excellent action, at a time that very much wanted such
good examples.

This being told at Rome, proved no small help to Marius towards his
third consulship; to which also conduced the expectation of the
barbarians at the summer season, the people being unwilling to trust
their fortunes with any other general but him. However, their
arrival was not so early as was imagined, and the time of Marius's
consulship was again expired. The election coming on, and his
colleague being dead, he left the command of the army to Manius
Aquilius, and hastened to Rome, where, several eminent persons being
candidates for the consulship, Lucius Saturninus, who more than any
of the other tribunes swayed the populace, and of whom Marius himself
was very observant, exerted his eloquence with the people, advising
them to choose Marius consul. He playing the modest part, and
professing to decline the office, Saturninus called him traitor to
his country, if, in such apparent danger, he would avoid command.
And though it was not difficult to discover that he was merely
helping Marius in putting this presence upon the people, yet,
considering that the present juncture much required his skill, and
his good fortune too, they voted him the fourth time consul, and made
Catulus Lutatius his colleague, a man very much esteemed by the
nobility, and not unagreeable to the commons.

Marius, having notice of the enemy's approach, with all expedition
passed the Alps, and pitching his camp by the river Rhone, took care
first for plentiful supplies of victuals; lest at any time he should
be forced to fight at a disadvantage for want of necessaries. The
carriage of provision for the army from the sea, which was formerly
long and expensive, he made speedy and easy. For the mouth of the
Rhone, by the influx of the sea, being barred and almost filled up
with sand and mud mixed with clay, the passage there became narrow,
difficult, and dangerous for the ships that brought their provisions.
Hither, therefore, bringing his army, then at leisure, he drew a
great trench; and by turning the course of great part of the river,
brought it to a convenient point on the shore where the water was
deep enough to receive ships of considerable burden, and where there
was a calm and easy opening to the sea. And this still retains the
name it took from him.

The enemy dividing themselves into two parts, the Cimbri arranged to
go against Catulus higher up through the country of the Norici, and
to force that passage; the Teutones and Ambrones to march against
Marius by the sea-side through Liguria. The Cimbri were a
considerable time in doing their part. But the Teutones and Ambrones
with all expedition passing over the interjacent country, soon came
in sight, in numbers beyond belief, of a terrible aspect, and
uttering strange cries and shouts. Taking up a great part of the
plain with their camp, they challenged Marius to battle; he seemed to
take no notice of them, but kept his soldiers within their
fortifications, and sharply reprehended those that were too forward
and eager to show their courage, and who, out of passion, would needs
be fighting, calling them traitors to their country, and telling them
they were not now to think of the glory of triumphs and trophies, but
rather how they might repel such an impetuous tempest of war, and
save Italy.

Thus he discoursed privately with his officers and equals, but placed
the soldiers by turns upon the bulwarks to survey the enemy, and so
made them familiar with their shape and voice, which were indeed
altogether extravagant and barbarous, and he caused them to observe
their arms, and way of using them, so that in a little time what at
first appeared terrible to their apprehensions, by often viewing,
became familiar. For he very rationally supposed, that the
strangeness of things often makes them seem formidable when they are
not so; and that by our better acquaintance, even things which are
really terrible, lose much of their frightfulness. This daily
converse not only diminished some of the soldiers' fear, but their
indignation warmed and inflamed their courage, when they heard the
threats and insupportable insolence of their enemies; who not only
plundered and depopulated all the country round, but would even
contemptuously and confidently attack the ramparts.

Complaints of the soldiers now began to come to Marius's ears. "What
effeminacy does Marius see in us, that he should thus like women lock
us up from encountering our enemies? Come on, let us show ourselves
men, and ask him if he expects others to fight for Italy; and means
merely to employ us in servile offices, when he would dig trenches,
cleanse places of mud and dirt, and turn the course of rivers? It
was to do such works as these, it seems, that he gave us all our long
training; he will return home, and boast of these great performances
of his consulships to the people. Does the defeat of Carbo and
Caepio, who were vanquished by the enemy, affright him? Surely they
were much inferior to Marius both in glory and valor, and commanded a
much weaker army; at the worst, it is better to be in action, though
we suffer for it like them, than to sit idle spectators of the
destruction of our allies and companions." Marius, not a little
pleased to hear this, gently appeased them, pretending that he did
not distrust their valor, but that he took his measures as to the
time and place of victory from some certain oracles.

And, in fact, he used solemnly to carry about in a litter, a Syrian
woman, called Martha, a supposed prophetess, and to do sacrifice by
her directions. She had formerly been driven away by the senate, to
whom she addressed herself, offering to inform them about these
affairs, and to foretell future events; and after this betook herself
to the women, and gave them proofs of her skill, especially Marius's
wife, at whose feet she sat when she was viewing a contest of
gladiators, and correctly foretold which of them should overcome.
She was for this and the like predictings sent by her to Marius and
the army, where she was very much looked up to, and, for the most
part, carried about in a litter. When she went to sacrifice, she
wore a purple robe lined and buckled up, and had in her hand a little
spear trimmed with ribbons and garlands. This theatrical show made
many question, whether Marius really gave any credit to her himself,
or only played the counterfeit, when he showed her publicly, to
impose upon the soldiers.

What, however, Alexander the Myndian relates about the vultures, does
really deserve admiration; that always before Marius's victories
there appeared two of them, and accompanied the army, which were
known by their brazen collars, (the soldiers having caught them and
put these about their necks, and so let them go, from which time they
in a manner knew and saluted the soldiers,) and whenever these
appeared in their marches, they used to rejoice at it, and thought
themselves sure of some success. Of the many other prodigies that
then were taken notice of, the greater part were but of the ordinary
stamp; it was, however, reported that at Ameria and Tuder, two cities
in Italy, there were seen at nights in the sky, flaming darts and
shields, now waved about, and then again clashing against one
another, all in accordance with the postures and motions soldiers use
in fighting; that at length one party retreating, and the other
pursuing, they all disappeared westward. Much about the same time
came Bataces, one of Cybele's priests, from Pesinus, and reported
how the goddess had declared to him out of her oracle, that the
Romans should obtain the victory. The senate giving credit to him,
and voting the goddess a temple to be built in hopes of the victory,
Aulus Pompeius, a tribune, prevented Bataces, when he would have gone
and told the people this same story, calling him impostor, and
ignominiously pulling him off the hustings; which action in the end
was the main thing that gained credit for the man's story, for Aulus
had scarce dissolved the assembly, and returned home, when a violent
fever seized him, and it was matter of universal remark, and in
everybody's mouth, that he died within a week after.

Now the Teutones, whilst Marius lay quiet, ventured to attack his
camp; from whence, however, being encountered with showers of darts,
and losing several of their men, they determined to march forward,
hoping to reach the other side of the Alps without opposition, and,
packing up their baggage, passed securely by the Roman camp, where
the greatness of their number was especially made evident by the long
time they took in their march, for they were said to be six days
continually going on in passing Marius's fortifications; they marched
pretty near, and revilingly asked the Romans if they would send any
commands by them to their wives, for they would shortly be with them.
As soon as they were passed and had gone on a little distance ahead,
Marius began to move, and follow them at his leisure, always
encamping at some small distance from them; choosing also strong
positions, and carefully fortifying them, that he might quarter with
safety. Thus they marched till they came to the place called
Sextilius's Waters, from whence it was but a short way before being
amidst the Alps, and here Marius put himself in readiness for the

He chose a place for his camp of considerable strength, but where
there was a scarcity of water; designing, it is said, by this means,
also, to put an edge on his soldiers' courage; and when several were
not a little distressed, and complained of thirst, pointing to a
river that ran near the enemy's camp: "There," said he, "you may
have drink, if you will buy it with your blood." "Why, then,"
replied they, "do you not lead us to them, before our blood is dried
up in us?" He answered, in a softer tone, "let us first fortify our
camp," and the soldiers, though not without repining, proceeded to
obey. Now a great company of their boys and camp-followers, having
neither drink for themselves nor for their horses, went down to that
river; some taking axes and hatchets, and some, too, swords and darts
with their pitchers, resolving to have water though they fought for
it. These were first encountered by a small party of the enemies;
for most of them had just finished bathing, and were eating and
drinking, and several were still bathing, the country thereabouts
abounding in hot springs; so that the Romans partly fell upon them
whilst they were enjoying themselves, and occupied with the novel
sights and pleasantness of the place. Upon hearing the shouts,
greater numbers still joining in the fight, it was not a little
difficult for Marius to contain his soldiers, who were afraid of
losing the camp-servants; and the more warlike part of the enemies,
who had overthrown Manlius and Caepio, (they were called Ambrones,
and were in number, one with another, above thirty thousand,) taking
the alarm, leaped up and hurried to arms.

These, though they had just been gorging themselves with food, and
were excited and disordered with drink, nevertheless did not advance
with an unruly step, or in mere senseless fury, nor were their shouts
mere inarticulate cries; but clashing their arms in concert, and
keeping time as they leapt and bounded onward, they continually
repeated their own name, "Ambrones!" either to encourage one another,
or to strike the greater terror into their enemies. Of all the
Italians in Marius's army, the Ligurians were the first that charged;
and when they caught the word of the enemy's confused shout, they,
too, returned the same, as it was an ancient name also in their
country, the Ligurians always using it when speaking of their
descent. This acclamation, bandied from one army to the other before
they joined, served to rouse and heighten their fury, while the men
on either side strove, with all possible vehemence, the one to
overshout the other.

The river disordered the Ambrones; before they could draw up all
their army on the other side of it, the Ligurians presently fell upon
the van, and began to charge them hand to hand. The Romans, too,
coming to their assistance, and from the higher ground pouring upon
the enemy, forcibly repelled them, and the most of them (one
thrusting another into the river) were there slain, and filled it
with their blood and dead bodies. Those that got safe over, not
daring to make head, were slain by the Romans, as they fled to their
camp and wagons; where the women meeting them with swords and
hatchets, and making a hideous outcry, set upon those that fled as
well as those that pursued, the one as traitors, the other as
enemies; and, mixing themselves with the combatants, with their bare
arms pulling away the Romans' shields, and laying hold on their
swords, endured the wounds and slashing of their bodies to the very
last, with undaunted resolution. Thus the battle seems to have
happened at that river rather by accident than by the design of the

After the Romans were retired from the great slaughter of the
Ambrones, night came on; but the army was not indulged, as was the
usual custom, with songs of victory, drinking in their tents, and
mutual entertainments, and (what is most welcome to soldiers after
successful fighting) quiet sleep, but they passed that night, above
all others, in fears and alarm. For their camp was without either
rampart or palisade, and there remained thousands upon thousands of
their enemies yet unconquered; to whom were joined as many of the
Ambrones as escaped. There were heard from these, all through the
night, wild bewailings, nothing like the sighs and groans of men, but
a sort of wild-beastlike howling and roaring, joined with threats
and lamentations rising from the vast multitude, and echoed among the
neighboring hills and hollow banks of the river. The whole plain was
filled with hideous noise, insomuch that the Romans were not a little
afraid, and Marius himself was apprehensive of a confused tumultuous
night engagement. But the enemy did not stir either this night or
the next day, but were employed in disposing and drawing themselves
up to the greatest advantage.

Of this occasion Marius made good use; for there were beyond the
enemies some wooded ascents and deep valleys thickly set with trees,
whither he sent Claudius Marcellus, secretly, with three thousand
regular soldiers, giving him orders to post them in ambush there, and
show themselves at the rear of the enemies, when the fight was begun.
The others, refreshed with victuals and sleep, as soon as it was day
he drew up before the camp, and commanded the horse to sally out into
the plain, at the sight of which the Teutones could not contain
themselves till the Romans should come down and fight them on equal
terms, but hastily arming themselves, charged in their fury up the
hill-side. Marius, sending officers to all parts, commanded his men
to stand still and keep their ground; when they came within reach, to
throw their javelins, then use their swords, and, joining their
shields, force them back; pointing out to them that the steepness of
the ground would render the enemy's blows inefficient, nor could
their shields be kept close together, the inequality of the ground
hindering the stability of their footing.

This counsel he gave them, and was the first that followed it; for he
was inferior to none in the use of his body, and far excelled all in
resolution. The Romans accordingly stood for their approach, and,
checking them in their advance upwards, forced them little by little
to give way and yield down the hill, and here, on the level ground no
sooner had the Ambrones begun to restore their van into a posture of
resistance, but they found their rear disordered. For Marcellus had
not let slip the opportunity; but as soon as the shout was raised
among the Romans on the hills, he, setting his men in motion, fell in
upon the enemy behind, at full speed, and with loud cries, and routed
those nearest him, and they, breaking the ranks of those that were
before them, filled the whole army with confusion. They made no long
resistance after they were thus broke in upon, but having lost all
order, fled.

The Romans, pursuing them, slew and took prisoners above one hundred
thousand, and possessing themselves of their spoil, tents, and
carriages, voted all that was not purloined to Marius's share, which,
though so magnificent a present, yet was generally thought less than
his conduct deserved in so great a danger. Other authors give a
different account, both about the division of the plunder and the
number of the slain. They say, however, that the inhabitants of
Massilia made fences round their vineyards with the bones, and that
the ground, enriched by the moisture of the putrefied bodies, (which
soaked in with the rain of the following winter,) yielded at the
season a prodigious crop, and fully justified Archilochus, who said,
that the fallows thus are fattened. It is an observation, also, that
extraordinary rains pretty generally fall after great battles;
whether it be that some divine power thus washes and cleanses the
polluted earth with showers from above, or that moist and heavy
evaporations, steaming forth from the blood and corruption, thicken
the air, which naturally is subject to alteration from the smallest

After the battle, Marius chose out from amongst the barbarians'
spoils and arms, those that were whole and handsome, and that would
make the greatest show in his triumph; the rest he heaped upon a
large pile, and offered a very splendid sacrifice. Whilst the army
stood round about with their arms and garlands, himself attired
(as the fashion is on such occasions) in the purple-bordered robe,
taking a lighted torch, and with both hands lifting it up towards
heaven, he was then going to put it to the pile, when some friends
were espied with all haste coming towards him on horseback. Upon
which every one remained in silence and expectation. They, upon
their coming up, leapt off and saluted Marius, bringing him the news
of his fifth consulship, and delivered him letters to that effect.
This gave the addition of no small joy to the solemnity; and while
the soldiers clashed their arms and shouted, the officers again
crowned Marius with a laurel-wreath, and he thus set fire to the
pile, and finished his sacrifice.

But whatever it be, which interferes to prevent the enjoyment of
prosperity ever being pure and sincere, and still diversifies human
affairs with the mixture of good and bad, whether fortune or divine
displeasure, or the necessity of the nature of things, within a few
days Marius received an account of his colleague, Catulus, which as a
cloud in serenity and calm, terrified Rome with the apprehension of
another imminent storm. Catulus, who marched against the Cimbri,
despairing of being able to defend the passes of the Alps, lest,
being compelled to divide his forces into several parties, he should
weaken himself, descended again into Italy, and posted his army
behind the river Adige; where he occupied the passages with strong
fortifications on both sides the river, and made a bridge, that so he
might cross to the assistance of his men on the other side, if so be
the enemy, having forced their way through the mountain passes,
should storm the fortresses. The barbarians, however, came on with
such insolence and contempt of their enemies, that to show their
strength and courage, rather than out of any necessity, they went
naked in the showers of snow, and through the ice and deep snow
climbed up to the tops of the hills, and from thence, placing their
broad shields under their bodies, let themselves slide from the
precipices along their vast slippery descents.

When they had pitched their camp at a little distance from the river,
and surveyed the passage, they began to pile it up, giant-like,
tearing down the neighboring hills; and brought trees pulled up by
the roots, and heaps of earth to the river, damming up its course;
and with great heavy materials which they rolled down the stream and
dashed against the bridge, they forced away the beams which supported
it; in consequence of which the greatest part of the Roman soldiers,
much affrighted, left the large camp and fled. Here Catulus showed
himself a generous and noble general, in preferring the glory of his
people before his own; for when he could not prevail with his
soldiers to stand to their colors, but saw how they all deserted
them, he commanded his own standard to be taken up, and running to
the foremost of those that fled, he led them forward, choosing rather
that the disgrace should fall upon himself than upon his country, and
that they should not seem to fly, but, following their captain, to
make a retreat. The barbarians assaulted and took the fortress on
the other side the Adige; where much admiring the few Romans there
left, who had shown extreme courage, and had fought worthily of their
country, they dismissed them upon terms, swearing them upon their
brazen bull, which was afterwards taken in the battle, and carried,
they say, to Catulus's house, as the chief trophy of victory.

Thus falling in upon the country destitute of defense, they wasted it
on all sides. Marius was presently sent for to the city; where, when
he arrived, every one supposing he would triumph, the senate, too,
unanimously voting it, he himself did not think it convenient;
whether that he were not willing to deprive his soldiers and officers
of their share of the glory, or that to encourage the people in this
juncture, he would leave the honor due to his past victory on trust,
as it were, in the hands of the city and its future fortune;
deferring it now, to receive it afterwards with the greater splendor.
Having left such orders as the occasion required, he hastened to
Catulus, whose drooping spirits he much raised, and sent for his own
army from Gaul: and as soon as it came, passing the river Po, he
endeavored to keep the barbarians out of that part of Italy which
lies south of it.

They professed they were in expectation of the Teutones, and, saying
they wondered they were so long in coming, deferred the battle;
either that they were really ignorant of their defeat, or were
willing to seem so. For they certainly much maltreated those that
brought them such news, and, sending to Marius, required some part of
the country for themselves and their brethren, and cities fit for
them to inhabit. When Marius inquired of the ambassadors who their
brethren were, upon their saying, the Teutones, all that were present
began to laugh; and Marius scoffingly answered them, "Do not trouble
yourselves for your brethren, for we have already provided lands for
them, which they shall possess forever." The ambassadors,
understanding the mockery, broke into insults, and threatened that
the Cimbri would make him pay for this, and the Teutones, too, when
they came. "They are not far off," replied Marius, "and it will be
unkindly done of you to go away before greeting your brethren."
Saying so, he commanded the kings of the Teutones to be brought out.
as they were, in chains; for they were taken by the Sequani among the
Alps, before they could make their escape. This was no sooner made
known to the Cimbri, but they with all expedition came against
Marius, who then lay still and guarded his camp.

It is said, that against this battle, Marius first altered the
construction of the Roman javelins. For before, at the place where
the wood was joined to the iron, it was made fast with two iron pins;
but now Marius let one of them alone as it was, and pulling out the
other, put a weak wooden peg in its place, thus contriving, that when
it was driven into the enemy's shield, it should not stand right out,
but the wooden peg breaking, the iron should bend, and so the javelin
should hold fast by its crooked point, and drag. Boeorix, king of
the Cimbri, came with a small party of horse to the Roman camp, and
challenged Marius to appoint the time and place, where they might
meet and fight for the country. Marius answered, that the Romans
never consulted their enemies when to fight; however, he would
gratify the Cimbri so far; and so they fixed upon the third day
after, and for the place, the plain near Vercellae, which was
convenient enough for the Roman horse, and afforded room for the
enemy to display their numbers.

They observed the time appointed, and drew out their forces against
each other. Catulus commanded twenty thousand three hundred, and
Marius thirty-two thousand, who were placed in the two wings, leaving
Catulus the center. Sylla, who was present at the fight, gives this
account; saying, also, that Marius drew up his army in this order,
because he expected that the armies would meet on the wings, since it
generally happens that in such extensive fronts the center falls
back, and thus he would have the whole victory to himself and his
soldiers, and Catulus would not be even engaged. They tell us, also,
that Catulus himself alleged this in vindication of his honor,
accusing, in various ways, the enviousness of Marius. The infantry
of the Cimbri marched quietly out of their fortifications, having
their flanks equal to their front; every side of the army taking up
thirty furlongs. Their horse, that were in number fifteen thousand,
made a very splendid appearance. They wore helmets, made to resemble
the heads and jaws of wild beasts, and other strange shapes, and
heightening these with plumes of feathers, they made themselves
appear taller than they were. They had breastplates of iron, and
white glittering shields; and for their offensive arms, every one had
two darts, and when they came hand to hand, they used large and heavy

The cavalry did not fall directly upon the front of the Romans, but,
turning to the right, they endeavored to draw them on in that
direction by little and little, so as to get them between themselves
and their infantry, who were placed in the left wing. The Roman
commanders soon perceived the design, but could not contain the
soldiers; for one happening to shout out that the enemy fled, they
all rushed to pursue them, while the whole barbarian foot came on,
moving like a great ocean. Here Marius, having washed his hands, and
lifting them up towards heaven, vowed an hecatomb to the gods; and
Catulus, too, in the same posture, solemnly promised to consecrate a
temple to the "Fortune of that day." They say, too, that Marius,
having the victim showed to him as he was sacrificing, cried out with
a loud voice, "the victory is mine."

However, in the engagement, according to the accounts of Sylla and
his friends, Marius met with what might be called a mark of divine
displeasure. For a great dust being raised, which (as it might very
probably happen) almost covered both the armies, he, leading on his
forces to the pursuit, missed the enemy, and having passed by their
array, moved, for a good space, up and down the field; meanwhile the
enemy, by chance, engaged with Catulus, and the heat of the battle
was chiefly with him and his men, among whom Sylla says he was;
adding, that the Romans had great advantage of the heat and sun that
shone in the faces of the Cimbri. For they, well able to endure cold,
and having been bred up, (as we observed before,) in cold and shady
countries, were overcome with the excessive heat; they sweated
extremely, and were much out of breath, being forced to hold their
shields before their faces; for the battle was fought not long after
the summer solstice, or, as the Romans reckon, upon the third day
before the new moon of the month now called August, and then
Sextilis. The dust, too, gave the Romans no small addition to their
courage, inasmuch as it hid the enemy. For afar off they could not
discover their number; but every one advancing to encounter those
that were nearest to them, they came to fight hand to hand, before
the sight of so vast a multitude had struck terror into them. They
were so much used to labor, and so well exercised, that in all the
heat and toil of the encounter, not one of them was observed either
to sweat, or to be out of breath; so much so, that Catulus himself,
they say, recorded it in commendation of his soldiers.

Here the greatest part and most valiant of the enemies were cut in
pieces; for those that fought in the front, that they might not break
their ranks, were fast tied to one another, with long chains put
through their belts. But as they pursued those that fled to their
camp, they witnessed a most fearful tragedy; the women, standing in
black clothes on their wagons, slew all that fled, some their
husbands, some their brethren, others their fathers; and strangling
their little children with their own hands, threw them under the
wheels, and the feet of the cattle, and then killed themselves. They
tell of one who hung herself from the end of the pole of a wagon,
with her children tied dangling at her heels. The men, for want of
trees, tied themselves, some to the horns of the oxen, others by the
neck to their legs, that so pricking them on, by the starting and
springing of the beasts, they might be torn and trodden to pieces.
Yet for all they thus massacred themselves, above sixty thousand were
taken prisoners, and those that were slain were said to be twice as

The ordinary plunder was taken by Marius's soldiers, but the other
spoils, as ensigns, trumpets, and the like, they say, were brought to
Catulus's camp; which he used for the best argument that the victory
was obtained by himself and his army. Some dissensions arising, as
was natural, among the soldiers, the deputies from Parma being then
present, were made judges of the controversy; whom Catulus's men
carried about among their slain enemies, and manifestly showed them
that they were slain by their javelins, which were known by the
inscriptions, having Catulus's name cut in the wood. Nevertheless,
the whole glory of the action was ascribed to Marius, on account of
his former victory, and under color of his present authority; the
populace more especially styling him the third founder of their city,
as having diverted a danger no less threatening than was that when
the Gauls sacked Rome; and every one, in their feasts and rejoicings
at home with their wives and children, made offerings and libations
in honor of "The Gods and Marius;" and would have had him solely have
the honor of both the triumphs. However, he did not do so, but
triumphed together with Catulus, being desirous to show his
moderation even in such great circumstances of good fortune, besides,
he was not a little afraid of the soldiers in Catulus's army, lest,
if he should wholly bereave their general of the honor, they should
endeavor to hinder him of his triumph.

Marius was now in his fifth consulship, and he sued for his sixth in
such a manner as never any man before him, had done, even for his
first; he courted the people's favor and ingratiated himself with the
multitude by every sort of complaisance; not only derogating from the
state and dignity of his office, but also belying his own character,
by attempting to seem popular and obliging, for which nature had
never designed him. His passion for distinction did, indeed, they
say, make him exceedingly timorous in any political matters, or in
confronting public assemblies; and that undaunted presence of mind he
always showed in battle against the enemy, forsook him when he was to
address the people; he was easily upset by the most ordinary
commendation or dispraise. It is told of him, that having at one
time given the freedom of the city to one thousand men of Camerinum
who had behaved valiantly in this war, and this seeming to be
illegally done, upon some one or other calling him to an account for
it, he answered, that the law spoke too softly to be heard in such a
noise of war; yet he himself appeared to be more disconcerted and
overcome by the clamor made in the assemblies. The need they had of
him in time of war procured him power and dignity; but in civil
affairs, when he despaired of getting the first place, he was forced
to betake himself to the favor of the people, never caring to be a
good man, so that he were but a great one.

He thus became very odious to all the nobility; and, above all, he
feared Metellus, who had been so ungratefully used by him, and whose
true virtue made him naturally an enemy to those that sought
influence with the people, not by the honorable course, but by
subservience and complaisance. Marius, therefore, endeavored to
banish him from the city, and for this purpose he contracted a close
alliance with Glaucia and Saturninus, a couple of daring fellows, who
had the great mass of the indigent and seditious multitude at their
control; and by their assistance he enacted various laws, and
bringing the soldiers, also, to attend the assembly, he was enabled
to overpower Metellus. And as Rutilius relates, (in all other
respects a fair and faithful authority, but, indeed, privately an
enemy to Marius,) he obtained his sixth consulship by distributing
vast sums of money among the tribes, and by this bribery kept out
Metellus, and had Valerius Flaccus given him as his instrument,
rather than his colleague, in the consulship. The people had never
before bestowed so many consulships on any one man, except on
Valerius Corvinus only, and he, too, they say, was forty-five years
between his first and last; but Marius, from his first, ran through
five more, with one current of good fortune.

In the last, especially, he contracted a great deal of hatred, by
committing several gross misdemeanors in compliance with the desires
of Saturninus; among which was the murder of Nonius, whom Saturninus
slew, because he stood in competition with him for the tribuneship.
And when, afterwards, Saturninus, on becoming tribune, brought
forward his law for the division of lands, with a clause enacting
that the senate should publicly swear to confirm whatever the people
should vote, and not to oppose them in anything, Marius, in the
senate, cunningly feigned to be against this provision, and said that
he would not take any such oath, nor would any man, he thought, who
was wise; for if there were no ill design in the law, still it would
be an affront to the senate, to be compelled to give their
approbation, and not to do it willingly and upon persuasion. This he
said, not that it was agreeable to his own sentiments, but that he
might entrap Metellus beyond any possibility of escape. For Marius,
in whose ideas virtue and capacity consisted largely in deceit, made
very little account of what he had openly professed to the senate;
and knowing that Metellus was one of a fixed resolution, and, as
Pindar has it, esteemed Truth the first principle of heroic virtue;
he hoped to ensnare him into a declaration before the senate, and on
his refusing, as he was sure to do, afterwards to take the oath, he
expected to bring him into such odium with the people, as should
never be wiped off. The design succeeded to his wish. As soon as
Metellus had declared that he would not swear to it, the senate
adjourned. A few days after, on Saturninus citing the senators to
make their appearance, and take the oath before the people, Marius
stepped forth, amidst a profound silence, every one being intent to
hear him, and bidding farewell to those fine speeches he had before
made in the senate, said, that his back was not so broad that he
should think himself bound, once for all, by any opinion once given
on so important a matter; he would willingly swear and submit to the
law, if so be it were one, a proviso which he added as a mere cover
for his effrontery. The people, in great joy at his taking the oath,
loudly clapped and applauded him, while the nobility stood by ashamed
and vexed at his inconstancy; but they submitted out of fear of the
people, and all in order took the oath, till it came to Metellus's
turn. But he, though his friends begged and entreated him to take
it, and not to plunge himself irrecoverably into the penalties which
Saturninus had provided for those that should refuse it, would not
flinch from his resolution, nor swear; but, according to his fixed
custom, being ready to suffer anything rather than do a base,
unworthy action, he left the forum, telling those that were with him,
that to do a wrong thing is base, and to do well where there is no
danger, common; the good man's characteristic is to do so, where
there is danger.

Hereupon Saturninus put it to the vote, that the consuls should place
Metellus under their interdict, and forbid him fire, water, and
lodging. There were enough, too, of the basest of people ready to
kill him. Nevertheless, when many of the better sort were extremely
concerned, and gathered about Metellus, he would not suffer them to
raise a sedition upon his account, but with this calm reflection left
the city, "Either when the posture of affairs is mended and the
people repent, I shall be recalled, or if things remain in their
present condition, it will be best to be absent." But what great
favor and honor Metellus received in his banishment, and in what
manner he spent his time at Rhodes, in philosophy, will be more fitly
our subject, when we write his life.

Marius, in return for this piece of service, was forced to connive at
Saturninus, now proceeding to the very height of insolence and
violence, and was, without knowing it, the instrument of mischief
beyond endurance, the only course of which was through outrages and
massacres to tyranny and the subversion of the government. Standing
in some awe of the nobility, and, at the same time, eager to court
the commonalty, he was guilty of a most mean and dishonest action.
When some of the great men came to him at night to stir him up
against Saturninus, at the other door, unknown to them, he let him
in; then making the same presence of some disorder of body to both,
he ran from one party to the other, and staying at one time with them
and another with him, he instigated and exasperated them one against
another. At length when the senate and equestrian order concerted
measures together, and openly manifested their resentment, he did
bring his soldiers into the forum, and driving the insurgents into
the capitol, and then cutting off the conduits, forced them to
surrender by want of water. They, in this distress, addressing
themselves to him, surrendered, as it is termed, on the public faith.
He did his utmost to save their lives, but so wholly in vain, that
when they came down into the forum, they were all basely murdered.
Thus he had made himself equally odious both to the nobility and
commons, and when the time was come to create censors, though he was
the most obvious man, yet he did not petition for it; but fearing the
disgrace of being repulsed, permitted others, his inferiors, to be
elected, though he pleased himself by giving out, that he was not
willing to disoblige too many by undertaking a severe inspection into
their lives and conduct.

There was now an edict preferred to recall Metellus from banishment;
this he vigorously, but in vain, opposed both by word and deed, and
was at length obliged to desist. The people unanimously voted for
it; and he, not able to endure the sight of Metellus's return, made a
voyage to Cappadocia and Galatia; giving out that he had to perform
the sacrifices, which he had vowed to Cybele; but actuated really by
other less apparent reasons. For, in fact, being a man altogether
ignorant of civil life and ordinary politics, he received all his
advancement from war; and supposing his power and glory would by
little and little decrease by his lying quietly out of action, he was
eager by every means to excite some new commotions, and hoped that by
setting at variance some of the kings, and by exasperating
Mithridates, especially, who was then apparently making preparations
for war, he himself should be chosen general against him, and so
furnish the city with new matter of triumph, and his own house with
the plunder of Pontus, and the riches of its king. Therefore, though
Mithridates entertained him with all imaginable attention and
respect, yet he was not at all wrought upon or softened by it, but
said, "O king, either endeavor to be stronger than the Romans, or
else quietly submit to their commands." With which he left
Mithridates astonished, as he indeed had often heard the fame of the
bold speaking of the Romans, but now for the first time experienced

When Marius returned again to Rome, he built a house close by the
forum, either, as he himself gave out, that he was not willing his
clients should be tired with going far, or that he imagined distance
was the reason why more did not come. This, however, was not so; the
real reason was, that being inferior to others in agreeableness of
conversation and the arts of political life, like a mere tool and
implement of war, he was thrown aside in time of peace. Amongst all
those whose brightness eclipsed his glory, he was most incensed
against Sylla, who had owed his rise to the hatred which the nobility
bore Marius; and had made his disagreement with him the one principle
of his political life. When Bocchus, king of Numidia, who was styled
the associate of the Romans, dedicated some figures of Victory in the
capitol, and with them a representation in gold, of himself
delivering Jugurtha to Sylla, Marius upon this was almost distracted
with rage and ambition, as though Sylla had arrogated this honor to
himself, and endeavored forcibly to pull down these presents; Sylla,
on the other side, as vigorously resisted him; but the Social War
then on a sudden threatening the city, put a stop to this sedition,
when just ready to break out. For the most warlike and best-peopled

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