Marius, and prosecutes the siege. His camp is surprised, LVII., LVIII. His struggles with Jugurtha, and his operations before the town, LIX., LX. He raises the siege, and goes into winter quarters. He attaches Bomilcar to his interest, LXI. He makes a treaty with Jugurtha, who breaks it, LXII. The ambition of Marius. His character. His desire of the consulship, LXIII. His animosity toward Metellus. His intrigues to supplant him, LXIV, LXV. The Vaccians surprise the Roman garrison, and kill all the Romans but Turpilius, the governor, LXVI., LXVII. Metellus recovers Vacca, and puts Turpilius to death, LXVIII., LXIX. The conspiracy of Bomilcar, and Nabdalsa against Jugurtha, and the discovery of it. Jugurtha’s disquietude, LXX.-LXXII. Metellus makes preparations for a second campaign. Marius returns to Rome, and is chosen consul, and appointed to command the army in Numidia, LXXIII. Jugurtha’s irresolution. Metellus defeats him, LXXIV. The flight of Jugurtha to Thala. The march of Metellus in pursuit of him, LXXV. Jugurtha abandons Thala, and Metellus takes possession of it, LXXVI. Metellus receives a deputation from Leptis, and sends a detachment thither, LXXVII. The situation of Leptis, LXXVIII. The history of the Philaeni, LXXIX. Jugurtha collects an army of Getulians, and gains the support of Bocchus, King of Mauritania. The two kings proceed toward Cirta, LXXX., LXXXI. Metellus marches against them, but hearing that Marius is appointed to succeed him, contents himself with endeavoring to alienate Bocchus from Jugurtha, and protracting the war rather than prosecuting it, LXXXII., LXXXIII. The preparations of Marius for his departure. His disposition toward the nobility. His popularity, LXXXIV. His speech to the people, LXXXV. He completes his levies, and arrives in Africa, LXXXVI. He opens the campaign, LXXXVII. The reception of Metellus in Rome. The successes and plans of Marius. The applications of Bocchus, LXXXVIII. Marius marches against Capsa, and takes it, LXXXIX-XCI. He gains possession of a fortress which the Numidians thought impregnable, XCII.-XCIV. The arrival of Sylla in the camp. His character, XCV. His arts to obtain the favor of Marius and the soldiers, XCVI. Jugurtha and Bocchus attack Marius, and are vigorously opposed, XCVII., XCVIII. Marius surprises them in the night, and routs them with great slaughter, XCIX. Marius prepares to go into winter quarters. His vigilance, and maintenance of discipline, C. He fights a second battle with Jugurtha and Bocchus, and gains a second victory over them, CI. He arrives at Cirta. He receives a deputation from Bocchus, and sends Sylla and Manlius to confer with him, CII. Marina undertakes an expedition Bocchus prepares to send ambassadors to Rome, who being stripped by robbers, takes refuge in the Roman camp, and are entertained by Sylla during the absence of Marius, CIII. Marius returns. The ambassadors set out for Rome. The answer which they receive from the senate, CIV. Bocchus desires a conference with Sylla; Sylla arrives at the camp of Bocchus, CV.-CVII. Negotiations between Sylla and Bocchus, CVIII., CIX. The address of Bocchus to Sylla, CX. The reply of Sylla. The subsequent transactions between them. The resolution of Bocchus to betray Jugurtha, and the execution of it, CXI-CXIII. The triumph of Marius, CXIV.
I. Mankind unreasonably complain of their nature, that, being weak and short-lived, it is governed by chance rather than intellectual power; for, on the contrary, you will find, upon reflection, that there is nothing more noble or excellent, and that to nature is wanting rather human industry than ability or time.
The ruler and director of the life of man is the mind, which, when it pursues glory in the path of true merit, is sufficiently powerful, efficient, and worthy of honor, and needs no assistance from fortune, who can neither bestow integrity, industry, or other good qualities, nor can take them away. But if the mind, ensnared by corrupt passions, abandons itself to indolence and sensuality, when it has indulged for a season in pernicious gratifications, and when bodily strength, time, and mental vigor, have been wasted in sloth, the infirmity of nature is accused, and those who are themselves in fault impute their delinquency to circumstances.
If man, however, had as much regard for worthy objects, as he has spirit in the pursuit of what is useless, unprofitable, and even perilous, he would not be governed by circumstances more than he would govern them, and would attain to a point of greatness, at which, instead of being mortal, he would be immortalized by glory.
II. As man is composed of mind and body, so, of all our concerns and pursuits, some partake the nature of the body, and some that of the mind. Thus beauty of person, eminent wealth, corporeal strength, and all other things of this kind, speedily pass away; but the illustrious achievements of the mind are, like the mind itself, immortal.
Of the advantages of person and fortune, as there is a beginning, there is also an end; they all rise and fall, increase and decay. But the mind, incorruptible and eternal, the ruler of the human race, actuates and has power over all things, yet is itself free from control.
The depravity of those, therefore, is the more surprising, who, devoted to corporeal gratifications, spend their lives in luxury and indolence, but suffer the mind, than which nothing is better or greater in man, to languish in neglect and inactivity; especially when there are so many and various mental employments by which the highest renown may be attained.
III. Of these occupations, however, civil and military offices, and all administration of public affairs, seem to me at the present time, by no means to be desired; for neither is honor conferred on merit, nor are those, who have gained power by unlawful means, the more secure or respected for it. To rule our country or subjects by force, though we may have the ability, and may correct what is wrong, is yet an ungrateful undertaking; especially as all changes in the state lead to bloodshed, exile, and other evils of discord; while to struggle in ineffectual attempts, and to gain nothing, by wearisome exertions, but public hatred, is the extreme of madness; unless when a base and pernicious spirit, perchance, may prompt a man to sacrifice his honor and liberty to the power of a party.
IV. Among other employments which are pursued by the intellect, the recording of past events is of pre-eminent utility; but of its merits I may, I think, be silent, since many have spoken of them, and since, if I were to praise my own occupation, I might be considered as presumptuously praising myself. I believe, too, that there will be some, who, because I have resolved to live unconnected with political affairs, will apply to my arduous and useful labors the name of idleness; especially those who think it an important pursuit to court the people, and gain popularity by entertainments. But if such persons will consider at what periods I obtained office, what sort of men were then unable to obtain it, and what description of persons have subsequently entered the senate, they will think, assuredly, that I have altered my sentiments rather from prudence than from indolence, and that more good will arise to the state from my retirement, than from the busy efforts of others.
I have often heard that Quintus Maximus, Publius Scipio, and many other illustrious men of our country, were accustomed to observe, that, when they looked on the images of their ancestors, they felt their minds irresistibly excited to the pursuit of honor. Not, certainly, that the wax, or the shape, had any such influence; but, as they called to mind their forefathers’ achievements, such a flame was kindled in the breasts of those eminent persons, as could not be extinguished till their own merit had equaled the fame and glory of their ancestors.
But, in the present state of manners, who is there, on the contrary, that does not rather emulate his forefathers in riches and extravagance, than in virtue and labor? Even men of humble birth, who formerly used to surpass the nobility in merit, pursue power and honor rather by intrigue and dishonesty, than by honorable qualifications; as if the praetorship, consulate, and all other offices of the kind, were noble and dignified in themselves, and not to be estimated according to the worth of those who fill them.
But, in expressing my concern and regret at the manners of the state, I have proceeded with too great freedom, and at too great length. I now return to my subject.
V. I am about to relate the war which the Roman people carried on with Jugurtha, King of the Numidians; first, because it was great, sanguinary, and of varied fortune; and secondly, because then, for the first time, opposition was offered to the power of the nobility; a contest which threw every thing, religious and civil, into confusion, and was carried to such a height of madness, that nothing but war, and the devastation of Italy, could put an end to civil dissensions. But before I fairly commence my narrative, I will take a review of a few preceding particulars, in order that the whole subject may be more clearly and distinctly understood.
In the second Punic war, in which Hannibal, the leader of the Carthaginians, had weakened the power of Italy more than any other enemy since the Roman name became great, Masinissa, King of the Numidians, being received into alliance by Publius Scipio, who, from his merits was afterward surnamed Africanus, had performed for us many eminent exploits in the field. In return for which services, after the Carthaginians were subdued, and after Syphax, whose power in Italy was great and extensive, was taken prisoner, the Roman people presented to Masinissa, as a free gift, all the cities and lands that they had captured. Masinissa’s friendship for us, accordingly, remained faithful and inviolate; his reign and his life ended together. His son, Micipsa, alone succeeded to his kingdom; Mastanabal and Gulussa, his two brothers, having been carried off by disease. Micipsa had two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and had brought up in his house, with the same care as his own children, a son of his brother Mastanabal, named Jugurtha, whom Masinissa, as being the son of a concubine, had left in a private station.
VI. Jugurtha, as he grew up, being strong in frame, graceful in person, but, above all, vigorous in understanding, did not allow himself to be enervated by pleasure and indolence, but, as is the usage of his country, exercised himself in riding, throwing the javelin, and contending in the race with his equals in age; and, though he excelled them all in reputation, he was yet beloved by all. He also passed much of his time in hunting; he was first, or among the first, to wound the lion and other beasts; he performed very much, but spoke very little of himself.
Micipsa, though he was at first gratified with these circumstances, considering that the merit of Jugurtha would be an honor to his kingdom, yet, when he reflected that the youth was daily increasing in popularity, while he himself was advanced in age, and his children but young, he was extremely disturbed at the state of things, and revolved it frequently in his mind. The very nature of man, ambitious of power, and eager to gratify its desires, gave him reason for apprehension, as well as the opportunity afforded by his own age and that of his children, which was sufficient, from the prospect of such a prize, to lead astray even men of moderate desires. The affection of the Numidians, too, which was strong toward Jugurtha, was another cause for alarm; among whom, if he should cut off such a man, he feared that some insurrection or war might arise.
VII. Surrounded by such difficulties, and seeing that a man, so popular among his countrymen, was not to be destroyed either by force or by fraud, he resolved, as Jugurtha was of an active disposition, and eager for military reputation, to expose him to dangers in the field, and thus make trial of fortune. During the Numantine war, therefore, when he was sending supplies of horse and foot to the Romans, he gave him the command of the Numidians, whom he dispatched into Spain, hoping that he would certainly perish, either by an ostentatious display of his bravery, or by the merciless hand of the enemy. But this project had a very different result from that which he had expected. For when Jugurtha, who was of an active and penetrating intellect, had learned the disposition of Publius Scipio, the Roman general, and the character of the enemy, he quickly rose, by great exertion and vigilance, by modestly submitting to orders, and frequently exposing himself to dangers, to such a degree of reputation, that he was greatly beloved by our men, and extremely dreaded by the Numantines. He was indeed, what is peculiarly difficult, both brave in action, and wise in counsel; qualities, of which the one, from forethought, generally produces fear, and the other, from confidence, rashness. The general, accordingly, managed almost every difficult matter by the aid of Jugurtha, numbered him among his friends, and grew daily more and more attached to him, as a man whose advice and whose efforts were never useless. With such merits were joined generosity of disposition, and readiness of wit, by which be united to himself many of the Romans in intimate friendship.
VIII. There were at that time, in our army, a number of officers, some of low, and some of high birth, to whom wealth was more attractive than virtue or honor; men who were attached to certain parties, and of consequence in their own country; but, among the allies, rather distinguished than respected. These persons inflamed the mind of Jugurtha, of itself sufficiently aspiring, by assuring him, “that if Micipsa should die, he might have the kingdom of Numidia to himself; for that he was possessed of eminent merit, and that anything might be purchased at Rome.”
When Numantia, however, was destroyed, and Scipio had determined to dismiss the auxiliary troops, and to return to Rome, he led Jugurtha, after having honored him, in a public assembly, with the noblest presents and applauses, into his own tent; where he privately admonished him “to court the friendship of the Romans rather by attention to them as a body, than by practicing on individuals; to bribe no one, as what belonged to many could not without danger be bought from a few; and adding that, if he would but trust to his own merits, glory and regal power would spontaneously fall to his lot; but, should he proceed too rashly, he would only, by the influence of his money, hasten his own ruin.”
IX. Having thus spoken, he took leave of him, giving him a letter, which he was to present to Micipsa, and of which the following was the purport: “The merit of your nephew Jugurtha, in the war against Numantia, has been eminently distinguished; a fact which I am sure will afford you pleasure. He is dear to us for his services, and we shall strive, with our utmost efforts, to make him equally dear to the senate and people of Rome. As a friend, I sincerely congratulate you; you have a kinsman worthy of yourself, and of his grandfather Masinissa.”
Micipsa, when he found, from the letter of the general, that what he had already heard reported was true, being moved, both by the merit of the youth and by the interest felt for him by Scipio, altered his purpose, and endeavored to win Jugurtha by kindness. He accordingly, in a short time, adopted him as his son, and made him, by his will, joint-heir with his own children.
A few years afterward, when, being debilitated by age and disease, he perceived that the end of his life was at hand, he is said, in the presence of his friends and relations, and of Adherbal and Hiempsal his sons, to have spoken with Jugurtha in the following manner:
X. “I received you, Jugurtha, at a very early age, into my kingdom, at a time when you had lost your father, and were without prospects or resources, expecting that, in return for my kindness, I should not be less loved by you than by my own children, if I should have any. Nor have my anticipations deceived me; for, to say nothing of your other great and noble deeds, you have lately, on your return from Numantia, brought honor and glory both to me and my kingdom; by your bravery, you have rendered the Romans, from being previously our friends, more friendly to us than ever; the name of our family is revived in Spain; and, finally, what is most difficult among mankind, you have suppressed envy by preeminent merit.
And now, since nature is putting a period to my life, I exhort and conjure you, by this right hand, and by the fidelity which you owe to my kingdom, to regard these princes, who are your cousins by birth, and your brothers by my generosity, with sincere affection; and not to be more anxious to attach to yourself strangers, than to retain the love of those connected with you by blood. It is not armies, or treasures, that form the defenses of a kingdom, but friends, whom you can neither command by force nor purchase with gold; for they are acquired only by good offices and integrity. And who can be a greater friend than one brother to another? Or what stranger will you find faithful, if you are at enmity with your own family? I leave you a kingdom, which will be strong if you act honorably, but weak, if you are ill-affected to each other; for by concord even small states are increased, but by discord, even the greatest fall to nothing.
But on you, Jugurtha, who are superior in age and wisdom, it is incumbent, more than on your brothers, to be cautious that nothing of a contrary tendency may arise; for, in all disputes, he that is the stronger, even though he receive the injury, appears, because his power is greater, to have inflicted it. And do you, Adherbal and Hiempsal, respect and regard a kinsman of such a character; imitate his virtues, and make it your endeavor to show that I have not adopted a better son than those whom I have begotten.”
XI. To this address, Jugurtha, though he knew that the king had spoken insincerely, and though he was himself revolving thoughts of a far different nature, yet replied with good feeling, suitable to the occasion. A few days afterward Micipsa died.
When the princes had performed his funeral with due magnificence, they met together to hold a discussion on the general condition of their affairs. Hiempsal, the youngest, who was naturally violent, and who had previously shown contempt for the mean birth of Jugurtha, as being inferior on his mother’s side, sat down on the right hand of Adherbal, in order to prevent Jugurtha from being the middle one of the three, which is regarded by the Numidians as the seat of honor. Being urged by his brother, however, to yield to superior age, he at length removed, but with reluctance, to the other seat.
In the course of this conference, after a long debate about the administration of the kingdom, Jugurtha suggested, among other measures, “that all the acts and decrees made in the last five years should be annulled, as Micipsa, during that period, had been enfeebled by age, and scarcely sound in intellect.”
Hiempsal replied, “that he was exceedingly pleased with the proposal, since Jugurtha himself, within the last three years, had been adopted as joint-heir to the throne.” This repartee sunk deeper into the mind of Jugurtha than any one imagined. From that very time, accordingly, being agitated with resentment and jealousy, he began to meditate and concert schemes, and to think of nothing but projects for secretly cutting off Hiempsal. But his plans proving slow in operation, and his angry feelings remaining unabated, he resolved to execute his purpose by any means whatsoever.
XII. At the first meeting of the princes, of which I have just spoken, it had been resolved, in consequence of their disagreement, that the treasures should be divided among them, and that limits should be set to the jurisdiction of each. Days were accordingly appointed for both these purposes, but the earlier of the two for the division of the money. The princes, in the mean time, retired into separate places of abode in the neighborhood of the treasury. Hiempsal, residing in the town of Thirmida, happened to occupy the house of a man, who, being Jugurtha’s chief lictor, had always been liked and favored by his master. This man, thus opportunely presented as an instrument, Jugurtha loaded with promises, and induced him to go to his house, as if for the purpose of looking over it, and provide himself with false keys to the gates; for the true ones used to be given to Hiempsal, adding, that he himself, when circumstances should call for his presence, would be at the place with a large body of men. This commission the Numidian speedily executed, and, according to his instructions, admitted Jugurtha’s men in the night, who, as soon as they had entered the house, went different ways in quest of the prince; some of his attendants they killed while asleep, and others as they met them; they searched into secret places, broke open those that were shut, and filled the whole premises with uproar and tumult. Hiempsal, after a time, was found concealed in the hut of a maid-servant, where, in his alarm and ignorance of the locality, he had at first taken refuge. The Numidians, as they had been ordered, brought his head to Jugurtha.
XIII The report of so atrocious an outrage was soon spread through Africa. Fear seized on Adherbal, and on all who had been subject to Micipsa. The Numidians divided into two parties, the greater number following Adherbal, but the more warlike, Jugurtha; who, accordingly, armed as large a force as he could, brought several cities, partly by force and partly by their own consent, under his power, and prepared to make himself sovereign of the whole of Numidia. Adherbal, though he had sent embassadors to Rome, to inform the senate of his brother’s murder and his own circumstances, yet, relying on the number of his troops, prepared for an armed resistance. When the matter, however, came to a contest, he was defeated, and fled from the field of battle into our province, and from thence hastened to Rome.
Jugurtha, having thus accomplished his purposes, and reflecting, at leisure, on the crime which he had committed, began to feel a dread of the Roman people, against whose resentment he had no hopes of security but in the avarice of the nobility, and in his own wealth. A few days afterward, therefore, he dispatched embassadors to Rome, with a profusion of gold and silver, whom he directed, in the first place, to make abundance of presents to his old friends, and then to procure him new ones; and not to hesitate, in short; to effect whatever could be done by bribery.
When these deputies had arrived at Rome, and had sent large presents, according to the prince’s direction, to his intimate friends, and to others whose influence was at that time powerful, so remarkable a change ensued, that Jugurtha, from being an object of the greatest odium, grew into great regard and favor with the nobility; who, partly allured with hope, and partly with actual largesses, endeavored, by soliciting the members of the senate individually, to prevent any severe measures from being adopted against him. When the embassadors accordingly, felt sure of success, the senate, on a fixed day, gave audience to both parties. On that occasion, Adherbal, as I have understood, spoke to the following effect:
XIV. “My father Micipsa, Conscript Fathers, enjoined me, on his death-bed, to look upon the kingdom of Numidia as mine only by deputation; to consider the right and authority as belonging to you; to endeavor, at home and in the field, to be as serviceable to the Roman people as possible; and to regard you as my kindred and relatives: saying that, if I observed these injunctions. I should find, in your friendship, armies, riches, and all necessary defenses of my realm. By these precepts I was proceeding to regulate my conduct, when Jugurtha, the most abandoned of all men whom the earth contains, setting at naught your authority, expelled me, the grandson of Masinissa, and the hereditary ally and friend of the Roman people, from my kingdom and all my possessions.
Since I was thus to be reduced to such an extremity of wretchedness, I could wish that I were able to implore your aid, Conscript Fathers, rather for the sake of my own services than those of my ancestors; I could wish, indeed, above all, that acts of kindness were due to me from the Romans, of which I should not stand in need; and, next to this, that, if I required your services, I might receive them as my due. But as integrity is no defense in itself, and as I had no power to form the character of Jugurtha, I have fled to you, Conscript Fathers, to whom, what is the most grievous of all things, I am compelled to become a burden before I have been an assistance.
Other princes have been received into your friendship after having been conquered in war, or have solicited an alliance with you in circumstances of distress; but our family commenced its league with the Romans in the war with Carthage, at a time when their faith was a greater object of attraction than their fortune. Suffer not, then, O Conscript Fathers, a descendent of that family to implore aid from you in vain. If I had no other plea for obtaining your assistance but my wretched fortune; nothing to urge, but that, having been recently a king, powerful by birth, by character, and by resources, I am now dishonored, afflicted, destitute, and dependent on the aid of others, it would yet become the dignity of Rome to protect me from injury, and to allow no man’s dominions to be increased by crime. But I am driven from those very territories which the Roman people gave to my ancestors, and from which my father and grandfather, in conjunction with yourselves, expelled Syphax and the Carthaginians. It is what you bestowed that has been wrested from me; in my wrongs you are insulted.
Unhappy man that I am! Has your kindness, O my father Micipsa, come to this, that he whom you made equal with your children, and a sharer of your kingdom, should become, above all others, the destroyers of your race? Shall our family, then, never be at peace? Shall we always be harassed with war, bloodshed, and exile? While the Carthaginians continued in power, we were necessarily exposed to all manner of troubles; for the enemy were on our frontiers; you, our friends, were at a distance; and all our dependence was on our arms. But after that pest was extirpated, we were happy in the enjoyment of tranquillity, as having no enemies but such as you should happen to appoint us. But lo! on a sudden, Jugurtha, stalking forth with intolerable audacity, wickedness, and arrogance, and having put to death my brother, his own cousin, made his territory, in the first place, the prize of his guilt; and next, being unable to ensnare me with similar stratagems, he rendered me, when under your rule I expected any thing rather than violence or war, an exile, as you see, from my country and my home, the prey of poverty and misery, and safer any where than in my own kingdom.
I was always of opinion, Conscript Fathers, as I had often heard my father observe, that those who cultivated your friendship might indeed have an arduous service to perform, but would be of all people the most secure. What our family could do for you, it has done; it has supported you in all your wars; and it is for you to provide for our safety in time of peace. Our father left two of us, brothers; a third, Jugurtha, he thought would be attached to us by the benefits conferred upon him; but one of us has been murdered, and I, the other, have scarcely escaped the hand of lawlessness. What course can I now take? Unhappy that I am, to what place, rather than another, shall I betake myself? All the props of our family are extinct; my father, of necessity, has paid the debt of nature; a kinsman, whom least of all men it became, has wickedly taken the life of my brother; and as for my other relatives, and friends, and connections, various forms of destruction have overtaken them. Seized by Jugurtha, some have been crucified, and some thrown to wild beasts, while a few, whose lives have been spared, are shut up in the darkness of the dungeon, and drag on, amid suffering and sorrow, an existence more grievous than death itself.
If all that I have lost, or all that, from being friendly, has become hostile to me, remained unchanged, yet, in case of any sudden calamity, it is of you that I should still have to implore assistance, to whom, from the greatness of your empire, justice and injustice in general should be objects of regard. And at the present time, when I am exiled from my country and my home, when I am left alone, and destitute of all that is suitable to my dignity, to whom can I go, or to whom shall: I appeal, but to you? Shall I go to nations and kings, who, from our friendship with Rome, are all hostile to my family? Could I go, indeed, to any place where there are not abundance of hostile monuments of my ancestors? Will any one, who, has ever been at enmity with you, take pity upon me?
Masinissa, moreover, instructed us, Conscript Fathers, to cultivate no friendship but that of Rome, to adopt no new leagues or alliances, as we should find, in your good-will, abundance of efficient support; while, if the fortune of your empire should change, we must sink together with it. But, by your own merits, and the favor of the gods, you are great and powerful; the whole world regards you with favor and yields to your power; and you are the better able, in consequence, to attend to the grievances of your allies. My only fear is, that private friendship for Jugurtha, too little understood, may lead any of you astray; for his partisans, I hear, are doing their utmost in his behalf, soliciting and importuning you individually, to pass no decision against one who is absent, and whose cause is yet untried; and saying that I state what is false, and only pretend to be an exile, when I might, if I pleased, have remained still in my kingdom. But would that I could see him, by whose unnatural crime I am thus reduced to misery, pretending as I now pretend; and would that, either with you or with the immortal gods, there may at length arise some regard for human interests; for then assuredly will he, who is now audacious and triumphant in guilt, be tortured by every kind of suffering, and pay a heavy penalty for his ingratitude to my father, for the murder of my brother, and for the distress which he has brought upon myself.
And now, O my brother, dearest object of my affection, though thy life has been prematurely taken from thee, and by a hand that should have been the last to touch it, yet I think thy fate a subject for rejoicing rather than lamentation, for, in losing life, thou hast not been cut off from a throne, but from flight, expatriation, poverty, and all those afflictions which now press upon me. But I, unfortunate that I am, cast from the throne of my father into the depths of calamity, afford an example of human vicissitudes, undecided what course to adopt, whether to avenge thy wrongs, while I myself stand in need of assistance, or to attempt the recovery of my kingdom, while my life or death depends on the aid of others.
Would that death could be thought an honorable termination to my misfortunes, that I might not seem to live an object of contempt, if, sinking under my afflictions, I tamely submit to injustice. But now I can neither live with pleasure, nor can die without disgrace. I implore you, therefore, Conscript Fathers, by your regard for yourselves, for your children, and for your parents, and by the majesty of the Roman people, to grant me succor in my distress, to arrest the progress of injustice, and not to suffer the kingdom of Numidia, which is your own property, to sink into ruin through villainy and the slaughter of our family.”
XV. When the prince had concluded his speech, the embassadors of Jugurtha, depending more on their money than their cause, replied, in a few words, “that Hiempsal had been put to death by the Numidians for his cruelty; that Adherbal, commencing war of his own accord, complained, after he was defeated, of being unable to do injury; and that Jugurtha entreated the senate not to consider him a different person from what he had been known to be at Numantia, nor to set the assertions of his enemy above his own conduct.”
Both parties then withdrew from the senate-house, and the senate immediately proceeded to deliberate. The partisans of the embassadors, with a great many others, corrupted by their influence, expressed contempt for the statements of Adherbal, extolled with the highest encomiums the merits of Jugurtha, and exerted themselves as strenuously, with their interest and eloquence, in defense of the guilt and infamy of another, as they would have striven for their own honor. A few, however, on the other hand, to whom right and justice were of more estimation than wealth, gave their opinion that Adherbal should be assisted, and the murder of Hiempsal severely avenged. Of all these the most forward was Aemilius Scaurus, a man of noble birth and great energy, but factious, and ambitious of power, honor, and wealth; yet an artful concealer of his own vices. He, seeing that the bribery of Jugurtha was notorious and shameless, and fearing that, as in such cases often happens, its scandalous profusion might excite public odium, restrained himself from the indulgence of his ruling passion.
XVI. Yet that party gained the superiority in the senate, which preferred money and interest to justice. A decree was made, “that ten commissioners should divide the kingdom, which Micipsa had possessed, between Jugurtha and Adherbal.” Of this commission the leading person was Lucius Opimius, a man of distinction, and of great influence at that time in the senate, from having in his consulship, on the death of Caius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius Flaccus, prosecuted the victory of the nobility over the plebeians with great severity.
Jugurtha, though he had already counted Scaurus among his friends at Rome, yet received him with the most studied ceremony, and, by presents and promises, wrought on him so effectually, that he preferred the prince’s interest to his own character, honor, and all other considerations. The rest of the commissioners he assailed in a similar way, and gained over most of them; by a few only integrity was more regarded than lucre. In the division of the kingdom, that part of Numidia which borders on Mauretania, and which is superior in fertility and population, was allotted to Jugurtha; of the other part, which, though better furnished with harbors and buildings, was more valuable in appearance than in reality, Adherbal became the possessor.
XVII. My subject seems to require of me, in this place, a brief account of the situation of Africa, and of those nations in it with whom we have had war or alliances. But of those tracts and countries, which, from their heat, or difficulty of access, or extent of desert, have been but little visited, I can not possibly give any exact description. Of the rest I shall speak with all possible brevity.
In the division of the earth, most writers consider Africa as a third part; a few admit only two divisions, Asia and Europe, and include Africa in Europe. It is bounded, on the west, by the strait connecting our sea with the ocean; on the east, by a vast sloping tract, which the natives call the Catabathmos. The sea is boisterous, and deficient in harbors; the soil is fertile in corn, and good for pasturage, but unproductive of trees. There is a scarcity of water both from rain and from landsprings. The natives are healthy, swift of foot, and able to endure fatigue. Most of them die by the gradual decay of age, except such as perish by the sword or beasts of prey; for disease finds but few victims. Animals of a venomous nature they have in great numbers.
Concerning the original inhabitants of Africa, the settlers that afterward joined them, and the manner in which they intermingled, I shall offer the following brief account, which, though it differs from the general opinion, is that which was interpreted to me from the Punic volumes said to have belonged to King Hiempsal, and which the inhabitants of that country believe to be consistent with fact. For the truth of the statement, however, the writers themselves must be responsible.
XVIII. Africa, then, was originally occupied by the Getulians and Libyans, rude and uncivilized tribes, who subsisted on the flesh of wild animals, or, like cattle, on the herbage of the soil. They were controlled neither by customs, laws, nor the authority of any ruler; they wandered about, without fixed habitations, and slept in the abodes to which night drove them. But after Hercules, as the Africans think, perished in Spain, his army, which was composed of various nations, having lost its leader, and many candidates severally claiming the command of it, was speedily dispersed. Of its constituent troops, the Medes, Persians, and Armenians, having sailed over into Africa, occupied the parts nearest to our sea. The Persians, however, settled more toward the ocean, and used the inverted keels of their vessels for huts, there being no wood in the country, and no opportunity of obtaining it, either by purchase or barter, from the Spaniards; for a wide sea, and an unknown tongue, were barriers to all intercourse. These, by degrees, formed intermarriages with the Getulians; and because, from constantly trying different soils, they were perpetually shifting their abodes, they called themselves NUMIDIANS. And to this day the huts of the Numidian boors, which they call _mapalia_, are of an oblong shape, with curved roofs; resembling the hulls of ships.
The Medes and Armenians connected themselves with the Libyans, who dwelled near the African sea; while the Getulians lay more to the sun, not far from the torrid heats; and these soon built themselves towns, as, being separated from Spain only by a strait, they proceeded to open an intercourse with its inhabitants. The name of Medes the Libyans gradually corrupted, changing it, in their barbarous tongue, into Moors.
Of the Persians the power rapidly increased; and at length, the children, through excess of population, separating from the parents, they took possession, under the name of Numidians, of those regions bordering on Carthage which are now called Numidia. In process of time, the two parties, each assisting the other, reduced the neighboring tribes, by force or fear, under their sway; but those who had spread toward our sea, made the greater conquests: for the Lybians are less warlike than the Getulians At last nearly all lower Africa was occupied by the Numidians; and all the conquered tribes were merged in the nation and name of their conquerors.
XIX. At a later period, the Phoenicians, some of whom wished to lessen their numbers at home, and others, ambitious of empire, engaged the populace, and such as were eager for change, to follow them, founded Hippo, Adrumetum, Leptis, and other cities, on the sea-coast; which, soon growing powerful, became partly a support, and partly an honor, to their parent state. Of Carthage I think it better to be silent, than to say but little; especially as time bids me hasten to other matters.
Next to the Catabathmos, then, which divides Egypt from Africa, the first city along the sea-coast is Cyrene, a colony of Theraeans; after which are the two Syrtes, with Leptis between them; then the Altars of the Philaeni, which the Carthaginians considered the boundary of their dominion on the side of Egypt; beyond these are the other Punic towns. The other regions, as far as Mauretania, the Numidians occupy; the Moors are nearest to Spain. To the south of Numidia, as we are informed, are the Getulians, of whom some live in huts, and others lead a vagrant and less civilized life; beyond these are the Ethiopians; and further on, regions parched by the heat of the sun.
At the time of the Jugurthine war, most of the Punic towns, and the territories which Carthage had lately possessed, were under the government of Roman praetors; a great part of the Getulians, and Numidia as far as the river Mulucha, were subject to Jugurtha; while the whole of the Moors were governed by Bocchus, a king who knew nothing of the Romans but their name, and who, before this period, was as little known to us, either in war or peace. Of Africa and its inhabitants I have now said all that my narrative requires.
XX. When the commissioners, after dividing the kingdom, had left Africa, and Jugurtha saw that, contrary to his apprehensions, he had obtained the object of his crimes; he then being convinced of the truth of what he had heard from his friends at Numantia, “that all things were purchasable at Rome,” and being also encouraged by the promises of those whom he had recently loaded with presents, directed his views to the domain of Adherbal. He was himself bold and warlike, while the other, at whose destruction he aimed, was quiet, unfit for arms, of a mild temper, a fit subject for injustice, and a prey to fear rather than an object of it. Jugurtha, accordingly, with a powerful force, made a sudden irruption into his dominions, took several prisoners, with cattle and other booty, set fire to the buildings, and made hostile demonstrations against several places with his cavalry. He then retreated, with all his followers, into his own kingdom, expecting that Adherbal, roused by such provocation, would avenge his wrongs by force, and thus furnish a pretext for war. But Adherbal, thinking himself unable to meet Jugurtha in the field, and relying on the friendship of the Romans more than on the Numidians, merely sent embassadors to Jugurtha to complain of the outrage; and, although they brought back but an insolent reply, yet he resolved to endure any thing rather than have recourse to war, which, when he attempted it before, had ended in his defeat. By such conduct the eagerness of Jugurtha was not at all allayed; for he had now, indeed, in imagination, possessed himself of all Adherbal’s dominions. He therefore renewed hostilities, not, as before, with a predatory band, but at the head of a large army which he had collected, and openly aspired to the sovereignty of all Numidia. Wherever he marched, he ravaged the towns and the fields, drove off booty, and raised confidence in his own men and dismay among the enemy.
XXI. Adherbal, when he found that matters had arrived at such a point, that he must either abandon his dominions, or defend them by force of arms, collected an army from necessity, and advanced to meet Jugurtha. Both armies took up their position near the town of Cirta, at no great distance from the sea; but, as evening was approaching, encamped without coming to an engagement. But when the night was far advanced, and twilight was beginning to appear, the troops of Jugurtha, at a given signal, rushed into the camp of the enemy, whom they routed and put to flight, some half asleep and others resuming their arms. Adherbal, with a few of his cavalry, fled to Cirta; and, had there not been a number of Romans in the town, who repulsed his Numidian pursuers from the walls, the war between the two princes would have been begun and ended on the same day.
Jugurtha proceeded to invest the town, and attempted to storm it with the aid of mantelets, towers, and every kind of machines; being anxious above all things, to take it before the ambassadors could arrive at Rome, who, he was informed, had been dispatched thither by Adherbal before the battle was fought. But as soon as the senate heard of their contention, three young men were sent as deputies into Africa, with directions to go to both of the princes, and to announce to them, in the words of the senate and people of Rome, “that it was their will and resolution that they should lay down their arms, and settle their disputes rather by arbitration than by the sword; since to act thus would be to the honor both of the Romans and themselves.”
XXII. These deputies soon arrived in Africa, using the greater dispatch, because, while they were preparing for their journey, a report was spread at Rome of the battle which had been fought, and of the siege of Cirta; but this report told much less than the truth Jugurtha, having given them an audience, replied, “that nothing was of greater weight with him, nothing more respected, than the authority of the senate; that it had been his endeavor, from his youth, to deserve the esteem of all men of worth; that he had gained the favor of Publius Scipio, a man of the highest eminence, not by dishonorable practices, but by merit; that, for the same good qualities, and not from want of heirs to the throne, he had been adopted by Micipsa; but that, the more honorable and spirited his conduct had been, the less could his feelings endure injustice; that Adherbal had formed designs against his life on discovering which, he had counteracted his malice; that the Romans would act neither justly nor reasonably, if they withheld from him the common right of nations; and, in conclusion, that he would soon send embassadors to Rome to explain the whole of his proceedings.” On this understanding, both parties separated. Of addressing Adherbal the deputies had no opportunity.
XXIII. Jugurtha, as soon as he thought that they had quitted Africa, surrounded the walls of Cirta, which, from the nature of its situation, he was unable to take by assault, with a rampart and a trench; he also erected towers, and manned them with soldiers; he made attempts on the place, by force or by stratagem, day and night; he held out bribes, and some times menaces, to the besieged; he roused his men, by exhortations, to efforts of valor, and resorted, with the utmost perseverance, to every possible expedient.
Adherbal, on the other hand, seeing that his affairs were in a desperate condition, that his enemy was determined on his ruin, that there was no hope of succor, and that the siege, from want of provisions, could not long be protracted, selected from among those who had fled with him to Cirta, two of his most resolute supporters, whom he induced, by numerous promises, and an affecting representation of his distress, to make their way in the night, through the enemy’s lines, to the nearest point of the coast, and from thence to Rome.
XXIV. The Numidians, in a few days executed their commission; and a letter from Adherbal was read in the senate, of which the following was the purport:
“It is not through my own fault, Conscript Fathers, that I so often send requests to you; but the violence of Jugurtha compels me; whom so strong a desire for my destruction has seized, that he pays no regard either to you or to the immortal gods; my blood he covets beyond every thing. Five months, in consequence, have I, the ally and friend of the Roman people, been besieged with an armed force; neither the remembrance of my father Micipsa’s benefits, nor your decrees, are of any avail for my relief; and whether I am more closely pressed by the sword, or by famine, I am unable to say.
From writing further concerning Jugurtha, my present condition deters me; for I have experienced, even before, that little credit is given to the unfortunate. Yet I can perceive that his views extend further than to myself, and that he does not expect to possess, at the same time, your friendship and my kingdom; which of the two he thinks the more desirable, must be manifest to every one. For, in the first place, he murdered my brother Hiempsal; and, in the next, expelled me from my dominions; which, however, may be regarded as our own wrongs, and as having no reference to you. But now he occupies your kingdom with an army; he keeps me, whom you appointed a king over the Numidians, in a state of blockade; and in what estimation he holds the words of your embassadors, my perils may serve to show. What then is left, except your arms, that can make an impression upon him?
I could wish, indeed, that what I now write, as well as the complaints which I lately made before the senate, were false, rather than that my present distresses should confirm the truth of my statements. But since I am born to be an example of Jugurtha’s villainy, I do not now beg a release from death or distress, but only from the tyranny of an enemy, and from bodily torture. Respecting the kingdom of Numidia, which is your own property, determine as you please, but if the memory of my grandfather Masinissa is still cherished by you, deliver me, I entreat you, by the majesty of your empire, and by the sacred ties of friendship, from the inhuman hands of Jugurtha.”
XXV. When this letter was read, there were some who thought that an army should be dispatched into Africa, and relief afforded to Adherbal, as soon as possible; and that the senate, in the mean time, should give judgment on the conduct of Jugurtha, in not having obeyed the embassadors. But by the partisans of Jugurtha, the same that had before supported his cause, effectual exertions were made to prevent any decree from being passed; and thus the public interest, as is too frequently the case, was defeated by private influence.
An embassy was, however, dispatched into Africa, consisting of men of advanced years, and of noble birth, and who had filled the highest offices of the state; among whom was Marcus Scaurus, already mentioned, a man who had held the consulship, and who was at that time chief of the senate. These embassadors, as their business was an affair of public odium, and as they were urged by the entreaties of the Numidians, embarked in three days; and having soon arrived at Utica, sent a letter from thence to Jugurtha, desiring him “to come to the province as quickly as possible, as they were deputed by the senate to meet him.”
Jugurtha, when he found that men of eminence, whose influence at Rome he knew to be powerful, were come to put a stop to his proceedings, was at first perplexed, and distracted between fear and cupidity. He dreaded the displeasure of the senate, if he should disobey the embassadors; while his eager spirit, blinded by the lust of power, hurried him on to complete the injustice which he had begun. At length the evil incitements of ambition prevailed. He accordingly drew his army round the city of Cirta, and endeavored, with his utmost efforts, to force an entrance; having the strongest hopes, that, by dividing the attention of the enemy’s troops, he should be able, by force or artifice, to secure an opportunity of success. When his attempts, however, were unavailing, and he found himself unable, as he had designed, to get Adherbal into his power before he met the embassadors, fearing that, by further delay, he might irritate Scaurus, of whom he stood in great dread, he proceeded with a small body of cavalry into the Province. Yet, though serious menaces were repeated to him in the name of the senate, because he had not desisted from the siege, nevertheless, after spending a long time in conference, the embassadors departed without making any impression upon him.
XXVI. When news of this result was brought to Cirta, the Italians, by whose exertions the city had been defended, and who trusted that, if a surrender were made, they would be able, from respect to the greatness of the Roman power, to escape without personal injury, advised Adherbal to deliver himself and the city to Jugurtha, stipulating only that his life should be spared, and leaving all other matters to the care of the senate. Adherbal, though he thought nothing less trustworthy than the honor of Jugurtha, yet, knowing that those who advised could also compel him if he resisted, surrendered the place according to their desire. Jugurtha immediately proceeded to put Adherbal to death with torture, and massacred all the inhabitants that were of age, whether Numidians or Italians, as each fell in the way of his troops.
XXVII. When this outrage was reported at Rome, and became a matter of discussion in the senate, the former partisans of Jugurtha applied themselves, by interrupting the debates and protracting the time, sometimes exerting their interest, and sometimes quarreling with particular members, to palliate the atrocity of the deed. And had not Caius Memmius, one of the tribunes of the people elect, a man of energy, and hostile to the power of the nobility, convinced the people of Rome that an attempt was being made, by the agency of a small faction, to have the crimes of Jugurtha pardoned, it is certain that the public indignation against him would have passed off under the protraction of the debates; so powerful was party interest, and the influence of Jugurtha’s money. When the senate, however, from consciousness of misconduct, became afraid of the people, Numidia and Italy, by the Sempronian law, were appointed as provinces to the succeeding consuls, who were declared to be Publius Scipio Nasica, and Lucius Bestia Calpurnius. Numidia fell to Calpurnius, and Italy to Scipio. An army was then raised to be sent into Africa; and pay, and all other necessaries of war, were decreed for its use.
XXVIII. When Jugurtha received this news, which was utterly at variance with his expectations, as he had felt convinced that all things were purchasable at Rome, he sent his son, with two of his friends, as deputies to the senate, and directed them, like those whom he had sent on the murder of Hiempsal, to attack every body with bribes. Upon the approach of these deputies to Rome, the senate was consulted by Bestia, whether they would allow them to be admitted within the gates; and the senate decreed, “that, unless they came to surrender Jugurtha’s kingdom and himself, they must quit Italy within the ten following days.” The consul directed this decree to be communicated to the Numidians, who consequently returned home without effecting their object.
Calpurnius, in the mean time, having raised an army, chose for his officers men of family and intrigue, hoping that whatever faults he might commit, would be screened by their influence; and among these was Scaurus, of whose disposition and character we have already spoken. There were, indeed, in our consul Calpurnius, many excellent qualities, both mental and personal, though avarice interfered with the exercise of them; he was patient of labor, of a penetrating intellect, of great foresight, not inexperienced in war, and extremely vigilant against danger and surprise.
The troops were conducted through Italy to Rhegium, from thence to Sicily, and from Sicily into Africa; and Calpurnius’s first step, after collecting provisions, was to invade Numidia with spirit, where he took many prisoners, and several towns, by force of arms.
XXIX. But when Jugurtha began, through his emissaries, to tempt him with bribes, and to show the difficulties of the war which he had undertaken to conduct, his mind, corrupted with avarice, was easily altered. His accomplice, however, and manager in all his schemes, was Scaurus; who, though he had at first, when most of his party were corrupted, displayed violent hostility to Jugurtha, yet was afterward seduced, by a vast sum of money, from integrity and honor to injustice and perfidy. Jugurtha, however, at first sought only to purchase a suspension of hostilities, expecting to be able, during the interval, to make some favorable impression, either by bribery or by interest, at Rome; but when he heard that Scaurus was co-operating with Calpurnius, he was elated with great hopes of regaining peace, and resolved upon a conference with them in person respecting the terms of it. In the mean time, for the sake of giving confidence  to Jugurtha, Sextus the quaestor was dispatched by the consul to Vaga, one of the prince’s towns; the pretext for his journey being the receiving of corn, which Calpurnius had openly demanded from Jugurtha’s emissaries, on the ground that a truce was observed through their delay to make a surrender. Jugurtha then, as he had determined, paid a visit to the consul’s camp, where, having made a short address to the council, respecting the odium cast upon his conduct, and his desire for a capitulation, he arranged other matters with Bestia and Scaurus in secret; and the next day, as if by an evident majority of voices, he was formally allowed to surrender. But, as was demanded in the hearing of the council, thirty elephants, a considerable number of cattle and horses, and a small sum of money, were delivered into the hands of the quaestor. Calpurnius then returned to Rome to preside at the election of magistrates, and peace was observed throughout Numidia and the Roman army.
XXX. When rumor had made known the affairs transacted in Africa, and the mode in which they had been brought to pass, the conduct of the consul became a subject of discussion in every place and company at Rome. Among the people there was violent indignation; as to the senators, whether they would ratify so flagitious a proceeding, or annul the act of the consul, was a matter of doubt. The influence of Scaurus, as he was said to be the supporter and accomplice of Bestia, was what chiefly restrained the senate from acting with justice and honor. But Caius Memmius, of whose boldness of spirit, and hatred to the power of the nobility, I have already spoken, excited the people by his harangues, during the perplexity and delay of the senators, to take vengeance on the authors of the treaty; he exhorted them not to abandon the public interest or their own liberty; he set before them the many tyrannical and violent proceedings of the nobles, and omitted no art to inflame the popular passions. But as the eloquence of Memmius, at that period, had great reputation and influence I have thought proper to give in full one out of many of his speeches; and I take, in preference to others, that which he delivered in the assembly of the people, after the return of Bestia, in words to the following effect:
XXXI. “Were not my zeal for the good of the state, my fellow-citizens, superior to every other feeling, there are many considerations which would deter me from appearing in your cause; I allude to the power of the opposite party, your own tameness of spirit, the absence of all justice, and, above all, the fact that integrity is attended with more danger than honor. Indeed, it grieves me to relate, how, during the last fifteen years, you have been a sport to the arrogance of an oligarchy; how dishonorably, and how utterly unavenged, your defenders have perished; and how your spirit has become degenerate by sloth and indolence; for not even now, when your enemies are in your power, will you rouse yourselves to action, but continue still to stand in awe of those to whom you should be a terror.
Yet, notwithstanding this state of things, I feel prompted to make an attack on the power of that faction. That liberty of speech, therefore, which has been left me by my father, I shall assuredly exert against them; but whether I shall use it in vain, or for your advantage, must, my fellow-citizens, depend upon yourselves. I do not, however, exhort you, as your ancestors have often done, to rise in arms against injustice.
There is at present no need of violence, no need of secession; for your tyrants must work their fall by their own misconduct.
After the murder of Tiberius Gracchus, whom they accused of aspiring to be king, persecutions were instituted against the common people of Rome; and after the slaughter of Caius Gracchus and Marcus Fulvius, many of your order were put to death in prison. But let us leave these proceedings out of the question; let us admit that to restore their rights to the people, was to aspire to sovereignty; let us allow that what can not be avenged without shedding the blood of citizens, was done with justice. You have seen with silent indignation, however, in past years, the treasury pillaged; you have seen kings, and free people, paying tribute to a small party of Patricians, in whose hands were both the highest honors and the greatest wealth; but to have carried on such proceedings with impunity, they now deem but a small matter; and, at last, your laws and your honor, with every civil and religious obligation, have been sacrificed for the benefit of your enemies. Nor do they, who have done these things, show either shame or contrition, but parade proudly before your faces, displaying their sacerdotal dignities, their consulships, and some of them their triumphs, as if they regarded them as marks of honor, and not as fruits of their dishonesty. Slaves, purchased with money, will not submit to unjust commands from their masters; yet you, my fellow-citizens, who are born to empire, tamely endure oppression.
But who are these that have thus taken the government into their hands? Men of the most abandoned character, of blood-stained hands, of insatiable avarice, of enormous guilt, and of matchless pride; men by whom integrity, reputation, public spirit, and indeed every thing, whether honorable or dishonorable, is converted to a means of gain. Some of them make it their defense that they have killed tribunes of the people; others, that they have instituted unjust prosecutions; others, that they have shed your blood; and thus, the more atrocities each has committed, the greater is his security; while your oppressors, whom the same desires, the same aversions, and the same fears, combine in strict union (a union which among good men is friendship, but among the bad confederacy in guilt), have excited in you, through your want of spirit, that terror which they ought to feel for their own crimes.
But if your concern to preserve your liberty were as great as their ardor to increase their power of oppression, the state would not be distracted as it is at present; and the marks of favor which proceed from you, would be conferred, not on the most shameless, but on the most deserving. Your forefathers, in order to assert their rights and establish their authority, twice seceded in arms to Mount Aventine; and will not you exert yourselves, to the utmost of your power, in defense of that liberty which you received from them? Will you not display so much the more spirit in the cause, from the reflection that it is a greater disgrace to lose what has been gained, than not to have gained it at all?
But some will ask me, ‘What course of conduct, then, would you advise us to pursue?’ I would advise you to inflict punishment on those who have sacrificed the interests of their country to the enemy; not, indeed, by arms, or any violence (which would be more unbecoming, however, for you to inflict than for them to suffer), but by prosecutions, and by the evidence of Jugurtha himself, who, if he has really surrendered, will doubtless obey your summons; whereas, if he shows contempt for it, you will at once judge what sort of a peace or surrender it is, from which springs impunity to Jugurtha for his crimes, immense wealth to a few men in power, and loss and infamy to the republic.
But perhaps you are not yet weary of the tyranny of these men; perhaps these times please you less than those when kingdoms, provinces, laws, rights, the administration of justice, war and peace, and indeed every thing civil and religious, was in the hands of an oligarchy; while you, that is, the people of Rome, though unconquered by foreign enemies, and rulers of all nations around, were content with being allowed to live; for which of you had spirit to throw off your slavery? For myself, indeed, though I think it most disgraceful to receive an injury without resenting it, yet I could easily allow you to pardon these basest of traitors, because they are your fellow-citizens, were it not certain that your indulgence would end in your destruction. For such is their presumption, that to escape punishment for their misdeeds will have but little effect upon them, unless they be deprived, at the same time, of the power of doing mischief; and endless anxiety will remain for you, if you shall have to reflect that you must either be slaves or preserve your liberty by force of arms.
Of mutual trust, or concord, what hope is there? They wish to be lords, you desire to be free; they seek to inflict injury, you to repel it; they treat your allies as enemies, your enemies as allies. With feelings so opposite, can peace or friendship subsist between you? I warn, therefore, and exhort you, not to allow such enormous dishonesty to go unpunished. It is not an embezzlement of the public money that has been committed; nor is it a forcible extortion of money from your allies; offenses which, though great, are now, from their frequency, considered as nothing; but the authority of the senate, and your own power, have been sacrificed to the bitterest of enemies, and the public interest has been betrayed for money, both at home and abroad; and unless these misdeeds be investigated, and punishment be inflicted on the guilty, what remains for us but to live the slaves of those who committed them? For those who do what they will with impunity are undoubtedly kings.
I do not, however, wish to encourage you, O Romans, to be better satisfied at finding your fellow-citizens guilty than innocent, but merely to warn you not to bring ruin on the good, by suffering the bad to escape. It is far better, in any government, to be unmindful of a service than of an injury; for a good man, if neglected, only becomes less active; but a bad man, more daring. Besides, if the crimes of the wicked are suppressed, the state will seldom need extraordinary support from the virtuous.”
XXXII. By repeating these and similar sentiments, Memmius prevailed on the people to send Lucius Cassius, who was then praetor, to Jugurtha, and to bring him, under guarantee of the public faith, to Rome, in order that, by the prince’s evidence, the misconduct of Scaurus and the rest, whom they charged with having taken bribes, might more easily be made manifest.
During the course of these proceedings at Rome, those whom Bestia had left in Numidia in command of the army, following the example of their general, had been guilty of many scandalous transactions. Some, seduced by gold, had restored Jugurtha his elephants; others had sold him his deserters; others had ravaged the lands of those at peace with us; so strong a spirit of rapacity, like the contagion of a pestilence, had pervaded the breasts of all.
Cassius, when the measure proposed by Memmius had been carried, and while all the nobility were in consternation, set out on his mission to Jugurtha, whom, alarmed as he was, and despairing of his fortune, from a sense of guilt, he admonished “that since he had surrendered himself to the Romans, he had better make trial of their mercy than their power.” He also pledged his own word, which Jugurtha valued not less than that of the public, for his safety. Such, at that period, was the reputation of Cassius.
XXXIII. Jugurtha, accordingly, accompanied Cassius to Rome, but without any mark of royalty, and in the garb, as much as possible, of a suppliant; and, though he felt great confidence on his own part, and was supported by all those through whose power or villainy he had accomplished his projects, he purchased, by a vast bribe, the aid of Caius Baebius, a tribune of the people, by whose audacity he hoped to be protected against the law, and against all harm.
An assembly of the people being convoked, Memmius, although they were violently exasperated against Jugurtha, (some demanding that he should be cast into prison, others that, unless he should name his accomplices in guilt, he should be put to death, according to the usage of their ancestors, as a public enemy), yet, regarding rather their character than their resentment, endeavored to calm their turbulence and mitigate their rage; and assured them that, as far as depended on him, the public faith should not be broken. At length, when silence was obtained, he brought forward Jugurtha, and addressed them. He detailed the misdeeds of Jugurtha at Rome and in Numidia, and set forth his crimes toward his father and brothers; and admonished the prince, “that the Roman people, though they were well aware by whose support and agency he had acted, yet desired further testimony from himself; that, if he disclosed the truth, there was great hope for him in the honor and clemency of the Romans; but if he concealed it, he would certainly not save his accomplices, but ruin himself and his hopes forever.”
XXXIV. But when Memmius had concluded his speech, and Jugurtha was expected to give his answer, Caius Baebius, the tribune of the people, whom I have just noticed as having been bribed, enjoined the prince to hold his peace; and though the multitude, who formed the assembly, were desperately enraged, and endeavored to terrify the tribune by outcries, by angry looks, by violent gestures, and by every other act to which anger prompts, his audacity was at last triumphant. The people, mocked and set at naught, withdrew from the place of assembly; and the confidence of Jugurtha, Bestia, and the others, whom this investigation had alarmed, was greatly augmented. XXXV. There was at this period in Rome a certain Numidian named Massiva, a son of Gulussa and grandson of Masinissa, who, from having been, in the dissensions among the princes, opposed to Jugurtha, had been obliged, after the surrender of Cirta and the murder of Adherbal, to make his escape out of Africa. Spurius Albinus, who was consul with Quintus Minucius Rufus the year after Bestia, prevailed upon this man, as he was of the family of Masinissa, and as odium and terror hung over Jugurtha for his crimes, to petition the senate for the kingdom of Numidia. Albinus, being eager for the conduct of a war, was desirous that affairs should be disturbed, rather than sink into tranquillity; especially as, in the division of the provinces, Numidia had fallen to himself, and Macedonia to Minucius.
When Massiva proceeded to carry these suggestions into execution, Jugurtha, finding that he had no sufficient support in his friends, as a sense of guilt deterred some, and evil report or timidity others, from coming forward in his behalf, directed Bomilcar, his most attached and faithful adherent, to procure by the aid of money, by which he had already effected so much, assassins to kill Massiva; and to do it secretly if he could; but, if secrecy should be impossible, to cut him off in any way whatsoever. This commission Bomilcar soon found means to execute; and, by the agency of men versed in such service, ascertained the direction of his journeys, his hours of leaving home, and the times at which he resorted to particular places , and, when all was ready, placed his assassins in ambush. One of their number sprung upon Massiva, though with too little caution, and killed him; but being himself caught, he made, at the instigation of many, and especially of Albinus the consul, a full confession. Bomilcar was accordingly committed for trial, though rather on the principles of reason and justice than in accordance with the law of nations, as he was in the retinue of one who had come to Rome on a pledge of the public faith for his safety. But Jugurtha, though clearly guilty of the crime, did not cease to struggle against the truth, until he perceived that the infamy of the deed was too strong for his interest or his money. For which reason, although, at the commencement of the proceedings, he had given fifty of his friends as bail for Bomilcar, yet, thinking more of his kingdom than of the sureties, he sent him off privately into Numidia; for he feared that if such a man should be executed, his other subjects would be deterred from obeying him. A few days after, he himself departed, having been ordered by the senate to quit Italy. But, as he was going from Rome, he is said, after frequently looking back on it in silence, to have at last exclaimed, “That it was a venal city, and would soon perish, if it could but find a purchaser!”
XXXVI. The war being now renewed, Albinus hastened to transport provisions, money, and other things necessary for the army, into Africa, whither he himself soon followed, with the hope that, before the time of the comitia, which was not far distant, he might be able, by an engagement, by capitulation, or by some other method, to bring the contest to a conclusion.
Jugurtha, on the other hand, tried every means of protracting the war, continually inventing new causes for delay; at one time he promised to surrender, at another he feigned distrust; he retreated when Albinus attacked him, and then, lest his men should lose courage, attacked in return, and thus amused the consul with alternate procrastinations of war and of peace.
There were some, at that time, who thought that Albinus understood Jugurtha’s object, and who believed that so ready a protraction of the war, after so much haste at the commencement, was to be attributed less to tardiness than to treachery. However this might be, Albinus, when time passed on, and the day of the comitia approached, left his brother Aulus in the camp as propraetor, and returned to Rome.
XXXVII. The republic, at this time, was grievously distracted by the contentions of the tribunes. Two of them, Publius Lucullus and Lucius Annius, were struggling against the will of their colleagues, to prolong their term of office; and this dispute put off the comitia throughout the year. In consequence of this delay, Aulus, who, as I have just said, was left as propraetor in the camp, conceiving hopes either of finishing the war, or of extorting money from Jugurtha by the terror of his army, drew out his troops in the month of January, from their winter-quarters into the field, and by forced marches, during severe weather, made his way to the town of Suthul, where Jugurtha’s treasures were deposited. And though this place, both from the inclemency of the season, and from its advantageous situation, could neither be taken nor besieged; for around its walls, which were built on the edge of a steep hill, a marshy plain, flooded by the rains of winter, had been converted into a lake; yet Aulus, either as a feint to strike terror into Jugurtha, or blinded by avarice, began to move forward his vineae, to cast up a rampart, and to hasten all necessary preparations for a siege.
XXXVIII. Jugurtha, seeing the propraetor’s vanity and ignorance, artfully strengthened his infatuation; he sent him, from time to time, deputies with submissive messages, while he himself, as if desirous to escape, led his army away through woody defiles and cross-roads. At length he succeeded in alluring Aulus, by the prospect of a surrender on conditions, to leave Suthul, and pursue him, as if in full retreat, into the remoter parts of the country. Meanwhile, by means of skillful emissaries, he tampered night and day with our men, and prevailed on some of the officers, both of infantry and cavalry, to desert to him at once, and upon others to quit their posts at a given signal, that their defection might thus be less observed. Having prepared matters according to his wishes, he suddenly surrounded the camp of Aulus, in the dead of night, with a vast body of Numidians. The Roman soldiers were alarmed with an unusual disturbance; some of them seized their arms, others hid themselves, others encouraged those that were afraid; but consternation prevailed every where; for the number of the enemy was great, the sky was thick with clouds and darkness, the danger was indiscernible, and it was uncertain whether it were safer to flee or to remain. Of those whom I have just mentioned as being bribed, one cohort of Ligurians, with two troops of Thracian horse, and a few common soldiers, went over to Jugurtha; and the chief centurion of the third legion allowed the enemy an entrance at the very post which he had been appointed to defend, and at which all the Numidians poured into the camp. Our men fled disgracefully, the greater part having thrown away their arms, and took possession of a neighboring hill. Night, and the spoils of the camp, prevented the enemy from making full use of this victory. On the following day, Jugurtha, coming to a conference with Aulus, told him, “that though he held him hemmed in by famine and the sword, yet that, being mindful of human vicissitudes, he would, if they would make a treaty with him, allow them to depart uninjured; only that they must pass under the yoke, and quit Numidia within ten days.” These terms were severe and ignominious; but, as death was the alternative, peace was concluded as Jugurtha desired.
XXXIX. When this affair was made known at Rome, consternation and dismay pervaded the city; some were concerned for the glory of the republic; others, ignorant of war, trembled for their liberty. But all were indignant at Aulus, and especially those who had been distinguished in the field, because, with arms in his hands, he had sought safety in disgrace rather than in resistance. The consul Albinus, apprehending, from the delinquency of his brother, odium and danger to himself, consulted the senate on the treaty which had been made, but, at the same time, raised recruits for the army, sent for auxiliaries to the allies and Latins, and made general preparations for war. The senate, as was just, decreed, “that no treaty could be made without their own consent and that of the people.”
The consul, though he was hindered by the influence of the tribunes from taking with him the force which he had raised, set out in a few days for the province of Africa, where the whole army, being withdrawn, according to the agreement, from Numidia, had gone into winter-quarters. When he arrived there, although he longed to pursue Jugurtha, and diminish the odium that had fallen on his brother, yet, when he saw the state of the troops, whom, besides the flight and relaxation of discipline, licentiousness, and debauchery had corrupted, he determined, under all the circumstances of the case, to attempt nothing.
XL. At Rome, in the mean time, Caius Mamilius Limetanus, one of the tribunes, proposed that the people should pass a bill for instituting an inquiry into the conduct of those by whose influence Jugurtha had set at naught the decrees of the senate, as well as of those who, whether as embassadors or commanders, had received money from him, or who had restored to him his elephants and deserters, or had made any compacts with the enemy relative to peace or war. To this bill some, who were conscious of guilt, and others, who apprehended danger from the jealousy of parties, secretly raised obstructions through the agency of friends, and especially of men among the Latins and Italian allies, since they could not openly resist it, without admitting that these and similar practices met their approbation. But as to the people, it is incredible what eagerness they displayed, and with what spirit they approved, voted, and passed the bill, though rather from hatred to the nobility, against whom these severe measures were directed, than from concern for the republic; so violent was the fury of party.
While the rest of the delinquents were in trepidation, Marcus Scaurus , whom I have previously noticed as Bestia’s lieutenant, contrived, amid the exultation of the populace, the dismay of his own party, and the continued agitation in the city, to have himself elected one of the three commissioners who were appointed by the bill of Mamilius to carry it into execution. But the investigation, notwithstanding, was conducted  with great rigor and violence, under the influence of common rumor and popular caprice; for the insolence of success, which had often distinguished the nobility, on this occasion characterized the people.
XLI. The prevalence of parties among the people, and of factions in the senate, and of all evil practices attendant on them, had its origin at Rome, a few years before, during a period of tranquillity, and amid the abundance of all that mankind regarded as desirable. For, before the destruction of Carthage, the senate and people managed the affairs of the republic with mutual moderation and forbearance; there were no contests among the citizens for honor or ascendency; but the dread of an enemy kept the state in order. When that fear, however, was removed from their minds, licentiousness and pride, evils which prosperity loves to foster, immediately began to prevail; and thus peace, which they had so eagerly desired in adversity, proved, when they had obtained it, more grievous and fatal than adversity itself. The patricians carried their authority, and the people their liberty, to excess; every man took, snatched, and seized what he could. There was a complete division into two factions, and the republic was torn in pieces between them. Yet the nobility still maintained an ascendency by conspiring together; for the strength of the people, being disunited and dispersed among a multitude, was less able to exert itself. Things were accordingly directed, both at home and in the field, by the will of a small number of men, at whose disposal were the treasury, the provinces, offices, honors, and triumphs; while the people were oppressed with military service and with poverty, and the generals divided the spoils of war with a few of their friends. The parents and children of the soldiers, meantime, if they chanced to dwell near a powerful neighbor, were driven from their homes. Thus avarice, leagued with power, disturbed, violated, and wasted every thing, without moderation or restraint; disregarding alike reason and religion, and rushing headlong, as it were, to its own destruction. For whenever any arose among the nobility, who preferred true glory to unjust power, the state was immediately in a tumult, and civil discord spread with as much disturbance as attends a convulsion of the earth.
XLII. Thus when Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, whose forefathers had done much to increase the power of the state in the Punic and other wars, began to vindicate the liberty of the people, and to expose the misconduct of the few, the nobility, conscious of guilt, and seized with alarm, endeavored, sometimes by means of the allies and Latins, and sometimes by means of the equestrian order, whom the hope of coalition with the patricians had detached from the people, to put a stop to the proceedings of the Gracchi; and first they killed Tiberius, and a few years after Caius, who pursued the same measures as his brother, the one when he was tribune, and the other when he was one of a triumvirate for settling colonies; and with them they cut off Marcus Fulvius Flaccus. In the Gracchi, indeed, it must be allowed that, from their ardor for victory, there was not sufficient prudence. But to a reasonable man it is more agreeable to submit to injustice than to triumph over it by improper means. The nobility, however, using their victory with wanton extravagance, exterminated numbers of men by the sword or by exile, yet rather increased, for the time to come, the dread with which they were regarded, than their real power. Such proceedings have often ruined powerful states; for of two parties, each strives to suppress the other by any means whatever, and take vengeance with undue severity on the vanquished.
But were I to attempt to treat of the animosities of parties, and of the morals of the state, with minuteness of detail, and suitably to the vastness of the subject, time would fail me sooner than matter. I therefore return to my subject.
XLIII. After the treaty of Aulus, and the disgraceful flight of our army, Quintus Metellus and Marcus Silanus, the consuls elect, divided the provinces between them; and Numidia fell to Metellus, a man of energy, and, though an opponent of the popular party, yet of a character uniformly irreproachable. He, as soon as he entered on his office, regarded all other things as common to himself and his colleague, but directed his chief attention to the war which he was to conduct. Distrusting, therefore, the old army, he began to raise new troops, to procure auxiliaries from all parts, and to provide arms, horses, and other military requisites, besides provisions in abundance, and every thing else which was likely to be of use in a war varied in its character, and demanding great resources. To assist in accomplishing these objects, the allies and Latins, by the appointment of the senate, and different princes of their own accord, sent supplies; and the whole state exerted itself in the cause with the greatest zeal. Having at length prepared and arranged every thing according to his wishes, Metellus set out for Numidia, attended with sanguine expectations on the part of his fellow-citizens, not only because of his other excellent qualities, but especially because his mind was proof against gold; for it was through the avarice of our commanders, that, down to this period, our affairs in Numidia had been ruined, and those of the enemy rendered prosperous.
XLIV. When he arrived in Africa, the command of the army was resigned to him by Albinus, the proconsul; but it was an army spiritless and unwarlike; incapable of encountering either danger or fatigue; more ready with the tongue than with the sword; accustomed to plunder our allies, while itself was the prey of the enemy; unchecked by discipline, and void of all regard to its character. The new general, accordingly, felt more anxiety from the corrupt morals of the men, than confidence or hope from their numbers. He determined, however, though the delay of the comitia had shortened his summer campaign, and though he knew his countrymen to be anxious for the result of his proceedings, not to commence operations, until, by a revival of the old discipline, he had brought the soldiers to bear fatigue. For Albinus, dispirited by the disaster of his brother Aulus and his army, and having resolved not to leave the province during the portion of the summer that he was to command, had kept the soldiers, for the most part, in a stationary camp, except when stench, or want of forage, obliged them to remove. But neither had the camp been fortified, nor the watches kept, according to military usage; every one had been allowed to leave his post when he pleased. The camp-followers, mingled with the soldiers, wandered about day and night, ravaging the country, robbing the houses, and vying with each other in carrying off cattle and slaves, which they exchanged with traders for foreign wine and other luxuries; they even sold the corn, which was given them from the public store, and bought bread from day to day; and, in a word, whatever abominations, arising from idleness and licentiousness, can be expressed or imagined, and even more, were to be seen in that army.
XLV. But I am assured that Metellus, in these difficult circumstances, no less than in his operations against the enemy, proved himself a great and wise man; so just a medium did he observe between an affectation of popularity and an excessive enforcement of discipline. His first measure was to remove incentives to idleness, by a general order that no one should sell bread, or any other dressed provisions, in the camp; that no sutlers should follow the army; and that no common soldier should have a servant, or beast of burden, either in a camp or on a march. He made the strictest regulations, too, with regard to other things. He moved his camp daily, exercising the soldiers by marches across the country; he fortified it with a rampart and a trench, exactly as if the enemy had been at hand; he placed numerous sentinels by night, and went the rounds with his officers; and, when the army was on the march; he would be at one time in the front, at another in the rear, and at another in the center, to see that none quitted their ranks, that the men kept close to their standards, and that every soldier carried his provisions and his arms. Thus by preventing rather than punishing irregularities, he in a short time rendered his army effective.
XLVI. Jugurtha, meantime, having learned from his emissaries how Metellus was proceeding, and having heard, when he was in Rome, of the integrity of the consul’s character, began to despair of his plans, and at length actually endeavored to effect a capitulation. He therefore sent deputies to the consul with proposals of submission, stipulating only for his own life and that of his children, and offering to surrender every thing else to the Romans. But Metellus had already learned by experience, that the Numidians were a faithless race, of unsettled disposition, and fond of change; and he accordingly applied himself to each of the deputies separately, and after gradually sounding them, and finding them proper instruments for his purpose, prevailed on them, by large promises, to deliver Jugurtha into his hands; bringing him alive, if they could, or dead, if to take him alive was impracticable. In public, however, he directed that such an answer should be given to the king as would be agreeable to his wishes.
A few days afterward, he led the army, which was now vigorous and resolute, into Numidia, where, instead of any appearance of war, he found the cottages full of people, and the cattle and laborers in the fields, while the officers of Jugurtha came from the towns and villages to meet him, offering to supply him with corn, to convey provisions for him, and to do whatever might be required of them. Metellus, notwithstanding, made no diminution in the caution with which he marched, but kept as much upon the defensive as if an enemy had been at hand; and he dispatched scouts to explore the country, thinking that these signs of submission were but pretense, and that the Numidians were watching an opportunity for treachery. He himself, with some light-armed cohorts, and a select body of slingers and archers, advanced always in the front; while Caius Marius, his lieutenant-general, at the head of the cavalry, had charge of the rear. The auxiliary horse, distributed among the tribunes of the legions and prefects of the cohorts, he placed on the flanks, so that, with the aid of the light troops mixed with them, they might repel the enemy whenever an approach should be made. For such was the subtlety of Jugurtha, and such his knowledge of the country and the art of war, that it was doubtful whether he was more formidable absent or present, offering peace or threatening hostilities.
XLVII. There lay, not far from the route which Metellus was pursuing, a city of the Numidians named Vaga, the most celebrated place for trade in the whole kingdom, in which many Italian merchants were accustomed to reside and traffic. Here the consul, to try the disposition of the inhabitants, and, should they allow him, to take advantage of the situation of the place, established a garrison, and ordered the people to furnish him with corn, and other necessaries for war; thinking, as circumstances indeed suggested, that the concourse of merchants, and frequent arrival of supplies, would add strength to his army, and further the plans which he had already formed.
In the midst of these proceedings, Jugurtha, with extraordinary earnestness, sent deputies to sue for peace, offering to resign every thing to Metellus, except his own life and that of his children. These, like the former, the consul first reduced to treachery, and then sent back; the peace which Jugurtha asked, he neither granted nor refused, but waited, during these delays, the performance of the deputies’ promises. XLVIII. Jugurtha, on comparing the words of Metellus with his actions, perceived that he was assailed with his own artifices; for though peace was offered him in words, a most vigorous war was in reality pursued against him; one of his strongest cities was wrested from him; his country was explored by the enemy, and the affections of his subjects alienated. Being compelled, therefore, by the necessity of circumstances, he resolved to try the fortune of a battle. Having, with this view, informed himself of the exact route of the enemy, and hoping for success from the advantage of the ground, he collected as large a force of every kind as he could, and, marching by cross-roads, got in advance of Metellus’ army.
There was, in that part of Numidia, of which, on the division of the kingdom, Adherbal had become possessor, a river named Muthul, flowing from the south; and, about twenty miles from it, was a range of mountains running parallel with the stream, wild and uncultivated; but from the center of it stretched a kind of hill, reaching to a vast distance, covered with wild olives, myrtles, and other trees, such as grow in a dry and sandy soil. The plain, which lay between the mountains and the Muthul, was uninhabited from want of water, except the parts bordering on the river, which were planted with trees, and full of cattle and inhabitants.
XLIX. On this hill, which I have just mentioned, stretching in a transverse direction, Jugurtha took post with his line drawn out to a great length. The command of the elephants, and of part of the infantry, he committed to Bomilcar, and gave him instructions how to act. He himself, with the whole of the cavalry and the choicest of the foot, took his station nearer to the range of mountains. Then, riding round among the several squadrons and battalions, he exhorted and conjured them to call to mind their former prowess and triumphs, and to defend themselves and their country from Roman rapacity; saying that they would have to engage with those whom they had already conquered and sent under the yoke, and that, though their commander was changed, there was no alteration in their spirit. He added, that he had provided for his men every thing becoming a general; that he had chosen the higher ground, where they, being well acquainted with the country, would contend with adversaries ignorant of it; nor would they engage, inferior in numbers and skill, with a larger or more experienced force; and that they should, therefore, be ready, when the signal should be given, to fall vigorously on the Romans, as that day would either crown all their labors and victories, or be a prelude to the most grievous calamities. He also addressed himself, individually, to any one whom he had rewarded with money or honors for military desert, reminding him of his favors, and pointing him out as an example to the rest; and finally he excited all his men, some in one way and some in another, by threats or entreaties, according to the different dispositions of each.
Metellus, who was still ignorant of the enemy’s position, was now seen descending the mountain with his army. He was at first doubtful what the strange appearance before him indicated; for the Numidians, both cavalry and infantry, had taken post among the wood, not entirely concealing themselves, by reason of the lowness of the trees, yet rendering it uncertain what they were, as both themselves and their standards were screened as well by the nature of the ground as by artifice; but soon perceiving that there were men in ambush, he halted awhile, and, having altered the arrangement of his troops, he drew up those in the right wing, which was nearest to the enemy, in three lines; he distributed the slingers and archers among the infantry, posted all the cavalry on the flanks, and having made a brief address, such as time permitted, to his men, he led them down, with the front changed into a flank, toward the plain.
L. But when he observed that the Numidians remained quiet, and did not offer to descend from the hill, he became apprehensive that his army, from the season of the year and the scarcity of water, might be overcome with thirst, and therefore sent Rutilius, one of his lieutenant-generals, with the light-armed cohorts and a detachment of cavalry, toward the river, to secure ground for an encampment, expecting that the enemy, by frequent charges and attacks on his flank, would endeavor to impede his march, and, as they despaired of success in arms, would try the effect of fatigue and thirst on his troops.
He then continued to advance by degrees, as his circumstances and the ground permitted, in the same order in which he had descended from the range of mountains. He assigned Marius his post behind the front line, and took on himself the command of the cavalry on the left wing, which, on the march, had become the van.
When Jugurtha perceived that the rear of the Roman army had passed his first line, he took possession of that part of the mountain from which Metellus had descended, with a body of about two thousand infantry, that it might not serve the enemy, if they were driven back, as a place of retreat, and afterward as a post of defense; and then, ordering the signal to be given, suddenly commenced his attack. Some of his Numidians made havoc in the rear of the Romans, while others assailed them on the right and left wings; they all advanced and charged furiously, and every where threw the consul’s troops into confusion. Even those of our men who made the stoutest resistance, were baffled by the enemy’s versatile method of fighting, and wounded from a distance, without having the power of wounding in return, or of coming to close combat; for the Numidian cavalry, as they had been previously instructed by Jugurtha, retreated whenever a troop of Romans attempted to pursue them, but did not keep in a body, or collect themselves into one place, but dispersed as widely as possible. Thus, being superior in numbers, if they could not deter the Romans from pursuing, they surrounded them, when disordered, on the rear or flank, or, if the hill seemed more convenient for retreat than the plain, the Numidian horses, being accustomed to the brushwood, easily made their way among it, while the difficulty of the ascent, and want of acquaintance with the ground, impeded those of the Romans.
LI. The aspect of the whole struggle was indeed various, perplexing, direful, and lamentable; the men, separated from their comrades, were partly fleeing, partly pursuing; neither standards nor ranks were regarded, but wherever danger pressed, there they made a stand and defended themselves; arms and weapons, horses and men, enemies, and fellow-countrymen, were all mingled in confusion; nothing was done by direction or command, but chance ordered every thing. Though the day, therefore, was now far advanced, the event of the contest was still uncertain. At last, however, when all were faint with exertion and the heat of the day, Metellus, observing that the Numidians were less vigorous in their charges, drew his troops together by degrees, restored order among them, and led four cohorts of the legions against the enemy’s infantry, of whom a great number, overcome with fatigue, had seated themselves on the high ground. He at the same time entreated and exhorted his men not to lose courage, nor to suffer a flying enemy to be victorious; adding that they had neither camp nor citadel to which they could flee, but that their only dependence was on their arms. Nor was Jugurtha, in the mean time, inactive; he rode round among his troops, cheered them, renewed the contest, and, at the head of a select body, made every possible effort for victory; supporting his own men, charging such of the enemy as wavered, and repressing with missiles such as he saw remaining unshaken.
LII. Thus did these two commanders, both eminent men, maintain the contest against each other. In personal ability they were equal, but in circumstances unequal. Metellus had resolute troops, but a disadvantageous position; Jugurtha had every thing in his favor except men. At last the Romans, seeing that they had no place of refuge, that the enemy allowed no opportunity for a regular engagement, and that the evening was fast approaching, forced their way, according to the orders which were given, up the hill. The Numidians were thus driven from their position, routed, and put to flight; a few of them were slain, but their speed, and the enemy’s ignorance of the country, saved the greater number of them.
Meanwhile Bomilcar, who, as I have said before, was appointed by Jugurtha over the elephants and a part of the infantry, having seen Rutilius pass by him, led down his men gradually into the plain, and while Rutilius hastened to the river, to which he had been dispatched, quietly drew them up in such order as circumstances required; not omitting, at the same time, to watch every movement of the enemy. When he learned that Rutilius had taken his position, and seemed free from apprehension of danger, and heard, at the same time, an increasing noise where Jugurtha was engaged, fearing lest the lieutenant-general, taking the alarm, should go to the support of his countrymen in difficulties, he, in order to intercept his march, increased the extent of his lines, which, from distrust of the bravery of his men, he had previously condensed, and advanced in this order toward Rutilius’ camp.
LIII. The Romans, on a sudden, observed a vast cloud of dust, which, as the ground, thickly covered with brushes, obstructed their view, they at first supposed to be only sand raised by the wind; but at length, when they saw that it continued uniform, and approached nearer and nearer as the line advanced, they understood the real cause of it, and, hastily seizing their arms, drew up, as their commander directed, before the camp. When the enemy came up, both sides rushed to the encounter with loud shouts. But the Numidians maintained the contest only as long as they trusted for support to their elephants; for, when they saw the animals entangled in the boughs of the trees, and dispersed or surrounded by the enemy, they betook themselves to flight, and most of them, having thrown away their arms, escaped, by favor of the hill, or of the night, which was now coming on, without injury. Of the elephants, four were taken, and the rest, to the number of forty, were killed.
The Romans, though fatigued and exhausted with their march, the construction of their camp, and the engagement, yet, as Metellus was longer in coming than they expected, advanced to meet him in regular and steady order. The subtlety of the Numidians, indeed, allowed them neither rest nor relaxation. But as the two parties drew together, in the obscurity of the night, each occasioned, by a noise like that of enemies approaching, alarm and trepidation in the other; and, had not parties of horse, sent forward from both sides, ascertained the truth, a fatal disaster was on the point of happening from the mistake. However, in place of fear, joy quickly succeeded; the soldiers met with mutual congratulations, relating their adventures, or listening to those of others, and each extolling his own achievements to the skies. For thus it is with human affairs; in success, even cowards may boast; while defeat lowers the character even of heroes.
LIV. Metellus remained four days in the same camp. He carefully provided for the recovery of the wounded, rewarded, in military fashion, such as had distinguished themselves in the engagements, and praised and thanked them all in a public address; exhorting them to maintain equal resolution in their future labors, which would be less arduous, as they had fought sufficiently for victory, and would now have to contend only for spoil. In the mean time he dispatched deserters, and other eligible persons, to ascertain where Jugurtha was, or what he was doing; whether he had but few followers, or a large army; and how he conducted himself under his defeat. The prince, he found, had retreated to places full of wood, well defended by nature, and was there collecting an army, which would be more numerous indeed than the former, but inactive and inefficient, as being composed of men better acquainted with husbandry and cattle than with war. This had happened from the circumstance, that, in case of flight, none of the Numidian troops, except the royal cavalry, follow their king; the rest disperse, wherever inclination leads them; nor is this thought any disgrace to them as soldiers, such being the custom of the people.
Metellus, therefore, seeing that Jugurtha’s spirit was still unsubdued; that a war was being renewed, which could only be conducted according to the prince’s pleasure; and that he was struggling with the enemy on unequal terms, as the Numidians suffered a defeat with less loss than his own men gained a victory, he resolved to manage the contest, not by pitched battles or regular warfare, but in another method. He accordingly marched into the richest parts of Numidia, captured and burned many fortresses and towns, which were insufficiently or wholly undefended, put the youth to the sword, and gave up every thing else as plunder to his soldiers. From the terror caused by these proceedings, many persons were given up as hostages to the Romans; corn, and other necessaries, were supplied in abundance; and garrisons were admitted wherever Metellus thought fit.
These measures alarmed Jugurtha much more than the loss of the late battle; for he, whose whole security lay in flight, was compelled to pursue; and he who could not defend his own part of the kingdom, was obliged to make war in that which was occupied by others. Under these circumstances, however, he adopted what seemed the most eligible plan. He ordered the main body of his army to continue stationary; while he himself, with a select troop of cavalry, went in pursuit of Metellus, and coming upon him unperceived, by means of night marches and by-roads, he fell upon such of the Roman as were straggling about, of whom the greater number, being unarmed, were slain, and several others made prisoners; not one of them, indeed, escaped unharmed; and the Numidians, before assistance could arrive from the camp, fled, as they had been ordered, to the nearest hills.
LV. In the mean time great joy appeared at Rome when the proceedings of Metellus were reported, and when it was known how he was conducting himself and his army conformably to the ancient discipline; how, on adverse ground, he had gained a victory by his valor; how he was securing possession of the enemy’s territory; and how he had driven Jugurtha, when elated by the weakness of Aulus, to depend for safety on the desert or on flight. For these successes, accordingly, the senate decreed a thanksgiving to the immortal gods; the city, which had been full of anxiety, and apprehensive as to the event of the war, was now filled with joy; and the fame of Metellus was raised to the utmost height.
The consul’s eagerness to gain a complete victory was thus increased; he exerted himself in every possible way, taking care, at the same time, to give the enemy no opportunity of attacking him to advantage. He remembered that envy is the concomitant of glory, and thus, the more renowned he became, the greater was his caution and circumspection. He never went out to plunder, after the sudden attack of Jugurtha, with his troops in scattered parties; when corn or forage was sought, a body of cohorts, with the whole of the cavalry, were stationed as a guard. He himself conducted part of the army, and Marius the rest. The country was wasted, however, more by fire than by spoliation. They had separate camps, not far from each other; whenever there was occasion for force, they formed a union; but, that desolation and terror might spread the further, they acted separately. Jugurtha, meanwhile, continued to follow them along the hills, watching for a favorable opportunity or situation for an attack. He destroyed the forage, and spoiled the water, which was scarce, wherever he found that the enemy were coming. He presented himself sometimes to Metellus, and sometimes to Marius; he would attack their rear upon a march, and instantly retreat to the hills; he would threaten sometimes one point, and sometimes another, neither giving battle nor allowing rest, but making it his great object to retard the progress of the enemy.
LVI. The Roman commander, finding himself thus harassed by artifices, and allowed no opportunity of coming to a general engagement, resolved on laying siege to a large city, named Zama, which was the bulwark of that part of the kingdom in which it was situate; expecting that Jugurtha, as a necessary consequence, would come to the relief of his subjects in distress, and that a battle would then follow. But the king, being apprised by some deserters of the consul’s design, reached the place, by rapid marches, before him, and exhorted the inhabitants to defend their walls, giving them, as a reinforcement, a body of deserters; a class of men, who, of all the royal forces, were the most to be trusted, inasmuch as they dared not be guilty of treachery. He also promised to support them, whenever it should be necessary, with his whole army.
Having taken these precautions, he retired into the deserts of the interior; where he soon after learned that Marius, with a few cohorts, had been dispatched from the line of march to bring provisions from Sicca, a town which had been the first to revolt from him after his defeat. To this place he hastened by night, accompanied by a select body of cavalry, and attacked the Romans at the gate, just as they were leaving the city; calling to the inhabitants, at the same time, with a loud voice, to surround the cohorts in the rear; adding, that Fortune had given them an opportunity for a glorious exploit; and that, if they took advantage of it, he would henceforth enjoy his kingdom, and they their liberty, without fear. And had not Marius hastened to advance the standards, and to escape from the town, it is certain that all, or the greater part of the inhabitants, would have changed their allegiance; so great is the fickleness which the Numidians exhibit in their conduct. The soldiers of Jugurtha, animated for a time by their king, but finding the enemy pressing them with superior force, betook themselves, after losing a few of their number, to flight.
LVII. Marius arrived at Zama. This town, built on a plain, was better fortified by art than by nature. It was well supplied with necessaries, and contained plenty of arms and men. Metellus, having made arrangements suitable for the time and the place, encompassed the whole city with his army, assigning to each of his officers his post of command. At a given signal, a loud shout was raised on every side, but without exciting the least alarm in the Numidians, who awaited the attack full of spirit and resolution. The assault was consequently commenced; the Romans were allowed to act each according to his inclination; some annoyed the enemy with slings and stones from a distance; others came close up to the walls, and attempted to undermine or scale them, desiring to engage in close combat with the besieged. The Zamians, on the other hand, rolled down stones, and hurled burning stakes, javelins, and wood smeared with pitch and sulphur, on the nearest assailants. Nor was caution a sufficient protection to those who kept aloof; for darts, discharged from engines or by the hand, inflicted wounds on most of them; and thus the brave and the timid, though of unequal merit, were exposed to equal danger.
LVIII. While the struggle was thus continued at Zama, Jugurtha, at the head of a large force, suddenly attacked the camp of the Romans, and, through the remissness of those left to guard it, who expected any thing rather than an attack, effected an entrance at one of the gates. Our men, struck with sudden consternation, acted each on his own impulse; some fled, others seized their arms; and many of them were wounded or slain. About forty, however, out of the whole number mindful of the honor of Rome, formed themselves into a body, and took possession of a slight eminence, from which they could not be dislodged by the utmost efforts of the enemy, but hurled back the darts discharged at them, and, as they were few against many, not without execution. If the Numidians came near them, they displayed their courage, and slaughtered, repulsed, and dispersed them, with the greatest fury. Metellus, meanwhile, who was vigorously pursuing the siege, heard a noise, as of enemies, in his rear, and, turning round his horse, perceived a party of soldiers in flight toward him; a certain proof that they were his own men. He instantly, therefore, dispatched the whole of the cavalry to the camp, and immediately afterward Caius Marius, with the cohorts of the allies, entreating him with tears, by their mutual friendship, and by his regard for the public welfare, to allow no stain to rest on a victorious army, and not to let the enemy escape with impunity. Marius soon executed his orders. Jugurtha, in consequence, after being embarrassed in the intrenchments of the camp, while some of his men threw themselves over the ramparts, and others, in their haste, obstructed each other at the gates, fled, with considerable loss, to his strongholds, Metellus, not succeeding in his attempt on the town, retired with his forces, at the approach of night, into his camp.
LIX. On the following day, before he marched out to resume the siege, he ordered the whole of his cavalry to take their station before the camp, on the side where the approach of Jugurtha was to be apprehended; assigning the gates, and adjoining posts, to the charge of the tribunes. He then marched toward the town, and commenced an assault upon the walls as on the day before. Jugurtha, meanwhile, issuing from his concealment, suddenly attacked our men in the camp, of whom those stationed in advance were for the moment alarmed and thrown into confusion; but the rest soon came to their support; nor would the Numidians have longer maintained their ground, had not their foot, which were mingled with the cavalry, done great execution in the struggle; for the horse, relying on the infantry, did not, as is common in actions of cavalry, charge and then retreat, but pressed impetuously forward, disordering and breaking the ranks, and thus, with the aid of the light-armed foot, almost succeeded in giving the army a defeat.
LX. The conflict at Zama, at the same time, was continued with great fury. Wherever any lieutenant or tribune commanded, there the men exerted themselves with the utmost vigor. No one seemed to depend for support on others, but every one on his own exertions. The townsmen, on the other side, showed equal spirit. Attacks, or preparations for defense, were made in all quarters. All appeared more eager to wound their enemies than to protect themselves. Shouts, mingled with exhortations, cries of joy, and the clashing of arms, resounded through the heavens. Darts flew thick on every side. If the besiegers, however, in the least relaxed their efforts, the defenders of the walls immediately turned their attention to the distant engagement of the cavalry; they were to be seen sometimes exhibiting joy, and sometimes apprehension, according to the varying fortune of Jugurtha, and, as if they could be heard or seen by their friends, uttering warnings or exhortations, making signs with their hands, and moving their bodies to and fro, like men avoiding or hurling darts. This being noticed by Marius, who commanded on that side of the town, he artfully relaxed his efforts, as if despairing of success, and allowed the besieged to view the battle at the camp unmolested. Then, while their attention was closely fixed on their countrymen, he made a vigorous assault on the wall, and the soldiers mounting their scaling ladders, had almost gained the top, when the townsmen rushed to the spot in a body, and hurled down upon them stones, firebrands, and every description of missiles. Our men made head against these annoyances for a while, but at length, when some of the ladders were broken, and those who had mounted them dashed to the ground, the rest of the assailants retreated as they could, a few indeed unhurt, but the greater number miserably wounded. Night put an end to the efforts of both parties.
LXI. When Metellus saw that all his attempts were vain; that the town was not to be taken; that Jugurtha was resolved to abstain from fighting, except from an ambush, or on his own ground, and that the summer was now far advanced, he withdrew his army from Zama, and placed garrisons in such of the cities that had revolted to him as were sufficiently strong in situation or fortifications. The rest of his forces he settled in winter quarters, in that part of our province nearest to Numidia.
This season of repose, however, he did not, like other commanders, abandon to idleness and luxury; but as the war had been but slowly advanced by fighting, he resolved to try the effect of treachery on the king through his friends, and to employ their perfidy instead of arms. He accordingly addressed himself with large promises, to Bomilcar, the same nobleman who had been with Jugurtha at Rome, and who had fled from thence, notwithstanding he had given bail, to escape being tried for the murder of Massiva; selecting this person for his instrument, because, from his great intimacy with Jugurtha, he had the best opportunities of betraying him. He prevailed on him, in the first place, to come to a conference with him privately, when, having given him his word, “that, if he should deliver up Jugurtha, alive or dead, the senate would grant him a pardon, and the full possession of his property,” he easily brought him over to his purpose, especially as he was naturally faithless, and also apprehensive that, if peace were made with the Romans, he himself would be surrendered to justice by the terms of it.
LXII. Bomilcar took the earliest opportunity of addressing Jugurtha, at a time when he was full of anxiety, and lamenting his ill success. He exhorted and implored him, with tears in his eyes, to take at length some thought for himself and his children, as well as for the people of Numidia, who had so much claim upon him. He reminded him that they had been, defeated in every battle; that the country was laid waste; that numbers of his subjects had been captured or slain; that the resources of the kingdom were greatly reduced; that the valor of his soldiers, and his own fortune, had been already sufficiently tried; and that he should beware, lest, if he delayed to consult for his people, his people should consult for themselves. By these and similar appeals, he prevailed with Jugurtha to think of a surrender. Embassadors were accordingly sent to the Roman general, announcing that Jugurtha was ready to submit to whatever he should desire, and to trust himself and his kingdom unconditionally to his honor. Metellus, on receiving this statement, summoned such of his officers as were of senatorial rank, from their winter quarters; of whom, with, others whom he thought eligible, he formed a council. By a resolution of this assembly, in conformity with ancient usage, he demanded of Jugurtha, through his embassadors, two hundred thousand pounds’ weight of silver, all his elephants, and a portion of his horses and arms. These requisitions being immediately complied with, he next desired that all the deserters should be brought to him in chains. A large number of them were accordingly brought; but a few, when the surrender first began to be mentioned, had fled into Mauretania to king Bocchus.
When Jugurtha, however, after being thus despoiled of arms, men and money, was summoned to appear in person at Tisidium, to await the consul’s commands, he began again to change his mind, dreading, from a consciousness of guilt, the punishment due to his crimes. Having spent several days in hesitation, sometimes, from disgust at his ill success, believing any thing better than war, and sometimes considering with himself how grievous would be the fall from sovereignty to slavery, he at last determined, notwithstanding that he had lost so many and so valuable means of resistance, to commence hostilities anew.
At Rome, meanwhile, the senate, having been consulted about the provinces, had decreed Numidia to Metellus.
LXIII. About the same time, as Caius Marius, who happened to be at Utica, was sacrificing to the gods, an augur told him that great and wonderful things were presaged to him; that he might therefore pursue whatever designs he had formed, trusting to the gods for success; and that he might try fortune as often as he pleased, for that all his undertakings would prosper. Previously to this period an ardent longing for the consulship had possessed him; and he had, indeed, every qualification for obtaining it, except antiquity of family; he had industry, integrity, great knowledge of war, and a spirit undaunted in the field; he was temperate in private life, superior to pleasure and riches, and ambitious only of glory. Having been born at Arpinum, and brought up there during his boyhood, he employed himself, as soon as he was of age to bear arms, not in the study of Greek eloquence, nor in learning the refinements of the city, but in military service; and thus, amid the strictest discipline, his excellent genius soon attained full vigor. When he solicited the people, therefore, for the military tribuneship, he was well known by name, though most were strangers to his face, and unanimously elected by the tribes. After this office he attained others in succession, and