Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jurgurthine War

Part 4 out of 5

conducted himself so well in his public duties, that he was always
deemed worthy of a higher station than he had reached. Yet, though
such had been his character hitherto (for he was afterward carried
away by ambition), he had not ventured to stand for the consulship.
The people, at that time, still disposed of[184] other civil offices,
but the nobility transmitted the consulship from hand to hand among
themselves. Nor had any commoner appeared, however famous or
distinguished by his achievements, who would not have been thought
unworthy of that honor, and, as it were, a disgrace to it[185].

LXIV. But when Marius found that the words of the augur pointed in the
same direction as his own inclinations prompted him, he requested of
Metellus leave of absence, that he might offer himself a candidate for
the consulship. Metellus, though eminently distinguished by virtue,
honor, and other qualities valued by the good, had yet a haughty and
disdainful spirit, the common failing of the nobility. He was at
first, therefore, astonished at so extraordinary an application,
expressed surprise at Marius's views, and advised him, as if in
friendship, "not to indulge such unreasonable expectations, or elevate
his thoughts above his station; that all things were not to be coveted
by all men; that his present condition ought to satisfy him; and,
finally, that he should be cautious of asking from the Roman people
what they might justly refuse him." Having made these and similar
remarks, and finding that the resolution of Marius was not at all
affected by them, he told him "that he would grant what he desired as
soon as the public business would allow him".[186] On Marius repeating
his request several times afterward, he is reported to have said,
"that he need not be in a hurry to go, as he would be soon enough if
he became a candidate with his own son."[187] Metellus's son was then
on service in the camp with his father[188], and was about twenty
years old.

This taunt served only to rouse the feelings of Marius, as well for
the honor at which he aimed, as against Metellus. He suffered himself
to be actuated, therefore, by ambition and resentment, the worst of
counselors. He omitted nothing henceforward, either in deeds or words,
that could increase his own popularity. He allowed the soldiers, of
whom he had the command in the winter quarters, more relaxation of
discipline than he had ever granted them before. He talked of the war
among the merchants, of whom there was a great number at Utica,
censoriously with respect to Metellus, and vauntingly with regard to
himself; saying "that if but half of the army were granted him, he
would in a few days have Jugurtha in chains; but that the war was
purposely protracted by the consul, because, being a man of vanity and
regal pride, he was too fond of the delights of power." All these
assertions appeared the more credible to the merchants, as, by the
long continuance of the war, they had suffered in their fortunes; and
to impatient minds no haste is sufficient.

LXV. There was then in our army a Numidian named Gauda, the son of
Mastanabal, and grandson of Masinissa, whom Micipsa, in his will, had
appointed next heir to his immediate successors. This man had been
debilitated by ill-health, and, from the effect of it, was somewhat
impaired in his understanding. He had petitioned Metellus to allow him
a seat, like a prince, next to himself, and a troop of horse for a
bodyguard; but Metellus had refused him both; the seat, because it was
granted only to those whom the Roman people had addressed as kings,
and the guard, because it would be an indignity to Roman cavalry to
act as guards to a Numidian. While Gauda was discontented at these
refusals, Marius paid him a visit, and prompted him, with his
assistance, to seek revenge for the affronts put upon him by the
general; inflating his mind, which was as weak as his body,[189] with
flattering speeches, telling him that he was a prince, a great man,
and the grandson of Masinissa; that if Jugurtha were taken or killed,
he would immediately become king of Numidia; and that this event might
soon happen, if he himself were sent as consul to the war.

Thus partly the influence of Marius himself, and partly the hope of
obtaining peace, induced Gauda, as well as most of the Roman knights,
both soldiers and merchants,[190] to write to their friends at Rome,
in a style of censure, respecting Metellus's management of the war,
and to intimate that Marius should be appointed general. The consulship,
accordingly, was solicited for him by numbers of people, with the most
honorable demonstrations in his favor.[191] It happened that the
people too, at this juncture, having just triumphed over the nobility
by the Mamilian law,[192] were eager to raise commoners to office.
Hence every thing was favorable to Marius's views.

LXVI. Jugurtha, meantime, who, after relinquishing his intention to
surrender, had renewed the war, was now hastening the preparations for
it with the utmost diligence. He assembled an army; he endeavored, by
threats or promises, to recover the towns that had revolted from him;
he fortified advantageous positions;[193] he repaired or purchased
arms, weapons, and other necessaries, which he had given up on the
prospect of peace; he tried to seduce the slaves of the Romans, and
even tempted with bribes the Romans themselves who occupied the
garrisons; he, indeed, left nothing untried or neglected, but put
every engine in motion.

Induced by the entreaties of their king, from whom, indeed, they had
never been alienated in affection, the leading inhabitants of Vacca, a
city in which Metellus, when Jugurtha began to treat for peace, had
placed a garrison, entered into a conspiracy against the Romans. As
for the common people of the town, they were, as is generally the
case, and especially among the Numidians, of a fickle disposition,
factious and turbulent, and therefore already desirous of a change,
and adverse to peace and quiet. Having arranged their plans, they
fixed upon the third day following for the execution of them, because
that day, being a festival, celebrated throughout Africa, would
promise merriment and dissipation rather than alarm. When the time
came, they invited the centurions and military tribunes, with Titus
Turpilius Silanus, the governor of the town, to their several houses,
and butchered them all, except Turpilius, at their banquets; and then
fell upon the common soldiers, who, as was to be expected on such a
day, when discipline was relaxed, were wandering about without their
arms. The populace followed the example of their chiefs, some of them
having been previously instructed to do so, and others induced by a
liking for such disorders, and, though ignorant of what had been done
or intended, finding sufficient gratification in tumult and variety.

LXVII. The Roman soldiers, perplexed with sudden alarm, and not
knowing what was best for them to do, were in trepidation. At the
citadel,[194] where their standards and shields were, was posted a
guard of the enemy; and the city-gates, previously closed, prevented
escape. Women and children, too, on the roofs of the houses,[195]
hurled down upon them, with great eagerness, stones and whatever else
their position furnished. Thus neither could such twofold danger be
guarded against, nor could the bravest resist the feeblest; the worthy
and the worthless, the valiant and the cowardly, were alike put to
death unavenged. In the midst of this slaughter, while the Numidians
were exercising every cruelty, and the town was closed on all sides,
Turpilius was the only one, of all the Italians, that escaped unhurt.
Whether his flight was the consequence of compassion in his entertainer,
of compact, or of chance, I have never discovered; but since, in such a
general massacre, he preferred inglorious safety to an honorable name,
he seems to have been a worthless and infamous character.[196]

LXVIII. When Metellus heard of what had happened at Vacca, he retired
for a time, overpowered with sorrow, from the public gaze; but at
length, as indignation mingled with his grief, he hastened, with the
utmost spirit, to take vengeance for the outrage. He led forth, at
sunset, the legion that was in winter quarters with him, and as many
Numidian horse as he could, and arrived, about the third hour on the
following day, at a certain plain surrounded by rising grounds. Here
he acquainted the soldiers, who were now exhausted with the length of
their march, and averse to further exertion,[197] that the town of
Vacca was not above a mile distant, and that it became them to bear
patiently the toil that remained, with the hope of exacting revenge for
their countrymen, the bravest and most unfortunate of men. He likewise
generously promised them the whole of the plunder. Their courage being
thus revived, he ordered them to resume their march, the cavalry
maintaining an extended line in front, and the infantry, with their
standards concealed, keeping the closest order behind.

LXIX. The people of Vacca, perceiving an army coming toward them,
judged rightly at first that it was Metellus, and shut their gates;
but, after a while, when they saw that their fields were not laid
waste, and that the front consisted of Numidian cavalry, they imagined
that it was Jugurtha, and went out with great joy to meet him. A
signal being immediately given, both cavalry and infantry commenced an
attack; some cut down the multitude pouring from the town, others
hurried to the gates, others secured the towers, revenge and the hope
of plunder prevailing over their weariness. Thus Vacca triumphed only
two days in its treachery; the whole city, which was great and
opulent, was given up to vengeance and spoliation. Turpilius, the
governor, whom we mentioned as the only person that escaped, was
summoned by Metellus to answer for his conduct, and not being able to
clear himself, was condemned, as a native of Latium,[198] to be
scourged and put to death.

LXX. About this time, Bomilcar, at whose persuasion Jugurtha had
entered upon the capitulation which he had discontinued through fear,
being distrusted by the king, and distrusting him in return, grew
desirous of a change of government. He accordingly meditated schemes
for Jugurtha's destruction, racking his invention night and day. At
last, to leave nothing untried, he sought an accomplice in Nabdalsa, a
man of noble birth and great wealth, who was in high regard and favor
with his countrymen, and who, on most occasions, used to command a
body of troops distinct from those of the king, and to transact all
business to which Jugurtha, from fatigue, or from being occupied with
more important matters, was unable to attend;[199] employments by
which he had gained both honors and wealth. By these two men in
concert, a day was fixed for the execution of their treachery;
succeeding matters they agreed to settle as the exigences of the
moment might require. Nabdalsa then proceeded to join his troops,
which he kept in readiness, according to orders, among the winter
quarters of the Romans,[200] to prevent the country from being ravaged
by the enemy with impunity.

But as Nabdalsa, growing alarmed at the magnitude of the undertaking,
failed to appear at the appointed time, and allowed his fears to
hinder their plans, Bomilcar, eager for their execution, and
disquieted at the timidity of his associate, lest he should relinquish
his original intentions and adopt some new course, sent him a letter
by some confidential person, in which he "reproached him with
pusillanimity and irresolution, and conjured him by the gods, by whom
he had sworn, not to turn the offers of Metellus to his own
destruction;" assuring him "that the fall of Jugurtha was approaching;
that the only thing to be considered was whether he should perish by
their hand or by that of Metellus; and that, in consequence, he might
consider whether to choose rewards, or death by torture."

LXXI. It happened that when this letter was brought, Nabdalsa,
overcome with fatigue, was reposing on his couch, where, after reading
Bomilcar's letter, anxiety at first, and afterward, as is usual with a
troubled mind, sleep overpowered him. In his service there was a
certain Numidian, the manager of his affairs, a person who possessed
his confidence and esteem, and who was acquainted with all his designs
except the last. He, hearing that a letter had arrived, and supposing
that there would be occasion, as usual, for his assistance or
suggestions, went into the tent, and, while his master was asleep,
took up the letter thrown carelessly upon the cushion behind his
head,[201] and read it; and, having thus discovered the plot, set off
in haste to Jugurtha. Nabdalsa, who awoke soon after, missing the
letter, and hearing of the whole affair, and how it had happened, at
first attempted to pursue the informer, but finding that pursuit was
vain, he went himself to Jugurtha to try to appease him; saying that
the disclosure which he intended to make, had been anticipated by the
perfidy of his servant; and beseeching him with tears, by his
friendship, and by his own former proofs of fidelity, not to think
that he could be guilty of such treachery.

LXXII. To these entreaties the king replied with a mildness far
different from his real feelings. After putting to death Bomilcar, and
many others whom he knew to be privy to the plot, he refrained from
any further manifestation of resentment, lest an insurrection should
be the consequence of it. But after this occurrence he had no peace
either by day or by night; he thought himself safe neither in any
place, nor with any person, nor at any time; he feared his subjects
and his enemies alike; he was always on the watch, and was startled at
every sound; he passed the night sometimes in one place, and sometimes
in another, and often in places little suited to royal dignity; and
sometimes, starting from his sleep, he would seize his arms and raise
an alarm. He was indeed so agitated by extreme terror, that he
appeared under the influence of madness.

LXXIII. Metellus, hearing from some deserters of the fate of Bomilcar,
and the discovery of the conspiracy, made fresh preparations for
action, and with the utmost dispatch, as if entering upon an entirely
new war. Marius, who was still importuning him for leave of absence,
he allowed to go home; thinking that as he served with reluctance, and
bore him personal enmity, he was not likely to prove a very useful

The common people at Rome, having learned the contents of the letters
written from Africa concerning Metellus and Marius, had listened to
the accounts given of both with eagerness. But the noble birth of
Metellus, which had previously been a motive for paying him honor, had
now become a cause of unpopularity; while the obscurity of Marius's
origin had procured him favor. In regard to both, however, party
feeling had more influence than the good or bad qualities of either.
The factious tribunes,[202] too, inflamed the populace, charging
Metellus, in their harangues, with offenses worthy of death, and
exaggerating the excellent qualities of Marius. At length the people
were so excited that all the artisans and rustics, whose whole
subsistence and credit depended on their labor, quitting their several
employments, attended Marius in crowds, and thought less of their own
wants than of his exaltation. Thus the nobility being borne down, the
consulship, after the lapse of many years,[203] was once more given to
a man of humble birth. And afterward, when the people were asked by
Manilius Mancinus, one of their tribunes, whom they would appoint to
carry on the war against Jugurtha, they, in a full assembly, voted it
to Marius. The senate had previously decreed it to Metellus; but that
decree was thus rendered abortive.[204]

LXXIV. During this period, Jugurtha, as he was bereft of his friends
(of whom he had put to death the greater number, while the rest, under
the influence of terror, had fled partly to the Romans, and partly to
Bocchus), as the war, too, could not be carried on without officers,
and as he thought it dangerous to try the faith of new ones after such
perfidy among the old, was involved in doubt and perplexity; no
scheme, no counsel, no person could satisfy him; he changed his route
and his captains daily; he hurried sometimes against the enemy, and
sometimes toward the deserts; depended at one time on flight, and at
another on resistance; and was unable to decide whether he could less
trust the courage or the fidelity of his subjects. Thus, to whatever
direction he turned his thoughts, the prospect was equally

In the midst of his irresolution, Metellus suddenly made his
appearance with his army. The Numidians were assembled and drawn up by
Jugurtha, as well as time permitted; and a battle was at once
commenced. Where the king commanded in person, the struggle was
maintained for some time; but the rest of his force was routed and put
to flight at the first onset. The Romans took a considerable number of
standards and arms, but not many prisoners; for, in almost every
battle, their feet afforded more security to the Numidians than their

LXXV. In consequence of this defeat, Jugurtha, feeling less confidence
in the state of his affairs than ever, retreated with the deserters,
and part of his cavalry, first into the deserts, and afterward to
Thala,[205] a large and opulent city, where lay the greater portion of
his treasures, and where there was magnificent provision for the
education of his children. When Metellus was informed of this,
although he knew that there was, between Thala and the nearest river,
a dry and desert region fifty miles broad, yet, in the hope of
finishing the war if he should gain possession of the town, he
resolved to surmount all difficulties, and to conquer even Nature
herself. He gave orders that the beasts of burden, therefore, should
be lightened of all the baggage excepting ten days' provision; and
that they should be laden with skins and other utensils for holding
water. He also collected from the fields as many laboring cattle as he
could find, and loaded them with vessels of all sorts, but chiefly
wooden, taken from the cottages of the Numidians. He directed such of
the neighboring people, too, as had submitted to him after the retreat
of Jugurtha, to bring him as much water as they could carry,
appointing a time and a place for them to be in attendance. He then
loaded his beasts from the river, which, as I have intimated, was the
nearest water to the town, and, thus provided, set out for Thala.

When he came to the place at which he had desired the Numidians to
meet him, and had pitched and fortified his camp, so copious a fall of
rain is said to have happened, as would have furnished more than
sufficient water for his whole army. Provisions, too, were brought him
far beyond his expectations; for the Numidians, like most people after
a recent surrender, had done more than was required of them.[206] The
men, however, from a religious feeling, preferred using the
rain-water; the fall of which greatly increased their courage, for
they thought of themselves the peculiar care of the gods. On the next
day, to the surprise of Jugurtha, they arrived at Thala. The
inhabitants, who thought themselves secured by difficulties of the
approach to them, were astonished at so strange and unexpected a
sight, but, nevertheless, prepared for their defense. Our men showed
equal alacrity on their side.

LXXVI. But Jugurtha himself, believing that Metellus, who, by his
exertions, had triumphed over every obstacle, over arms, deserts,
seasons, and finally over Nature herself that controls all, nothing
was impossible, fled with his children, and a great portion of his
treasure, from the city during the night. Nor did he ever, after this
time, continue[207] more than one day or night in any place;
pretending to be hurried away by business, but in reality dreading
treachery, which he thought he might escape by change of residence, as
schemes of such a kind are the result of leisure and opportunity.

Metellus, seeing that the people of Thala were determined on
resistance, and that the town was defended both by art and situation,
surrounded the walls with a rampart and a trench. He then directed his
machines against the most eligible points, threw up a mound, and
erected towers upon it to protect[208] the works and the workmen. The
townsmen, on the other hand, were exceedingly active and diligent; and
nothing was neglected on either side. At last the Romans, though
exhausted with much previous fatigue and fighting, got possession,
forty days after their arrival, of the town, and the town only; for
all the spoil had been destroyed by the deserters; who, when they saw
the walls shaken by the battering-ram, and their own situation
desperate, had conveyed the gold and silver, and whatever else is
esteemed valuable, to the royal palace, where, after being sated with
wine and luxuries, they destroyed the treasures, the building, and
themselves, by fire, and thus voluntarily submitted to the sufferings
which, in case of being conquered, they dreaded at the hands of the

LXXVII. At the very time that Thala was taken, there came to Metellus
embassadors from the city of Leptis,[209] requesting him to send them
a garrison and a governor; saying "that a certain Hamilcar, a man of
rank, and of a factious disposition, against whom the magistrates and
the laws were alike powerless, was trying to induce them to change
sides; and that unless he attended to the matter promptly, their own
safety,[210] and the allies of Rome, would be in the utmost danger."
For the people at Leptis, at the very commencement of the war with
Jugurtha, had sent to the consul Bestia, and afterward to Rome,
desiring to be admitted into friendship and alliance with us. Having
been granted their request, they continued true and faithful adherents
to us, and promptly executed all orders from Bestia, Albinus, and
Metellus. They therefore readily obtained from the general the aid
which they solicited; and four cohorts of Ligurians were dispatched to
Leptis, with Caius Annius to be governor of the place.

LXXVIII. This city was built by a party of Sidonians, who, as I have
understood, being driven from their country through civil dissensions,
came by sea into those parts of Africa. It is situated between the two
Syrtes, which take their name from their nature[211] These are two
gulfs almost at the extremity of Africa[212] of unequal size, but of
similar character. Those parts of them next to the land are very deep;
the other parts sometimes deep and sometimes shallow, as chance may
direct; for when the sea swells, and is agitated by the winds, the
waves roll along with them mud, sand, and huge stones; and thus the
appearance of the gulfs changes with the direction of the wind.

Of this people, the language alone[213] has been altered by their
intermarriages with the Numidians; their laws and customs continue for
the most part Sidonian; which they have preserved with the greater
ease, through living at so great a distance from the king's
dominions.[214] Between them and the populous parts of Numidia lie
vast and uncultivated deserts.

LXXIX. Since the affairs of Leptis have led me into these regions, it
will not be foreign to my subject to relate the noble and singular act
of two Carthaginians, which the place has brought to my recollection.

At the time when the Carthaginians were masters of the greater part of
Africa, the Cyrenians were also a great and powerful people. The
territory that lay between them was sandy, and of a uniform
appearance, without a stream or a hill to determine their respective
boundaries; a circumstance which involved them in a severe and
protracted war. After armies and fleets had been routed and put to
flight on both sides, and each people had greatly weakened their
opponents, fearing lest some third party should attack both victors
and vanquished in a state of exhaustion, they came to an agreement,
during a short cessation of arms, "that on a certain day deputies
should leave home on either side, and that the spot where they should
meet should be the common boundary between the two states." From
Carthage, accordingly, were dispatched two brothers, who were named
Philaeni,[215] and who traveled with great expedition. The deputies of
the Cyrenians proceeded more slowly; but whether from indolence or
accident I have not been informed. However, a storm of wind in these
deserts will cause obstruction to passengers not less than at sea; for
when a violent blast, sweeping over a level surface devoid of
vegetation,[216] raises the sand from the ground, it is driven onward
with great force, and fills the mouth and eyes of the traveler, and
thus, by hindering his view, retards his progress. The Cyrenian
deputies, finding that they had lost ground, and dreading punishment
at home for their mismanagement, accused the Carthaginians of having
left home before the time; quarreling about the matter, and preferring
to do any thing rather than submit. The Philaeni, upon this, asked
them to name any other mode of settling the controversy, provided it
were equitable; and the Cyrenians gave them their choice, "either that
they should be buried alive in the spot which they claimed as the
boundary for their people, or that they themselves, on the same
conditions, should be allowed to go forward to whatever point they
should think proper." The Philaeni, having accepted the conditions,
sacrificed themselves[217] to the interest of their country, and were
interred alive. The people of Carthage consecrated altars to the
brothers on the spot; and other honors were instituted to them at
home. I now return to my subject.

LXXX. After the loss of Thala, Jugurtha, thinking no place sufficiently
secure against Metellus, fled with a few followers into the country of
the Getulians, a people savage and uncivilized, and, at that period,
unacquainted with even the name of Rome. Of these barbarians he collected
a great multitude, and trained them by degrees to march in ranks, to
follow standards, to obey the word of command, and to perform other
military exercises. He also gained over to his interest, by large
presents and larger promises, the intimate friends of king Bocchus, and
working upon the king by their means, induced him to commence war
against the Romans. This was the more practicable and easy, because
Bocchus, at the commencement of hostilities with Jugurtha, had sent an
embassy to Rome to solicit friendship and alliance; but a faction,
blinded by avarice, and accustomed to sell their votes on every question
honorable or dishonorable,[218] had caused his advances to be rejected,
though they were of the highest consequence to the war recently begun.
A daughter of Bocchus, too, was married to Jugurtha,[219] but such a
connection, among the Numidians and Moors, is but lightly regarded;
for every man has as many wives as he pleases, in proportion to his
ability to maintain them; some ten, others more, but the kings most of
all. Thus the affection of the husband is divided among a multitude;
no one of them becomes a companion to him,[220] but all are equally

LXXXI. The two kings, with their armies,[221] met in a place settled
by mutual agreement, where, after pledges of amity were given and
received, Jugurtha inflamed the mind of Bocchus by observing "that the
Romans were a lawless people, of insatiable covetousness, and the
common enemies of mankind; that they had the same motive for making
war on Bocchus as on himself and other nations, the lust of dominion;
that all independent states were objects of hatred to them; at present,
for instance, himself; a little before, the Carthaginians had been so,
as well as king Perses; and that, in future, as any sovereign became
conspicuous for his power, so would he assuredly be treated as an enemy
by the Romans."

Induced by these and similar considerations, they determined to march
against Cirta, where Metellus had deposited his plunder, prisoners,
and baggage. Jugurtha supposed that, if he took the city, there would
be ample recompense for his exertions; or that, if the Roman general
came to succor his adherents, he would have the opportunity of
engaging him in the field. He also hastened this movement from policy,
to lessen Bocchus's chance of peace;[222] lest, if delay should be
allowed, he should decide upon something different from war.

LXXXII. Metellus, when he heard of the confederacy of the kings, did
not rashly, or in every place, give opportunities of fighting, as he
had been used to do since Jugurtha had been so often defeated, but,
fortifying his camp, awaited the approach of the kings at no great
distance from Cirta; thinking it better, when he should have learned
something of the Moors,[223] as they were new enemies in the field,
to give battle on an advantage. In the mean time he was informed, by
letters from Rome, that the province of Numidia was assigned to Marius,
of whose election to the consulship he had already heard.

Being affected at these occurrences beyond what was proper and
decorous, he could neither restrain his tears nor govern his tongue;
for though he was a man eminent in other respects, he had too little
firmness in bearing trouble of mind. His irritation was by some
imputed to pride; others said that a noble spirit was wounded by
insult; many thought him chagrined because victory, just attained, was
snatched from his grasp. But to me it is well known that he was more
troubled at the honor bestowed on Marius than at the injustice done to
himself; and that he would have shown much less uneasiness if the
province of which he was deprived had been given to any other than

LXXXIII. Discouraged, therefore, by such a mortification, and thinking
it folly to promote another man's success at his own hazard, he sent
deputies to Bocchus, entreating him "not to become an enemy to the
Romans without cause;" and observing "that he had a fine opportunity
of entering into friendship and alliance with them, which were far
preferable to war; that though he might have confidence in his
resources, he ought not to change certainties for uncertainties; that
a war was easily begun, but discontinued with difficulty; that its
commencement and conclusion were not dependent on the same party; that
any one, even a coward, might commence hostilities, but that they
could be broken off only when the conqueror thought proper; and that
he should therefore consult for his interest and that of his kingdom,
and not connect his own prosperous circumstances with the ruined
fortunes of Jugurtha."

To these representations the king mildly answered, "that he desired
peace, but felt compassion for the condition of Jugurtha, to whom if
similar proposals were made, all would easily be arranged." Metellus,
in reply to this request of Bocchus, sent deputies with overtures, of
which the King approved some, and rejected others. Thus, in sending
messengers to and fro, the time passed away, and the war, according to
the consul's desire, was protracted without being advanced.

LXXXIV. Marius, who, as I said before, had been made consul with great
eagerness on the part of the populace, began, though he had always
been hostile to the patricians, to inveigh against them, after the
people gave him the province of Numidia, with great frequency and
violence; he attacked them sometimes individually and sometimes in a
body; he said that he had snatched from them the consulship as spoils
from vanquished enemies; and uttered other remarks laudatory to
himself and offensive to them. Meanwhile he made the provision for the
war his chief object; he asked for reinforcements for the legions; he
sent for auxiliaries from foreign states, kings, and allies; he also
enlisted all the bravest men from Latium, most of whom were known to
him by actual service, some few only by report, and induced, by
earnest solicitation, even discharged veterans[224] to accompany him.
Nor did the senate, though adverse to him, dare to refuse him any
thing; the additions to the legions they had voted even with
eagerness, because military service was thought to be unpopular with
the multitude, and Marius seemed likely to lose either the means of
warfare[225], or the favor of the people. But such expectations were
entertained in vain, so ardent was the desire of going with Marius
that had seized on almost all. Every one cherished the fancy[226] that
he should return home laden with spoil, crowned with victory, or
attended with some similar good fortune. Marius himself, too, had
excited them in no small degree by a speech; for, when all that he
required was granted, and he was anxious to commence a levy, he called
an assembly of the people, as well to encourage them to enlist, as to
inveigh, according to his practice, against the nobility. He spoke, on
the occasion, as follows:

LXXXV. "I am aware, my fellow-citizens, that most men do not appear as
candidates before you for an office, and conduct themselves in it when
they have obtained it, under the same character; that they are at
first industrious, humble, and modest, but afterward lead a life of
indolence and arrogance. But to me it appears that the contrary should
be the case; for as the whole state is of greater consequence than the
single office of consulate or praetorship, so its interests ought to
be managed[227] with greater solicitude than these magistracies are
sought. Nor am I insensible how great a weight of business I am,
through your kindness, called upon to sustain. To make preparations
for war, and yet to be sparing of the treasury; to press those into
the service whom I am unwilling to offend; to direct every thing at
home and abroad; and to discharge these duties when surrounded by the
envious, the hostile,[228] and the factious, is more difficult, my
fellow-citizens, than is generally imagined. In addition to this, if
others fail in their undertakings, their ancient rank, the heroic
actions of their ancestors, the power of their relatives and
connections, their numerous dependents, are all at hand to support
them; but as for me, my whole hopes rest upon myself, which I must
sustain by good conduct and integrity; for all other means are

I am sensible, too, my fellow-citizens, that the eyes of all men are
turned upon me; that the just and good favor me, as my services are
beneficial to the state, but that the nobility seek occasion to attack
me. I must therefore use the greater exertion, that you may not be
deceived in me,[229] and that their views may be rendered abortive. I
have led such a life, indeed, from my boyhood to the present hour,
that I am familiar with every kind of toil and danger; and that
exertion, which, before your kindness to me, I practiced gratuitously,
it is not my intention to relax after having received my reward. For
those who have pretended to be men of worth only to secure their
election,[230] it may be difficult to conduct themselves properly in
office: but to me, who have passed my whole life in the most honorable
occupations, to act well has from habit become nature.

You have commanded me to carry on the war against Jugurtha; a
commission at which the nobility are highly offended. Consider with
yourselves, I pray you, whether it would be a change for the better,
if you were to send to this, or to any other such appointment, one of
yonder crowd of nobles[231], a man of ancient family, of innumerable
statues, and of no military experience; in order, forsooth, that in so
important an office, and being ignorant of every thing connected with
it, he may exhibit hurry and trepidation, and select one of the people
to instruct him in his duty. For so it generally happens, that he whom
you have chosen to direct, seeks another to direct him. I know some,
my fellow-citizens, who, after they have been elected[232] consuls,
have begun to read the acts of their ancestors, and the military
precepts of the Greeks; persons who invert the order of things;[233]
for though to discharge the duties of the office[234] is posterior, in
point of time, to election, it is, in reality and practical
importance, prior to it.

Compare now, my fellow-citizens, me, who am _a new man,_ with those
haughty nobles.[235] What they have but heard or read, I have
witnessed or performed. What they have learned from books, I have
acquired in the field; and whether deeds or words are of greater
estimation, it is for you to consider.

They despise my humbleness of birth; I contemn their imbecility. My
condition[236] is made an objection to me; their misconduct is a
reproach to them. The circumstance of birth,[237] indeed, I consider
as one and the same to all; but think that he who best exerts himself
is the noblest. And could it be inquired of the fathers,[238] of
Albinus and Bestia, whether they would rather be the parents of them
or of me, what do you suppose that they would answer, but that they
would wish the most deserving to be their offspring! If the patricians
justly despise me, let them also despise their own ancestors, whose
nobility, like mine, had its origin in merit. They envy me the honor
that I have received; let them also envy me the toils, the
abstinence,[239] and the perils, by which I obtained that honor.

But they, men eaten up with pride, live as if they disdained all the
distinctions that you can bestow, and yet sue for those distinctions
as if they had lived so as to merit them. Yet those are assuredly
deceived, who expect to enjoy, at the same time, things so
incompatible as the pleasures of indolence and the rewards of
honorable exertion.[240]

When they speak before you, or in the senate, they occupy the
greatest part of their orations in extolling their ancestors;[241]
for, they suppose that, by recounting the heroic deeds of their
forefathers, they render themselves more illustrious. But the reverse
of this is the case; for the more glorious were the lives of their
ancestors, the more scandalous is their own inaction. The truth,
indeed, is plainly this, that the glory of ancestors sheds a light on
their posterity,[242] which suffers neither their virtues nor their
vices to be concealed. Of this light, my fellow-citizens, I have no
share; but I have, what confers much more distinction, the power of
relating my own actions. Consider, then, how unreasonable they are;
what they claim to themselves for the merit of others, they will not
grant to me for my own; alleging, forsooth, that I have no statues,
and that my distinction is newly-acquired; but it is surely better to
have acquired such distinction myself than to bring disgrace on that
received from others.

I am not ignorant, that, if they were inclined to reply to me, they
would make an abundant display of eloquent and artful language. Yet,
since they attack both you and myself on occasion of the great favor
which you have conferred upon me, I did not think proper to be silent
before them, lest any one should construe my forbearance into a
consciousness of demerit. As for myself, indeed, nothing that is said
of me, I feel assured,[243] can do me injury; for what is true, must
of necessity speak in my favor; what is false, my life and character
will refute. But since your judgment, in bestowing on me so
distinguished an honor and so important a trust, is called in
question, consider, I beseech you, again and again, whether you are
likely to repent of what you have done. I can not, to raise your
confidence in me, boast of the statues, or triumphs, or consulships of
my ancestors; but, if it be thought necessary, I can show you spears,[244]
a banner,[245] caparisons[246] for horses, and other military rewards;
besides the scars of wounds on my breast. These are my statues; this
is my nobility; honors, not left, like theirs, by inheritance, but
acquired amid innumerable toils and dangers.

My speech, they say, is inelegant; but that I have ever thought of
little importance. Worth sufficiently displays itself; it is for my
detractors to use studied language, that they may palliate base
conduct by plausible words. Nor have I learned Greek; for I had no
wish to acquire a tongue that adds nothing to the valor[247] of those
who teach it. But I have gained other accomplishments, such as are of
the utmost benefit to a state; I have learned to strike down an enemy;
to be vigilant at my post;[248] to fear nothing but dishonor; to bear
cold and heat with equal endurance; to sleep on the ground; and to
sustain at the same time hunger and fatigue. And with such rules of
conduct I shall stimulate my soldiers, not treating them with rigor
and myself with indulgence, nor making their toils my glory. Such a
mode of commanding is at once useful to the state, and becoming to a
citizen. For to coerce your troops with severity, while you yourself
live at ease, is to be a tyrant, not a general.

It was by conduct such as this, my fellow-citizens, that your
ancestors made themselves and the republic renowned. Our nobility,
relying on their forefathers' merits, though totally different from
them in conduct, disparage us who emulate their virtues; and demand of
you every public honor, as due, not to their personal merit, but to
their high rank. Arrogant pretenders, and utterly unreasonable! For
though their ancestors left them all that was at their disposal, their
riches, their statues, and their glorious names, they left them not,
nor could leave them, their virtue; which alone, of all their
possessions, could neither be communicated nor received.

They reproach me as being mean, and of unpolished manners, because,
forsooth, I have but little skill in arranging an entertainment, and
keep no actor,[249] nor give my cook[250] higher wages than my
steward; all which charges I must, indeed, acknowledge to be just; for
I learned from my father, and other venerable characters, that vain
indulgences belong to women, and labor to men; that glory, rather than
wealth, should be the object of the virtuous; and that arms and armor,
not household furniture, are marks of honor. But let the nobility, if
they please, pursue what is delightful and dear to them; let them
devote themselves to licentiousness and luxury; let them pass their
age as they have passed their youth, in revelry and feasting, the
slaves of gluttony and debauchery; but let them leave the toil and
dust of the field, and other such matters, to us, to whom they are
more grateful than banquets. This, however, they will not do; for when
these most infamous of men have disgraced themselves by every species
of turpitude, they proceed to claim the distinctions due to the most
honorable. Thus it most unjustly happens that luxury and indolence,
the most disgraceful of vices, are harmless to those who indulge in
them, and fatal only to the innocent commonwealth.

As I have now replied to my calumniators, as far as my own character
required, though not so fully as their flagitiousness deserved, I
shall add a few words on the state of public affairs. In the first
place, my fellow-citizens, be of good courage with regard to Numidia;
for all that hitherto protected Jugurtha, avarice, inexperience, and
arrogance[251], you have entirely removed. There is an army in it,
too, which is well acquainted with the country, though, assuredly,
more brave than fortunate; for a great part of it has been destroyed
by the avarice or rashness of its commanders. Such of you, then, as
are of military age, co-operate with me, and support the cause of your
country; and let no discouragement, from the ill-fortune of others, or
the arrogance of the late commanders, affect any one of you. I myself
shall be with you, both on the march and in the battle, both to direct
your movements and to share your dangers. I shall treat you and myself
on every occasion alike; and, doubtless, with the aid of the gods, all
good things, victory, spoil, and glory, are ready to our hands; though,
even if they were doubtful or distant, it would still become every able
citizen to act in defense of his country. For no man, by slothful
timidity, has escaped the lot of mortals[252]; nor has any parent wished
for his children[253] that they might live forever, but rather that they
might act in life with virtue and honor. I would add more, my
fellow-citizens, if words could give courage to the faint-hearted; to
the brave I think that I have said enough."

LXXXVI. After having spoken to this effect, Marius, when he found that
the minds of the populace were excited, immediately freighted vessels
with provisions, pay, arms, and other necessaries, and ordered Aulus
Manlius, his lieutenant-general, to set sail with them. He himself, in
the mean time, proceeded to enlist soldiers, not after the ancient
method, or from the classes[254], but taking all that were willing to
join him, and the greater part from the lowest ranks. Some said that
this was done from a scarcity of better men, and others from the
consul's desire to pay court[255] to the poorer class, because it was
by that order of men that he had been honored and promoted; and,
indeed, to a man grasping at power, the most needy are the most
serviceable, persons to whom their property (as they have none) is not
an object of care, and to whom every thing lucrative appears honorable.
Setting out, accordingly, for Africa, with a somewhat larger force than
had been decreed, he arrived in a few days at Utica. The command of the
army was resigned to him by Publius Rutilius, Metullus's
lieutenant-general; for Metullus himself avoided the sight of Marius,
that he might not see what he could not even endure to hear mentioned.

LXXXVII. Marius, having filled up his legions[256] and auxiliary
cohorts, marched into a part of the country which was fertile and
abundant in spoil, where, whatever he captured, he gave up to his
soldiers. He then attacked such fortresses or towns as were ill
defended by nature or with troops, and ventured on several
engagements, though only of a light character, in different places.
The new recruits, in process of time, began to join in an encounter
without fear; they saw that such as fled were taken prisoners or
slain; that the bravest were the safest; that liberty, their country,
and parents,[257] are defended, and glory and riches acquired, by
arms. Thus the new and old troops soon became as one body, and the
courage of all was rendered equal.

The two kings, when they heard of the approach of Marius, retreated,
by separate routes, into parts that were difficult of access; a plan
which had been proposed by Jugurtha, who hoped that, in a short time,
the enemy might be attacked when dispersed over the country, supposing
that the Roman soldiers, like the generality of troops, would be less
careful and observant of discipline when the fear of danger was removed.

LXXXVIII. Metellus, meanwhile, having taken his departure for Rome,
was received there, contrary to his expectation, with the greatest
feelings of joy, being equally welcomed, since public prejudice had
subsided, by both the people and the patricians.

Marius continued to attend, with equal activity and prudence, to his
own affairs and those of the enemy. He observed what would be
advantageous, or the contrary, to either party; he watched the
movements of the kings, counteracted their intentions and stratagems,
and allowed no remissness in his own army, and no security in that of
the enemy. He accordingly attacked and dispersed, on several
occasions, the Getulians and Jugurtha on their march, as they were
carrying off spoil from our allies;[258] and he obliged the king
himself, near the town of Cirta, to take flight without his arms[259]
But finding that such enterprises merely gained him honor, without
tending to terminate the war, he resolved on investing, one after
another, all the cities, which, by the strength of their garrisons or
situation, were best suited either to support the enemy, or to resist
himself; so that Jugurtha would either be deprived of his fortresses,
if he suffered them to be taken, or be forced to come to an engagement
in their defense. As to Bocchus, he had frequently sent messengers to
Marius, saying that he desired the friendship of the Roman people, and
that the consul need fear no act of hostility from him. But whether he
merely dissembled, with a view to attack us unexpectedly with greater
effect, or whether, from fickleness of disposition he habitually
wavered between war and peace, was never fairly ascertained.

LXXXIX. Marius, as he had determined, proceeded to attack the
fortified towns and places of strength, and to detach them, partly by
force, and partly by threats or offers of reward, from the enemy. His
operations in this way, however, were at first but moderate; for he
expected that Jugurtha, to protect his subjects, would soon come to an
engagement. But finding that he kept at a distance, and was intent on
other affairs, he thought it was time to enter upon something of
greater importance and difficulty. Amid the vast deserts there lay a
great and strong city, named Capsa, the founder of which is said to have
been the Libyan Hercules.[260] Its inhabitants were exempted from taxes
by Jugurtha, and under mild government, and were consequently regarded
as the most faithful of his subjects. They were defended against enemies,
not only by walls, magazines of arms, and bodies of troops, but still
more by the difficulty of approaching them; for, except the parts
adjoining the walls, all the surrounding country is waste and
uncultivated, destitute of water, and infested with serpents, whose
fierceness, like that of other wild animals, is aggravated by want of
food; while the venom of such reptiles, deadly in itself, is exacerbated
by nothing so much as by thirst. Of this place Marius conceived a strong
desire[261] to make himself master, not only from its importance for the
war, but because its capture seemed an enterprise of difficulty; for
Metellus had gained great glory by taking Thala, a town similarly
situated and fortified; except that at Thala there were several springs
near the walls, while the people of Capsa had only one running stream,
and that within the town, all the water which they used beside being
rain-water. But this scarcity, both here and in other parts of Africa,
where the people live rudely and remote from the sea, was endured with
the greater ease, as the inhabitants subsist mostly on milk and wild
beasts' flesh,[262] and use no salt, or other provocatives of appetite,
their food being merely to satisfy hunger or thirst, and not to encourage
luxury or excess.

XC. The consul,[263] having made all necessary investigations, and
relying, I suppose, on the gods (for against such difficulties he
could not well provide by his own forethought, as he was also
straitened for want of corn, because the Numidians apply more to
pasturage than agriculture, and had conveyed, by the king's order,
whatever corn had been raised into fortified places, while the ground
at the time, it being the end of summer, was parched and destitute of
vegetation), yet, under the circumstances, conducted his arrangements
with great prudence. All the cattle, which had been taken for some
days previous, he consigned to the care[264] of the auxiliary cavalry;
and directed Aulus Manlius, his lieutenant-general, to proceed with
the light-armed cohorts to the town of Lares,[265] where he had
deposited provisions and pay for the army, telling him that, after
plundering the country, he would join him there in a few days. Having
by this means concealed his real design, he proceeded toward the river

XCI. On his march he distributed daily, to each division of the
infantry and cavalry, an equal portion of the cattle, and gave orders
that water-bottles should be made of their hides; thus compensating,
at once, for the scarcity of corn, and providing, while all remained
ignorant of his intention, utensils which would soon be of service. At
the end of six days, accordingly, when he arrived at the river, a
large number of bottles had been prepared. Having pitched his camp,
with a slight fortification, he ordered his men to take refreshment,
and to be ready to resume their march at sunset; and, having laid aside
all their baggage, to load themselves and their beasts only with water.
As soon as it seemed time, he quitted the camp, and, after marching the
whole night,[266] encamped again.

The same course he pursued on the following night, and on the third,
long before dawn, he reached a hilly spot of ground, not more than two
miles distant from Capsa, where he waited, as secretly as possible,
with his whole force. But when daylight appeared, and many of the
Numidians, having no apprehensions of an enemy, went forth out of the
town, he suddenly ordered all the cavalry, and with them the lightest
of the infantry, to hasten forward to Capsa, and secure the gates. He
himself immediately followed, with the utmost ardor, restraining his
men from plunder.

When the inhabitants perceived that the place was surprised, their
state of consternation and extreme dread, the suddenness of the
calamity, and the consideration that many of their fellow-citizens
were without the walls in the power of the enemy, compelled them to
surrender. The town, however, was burned; of the Numidians, such as
were of adult age, were put to the sword; the rest were sold, and the
spoil divided among the soldiers. This severity, in violation of the
usages of war, was not adopted from avarice or cruelty in the consul,
but was exercised because the place was of great advantage to Jugurtha,
and difficult of access to us, while the inhabitants were a fickle and
faithless race, to be influenced neither by kindness nor by terror.

XCII. When Marius had achieved so important an enterprise, without any
loss to his troops, he who was great and honored before became still
greater and still more honored. All his undertakings,[267] however
ill-concerted, were regarded as proofs of superior ability; his
soldiers, kept under mild discipline, and enriched with spoil,
extolled him to the skies; the Numidians dreaded him as some thing
more than human; and all, indeed, allies as well as enemies, believed
that he was either possessed of supernatural power, or had all things
directed for him by the will of the gods.

After his success in this attempt, he proceeded against other towns; a
few, where they offered resistance, he took by force; a greater number,
deserted in consequence of the wretched fate of Capsa, he destroyed by
fire; and the whole country was filled with mourning and slaughter.

Having at length gained possession of many places, and most of them
without loss to his army, he turned his thoughts to another enterprise,
which, though not of the same desperate character as that at Capsa, was
yet not less difficult of execution.[268] Not far from the river Mulucha,
which divided the kingdoms of Jugurtha and Bocchus, there stood, in the
midst of a plain,[269] a rocky hill, sufficiently broad at the top for
a small fort; it rose to a vast height, and had but one narrow ascent
left open, the whole of it being as steep by nature as it could have
been rendered by labor and art. This place, as there were treasures of
the king in it, Marius directed his utmost efforts to take.[270] But
his views were furthered more by fortune than by his own contrivance.
In the fortress there were plenty of men and arms for its defense,
as well as an abundant store of provisions, and a spring of water;
while its situation was unfavorable for raising mounds, towers, and
other works; and the road to it, used by its inhabitants, was extremely
steep, with a precipice on either side. The vineae were brought up with
great danger, and without effect; for, before they were advanced any
considerable distance, they were destroyed with fire or stones. And from
the difficulties of the ground, the soldiers could neither stand in front
of the works, nor act among the vineae,[271] without danger; the boldest
of them were killed or wounded, and the fear of the rest increased.

XCIII. Marius having thus wasted much time and labor, began seriously
to consider whether he should abandon the attempt as impracticable, or
wait for the aid of Fortune, whom he had so often found favorable.
While he was revolving the matter in his mind, during several days and
nights, in a state of much doubt and perplexity, it happened that a
certain Ligurian, a private soldier in the auxiliary cohorts,[272]
having gone out of the camp to fetch water, observed, near that part
of the fort which was furthest from the besiegers, some snails
crawling among the rocks, of which, when he had picked up one or two,
and afterward more, he gradually proceeded, in his eagerness for
collecting them, almost to the top of the hill. When he found this
part deserted, a desire, incident to the human mind, of seeing what he
had never seen,[273] took violent possession of him. A large oak
chanced to grow out among the rocks, at first, for a short distance,
horizontally,[274] and then, as nature directs all vegetables,[275]
turning and shooting upward. Raising himself sometimes on the boughs
of this tree, and sometimes on the projecting rocks, the Ligurian, as
all the Numidians were intently watching the besiegers, took a full
survey of the platform of the fortress. Having observed whatever he
thought it would afterward prove useful to know, he descended the same
way, not unobservantly, as he had gone up, but exploring and noticing
all the peculiarities of the path. He then hastened to Marius,
acquainted him with what he had done, and urged him to attack the fort
on that side where he had ascended, offering himself to lead the way
and the attempt. Marius sent some of those about him, along with the
Ligurian, to examine the practicability of his proposal, who,
according to their several dispositions, reported the affair as
difficult or easy. The consul's hopes, however, were somewhat
encouraged; and he accordingly selected, from his band of trumpeters
and bugle-men, five of the most nimble, and with them four centurions
for a guard;[276] all of whom he directed to obey the Ligurian,
appointing the next day for commencing the experiment.

XCIV. When, according to their instructions, it seemed time to set
out, the Ligurian, after preparing and arranging every thing,
proceeded to the place of ascent. Those who commanded the
centuries,[277] being previously instructed by the guide, had changed
their arms and dress, having their heads and feet bare, that their
view upward, and their progress among the rocks, might be less
impeded;[278] their swords were slung behind them, as well as their
shields, which were Numidian, and made of leather, both for the sake
of lightness, and in order that, if struck against any object, they
might make less noise. The Ligurian went first, and tied to the rocks,
and whatever roots of trees projected through age, a number of ropes,
by which the soldiers supporting themselves might climb with the
greatest ease. Such as were timorous, from the extraordinary nature of
the path, he sometimes pulled up by the hand; when the ascent was
extremely rugged, he sent them on singly before him without their
arms, which he then carried up after them; whatever parts appeared
unsafe,[279] he first tried them himself, and, by going up and down
repeatedly in the same place, and then standing aside, he inspired the
rest with courage to proceed. At length, after uninterrupted and
harassing exertion they reached the fortress, which, on that side, was
undefended, for all the occupants, as on other days, were intent on
the enemy in the opposite quarter.

Though Marius had kept the attention of the Numidians, during the
whole day, fixed on his attacks, yet, when he heard from his scouts
how the Ligurian had succeeded, he animated his soldiers to fresh
exertions, and he himself, advancing beyond the vineae, and causing a
testudo to be formed,[280] came up close under the walls, annoying the
enemy, at the same time, with his engines, archers, and slingers, from
a distance.

But the Numidians, having often before overturned and burned the
vineae of the Romans, no longer confined themselves within the
fortress, but spent day and night before the walls, railing at the
Romans, upbraiding Marius with madness, threatening our soldiers with
being made slaves to Jugurtha, and exhibiting the utmost audacity on
account of their successful defense. In the mean time, while both the
Romans and Numidians were engaged in the struggle, the one side
contending for glory and dominion, the other for their very existence,
the trumpets suddenly sounded a blast in the rear of the enemy, at
which the women and children, who had gone out to view the contest,
were the first to flee; next those who were nearest to the wall, and
at length the whole of the Numidians, armed and unarmed, retreated
within the fort. When this had happened, the Romans pressed upon the
enemy with increased boldness, dispersing them, and at first only
wounding the greater part, but afterward making their way over the
bodies of those who fell, thirsting for glory, and striving who should
be first to reach the wall; not a single individual being detained by
the plunder. Thus the rashness of Marius, rendered successful by
fortune, procured him renown from his very error.

XCV. During the progress of this affair, Lucius Sylla, Marius's
quaestor, arrived in the camp with a numerous body of cavalry, which
he had been left at Rome to raise among the Latins and allies.

Of so eminent a man, since my subject brings him to my notice, I think
it proper to give a brief account of the character and manners; for I
shall in no other place allude to his affairs;[281] and Lucius
Sisenna,[282] who has treated that subject the most ably and accurately
of all writers, seems to me to have spoken with too little freedom.
Sylla, then, was of patrician descent, but of a family almost sunk in
obscurity by the degeneracy of his forefathers. He was skilled, equally
and profoundly, in Greek and Roman literature. He was a man of large
mind, fond of pleasure, but fonder of glory. His leisure was spent in
luxurious gratifications, but pleasure never kept him from his duties,
except that he might have acted more for his honor with regard to his
wife[283]. He was eloquent and subtle, and lived on the easiest terms
with his friends.[284] His depth of thought in disguising his
intentions, was incredible; he was liberal of most things, but
especially of money. And though he was the most fortunate [285] of all
men before his victory in the civil war, yet his fortune was never
beyond his desert;[286] and many have expressed a doubt whether his
success or his merit were the greater. As to his subsequent acts, I
know not whether more of shame, or of regret must be felt at the
recital of them.

XCVI. When Sylla came with his cavalry into Africa, as has just been
stated, and arrived at the camp of Marius, though he had hitherto been
unskilled and undisciplined in the art of war, he became, in a short
time, the most expert of the whole army. He was besides affable to the
soldiers; he conferred favors on many at their request, and on others
of his own accord, and was reluctant to receive any in return. But he
repaid other obligations more readily than those of a pecuniary
nature; he himself demanded repayment from no one; but rather made it
his object that as many as possible should be indebted to him. He
conversed, jocosely as well as seriously, with the humblest of the
soldiers; he was their frequent companion at their works, on the
march, and on guard. Nor did he ever, as is usual with depraved
ambition, attempt to injure the character of the consul, or of any
deserving person.

His sole aim, whether in the council or the field, was to suffer none
to excel him; to most he was superior. By such conduct he soon became
a favorite both with Marius and with the army.

XCVII. Jugurtha, after he had lost the city of Capsa, and other strong
and important places, as well as a vast sum of money, dispatched
messengers to Bocchus, requesting him to bring his forces into Numidia
as soon as possible, and stating that the time for giving battle was
at hand. But finding that he hesitated, and was balancing the
inducements to peace and war, he again corrupted his confidants, as on
a previous occasion, with presents, and promised the Moor himself a
third part of Numidia, should either the Romans be driven from Africa,
or the war brought to an end without any diminution of his own
territories. Being allured by this offer, Bocchus joined Jugurtha with
a large force.

The armies of the kings being thus united, they attacked Marius, on
his march to his winter quarters, when scarcely a tenth part of the
day remained[287], expecting that the night, which was now coming on,
would be a shelter to them if they were beaten, and no impediment if
they should conquer, as they were well acquainted with the country,
while either result would be worse for the Romans in the dark. At the
very moment, accordingly, that Marius heard from various quarters[288]
of the enemy's approach, the enemy themselves were upon him, and
before the troops could either form themselves or collect the baggage,
before they could receive even a signal or an order, the Moorish and
Getulian horse, not in line, or any regular array of battle, but in
separate bodies, as chance had united them, rushed furiously on our
men; who, though all struck with a panic, yet, calling to mind what
they had done on former occasions, either seized their arms, or
protected those who were looking for theirs, while some, springing on
their horses, advanced against the enemy. But the whole conflict was
more like a rencounter with robbers than a battle; the horse and foot
of the enemy, mingled together without standards or order, wounded
some of our men, and cut down others, and surprised many in the rear
while fighting stoutly with those in front; neither valor nor arms
were a sufficient defense, the enemy being superior in numbers, and
covering the field on all sides. At last the Roman veterans, who were
necessarily well experienced in war,[289] formed themselves, wherever
the nature of the ground or chance allowed them to unite, in circular
bodies, and thus secured on every side, and regularly drawn up,
withstood the attacks of the enemy.

XCVIII. Marius, in this desperate emergency, was not more alarmed or
disheartened than on any previous occasion, but rode about with his
troop of cavalry, which he had formed of his bravest soldiers rather
than his nearest friends, in every quarter of the field, sometimes
supporting his own men when giving way, sometimes charging the enemy
where they were thickest, and doing service to his troops with his
sword, since, in the general confusion, he was unable to command with
his voice.

The day had now closed, yet the barbarians abated nothing of their
impetuosity, but, expecting that the night would be in their favor,
pressed forward, as their kings had directed them, with increased
violence. Marius, in consequence, resolved upon a measure suited to
his circumstances, and, that his men might have a place of retreat,
took possession of two hills contiguous to each other, on one of
which, too small for a camp, there was an abundant spring of water,
while the other, being mostly elevated and steep, and requiring little
fortification, was suited for his purpose as a place of encampment. He
then ordered Sylla, with a body of cavalry, to take his station for
the night on the eminence containing the spring, while he himself
collected his scattered troops by degrees, the enemy being not less
disordered[290], and led them all at a quick march[291] up the other
hill. Thus the kings, obliged by the strength of the Roman position,
were deterred from continuing the combat; yet they did not allow their
men to withdraw to a distance, but, surrounding both hills with a
large force, encamped without any regular order. Having then lighted
numerous fires, the barbarians, after their custom, spent most of the
night in merriment, exultation, and tumultuous clamor, the kings,
elated at having kept their ground, conducting themselves as
conquerors. This scene, plainly visible to the Romans, under cover of
the night and on the higher ground, afforded great encouragement to

XCIX. Marius, accordingly, deriving much confidence from the
imprudence of the enemy, ordered the strictest possible silence to be
kept, not allowing even the trumpets, as was usual, to be sounded when
the watches were changed;[292] cavalry, and legions, to sound all and
then, when day approached, and the enemy were fatigued and just
sinking to sleep, he ordered the sentinels, with the trumpeters of the
auxiliary cohorts,[293] their instruments at once, and the soldiers,
at the same time, to raise a shout, and sally forth from the camp[294]
upon the enemy. The Moors and Getulians, suddenly roused by the
strange and terrible noise, could neither flee, nor take up arms,
could neither act, nor provide for their security, so completely had
fear, like a stupor,[295] from the uproar and shouting, the absence of
support, the charge of our troops, and the tumult and alarm, seized
upon them all. The whole of them were consequently routed and put to
flight; most of their arms, and military standards, were taken; and
more were killed in this than in all former battles, their escape
being impeded by sleep and the sudden alarm.

C. Marius now continued the route, which he had commenced, toward his
winter quarters, which, for the convenience of getting provisions, he
had determined to fix in the towns on the coast. He was not, however,
rendered careless or presumptuous by his victory, but marched with his
army in form of a square[296] just as if he were in sight of the
enemy. Sylla, with his cavalry, was on the right; Aulus Manlius, with
the slingers and archers, and Ligurian cohorts, had the command on the
left; the tribunes, with the light-armed infantry, the consul had
placed in the front and rear. The deserters, whose lives were of
little value, and who were well acquainted with the country, observed
the route of the enemy. Marius himself, too, as if no other were
placed in charge, attended to every thing, went through the whole of
the troops, and praised or blamed them according to their desert. He
was always armed and on the alert, and obliged his men to imitate his
example. He fortified his camp with the same caution with which he
marched; stationing cohorts of the legions to watch the gates, and the
auxiliary cavalry in front, and others upon the rampart and lines. He
went round the posts in person, not from suspicion that his orders
would not be observed, but that the labor of the soldiers, shared
equally by their general, might be endured by them with cheerfulness.
[297] Indeed, Marius, as well at this as at other periods of the war,
kept his men to their duty rather by the dread of shame[298] than of
severity; a course which many said was adopted from desire of popularity,
but some thought it was because he took pleasure in toils to which he had
been accustomed from his youth, and in exertions which other men call
perfect miseries. The public interest, however, was served with as much
efficiency and honor as it could have been under the most rigorous

CI. At length, on the fourth day of his march, when he was not far
from the town of Cirta, his scouts suddenly made their appearance from
all quarters at once; a circumstance by which the enemy was known to
be at hand. But as they came in from different points, and all gave
the same account, the consul, doubting in what form to draw up his
army, made no alteration in it, but halted where he was, being already
prepared for every contingency. Jugurtha's expectations, in consequence,
disappointed him; for he had divided his force into four bodies, trusting
that one of them, assuredly,[299] would surprise the Romans in the rear.
Sylla, meanwhile, with whom they first came in contact, having cheered
on his men, charged the Moors, in person and with his officers,[300]
with troop after troop of cavalry, in the closest order possible; while
the rest of his force, retaining their position, protected themselves
against the darts thrown from a distance, and killed such of the enemy
as fell into their hands.

While the cavalry was thus engaged, Bocchus, with his infantry, which
his son Volux had brought up, and which, from delay on their march,
had not been present in the former battle, assailed the Romans in the
rear. Marius was at that moment occupied in front, as Jugurtha was
there with his largest force. The Numidian king, hearing of the
arrival of Bocchus, wheeled secretly about, with a few of his
followers, to the infantry,[301] and exclaimed in Latin, which he had
learned to speak at Numantia, "that our men wore struggling in vain;
for that he had just slain Marius with his own hand;" showing, at the
same time, his sword besmeared with blood, which he had, indeed,
sufficiently stained by vigorously cutting down our infantry[302].

When the soldiers heard this, they felt a shock, though rather at the
horror of such an event, than from belief in him who asserted it; the
barbarians, on the other hand, assumed fresh courage, and advanced
with greater fury on the disheartened Romans, who were just on the
point of taking to flight, when Sylla, having routed those to whom he
had been opposed, fell upon the Moors in the flank. Bocchus instantly
fled. Jugurtha, anxious to support his men, and to secure a victory so
nearly won, was surrounded by our cavalry, and all his attendants,
right and left, being slain, had to force a way alone, with great
difficulty, through the weapons of the enemy. Marius, at the same
time, having put to flight the cavalry, came up to support such of his
men as he had understood to be giving ground. At last the enemy were
defeated in every quarter. The spectacle on the open plains was then
frightful;[303] some were pursuing, others fleeing; some were being
slain, others captured; men and horses were dashed to the earth; many,
who were wounded, could neither flee nor remain at rest, attempting to
rise, and instantly falling back; and the whole field, as far as the
eye could reach, was strewed with arms and dead bodies, and the
intermediate spaces saturated with blood.

CII. At length the consul, now indisputably victor, arrived at the
town of Cirta, whither he had at first intended to go. To this place,
on the fifth day after the second defeat of the barbarians, came
messengers from Bocchus, who, in the king's name, requested of Marius
to send him two persons in whom he had full confidence, as he wished
to confer with them on matters concerning both the interest of the
Roman people and his own. Marius immediately dispatched Sylla and
Aulus Manlius; who, though they went at the king's invitation, thought
proper, notwithstanding, to address him first, in the hope of altering
his sentiments, if he were unfavorable to peace, or of strengthening
his inclination, if he were disposed to it. Sylla, therefore, to whose
superiority, not in years but in eloquence, Manlius yielded
precedence, spoke to Bocchus briefly as follows:

"It gives us great pleasure, King Bocchus, that the gods have at
length induced a man, so eminent as yourself, to prefer peace to war,
and no longer to stain your own excellent character by an alliance
with Jugurtha, the most infamous of mankind; and to relieve us, at the
same time, from the disagreeable necessity of visiting with the same
punishment your errors and his crimes. Besides, the Roman people, even
from the very infancy[304] of their state, have thought it better to
seek friends than slaves, thinking it safer to rule over willing than
forced subjects. But to you no friendship can be more suitable than
ours; for, in the first place, we are at a distance from you, on which
account there will be the less chance of misunderstanding between us,
while our good feeling for you will be as strong as if we were near;
and, secondly, because, though we have subjects in abundance, yet
neither we, nor any other nation, can ever have a sufficiency of
friends. Would that such had been your inclination from the first; for
then you would assuredly, before this time, have received from the
Roman people more benefits than you have now suffered evils. But since
Fortune has the chief control in human affairs, and it has pleased her
that you should experience our force as well as our favor, now, when,
she gives you this fair opportunity, embrace it without delay, and
complete the course which you have begun. You have many and excellent
means of atoning, with great ease, for past errors by future services.
Impress this, however, deeply on your mind, that the Roman people are
never outdone in acts of kindness; of their power in war you have
already sufficient knowledge."

To this address Bocchus made a temperate and courteous reply, offering
a few observations, at the same time, in extenuation of his error; and
saying "that he had taken arms, not with any hostile feeling, but to
defend his own dominions, as part of Numidia, out of which he had
forcibly driven Jugurtha,[305] was his by right of conquest, and he
could not allow it to be laid waste by Marius; that when he formerly
sent embassadors to the Romans, he was refused their friendship; but
that he would say nothing more of the past, and would, if Marius gave
him permission, send another embassy to the senate." But no sooner was
this permission granted, than the purpose of the barbarian was altered
by some of his friends, whom Jugurtha, hearing of the mission of Sylla
and Manlius, and fearful of what was intended by it, had corrupted
with bribes.

CIII. Marius, in the mean time, having settled his army in winter
quarters, set out, with the light-armed cohorts and part of the
cavalry, into a desert part of the country, to besiege a fortress of
Jugurtha's, in which he had placed a garrison consisting wholly of
Roman deserters. And now again Bocchus, either from reflecting on what
he had suffered in the two engagements, or from being admonished by
such of his friends as Jugurtha had not corrupted, selected, out of
the whole number of his adherents, five persons of approved integrity
and eminent abilities, whom he directed to go, in the first place, to
Marius, and afterward to proceed, if Marius gave his consent, as
embassadors to Rome, granting them full powers to treat concerning his
affairs, and to conclude the war upon any terms whatsoever. These five
immediately set out for the Roman winter-quarters, but being beset and
spoiled by Getulian robbers on the way, fled, in alarm and ill
plight,[306] to Sylla, whom the consul, when he went on his expedition,
had left as pro-praetor with the army. Sylla received them, not, as they
had deserved, like faithless enemies, but with the greatest ceremony and
munificence; from which the barbarians concluded that what was said of
Roman avarice was false, and that Sylla, from his generosity, must be
their friend. For interested bounty,[307] in those days, was still
unknown to many; by whom every man who was liberal was also thought
benevolent, and all presents were considered to proceed from kindness.
They therefore disclosed to the quaestor their commission from Bocchus,
and asked him to be their patron and adviser; extolling, at the same
time, the power, integrity, and grandeur of their monarch, and adding
whatever they thought likely to promote their objects, or to procure
the favor of Sylla. Sylla promised them all that they requested; and,
being instructed how to address Marius and the senate, they tarried in
the camp about forty days.[308]

CIV. When Marius, having failed in the object[309] of his expedition,
returned to Cirta, and was informed of the arrival of the embassadors,
he desired both them and Sylla to come to him, together with Lucius
Bellienus, the praetor from Utica, and all that were of senatorial rank
in any part of the country, with whom he discussed the instructions of
Bocchus to his embassadors; to whom permission to proceed to Rome was
granted by the consul. In the mean time a truce was asked, a request
to which assent was readily expressed by Sylla and the majority; the
few, who advocated harsher measures, were men inexperienced in human
affairs, which, unstable and fluctuating, are always verging to
opposite extremes.[310]

The Moors having obtained all that they desired, three of them started
for Rome with Oneius Octavius Rufus, who, as quaestor, had brought pay
for the army to Africa; the other two returned to Bocchus, who heard
from them, with great pleasure, their account both of other
particulars, and especially of the courtesy and attention of Sylla.

To his three embassadors that went to Rome, when, after a deprecatory
acknowledgment that their king had been in error, and had been led
astray by the treachery of Jugurtha, they solicited for him friendship
and alliance, the following answer was given: "The senate and people
of Rome are wont to be mindful of both services and injuries; they
pardon Bocchus, since he repents of his fault, and will grant him
their alliance and friendship when he shall have deserved them."

CV. When this reply was communicated to Bocchus, he requested Marius,
by letter, to send Sylla to him, that, at his discretion,[311]
measures might be adopted for their common interest. Sylla was
accordingly dispatched, attended with a guard of cavalry, infantry,
and Balearic slingers, besides some archers and a Pelignian cohort,
who, for the sake of expedition, were furnished with light arms,
which, however, protected them, as efficiently as any others, against
the light darts of the enemy. As he was on his march, on the fifth day
after he set out, Volux, the son of Bocchus, suddenly appeared on the
open plain with a body of cavalry, which amounted in reality to not
more than a thousand, but which, as they approached in confusion and
disorder, presented to Sylla and the rest the appearance of a greater
number, and excited apprehensions of hostility. Every one, therefore,
prepared himself for action, trying and presenting[312] his arms and
weapons; some fear was felt among them, but greater hope, as they were
now conquerors, and were only meeting those whom they had often
overcome. After a while, however, a party of horse sent forward to
reconnoiter, reported, as was the case, that nothing but peace was

CVI. Volux, coming forward, addressed himself to Sylla, saying that he
was sent by Bocchus his father to meet and escort him. The two parties
accordingly formed a junction, and prosecuted their journey, on that
day and the following, without any alarm. But when they had pitched
their camp, and evening had set in, Volux came running, with looks of
perplexity, to Sylla, and said that he had learned from his scouts
that Jugurtha was at hand, entreating and urging him, at the same
time, to escape with him privately in the night. Sylla boldly replied,
"that he had no fear of Jugurtha, an enemy so often defeated; that he
had the utmost confidence in the valor of his troops; and that, even
if certain destruction were at hand, he would rather keep his ground,
than save, by deserting his followers, a life at best uncertain, and
perhaps soon to be lost by disease." Being pressed, however, by Volux,
to set forward in the night, he approved of the suggestion, and
immediately ordered his men to dispatch their supper,[313] to light as
many fires as possible in the camp, and to set out in silence at the
first watch.

When they were all fatigued with their march during the night, and
Sylla was preparing, at sunrise, to pitch his camp, the Moorish
cavalry announced that Jugurtha was encamped about two miles in
advance. At this report, great dismay fell upon our men; for they
believed themselves betrayed by Volux, and led into an ambuscade. Some
exclaimed that they ought to take vengeance on him at once, and not
suffer such perfidy to remain unpunished.

CVII. But Sylla, though he had similar thoughts, protected the Moor
from violence; exhorting his soldiers to keep up their spirits; and
saying, "that a handful of brave men had often fought successfully
against a multitude; that the less anxious they were to save their
lives in battle, the greater would be their security; and that no man,
who had arms in his hands, ought to trust for safety to his unarmed
heels, or to turn to the enemy, in however great danger, the
defenseless and blind parts of his body".[314] Having then called
almighty Jupiter to witness the guilt and perfidy of Bocchus, he
ordered Volux, as being an instrument of his father's hostility,[315]
to quit the camp.

Volux, with tears in his eyes, entreated him to entertain no such
suspicions; declaring "that nothing in the affair had been caused by
treachery on his part, but all by the subtlety of Jugurtha, to whom
his line of march had become known through his scouts. But as Jugurtha
had no great force with him, and as his hopes and resource were
dependent on his father Bocchus, he assuredly would not attempt any
open violence, when the son of Bocchus would himself be a witness of
it. He thought it best for Sylla, therefore, to march boldly through
the middle of his camp, and that as for himself, he would either send
forward his Moors, or leave them where they were, and accompany Sylla
alone." This course, under such circumstances, was adopted; they set
forward without delay, and, as they came upon Jugurtha unexpectedly,
while he was in doubt and hesitation how to act, they passed without
molestation. In a few days afterward, they arrived at the place to
which their march was directed.

CVIII. There was, at this time, in constant and familiar intercourse
with Bocchus, a Numidian named Aspar, who had been sent to him by
Jugurtha, when he heard of Sylla's intended interview, in the
character of embassador, but secretly to be a spy on the Mauretanian
king's proceedings. There was also with him a certain Dabar, son of
Massugrada, one of the family of Masinissa,[316] but of inferior birth
on the maternal side, as his father was the son of a concubine. Dabar,
for his many intellectual endowments, was liked and esteemed by
Bocchus, who, having found him faithful[317] on many former occasions,
sent him forthwith to Sylla, to say that "he was ready to do whatever
the Romans desired; that Sylla himself should appoint the place, day,
and hour,[318] for a conference; that he kept all points, which he had
settled with him before, inviolate;[319] and that he was not to fear
the presence of Jugurtha's embassador as any restraint[320] on the
discussion of their common interests, since, without admitting him, he
could have no security against Jugurtha's treachery". I find, however,
that it was rather from African duplicity[321] than from the motives
which he professed, that Bocchus thus allured both the Romans and
Jugurtha with the hopes of peace; that he frequently debated with
himself whether he should deliver Jugurtha to the Romans, or Sylla to
Jugurtha; and that his inclination swayed him against us, but his
fears in our favor.

CIX. Sylla replied, "that he should speak on but few particulars
before Aspar, and discuss others at a private meeting, or in the
presence of only a few;" dictating, at the same time, what answer
should be returned by Bocchus.[322] Afterward, when they met, as
Bocchus had desired, Sylla stated, "that he had come, by order of the
consul, to inquire whether he would resolve on peace or on war."
Bocchus, as he had been previously instructed by Sylla, requested him
to come again at the end of ten days, since he had as yet formed no
determination, but would at that time give a decisive answer. Both
then retired to their respective camps.[323] But when the night was
far advanced, Sylla was secretly sent for by Bocchus. At their
interview, none but confidential interpreters were admitted on either
side, together with Dabar, the messenger between them, a man of honor,
and held in esteem by both parties. The king at once commenced thus:

CX. "I never expected that I, the greatest monarch in this part of the
world, and the richest of all whom I know, should ever owe a favor to
a private man. Indeed, Sylla, before I knew you, I gave assistance to
many who solicited me, and to others without solicitation, and stood
in need of no man's assistance.

But at this loss of independence, at which others are wont to repine,
I am rather inclined to rejoice. It will be a pleasure to me[324] to
have once needed your friendship, than which I hold nothing dearer to
my heart. Of the sincerity of this assertion you may at once make
trial, take my arms, my soldiers, my money, or whatever you please,
and use it as your own. But do not suppose, as long as you live, that
your kindness to me has been fully requited; my sense of it will
always remain undiminished, and you shall, with my knowledge, wish for
nothing in vain. For, as I am of opinion, it is less dishonorable to a
prince to be conquered in battle than to be surpassed in generosity.

With respect to your republic, whose interests you are sent to guard,
hear briefly what I have to say. I have neither made war upon the
Roman people, nor desired that it should be made; I have merely
defended my territories with arms against an armed force. But from
hostilities, since such is your pleasure, I now desist. Prosecute the
war with Jugurtha as you think proper. The river Malucha, which was
the boundary between Miscipsa and me, I shall neither pass myself, nor
suffer Jugurtha to come within it. And if you shall ask any thing
besides, worthy of me and of yourself, you shall not depart with a

CXI. To this speech Sylla replied, as far as concerned himself,
briefly and modestly; but spoke, with regard to the peace and their
common concerns, much more at length. He signified to the king "that
the senate and people of Rome, as they had the superiority in the
field, would think themselves little obliged by what he promised; that
he must do something which would seem more for their interest than his
own; and that for this there was now a fair opportunity, since he had
Jugurtha in his power, for, if he delivered him to the Romans, they
would feel greatly indebted to him, and their friendship and alliance,
as well as that part of Numidia which he claimed,[325] would readily
be granted him." Bocchus at first refused to listen to the proposal,
saying that affinity, the ties of blood,[326] and a solemn league,
connected him with Jugurtha; and that he feared, if he acted
insincerely, he might alienate the affections of his subjects, by whom
Jugurtha was beloved, and the Romans disliked. But at last, after
being frequently importuned, his resolution gave way,[327] and he
engaged to do every thing in accordance with Sylla's wishes. They then
concerted measures for conducting a pretended treaty of peace, of
which Jugurtha, weary of war, was extremely desirous. Having settled
their plans, they separated.

CXII. On the next day Bocchus sent for Aspar, Jugurtha's envoy, and
acquainted him that he had ascertained from Sylla, through Dabar, that
the war might be concluded on certain conditions; and that he should
therefore make inquiry as to the sentiments of his king. Aspar
proceeded with joy to Jugurtha's camp, and having received full
instructions from him, returned in haste to Bocchus at the end of
eight days, with intelligence "that Jugurtha was eager to do whatever
might be required, but that he put little confidence in Marius, as
treaties of peace, concluded with Roman generals, had often before
proved of no effect; that if Bocchus, however, wished to consult the
interests of both,[328] and to have an established peace, he should
endeavor to bring all parties together to a conference, as if to
settle the conditions, and then deliver Sylla into his hands, for when
he had such a man in his power, a treaty would at once be concluded by
order of the senate and people of Rome; as a man of high rank, who had
fallen into the hands of the enemy, not from want of spirit, but from
zeal for the public interest, would not be left in captivity".

CXIII. The Moor, after long meditation on these suggestions, at length
expressed his assent to them, but whether in pretense or sincerity I
have not been able to discover. But the inclinations of kings, as they
are violent, are often fickle, and at variance with themselves. At
last, after a time and place were fixed for coming to a conference
about the treaty, Bocchus addressed himself at one time to Sylla and
at another to the envoy of Jugurtha, treating them with equal
affability, and making the same professions to both. Both were in
consequence equally delighted, and animated with the fairest
expectations. But on the night preceding the day appointed for the
conference, the Moor, after first assembling his friends, and then,
on a change of mind, dismissing them, is reported to have had many
anxious struggles with himself, disturbed alike in his thoughts and
his gestures, which, even when he was silent, betrayed the secret
agitation of his mind. At last, however, he ordered that Sylla should
be sent for, and, according to his desire, laid an ambush for

As soon as it was day, and intelligence was brought that Jugurtha was
at hand, Bocchus, as if to meet him and do him honor, went forth,
attended by a few friends, and our quaestor, as far as a little hill,
which was full in the view of the men who were placed in ambush. To
the same spot came Jugurtha with most of his adherents, unarmed,
according to agreement; when immediately, on a signal being given, he
was assailed on all sides by those who were lying in wait. The others
were cut to pieces, and Jugurtha himself was delivered bound to Sylla,
and by him conducted to Marius.

CXIV. At this period war was carried on unsuccessfully by our generals
Quintus Caepio and Marcus Manlius, against the Gauls; with the terror
of which all Italy was thrown into consternation. Both the Romans of
that day, indeed, and their descendants, down to our own times,
maintained the opinion that all other nations must yield to their
valor, but that they contended with the Gauls, not for glory, but
merely in self-defense. But after the war in Numidia was ended, and
it was announced that Jugurtha was coming in chains to Rome, Marius,
though absent from the city, was created consul, and Gaul decreed to
him as his province. On the first of January he triumphed as consul,
with great glory. At that time[329] the hopes and dependence of the
state were placed on him.


[1] I. Intellectual power--_Virtute_. See the remarks on
_virtus_, at the commencement of the Conspiracy of Catiline. A little
below, I have rendered _via virtutis_, "the path of true merit."

[2] Worthy of honor--_Clarus_. "A person may be called _clarus_
either on account of his great actions and merits; or on account of
some honor which he has obtained, as the consuls were called
_clarissimi viri_; or on account of great expectations which are
formed from him. But since the worth of him who is _clarus_ is known
by all, it appears that the mind is here called _clarus_ because its
nature is such that pre-eminence is generally attributed to it, and
the attention of all directed toward it." _Dietsch_.

[3] Abandons itself--_Pessum datus est_. Is altogether sunk and

[4] Impute their delinquency to circumstances, etc.--_Suam quisque
culpam ad negotia transferunt_. Men excuse their indolence and
inactivity, by saying that the weakness of their faculties, or the
circumstances in which they are placed, render them unable to
accomplish any thing of importance. But, says Seneca, _Satis natura,
homini dedit roboris, si illo utamur;--nolle in causa, non posse
praetenditur_. "Nature has given men sufficient powers, if they will
but use them; but they pretend that they can not when the truth is
that they will not." "_Negotia_ is a common word with Sallust, for
which other writers would use _res, facta_." Gerlach. "Cajus rei nos
ipsi sumus auctores, ejus culpam rebus externis attribuimus."
_Muller_. "Auctores" is the same as the [Greek: _aitioi_].

[5] Useless--_Aliena_. Unsuitable, not to the purpose, not
contributing to the improvement of life.

[6] Instead of being mortal--_Pro mortalibus_. There are two senses
in which these words may be taken: _as far as mortals can_, and
_instead of being mortals_. Kritz and Dietsch say that the latter is
undoubtedly the true sense. Other commentators are either silent or
say little to the purpose. As for the translators, they have studied
only how to get over the passage delicately. The latter sense is
perhaps favored by what is said in c. 2, that "the illustrious
achievements of the mind are, like the mind itself, immortal."

[7] II. They all rise and fall, etc.--_Omnia orta occidunt, et
aucta senescunt_. This is true of things in general, but is here
spoken only of the qualities of the body, as De Brosses clearly

[8] Has power over all things--_Habet cuncta_. "All things are in
its power." Dietsch. "_Sub ditione tenet_. So Jupiter, Ov. Met.
i. 197:
Quum mihi qui fulmen, qui vos habeoque regoque."
_Burnouf_. So Aristippus said, _Habeo Laidem, non habeor a Laide_,
[Greek: _echo ouk echomai_]. Cic. Epist. ad Fam. ix. 26.

[9] III. Civil and military offices--_Magistratus et imperia_.
"Illo vocabule civilia, hoc militaria munera, significantur."

[10] To rule our country or subjects, etc.--_Nam vi quidem regere
patriam aut parentes_, etc. Cortius, Gerlach, Kritz, Dietsch, and
Muller are unanimous in understanding _parentes_ as the participle of
the verb _pareo_. That this is the sense, says Gerlach, is
sufficiently proved by the conjunction _aut_; for if Sallust had meant
_parents_, he would have used _ut_; and in this opinion Allen
coincides. Doubtless, also, this sense of the word suits extremely
well with the rest of the sentence, in which changes in government are
mentioned. But Burnouf, with Crispinus, prefers to follow Aldus
Manutius, who took the word in the other signification, supposing that
Sallust borrowed the sentiment from Plato, who says in his Epistle _ad
Dionis Propinquos_: [Greek: _Patera de hae maetera ouch osion
haegoumai prosbiazesthai, mae noso paraphrosunaes hechomenous. Bian de
patridi politeias metabolaes aeae prospherein, otan aneu phugon, kai
sphagaes andron, mae dunaton hae ginesthae taen ariostaen_.] And he
makes a similar observation in his Crito: [Greek: _Pantachou
poiaetaen, o an keleuoi hae polis te, kai hae patris.--Biazesthai de
ouch osion oute maetera, oute patera poly de touton eti aetton taen
patrida_.] On which sentiments Cicero, ad Fam. i. 9, thus comments:
_Id enim jubet idem ille Plato, quem ego auctorem vehementer sequor;
tantum contendere in republica quantum probare tuis civibus possis:
vim neque parenti, neque patriae afferre oportere_. There is also
another passage in Cicero, Cat. i. 3, which seems to favor this sense
of the word: _Si te parentes timerent atque odissent tui, neque eos
ulla ratione placare posses, ut opinor, ab eorum oculis aliquo
concederes; nunc te patria, quae communis est omnium nostrum parens
odit ac metuit_, etc. Of the first passage cited from Plato, indeed,
Sallust's words may seem to be almost a translation. Yet, as the
majority of commentators have followed Cortius, I have also followed
him. Sallust has the word in this sense in Jug., c. 102; _Parentes
abunde habemus_. So Vell. Pat. ii. 108: _Principatis constans ex
voluntate parentium_.

[11] Lead to--_Portendant_. "_Portendere_ in a _pregnant sense_,
meaning not merely to indicate, but _quasi secum ferre_, to carry
along with them." _Kritzius_.

[12] IV, Presumptuously--_Per insolentiam_. The same as
_insolenter_, though some refer it, not to Sallust, but to _quis
existumet,_ in the sense of _strangely,_ i. e. _foolishly or
ignorantly._ I follow Cortius's interpretation.

[13] At what periods I obtained office, what sort of men, etc.
--_Quibus ego temporibus maqistratus adeptus sum, et quales viri,_ etc.
--"Sallust obtained the quaestorship a few years after the conspiracy
of Catiline, about the time when the state was agitated by the
disorders of Clodius and his party. He was tribune of the people,
A.U.C. 701, the year in which Clodius was killed by Milo. He was
praetor in 708, when Caesar had made himself ruler. In the expression
_quales viri,_ etc., he alludes chiefly to Cato, who, when he stood
for the praetorship, was unsuccessful." _Burnouf._ Kritzius defends
_adeptus sum._

[14] What description of persons have subsequently entered the
senate--"Caesar chose the worthy and unworthy, as suited his own
purposes, to be members of the senate." _Burnouf._

[15] Quintus Maximus--Quintus Fabius Maximus, of whom Ennius says,
Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem;
Non ponebat enim rumores ante salutem.

[16] Publius Scipio--Scipio Africanus the Elder, the conqueror of
Hannibal. See c. 5.

[17] To the pursuit of honor--_Ad vertutem. Virtus_ in the same
sense as in _virtutis via,_ c. 1.

[18] The wax--_Ceram illam._ The images or busts of their ancestors,
which the nobility kept in the halls of their houses, were made of wax.
See Plin. H. N. xxxv., 2.

[19] Men of humble birth--_Homines novi_. See Cat., c. 23.

[20] V. Threw every thing, religious and civil, into confusion--_Divina
et humana cuncta permiscuit_. "All things, both divine and human, were
so changed, that their previous condition was entirely subverted."

[21] Civil dissensions--_Studiis civilibus_. This is the sense in
which most commentators take _studia_; and if this be right, the whole
phrase must be understood as I have rendered it. So Cortius; "Ut non
prius finirentur [_studia civilia_] nisi bello et vastitate Italiae."
Sallust has _studia partium_ Jug. c. 42; and Gerlach quotes from Cic.
pro Marcell. c. 10: "_Non enim consiliis solis et studiis, sed armis
etiam et castris dissidebamus_".

[22] More than any other enemy--_Maxime_.

[23] Since the Roman name became great--_Post magnitudinem nominis
Romani_. "I know not why interpreters should find any difficulty in
this passage. I understand it to signify simply _since_ the Romans
became so great as they were in the time of Hannibal; for, _before_
that period they had suffered even heavier calamities, especially
from the Gauls." _Cortius_.

[24] Syphax--"He was King of the Masaesyli in Numidia; was at first
an enemy to the Carthaginians (Liv. xxiv. 48), and afterward their
friend (Liv. xxviii. 17). He then changed sides again, and made
a treaty with Scipio; but having at length been offered the hand of
Sophonisba, the daughter of Asdrubal, in marriage, he accepted it,
and returned into alliance with the Carthaginians. Being subsequently
taken prisoner by Masinissa and Laelius, the lieutenant of Scipio,
(Liv. xxx. 2) he was carried into Italy, and died at Tibur (Liv. xxx.
45)." _Burnouf_.

[25] His reign--_Imperii_. Cortius thinks that the grant of the
Romans ceased with the life of Masinissa, and that his son, Micipsa,
reigned only over that part of Numidia which originally belonged to
his father. But in this opinion succeeding commentators have generally
supposed him to be mistaken.

[26] VII. During the Numantine war--_Bella Numantino_. Numantia,
which stood near the source of the Durius or _Douro_ in Spain, was
so strong in its situation and fortifications, that it with stood the
Romans for fourteen years. See Florus, ii. 17,18; Vell. Pat. ii. 4.

[27] VIII. Rather by attention to them as a body, than by practicing
on individuals--_Publice quam privatim._ "Universae potius civitatis,
quam privatorum gratiam quaerendo." _Burnouf_. The words can only be
rendered periphrastically.

[28] IX. In a short time--_Statim_. If what is said in c. 11 be
correct, that Jugurtha was adopted within three years of Micipsa's
death, his adoption did not take place till twelve years after the
taking of Numantia, which surrendered in 619, and Micipsa died in 634.
_Statim_ is therefore used with great latitude, unless we suppose
Sallust to mean that Micipsa signified to Jugurtha his intention to
adopt him immediately on his return from Numantia, and that the formal
ceremony of the adoption was delayed for some years.

[29] X. I received you--into my kingdom--_In meuum regnum accepi_.
By these words it is only signified that Micipsa received Jugurtha
into his palace so as to bring him up with his own children. The
critics who suppose that there is any allusion to the adoption, or
a pretended intention of it on the part of Micipsa, are evidently in
the wrong.

[30] Pre-eminent merit--_Gloria_. Our English word _glory_ is too

[31] By the fidelity which you owe to my kingdom--_Per regni
fidem_. This seems to be the best of all the explanations that have
been offered of these words. "Per fidem quam tu rex (futurus) mihi
regi praestare debes." _Bournouf_. "Per fidem quae decet in regno, _i.
e._ regem." _Dietsch_. "Per eam fidem, qua esse decet eum qui regnum
obtinet. _Kritzius_.

[32] It is not armies, or treasures, etc.--[Greek: _Ou tode to
chrusoun skaeptron to taen basileian diasozon estin, alla oi polloi
philoi skaeptron basileioin ulaethestaton kai asphalestaton_.] "It is
not this golden scepter that can preserve a kingdom; but numerous
friends are to princes their trust and safest scepter." Xen. Cyrop.,
viii. 7,14.

[33] And who can be a greater friend than one brother to another?
--_Quis autem amicior, quam frater fratri?_ "[Greek: _Nomiz
adelphous tous alaethinous philous_] Menander." _Wasse_.

[34] That I have not adopted a better son, &c--_Ne ego meliores
liberos sumsissevidear quam genuisse_. As there is no allusion to
Micipsa's adoption of any other son than Jugurtha, Sallust's
expression _liberos sumsisse_ can hardly be defended. It is necessary
to give _son_ in the singular, in the translation.

[35] XI. Had spoken insincerely--_Ficta locutum_. Jugurtha saw
that Micipsa pretended more love for him than he really felt. Compare
c. 6,7.

[36] Which is regarded by the Numidians as the seat of honor--_Quad
apud Numidas honori ducitur_. "I incline," says Sir Henry Steuart,
"to consider those manuscripts as the most correct, in which the word
_et_ is placed immediately before _apud, Quod et apud Numidas honori
ducitur_." Sir Henry might have learned, had he consulted the
commentators, that "_ the word_ et _is placed immediately before_
apud" in no manuscript; that Lipsius was the first who proposed its
insertion; and that Crispinus, the only editor who has received it
into his text, is ridiculed by Wasse for his folly. "Lipsius," says
Cortius, "cum sciret apud Romanos etiam medium locum honoratiorem
fuisse, corrigit: _quod et apud Numidas honori ducitur_. Sed quis
talia ab historico exegerit? Si de Numidis narrat, non facile aliquis
intulerit, aliter propterea fuisse apud Romanos."

[37] To the other seat--_In alteram partem_. We must suppose that
the three seats were placed ready for the three princes; that Adherbal
sat down first, in one of the outside seats; the one, namely, that
would be on the right hand of a spectator facing them; and that
Hiempsal immediately took the middle seat, on Adherbal's right hand,
so as to force Jugurtha to take the other outside one. Adherbal had
then to remove Hiempsal _in alteram partem_, that is, to induce him to
take the seat corresponding to his own, on the other side of the
middle one.

[38] Chief lictor--_Proximus lictor_. "The _proximus lictor_ was
he who, when the lictors walked before the prince or magistrate in a
regular line, one behind the other, was last, or next to the person on
whom they attended." _Cortius_. He would thus be ready to receive the
great man's commands, and be in immediate communication with him. We
must suppose either that Sallust merely speaks in conformity with the
practice of the Romans, or, what is more probable, that the Roman
custom of being preceded by lictors had been adopted in Numidia.

[39] Hut of a maid-servant--_Tugurio muliers ancillae_ Rose renders
_tugurio_ "a mean apartment," and other translators have given
something similar, as if they thought that the servant must have had a
room in the house. But she, and other Numidian servants, may have had
huts apart from the dwelling-house. _Tugurium_ undoubtedly signifies
_a hut_ in general.

[40] XIII. Into our province--_In Provinciam_. "The word _province_,
in this place, signifies that part of Africa which, after the
destruction of Carthage, fell to the Romans by the right of conquest,
in opposition to the kingdom of Micipsa." _Wasse_.

[41] Having thus accomplished his purposes--_Patratis consiliis_.
After _consiliis_, in all the manuscripts, occur the words _postquam
omnis Numidia potiebatur_, which were struck out by Cortius, as being
_turpissima glossa_. The recent editors, Gerlach, Kritz, Dietsch, and
Burnouf, have restored them.

[42] His intimate friends--_Hospitibus_. Persons probably with whom
he had been intimate at Numantia, or who had since visited him in

[43] The senate--gave audience to both parties--_senatus utrisque
datur_. "The embassadors of Jugurtha, and Adberbal in person, are
admitted into the senate-house to plead their cause." _Burnouf_.

[44] By deputation--_Procuratione_. He was to consider himself only
the _procurator_, manager, or deputed governor, of the kingdom.

[45] Kindred--and relatives--_Cognatorum--affinium_. _Cognatus_ is
a blood relation; _affinis_ is properly a relative by marriage.

[46] Hereditary--_Ab stirpe_.

[47] Next to this--_Secundum ea_. "Priscianus, lib. xiii., de
praepositione agens, _Secundum_, inquit, _quando pro [Greek: _kata ei
meta_] loco praepositionis est_. Sallustius in Jugurthino: _secundum
ea, uti deditis uterer_.--Videlicet hoc dicit, _Secundum_ in Sallustii
exemple, _post_ vel _proxime_ significare." _Rivius_.

[48] As I had no power to form the character of Jugurtha--_Neque mihi
in manu fuit, qualis Jugurtha foret_. "_In manu fuit_ is simply
_in potestate fuit_--Ter. Hec., iv. 4, 44: _Uxor quid faciat in manu
non est mea_." _Cortius_.

[49] Dishonored, afflicted--_Deformatus aerumnis.

[50] Above all others--_Potissimum_.

[51] One of us has been murdered, and I, the other, have scarcely
escaped the hand of lawlessness--_Alter eorum necatus, alterius ipse
ego manus impias vix effugi_. This is the general reading, but it can
not be right. Adherbal speaks of himself and his brother as two
persons, and of Jugurtha as a third, and says that _of those two_ the
one (_alter_) has been killed; he would then naturally proceed to
speak of himself as the other; _i. e._ he would use the word _alter_
concerning himself, not apply it to Jugurtha. Allen, therefore,
proposes to read _alter necatus, alter manus impias vix effugi_. This
mode of correction strikes out too much; but there is no doubt that
the second _alter_ should be in the nominative case.

[52] From being friendly, has become hostile to me--_Ex necessariis
adversa facta sunt._ "Si omnia mihi incolumia manerent, neque quidquam
rerum mearum (s. praesidiorum) amisissem, neque Jugurtha aliique mihi
ex necessariis inimici facti essent."_Kritzius_.

[53] But would that I could see him, etc.--_Quod utinam illum--videam_.
The _quod_, in _quod utinam_, is the same as that in _quod si_, which
we commonly translate, _but if_. _Quod_, in such expressions, serves
as a particle of connection, between what precedes and what follows it;
the Latins being fond of connection by means of relatives. See Zumpt's
Lat. Grammar on this point, Sect. 63, 82, Kenrick's translation.
Kritzius writes _quodutinam_, _quodsi_, _quodnisi_, etc., as one word.
Cortius injudiciously interprets _quod_ in this passage as having
_facientem_ understood with it.

[54] My life or death depends on the aid of others--_Cujus vitae
necisque ex opibus alienis pendet_. On the aid of the Romans. Unless
they protected him, he expected to meet with the same fate as Hiempsal
at the hands of Jugurtha.

[55] Without disgrace--_Sine dedecore_. That is, if he did not succeed
in getting revenge on Jugurtha.

[56] By your regard for yourselves, etc.--I have here departed from
the text of Cortius, who reads _per, vos, liberos atque parentes_,
i. e. _vos (obsecro) per liberos_, etc., as most critics would explain
it, though Cortius himself prefers taking _vos_ as the nominative case,
and joining it with _subvenite_, which follows. Most other editions
have _per vos, per liberos, atque parentes vestros_, to which I have
adhered. _Per vos_, though an adjuration not used in modern times,
is found in other passages of the Roman writers. Thus Liv. xxix. 18:
_Per vos, fidemque vestram_. Cic. pro Planc., c. 42; _Per vos, per
fortunas vestras_.

[57] To sink into ruin--_Tabescere_. "Paullatim interire."
_Cortius_. Lucret. ii. 1172: _Omnia paullatim tabescere el ire Ad
capulum_. "This speech," says Gerlach, "though of less weighty
argument than the other speeches of Sallust, is composed with great
art. Neither the speaker nor his cause was adapted for the highest
flights of eloquence; but Sallust has shrouded Adherbal's weakness in
excellent language. That there is a constant recurrence to the same
topics, is no ground for blame; indeed, such recurrence could hardly
be avoided, for it is natural to all speeches in which the orator
earnestly labors to make his hearers adopt his own feelings and views.
The Romans were again and again to be supplicated, and again and again
to be reminded of the character and services of Masinissa, that they
might be induced, if not by the love of justice, yet by the dread of
censure, to relieve the distresses of his grandson.... He omits no
argument or representation that could move the pity of the Romans; and
if his abject prostration of mind appears more suitable to a woman
than a man, it is to be remembered that it is purposely introduced by
Sallust to exhibit the weakness of his character."

[58] XV. Aemilius Scaurus--He was _princeps senatus_(see c. 25),
and seems to be pretty faithfully characterized by Sallust as a man of
eminent abilities, but too avaricious to be strictly honest. Cicero,
who alludes to him in many passages with commendation (Off., i. 20,
30; Brut. 29; Pro Muraen., 7; Pro Fonteio, 7), mentions an anecdote
respecting him (De Orat. ii. 70), which shows that he had a general
character for covetousness. See Pliny, H. N, xxxvi. 14. Valerius
Maximus (iii. 7, 8) tells another anecdote of him, which shows that he
must have been held in much esteem, for whatever qualities, by the
public. Being accused before the people of having taken a bribe from
Mithridates, he made a few remarks on his own general conduct; and
added, "Varius of Sucro says that Marcus Scaurus, being bribed with
the king's money, has betrayed the interests of the Roman people.
Marcus Scaurus denies that he is guilty of what is laid to his charge.
Which of the two do you believe?" The people dismissed the accusation;
but the words of Scaurus may be regarded as those of a man rather
seeking to convey a notion of his innocence, than capable of proving
it. The circumstance which Cicero relates is this: Scaurus had
incurred some obloquy for having, as it was said, taken possession of
the property of a certain rich man, named Phyrgio Pompeius, without
being entitled to it by any will; and being engaged as an advocate in
some cause, Mommius, who was pleading on the opposite side, seeing a
funeral pass by at the time, said, "Scaurus, yonder is a dead man, on
his way to the grave; if you can but get possession of his property!"
I mention these matters, because it has been thought that Sallust,
from some ill-feeling, represents Scaurus as more avaricious than he
really was.

[59] His ruling passion--_Consueta libidine_. Namely, avarice.

[60] XVI. Lucius Opimius--His contention with the party of C. Gracchus
may be seen in any history of Rome. For receiving bribes from Jugurtha
he was publicly accused, and being condemned, ended his life, which
was protracted to old age, in exile and neglect. Cic. Brut. 33;
Planc. 28.

[61] XVII. Only two divisions, Asia and Europe--Thus Varro, de L.
L. iv.13, ed. Bip. "As all nature is divided into heaven and earth, so
the heaven is divided into regions, and the earth into Asia and
Europe." See Bronkh. ad Tibull., iv. 1, 176.

[62] The strait connecting our sea with the ocean--_Fretum nostri
maris et oceani_. That is, the _Fretum Gaditanum_, or Strait of
Gibraltar. By _our see_, he means the Mediterranean. See Pomp. Mela,
i. 1.

[63] A vast sloping tract--Catabathmos--_Declivem latitudinem,
quem locum Catabathmon incolae appellant. Catabathmus--vallis repente
convexa_, Plin. H. N. v 5. _Catabathmus, vallis devexa in Aegyptum_,
Pomp. Mela, i. 8. I have translated _declivem latitudinem_ in
conformity with these passages. _Catabathmus_, a Greek word, means _a
descent_. There were two, the _major_ and _minor_; Sallust speaks of
the _major_.

[64] Most of them die by the gradual decay of age--_Plerosque
senectus dissolvit_ "A happy expression; since the effect of old age
on the bodily frame is not to break it in pieces suddenly, but to
dissolve it, as it were, gradually and imperceptibly." _Burnouf_.

[65] King Hiempsal--"This is not the prince that was murdered by
Jugurtha, but the king who succeeded him; he was grandson of
Masinissa, son of Gulussa, and father of Juba. After Juba was killed
at Thapsus, Caesar reduced Numidia to the condition of a province, and
appointed Sallust over it, who had thus opportunities of gaining a
knowledge of the country, and of consulting the books written in the
language of it." _Burnouf_.

[66] XVIII. Getulians and Lybians--_Gaetuli et Libyes_, "See
Pompon. Mel. i. 4; Plin. H. N. v. 4, 6, 8, v. 2, xxi. 13; Herod, iv.
159, 168." _Gerlach_. The name _Gaetuli_, is, however, unknown to
Herodotus. They lay to the south of Numidia and Mauretania. See
Strabo, xvii. 3. _Libyes_ is a term applied by the Greek writers
properly to the Africans of the North coast, but frequently to the
inhabitants of Africa in general.

[67] His army, which was composed of various nations--This seems
to have been an amplification of the adventure of Hercules with
Geryon, who was a king in Spain. But all stories that make Hercule
a leader of armies appear to be equally fabulous.

[68] Medes, Persians and Armenians--De Brosses thinks that these
were not real Medes, etc., but that the names were derived from
certain companions of Hercules. The point is not worth discussion.

[69] Our sea--The Mediterranean. See above, c. 17.

[70] More toward the Ocean--_Intra oceanum magis_. "_Intra oceanum_
is differently explained by different commentators. Cortius, Muller
and Gerlach, understand the parts bounded by the ocean, lying close


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