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(Aix), in southern Gaul; and a third, with the full "Roman right," to Narbo Martius (Narbonne). The latter colony, though not founded until after the death of Caius, was equally a fruit of his policy. It was fostered by the commercial class, for the sake of its lucrative trade with Gaul and Britain.
A less beneficent though doubtless needed law, provided for the distribution of grain from the public stores, at less than half price, to all residents in the city who chose to apply for it. An extensive range of buildings, the Sempronian granaries, were erected to supply this demand. The result was the crowding within the walls of Rome of the whole mass of poor and inefficient people from the surrounding country, thus giving to the popular leaders a majority in the assembly, and the absolute control of the elections; creating, at the same time, that lazy, hungry, and disorderly mob which for five hundred years constituted the chief danger of the imperial city.
126. The lowest age for military service was fixed at seventeen years, and the cost of the soldier's equipment, which formerly had been deducted from his wages, was now defrayed by the government. Having thus won the poorer people, Caius drew to his side the plebeian aristocracy, by placing in their hands the collection of revenues in the provinces, thus creating the class of great merchants and bankers, hitherto scarcely known in Rome. The new "province of Asia" had been formed from the kingdom of Pergamus, and its name, like that of "Africa" given to the Carthaginian territory, doubtless implied that its limits were not considered as fixed. In accordance with the despotic principle that conquered or inherited lands were the private property of the state, the province was now loaded with taxes, and the privilege of collection was publicly sold at Rome to the highest bidder. The "publicans" amassed great fortunes, but the unhappy provincials were reduced to extreme distress.
127. Gracchus would have gone a step farther, and extended the full rights of Roman citizenship to all free Italians. But this liberal policy was equally hateful to the Senate and the commons. The former gained over his colleague, Liv'ius Drusus, who outbade Gracchus by proposing still more popular measures, which, however, were never meant to be fulfilled. Instead of two Italian colonies, composed only of citizens of good character, which had been planned by Gracchus, Drusus proposed twelve, to contain 3,000 settlers each. Caius had left the domain lands subject, as of old, to a yearly rent. Drusus abolished this, and left the lessees in absolute possession of their farms.
At the end of the second year, Caius lost his tribuneship, and the new consuls were opposed to him. His policy was now violently attacked, and especially the formation of the transmarine colonies. It was reported that African hyenas had dug up the newly placed boundary stones of Juno'nia,
the successor of Carthage; and the priests declared that the gods in this way signified their displeasure at the attempt to rebuild an accursed city. The auguries were taken anew; a popular tumult arose, in which an attendant of the priests was killed. The next day the Forum was occupied by an armed force, and all the aristocratic party appeared with swords and shields. Caius and his former colleague, Ful'vius Flaccus, retired with their followers to the Aventine, the old stronghold of the commons. The nobility, with their Cretan mercenaries, stormed the mount; 250 persons of humble rank were slain, and the two leaders were pursued and put to death. Three thousand of their adherents were strangled in prison, by order of the Senate. Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, was not permitted to wear mourning for the last and noblest of her sons; but the people honored their memory with statues, and on the sacred ground where they had fallen, sacrifices were offered as in temples of the gods.
128. Next to Egypt, the most important client-state of Rome was Numidia, which occupied nearly the same space with the modern province of Algeria. Massinissa, the Numidian king, had been rewarded for his faithful service in the Second Punic War, by a grant of the greater part of the Carthaginian territories. Micip'sa, his son, was now a feeble old man, who cared more for Greek philosophy than for affairs of state, and had dropped the control of his kingdom into the hands of his nephew, Jugurtha, whom he raised by adoption to a level with his own sons. In his will he divided the civil, military, and judicial offices of the kingdom between the three princes.
After the old king's death, his sons, Adherbal and Hiemp'sal, disputed the will, while Jugurtha boldly claimed the supreme and sole authority. Hiempsal was murdered by hired ruffians. Adherbal appealed in person to the Roman Senate, which had undertaken to guarantee his father's bequests. But Jugurtha had learned in the camps that every senator had his price; and his emissaries worked so skillfully, that the whole blame of the dispute and the murder was thrown upon the suppliant prince. A new division of the kingdom was ordered to be made, by Roman commissioners sent over for the purpose. Jugurtha received the fertile and populous region
* This illustrious lady was a daughter of Scipio Africanus, the greatest general save one, and, perhaps, the greatest character, whom Rome ever produced. Cornelia, after the early death of her husband, devoted herself to the education of her children, and was rewarded for her care by their perfect respect and love. After the death of Caius, she retired to Misenum, where her house became the resort of all the genius and learning of the age. Cornelia not only spoke her own language with the utmost elegance, but was well acquainted with Greek literature, and her letters to her sons are considered the purest specimens of Latin prose. She died in a good old age, and the people erected a statue to her memory, with the simple inscription, "Cornelia, the Mother of the Gracchi.”
which was afterward known as Mauritania; Adherbal, with Cirta, the capital, had only a tract of sandy desert toward the east.
129. Jugurtha, however, was not satisfied; and failing by many insults to provoke his cousin to war, he at last besieged him in his capital, and in spite of lame remonstrances from Rome, captured and put him to death with cruel tortures, and ordered an indiscriminate massacre of all the inhabitants of the town. Of these, many were Italians. Even the base venality of the Roman government could no longer withstand the righteous indignation of the people. War was declared and an army promptly sent forward, which received the submission of many Numidian towns. But again the wily usurper was able to buy peace with African gold. He pretended to submit at discretion, but was re-instated in his kingdom upon paying a moderate fine and surrendering his war elephants, which he was soon permitted to redeem. Public indignation again broke out at Rome. Jugurtha was summoned to the city, to answer concerning the means by which he had obtained the peace. His cousin, Massi'va, took this opportunity to prefer his own claim to the kingdom of Massinissa; but he was assassinated by a confidant of Jugurtha, who immediately, with the aid of his master, escaped from Rome.
130. This new insult enraged the people beyond endurance. The Senate canceled the peace and dismissed Jugurtha from the city. His sarcastic remark in leaving expressed a melancholy truth: "If I had gold enough, I would buy the city itself." The war was renewed, but the army, equally demoralized with its chiefs, was wholly unfit for service. In attempting to besiege the treasure-town of Suthul, the incompetent commander suffered himself to be drawn off into the desert, where his whole army was routed and made to pass under the yoke. By the terms of surrender, Numidia was evacuated and the canceled peace renewed. The generals whose misconduct had led to this disgrace were tried at Rome and exiled, and with them Opim'ius, the head of the Numidian commission, and the real executioner of Caius Gracchus.
In token of the earnestness with which the war was now to be carried on, Qu. Metellus, a stern and upright patrician of the old school, was elected consul for the African campaign. Among his lieutenants was Caius Marius, the son of a Latin farmer, who had risen from the ranks by his sterling ability. He won the hearts of the soldiers by voluntarily sharing all their toils and privations; and through their reports to friends at home, his praise was in every mouth.
131. The wild tribes of the desert flocked to the standard of Jugurtha, whom they hailed as their deliverer from Roman domination; and with his swarms of fleet horsemen, he was able either to dictate the battle-field, or to vanish out of sight at any moment, when the combat seemed to be going against him. The Romans gained one or two victories, but no
real advantage. An impression, doubtless false and unjust, sprang up at Rome, that the inaction of Metellus, like the reverses of his predecessors, was owing to a secret understanding with Jugurtha-or, at least, that he was prolonging the war to gratify his own love of power.
Availing himself of this prejudice, Marius returned to Rome, and was elected consul for the year 107 B. C. Instead of having his province allotted by the Senate, he was appointed by the people to the command in Africa. His election was really a revolution which gave power in the state to military talent, rather than to great wealth or noble birth. His quæstor in this expedition was L. Cornelius Sulla, a young nobleman distinguished chiefly hitherto by his unbounded licentiousness, but who, by energetic application to his duties, soon won the entire confidence and approbation of his commander. These two men stood, a few years later, in very different relations to each other, as alternate masters of the Roman world.
132. In spite of some daring adventures and the capture of several towns, the administration of Marius was not much more successful than that of Metellus. He continued in command as proconsul for the year 106 B. C.; and during the second winter, the real victory was gained by Sulla, who passed through the enemy's camp at great personal risk, and with consummate skill conducted a negotiation with King Bocchus, of Mauritania, for the surrender of Jugurtha. This notorious criminal was brought in chains to Rome, where, with his two sons, he adorned the triumph of Marius, Jan. 1, B. C. 104. A few days later, he perished with hunger in the lower dungeon of the Mamertine prison. A new peril now threatened Rome, and demanded unusual measures. In spite of a law to the contrary, Marius was reëlected to the consulship, and continued to hold that office five successive years, B. C. 104–100.
133. The Cimbri, a mingled horde of Celtic and Germanic tribes, had been dislodged in some unknown manner from their seats beyond the Danube, and were pressing upon the Roman frontier. Before the close of the Jugurthine War, they had four times defeated consular armies in Gaul and the Alpine regions. In the last of these defeats, at Orange, on the Rhone (B. C. 105), an army of 80,000 men had been destroyed, and all Italy was filled with terror. A new army was now on foot, and Marius, with his legate, Sulla, and many other able officers, hastened into Gaul. The Cimbri had turned aside into Spain, where, however, they met a brave resistance, and were soon driven back across the Pyrenees. In western Gaul nothing was able to resist their rapid course of conquest, until they arrived at the Belgian territory beyond the Seine. They were joined by a kindred tribe of Teuto'nes from the shores of the Baltic, and by three cantons of Helve'tii from the mountains of Switzerland. They now arranged a combined invasion of Italy, the Teutones to
enter that country from Roman Gaul by the western passes of the Alps, while the Cimbri were to traverse the eastern passes from Switzerlanɗ.
134. It was the object of the consuls to prevent their junction, and for this purpose Marius awaited the Teutones on the Rhone, near its confluence with the Is'ara, while Catulus marched into northern Italy to meet the Cimbri. One of the greatest victories ever won by Roman arms was gained by the former, near Aix, B. C. 102. Three successive days the barbarians had assaulted the Roman camp, when, despairing of success, they resolved to leave it behind and continue their march into Italy.
Distrusting his new recruits, Marius would not suffer his men to be drawn from their intrenchments until the entire host had departed; and so great were the numbers, and so cumbrous the baggage of the barbarians, that they were six days in passing the Roman works. When they were gone, Marius broke up his camp and started in pursuit, still maintaining perfect order, and intrenching himself carefully every night. In the neighborhood of Aix he overtook the Teutones, and the pitched battle which was then fought ended in the complete destruction of the nation. The warriors who survived the combat put an end to their own lives; and their wives, preferring death to slavery, followed their example.
135. Meanwhile, the other division, less ably resisted, had advanced through the Brenner Pass and routed the army of Catulus near Trent. But the comfort and plenty of the Lombard plain were, for the moment, a better protection to Rome than the wisdom of her generals. The Cimbri went into winter-quarters, and Marius had time to recruit his army and hasten to join his colleague in the spring of 101 B. C. When the Cimbri ascended the valley of the Po, hoping to effect the proposed junction with their Teutonic comrades, they met, instead, the combined armies of Marius and Lutatius. The battle was fought at Vercel'læ, westward of Milan, July 30, 101 B. C. The barbarians were wholly defeated, and either slaughtered or enslaved; 14,000 were left dead upon the battle-field, and 60,000 were transferred to the slave-markets of Rome.
136. Marius was received at Rome with a brilliant triumph, in which he was hailed as a third Romulus and a second Camillus, and his name in libations was coupled with those of the gods. The common people rejoiced scarcely more for the victory over the barbarians than for that over the government. The triumph of their chosen general, the farmer's boy of Arpi'num, seemed to them a triumph of the untitled and unprivileged masses over the rich and favored few. Marius was elected to his sixth consulate, and if he had been as great a statesman as general, the Republic might even then have been exchanged for a monarchy.