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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 Switzerland.
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.
But he had no matured policy, and no skill in adapting means to ends. He allied himself with two unprincipled demagogues, Saturninus and Glau'cia, to secure his election, and then abandoned them to the vengeance of the Senate, when their crimes had become too bold for endurance.
The government candidate for the consulship was assailed and beaten to death; and the party which procured the murder, proclaiming Saturninus its chief, broke open the prison doors and gave freedom and arms to both prisoners and slaves. This armed rabble fought the guards of Marius in the very market-place of the city; but it was driven at length to the Capitol, cut off from water, and forced to surrender. Without waiting the forms of trial, some young nobles climbed to the roof of the building where the rioters were imprisoned, tore off the tiles, and stoned them to death. In this disgraceful manner perished four high officers of the Roman people: a prætor, a quæstor, and two tribunes.
137. The beautiful island of Sicily was a second time the scene of a servile war, B. C. 102-99. Its fertility and importance as a grain market to Rome had attracted speculators, who farmed their vast estates by means of multitudes of slaves. In the First Servile War (B. C. 134–132), 200,000 rebels were in arms; the second taxed the best exertions of three successive consuls, and though it was ended, B. C. 99, in victory to Rome, the terror it had excited did not soon die away. The slaves not only outnumbered the ruling class, but surpassed it in strength, and even, in some rare instances, in military talent. They were treated with such inhuman cruelty, that they never lacked a motive for revolt, and thus the rural districts were always liable to outbreaks when the governing force was removed.
The Roman slave-code, it may be hoped, has never been equaled in barbarity by that of any civilized state. The slave was nothing" in law; his master might torture or kill him with no other punishment than the loss of his property; and when, after such a victory as that of Vercellæ, captives could be bought, as we are told, for less than a dollar a head, that motive could have had no weight against the passion of revenge. Happily, society is sometimes better than its laws. Household servants commonly enjoyed the confidence and affection of their masters; physicians and teachers were usually Greek slaves, and their learning and talents caused them to be respected in spite of the misfortune of their condition.
Though plebeians enjoy political equality, the poor suffer for want of land and employment. Tiberius Gracchus passes the Agrarian laws, but becomes a martyr to his zeal for reform. Scipio Emilianus, trying to moderate the Agrarian movement, is also murdered. Caius Gracchus founds colonies in Italy and
abroad; provides for the poor by a public distribution of grain; gives to the rich plebeians the collection of provincial revenues, and thus creates a class of great bankers and publicans. He is opposed with armed violence and slain, B. C. 121. The crimes of Jugurtha occasion the Numidian war, B. C. 111-106. Metellus is succeeded in command by Marius, who becomes consul, B. C. 107. Jugurtha is captured by the address of Sulla. Marius defeats the Teutones in a great battle near Aix, B. C. 102; and the Cimbri, the next year, at Vercellæ. A sedition at Rome is followed by the death of several magistrates. Sicily is twice devastated by servile insurrections, B. C. 134-132, and B. C. 102-99.
THE SOCIAL WAR.
138. Meanwhile, Rome was shaken by the efforts and death of another reformer, M. Livius Drusus, son of the opponent of Gracchus. As a noble, he was filled with shame for the corruptions of his order, and sought to revive the safest and best of the laws of the Gracchi, by giving the franchise to all Italians, and by taking the judicial power from the knights, who had greatly abused it. He was murdered at his own door by an unknown assassin, B. C. 91, and both of his laws repealed. The allies in the south and center of Italy, disappointed in all their hopes by the death of their champion, now flew to arms. Eight nations, the Marsi, Marrucini, Peligni, Vestini, Picenti'ni, Samnites, Apu'li, and Lucani, formed a federal republic under the name of Italia, chose two consuls, and fixed their capital at Corfin'ium, in the Apennines.
The first movements in the "Social War" were disastrous to Rome. L. Cæsar, the consul, Perper'na, his legate, and Postumius, a prætor, were defeated. A consular army under Cæpio was destroyed; Campania was overrun, and the northern Italians were almost ready to join the league. But a late concession saved Rome. The coveted rights of citizenship were conferred on all who had taken no part in the war, and on all who would now withdraw from it. The confederate ranks were thus divided; and, at length, even the Samnites and Lucanians, who were the last to submit, were won by a promise of all that they had asked.
139. The slow and cautious conduct of Marius in this war had been eclipsed by the brilliant activity of Sulla, who was now consul; and the Senate, choosing to consider the old general unequal to the hardships of a campaign, conferred the command against Mithridates upon the young patrician officer. The jealousy which had long ago supplanted the ancient confidence between Marius and Sulla, now broke out into violent opposition. To defeat his rival, Marius persuaded Rufus, the tribune, to propose a law for distributing the newly enfranchised Italians among all the tribes. The old citizens would thus be greatly outnumbered, and the appointment of Sulla reversed, for all the new voters