CHAPTER XXII. EXTERNAL HISTORY. - PERGAMUM. - JUGURTHINE WAR (118-104).
Pergamum was an ancient city of Mysia on the Caícus, fifteen miles from the sea. It first became important after the death of Alexander. Its first king, Attalus I. (241-197), added a large territory to the city. He was an ally of the Romans, and his successors remained their firm friends. The city became one of the most prosperous and famous in Asia Minor, noted for its architectural monuments, its fine library, and its schools. Attalus III., at his death in 133, bequeathed to Rome his kingdom, which included Lydia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia. It was made a province under the name of ASIA.
THE WAR WITH JUGURTHA.
After the destruction of Carthage, the most important kingdom in Africa was NUMIDIA. It contained a number of flourishing towns, which were centres of a considerable commerce. Masinissa left this kingdom to his son Micipsa. The latter had two sons and a nephew, JUGURTHA. The nephew was a brilliant young man, who had served under Scipio in the Numantine war, and returned to Africa covered with honors. He was named joint heir with his cousins to the kingdom of Numidia. Micipsa dying soon after, Jugurtha murdered one of his cousins, Hiempsal, claimed the whole kingdom, and attacked his other cousin, Adherbal, who appealed to Rome. Commissioners were sent to investigate. They were bought off by Jugurtha, and returned home without accomplishing anything. Adherbal was afterwards captured, savagely tortured, and finally killed.
The Senate, compelled by the popular indignation to make an investigation, moved so slowly that some of its members were accused of accepting bribes. War was declared at last, but the campaign languished, and peace was soon made on such easy terms for the prince that it was evident his money had again been freely used. The scandalous transaction was denounced at Rome by the Tribune MEMMIUS. Jugurtha then repaired to the city in person, and bought up all the authorities except Memmius, whom he found incorruptible. He had another cousin in the city, whom he caused to be murdered. After this the Senate ordered him to leave, and as he departed, it is said he exclaimed, "Venal city, destined soon to perish, if a purchaser be found!"
War was now begun in earnest (110), but resulted in a crushing defeat of the Romans, whose army was sent under the yoke. Humiliated by the defeat, the Senate in the following year sent QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS, nephew of Metellus Macedonicus, to take charge of the war. He was a man of integrity, with some experience as an officer, and a rigid aristocrat. Realizing the danger of failure, he took with him as his lieutenant the ablest soldier that he could find, GAIUS MARIUS.
Marius, born at Arpínum in 157, was the son of a farmer, and was himself bred to the plough. He joined the army at an early age, and soon attracted notice for his punctual performance of all duties, and his strictness in discipline. He was present at the siege of Numantia, and his courage caused Scipio to predict for him a brilliant career. He soon rose to be Military Tribune. In 119 he was chosen Tribune of the People, and two years later Praetor. The fact that he was respected and valued in high circles is shown by his subsequent marriage into the family of the Caesars. By this marriage with Julia, the aunt of Julius Caesar, he became a person of social distinction.
The campaign was moderately successful. Jugurtha was defeated near the river Muthul, and made to retire into the desert, where his stronghold, Thala, was captured. He sued for peace, but, as unconditional surrender was demanded, he still held out. The popular party at Rome, irritated that such a petty prince should give so much trouble, demanded that Marius should be made Consul and have charge of the war. When the lieutenant asked Metellus for leave of absence to enable him to be present at the elections, as was necessary according to the law, his general ridiculed the idea, and told him to wait another twenty years. He went, however, and was elected in 107, being the first plebeian chosen to that office for more than a century.
Metellus was recalled, enjoyed a triumph, and received the agnomen of NUMIDICUS.
Marius was every inch a soldier. He saw that the Roman legions must be reorganized and better disciplined. He enlisted men who had no other occupation, that they might become professional soldiers. Some men of rank who had a taste for war also went with him. Among these was a young patrician, CORNELIUS SULLA. With this army Marius soon wrested from Jugurtha all his strongholds. In less than two years the war was over. By his ally, Bocchus, King of Mauritania, Jugurtha was betrayed (106) into the hands of Sulla, who was acting as the Quaestor of Marius.
The western portion of Numidia was given to Bocchus as the reward of his treachery, while the remainder continued to be governed by native princes, until the civil war between Caesar and Pompey. In 104 Marius returned home, and entered Rome in triumph. Jugurtha was thrown into a dungeon, and there starved to death.