The Jugurthine war ended in 105 B.C. In one way it had been of real service to Rome. A terrible crisis was at hand, and this war had given her both soldiers and a general worthy of the name. Before, however, the story of the struggle with the Cimbri is told, something must be said about what had been going on at Rome, about the man who had now most influence there, and about his rivals. [Recommencement of the social struggle at Rome.] The great social struggle had recommenced. The personal rivalry between Marius and Sulla had begun before the Cimbric war. During that war men held as it were their breath in terror, but nevertheless it was as if only an interlude in that deadly civil strife, for which each of the contending parties was already arrayed. C. Marius was now fifty years old. Cato, the censor, was of opinion that no man can endure so much as he who has turned the soil and reaped the harvest. Marius was such a man. His family were clients of the Herennii. His father was a day-labourer of Cereatae, called today Casamare, after his illustrious son, and he himself served in the ranks in Spain. [Previous career and present position of Marius.] Soon made an officer, he won Scipio's favour as a brave, frugal, incorruptible, and trusty soldier, who never quarrelled with his general's orders, even when they ran as counter to his own inclinations as the expulsion of all soothsayers from the camp before Numantia. On coming home he was lucky enough to marry the aunt of Julius Caesar, whose high birth and wealth opened the door to State honours, which to a man of his origin was at this time otherwise virtually closed. In 119 B.C. he was tribune, and had by the measures previously noticed won the reputation of an upright and patriotic politician, who would truckle neither to the nobles nor the mob. From this time, however, the feud with the Metelli began; for he ordered L. Caecilius Metellus, the consul, to be cast into prison for resisting his ballot-law, though, as the Senate yielded, the order was not carried into effect. In 115 he gained the praetorship, and an absurd charge of bribery trumped up against him indicated a rising disposition among the nobles to snub the aspiring plebeian. He was propraetor in Spain the next year, and showed his usual vigour there in putting down brigandage. With the soldiers he was as popular as Ney was with Napoleon's armies, for he was one of them, rough-spoken as they were, fond of a cup of wine, and never scorning to share their toils. While he was with Metellus at Utica, a soothsayer prophesied that the gods had great things in store for him, and he asked Metellus for leave to go to Rome and stand for the consulship. Metellus replied that when his own son stood for it it would be time enough for Marius. The man at whom he sneered resented sneers. There is evidence that the simple nature of the rough soldier was becoming already spoiled by constant success. He was burning with ambition, and would ascribe the favours of heaven to his own merits. He at once set to work to undermine the credit of his commander with the army, the Roman merchants, and Gauda, saying that he himself would soon bring the war to an end if he were general. Metellus can hardly have been a popular man anywhere, and his strictness must have made him many enemies. Thus he scornfully refused Gauda a seat at his side, and an escort of Roman horse. Gauda and the rest wrote to Rome, urging that Marius should have the army. Metellus with the worst grace let him go just twelve days before the election. But the favourite of the gods had a fair wind, and travelled night and day. The artisans of the city and the country class from which he sprang thronged to hear him abuse Metellus, and boast how soon he would capture or kill Jugurtha, and he was triumphantly elected consul for the year 107.

How his after achievements turned his head we shall see. Already there were drops of bitterness in the sweet cup of success. It was Metellus who was called Numidicus, not he, and it was Sulla whose dare-devil knavery had entrapped the king. The substantial work had been done by the former. The coup de theatre which completed it revealed the latter as a rival. Marius fumed at the credit gained by these aristocrats; and when Bocchus dedicated on the Capitol a representation of Sulla receiving Jugurtha's surrender, he could not conceal his wrath. [L. Cornelius Sulla.] In Sulla he perhaps already recognised by instinct one who would outrival him in the end. He was the very antipodes of Marius in everything except bravery and good generalship, and faith in his star. He was an aristocrat. He was dissolute. He was an admirer of Hellenic literature. War was not his all in all as a profession. If he had a lion's courage, the fox in him was even more to be feared. He, like Marius, owed his rise partly to a woman, but, characteristically, to a mistress, not a wife, who helped him as Charles II.'s sultana helped the young Churchill. If the boorish nature of the one degenerated with age into bloodthirsty brutality, the other was from the first cynically destitute of feeling. He would send men to death with a jest, and the cold-blooded, calculating, remorseless infamy of his entire career excites a repulsion which we feel for no other great figure in history, not even for the first Napoleon. Sulla's whole soul must have recoiled from the coarse manners of the man under whom he first won distinction, and, while he scorned his motives, he must, as he saw him gradually floundering into villainy, have felt the serene superiority of a natural genius for vice. But at present it was not his game to show his animosity. Though Marius had given fresh umbrage to the optimates by coming from his triumph (Jan. 1, 104 B.C.) into the Senate wearing his triumphal robes, with the people he was the hero of the hour, and when the storm in the North broke, it was the safest course for Sulla to follow the fortunes of his old commander, who in his turn could not dispense with so able a subordinate.

[Frontier wars of Rome previous to the Cimbric invasion.] The Romans were constantly at war on the frontiers. Besides the natural quarrels which would arise between them and lawless barbarians, it was the interest of their generals to make small wars in order to gain sounding names and triumphs. Such wars, however, by no means always ended in Roman victories; and while in the last thirty years of the second century before the Christian era there were many wars, there were also many defeats. [The Iapydes.] Sempronius Tuditanus had a triumph for victories over the Iapydes, an Illyrian nation; but he was first beaten by them. [The Salyes.] In 125 the Salyes, a Ligurian people, who stretched from Marseilles westwards to the Rhone and northwards to the Durance, attacked Marseilles. Flaccus went to its aid, and triumphed over the Salyes in 123. [The Balearic Islands.] Quintus Caecilius Metellus subdued the Balearic Islands in the same year, and relieved Spain from the descents of pirates, who either lived in those islands or used them as a rendezvous. The Salyes again gave trouble in 122, and Calvinus took their capital, which was most probably the modern Aix, establishing there the colony of Aquae Sextiae. This colony was the point d'appui for further conquests. The most powerful nations of Gaul were the Aedui and Arverni, whose territory was separated by the Elaver, the modern Allier. The Arverni were rivals of the Aedui and friends of the Allobroges, a tribe in the same latitude, but on the east of the Rhone. The Romans made an alliance with the Aedui, and the proconsul Domitius Ahenobarbus, in 122 or 121 B.C., charged the Allobroges with violating Aeduan territory, and with harbouring the king of the Salyes. [The Allobroges.] The Allobroges were helped by the Arverni, and Domitius defeated their united forces near Avignon, with the loss of 20,000 men. Fabius succeeded Domitius, and marched northwards across the Isara. [The Arverni.] Near its junction with the Rhone, on August 8, 121, he defeated with tremendous carnage the Arverni who had crossed to help the Allobroges. [Defeat of the Arverni, B.C. 121.] The number of the slain amounted, it is said, to 120,000 or 150,000. The king of the Arverni was caught and sent to Rome, and the Allobroges became Roman subjects. It was the year of the death of Caius Gracchus, of the famous vintage, and of a great eruption of Mount Etna. [The Staeni.] In 118 B.C. M. Marcius Rex annihilated the Staeni, probably a Ligurian tribe of the Maritime Alps, who were in the line of the Roman approach to South Gaul, and for this success he gained a triumph. In the same year it was resolved, in spite of the opposition of the Senate, to colonise Narbo, which was the key to the valley of the Garonne, and was on the route to the province of Tarraconensis. Thus was established the province named from the time of Augustus the Narbonensis, embracing the country between the Cevennes and the Alps, as far north-east as Geneva; and a road, called Via Domitia, was laid down from the Rhone to the Pyrenees. [The Dalmatae.] In 117 B.C. L. Caecilius Metellus triumphed over the Illyrian Dalmatae whom he had attacked without cause, or never attacked at all, as it was said, for which he was surnamed Dalmaticus. [The Karni.] In 115 M. Aemilius Scaurus, whose name we have met with before, triumphed over the Karni, a tribe to the north of the Adriatic. C. Porcius Cato, consul in 114, was not so lucky. [Sidenote: The Scordisci.] He lost his army in defending the Macedonian frontier against a tribe of Gauls called Scordisci, who were in their turn defeated by M. Livius Drusus in 112, and M. Minucius Rufus in 109 B.C. The year between their first victory and first defeat was remarkable, not, indeed, because one Metellus triumphed for what he had done in Sardinia, and another for what he had done in Thrace; but in that year the Cimbri came in collision with Rome. [First collision with Cimbri.] Cn. Papirius Carbo, the consul, was sent against them as they had crossed or were expected to cross the Roman frontiers. Some were in Noricum, and to them he sent to say that they were invading a people who were the friends of Rome. They agreed to evacuate the country; but Carbo treacherously attacked them, and was disgracefully beaten at a place called Noreia. [Defeat of Silanus.] Four years later, in the year 109, M. Junius Silanus, colleague of Marius, met the same barbarians, who had now crossed the Rhine, in the new province of South Gaul, and was in his turn defeated.

[The Cimbri rouse the Helvetii.] The movements of the Cimbri made the Helvetii restless. [Defeat of Longinus.] One of their clans, the Tiguroni, which dwelt between the Jura, the Rhone, and the lake of Geneva, defeated and slew the consul Longinus in 107 B.C., and forced his lieutenant, Popillius Laenas, to go under the yoke. Tolosa thereupon rose against the Romans, and put the troops which garrisoned it in chains. By treachery Q. Servilius Caepio recovered the town, and sent off its treasures to Marseilles. [The gold of Tolosa.] The ill-gotten gold, however, was seized on the way by robbers, whom Caepio himself was accused of employing. His name was destined, however, to be linked with a great disaster as well as a thievish trick. The Cimbri, who had hitherto petitioned the Romans for lands to settle on, were now meditating a raid into Italy. On the left bank of the Rhone, in 105, they overthrew M. Aurelius Scaurus, whom they took prisoner and put to death. Cnaeus Mallius Maximus commanded the main force on that side of the river, and he told Caepio, who as consul was in command on the right bank, to cross and effect a junction. But Caepio was as wilful as Minucius had shown himself towards another Maximus in the Second Punic War. When his superior began to negotiate with the Cimbri, he thought it was a device to rob him of the honour of conquering them, and in his irritation rashly provoked a battle, in which he was beaten and lost his camp. [Defeat of Caepio and Maximus.] The place of his defeat his camp is not known. Maximus was also defeated, and the Romans were reported to have lost 80,000 men and 20,000 camp followers. There was terrible dismay at Rome. The Gaul seemed again to be at its gates. [Consternation at Rome. Marius elected consul for 104.] The time of mourning for the dead was abridged. Every man fit for service had to swear not to leave Italy, and the captains in Italian ports took an oath not to receive any such man on board. Marius also was elected consul for 104.

[The Cimbri move off towards Spain.] But fortune helped the Romans more than all these precautions. The Cimbri, after wilfully destroying every vestige of the spoils they had taken, in fulfilment, probably, of some vow, wandered westward on a plundering raid towards the Pyrenees, the road thither having been lately provided, as it were, for them by Domitius. [Beaten back by Celtiberi, they are joined by the Teutones in South Gaul.] In the Celtiberi they met with foes who sold too dearly the little they had to lose, and again they surged back into South Gaul, where they were joined by the Teutones, and once more threatened Italy. [How the Romans had been occupied meanwhile.] But meantime the generals of the Republic had not been idle. Rutilius Rufus, the old comrade of Marius, had been diligently drilling troops, having engaged gladiators to teach them fencing. Probably Marius was engaged in the same work at the beginning of 104, and then went to South Gaul, where, as we hear of Sulla capturing the king of the Tectosages, he was no doubt collecting supplies and men, and suppressing all disaffection in the province. He also cut a canal from the Rhone, about a mile above its mouth, to a lake supposed to be now the Etang de l'Estouma; for alluvial deposits had made access to the river difficult, and he wanted the Rhone as a highway for his troops and commissariat. [Marius consul in 103 and 102 B.C.] In 103 he was made consul for the third time, and again in 102. And now he was ready to meet the invaders.

[Nationality of the Cimbri.] Who these invaders were has been a matter of hot dispute. Were they Celts? Were they Teutons? Did they come from the Baltic shores, or the shores of the Sea of Azof; or were they the Homeric Cimmerii who dwelt between the Dnieper and the Don? Or did their name indicate their personal qualities, and not their previous habitation? The following seems the most probable conjecture. In the great plain which runs along the Atlantic and the southern shore of the Baltic, from the Pyrenees to the Volga, there had been in pre-historic times a movement constantly going on among the barbarous inhabitants like the ebb and flow of a great sea. The Celts had reached Spain and Italy on the south, and Germany and the Danube on the east. Then, making the Rhine their frontier, they had settled down into semi-civilised life. Now the Teutonic tribes were in their turn going through the same process of flux and reflux; and impelled probably at this time by some invasion of other tribes, or possibly, as Strabo says, by some great inundation of the sea, these invading nations, for they were not armies but whole nations, came roaming southwards in search of a new home. Celts there were among them, for the Helvetii had joined them, and therefore Helvetic chiefs. But the names still exist in modern Denmark and near the Baltic. Caesar did not think they were Celts. The light hair and blue eyes of the warriors, and the hair of old age on the heads of children, which excited the astonishment of the Romans, are not Celtic characteristics. We may therefore set them down as Teutonic by race. The name Cimbri is probably derived from some word of their own, Kaemper, meaning champions or spoilers, and their last emigration was from the country between the Rhine, the Danube, and the Baltic. They were a tall, fierce race, who fought with great swords and narrow shields, and wore copper helmets and mail. [Their mode of fighting, etc.] The men in their front ranks were often linked together so as to make retreat impossible. Their priestesses cheered them on in battle, and, when prisoners were taken, cut their throats over a great bowl, and then, ripping them up, drew auguries from their entrails.

[Plan of the invaders.] The plan of the invaders was that one body, consisting of the Teutones, Ambrones, and Tugeni, should descend into Italy on the west, the Cimbri on the east. Whence the Teutones had come to join the Cimbri we do not know. They joined them in South Gaul. [The Ambrones.] The Ambrones may have been a clan of the Helvetii, as the Tugeni were. [Plan of Marius.] Marius waited for the western division at the confluence of the Isara and the Rhone, near the spot where Fabius had defeated the Arverni, his object being to command the two main roads into Italy, over the Little St. Bernard and along the coast. He did not follow the example of his old commander Scipio Aemilianus, in expelling soothsayers from his camp; for he had a Syrian woman, named Martha, with him to foretell the future. The soldiers had their own pet superstitions. They had caught two vultures, put rings on their necks and let them go, and so knew them again as they hovered over the army. When the barbarians reached the camp they tried to storm it. But they were beaten back, and then for six days they filed past with taunting questions, whether the Romans had any messages to send their wives. Marius cautiously followed, fortifying his camp nightly. They were making for the coast-road; and as they could not have taken their wagons along it, they were marching, as Marius had seen, to their own destruction. His strategy was masterly, for he was winning without fighting; but accident brought on an engagement. [Scene of the battle of Aquae Sextiae.] East of Aquae Sextiae (the modern Aix) Marius had occupied a range of hills, one of which is to this day called Sainte Victoire. The Arc flowed below. The soldiers wanted water, and Marius told his men that they might get it there if they wanted it, for he wished to accustom them to the barbarians' mode of fighting. Some of the barbarians were bathing; and on their giving the alarm, others came up, and a battle began. The first shock was between the Ambrones and Ligurians. The Romans supported the latter, and the Ambrones fled across the Arc to the wagons, where the women, assailing both pursuers and pursued with yells and blows, were slain with the men. So ended the first day's fight.

All night and next day the barbarians prepared for a final struggle. Marius planted an ambuscade of mounted camp-followers, headed by a few foot and horse in some ravines on the enemy's rear. [Sidenote: Circumstances of the battle.] He drew the legions up in front of the camp, and the cavalry went ahead to the plain. The barbarians charged up the hill, but were met by a shower of 'pila,' which the legionaries followed up by coming to close quarters with their swords. The enemy were rolled back down the hill, and at the same time with loud cries the ambuscade attacked them from behind. Then the battle became a butchery, in which, it was said, 200,000 men were slain, and among them Teutoboduus, their king. Others, however, say that he was taken prisoner, and became the chief ornament of Marius's triumph. Much of the spoil was gathered together to be burnt, and Marius, as the army stood round, was just lighting the heap, when men came riding at full speed and told him he was elected consul for the fifth time. The soldiers set up a joyful cheer, and his officers crowned him with a chaplet of bay. The name of the village of Pourrieres (Campus de Putridis) and the hill of Sainte Victoire commemorate this great fight to our day, and till the French Revolution a procession used to be made by the neighbouring villagers every year to the hill, where a bonfire was lit, round which they paraded, crowned with flowers, and shouting 'Victoire, Victoire!'

[The Cimbri.] Meanwhile Catulus was waiting for the Cimbri on the east. A son of M. Aemilius Scaurus fled before them in the pass of Tridentum, and in 102 B.C., about the time of the battle of Aquae Sextiae, they poured down the valley on the east of the Athesis (Adige). [Catulus on the Adige.] Catulus was posted just below Verona on the west bank, with a bridge connecting him with a smaller force on the other side. When the foe appeared his men took to flight; but the detachment on the east side stood its ground, and kept the enemy from crossing the bridge in pursuit. The Cimbri admired their bravery, and when they had forced the bridge let its defenders go. Pursuing Catulus, they cut him off from a river for which he was making, probably the Ticinus, though according to some, the Po. He then pretended to encamp on a hill as if for a long stay. The Cimbri dispersed over the country, and Catulus immediately came down, assaulted their camp and crossed the river, where he was joined by the victorious army of Gaul and by Marius, who had been to Rome. [Sidenote: Battle with the Cimbri, July 30, 101 B.C.] The village festival on the hill of Sainte Victoire was held in May. The battle with the Cimbri was fought on July 30, 101. More than a year therefore had elapsed since the Teutones were defeated. But it was the barbarians' custom not to fight in winter, and they were in a rich country which had not been invaded for a century, where they were revelling in unwonted comforts. So they spread themselves over the land as far as the Sesia; and when Marius came, they sent, it is said, and asked for land for the Teutones whom they were awaiting. [Story of the Cimbric embassy to Marius.] Marius replied that their brothers had all the land they wanted already. Upon which they requested him to name a field and a day for battle. Marius answered that Romans never consulted their foes on such points, but he would humour them, and named the Campi Raudii, near Vercellae. Such a story bears falsehood on the face of it. It is absurd to suppose that the Cimbri had not heard of the defeat of the Teutones, which had taken place more than a year before. Very likely they asked for land, and finding that they would only get hard blows, determined to bring matters to a crisis at once. Sulla's memoirs were Plutarch's authority for what followed, and Sulla hated Marius. [Story of Marius's jealousy of Catulus.] He said that Marius, expecting that the fighting would be on the wings, posted his own men there, that they might gain the glory, but that the brunt of the battle was borne by Catulus in the centre; and that such a dust rose that Marius was for a long time out of the battle, and knew not where he was. It seems that the barbarian cavalry feigned a flight, hoping to turn and take the Romans between themselves and their infantry. But the Romans drove back the cavalry on the infantry. [Circumstances of the battle.] However this may be, Marius had shown his usual good generalship. He had fed his men before the battle, and so manoeuvred that sun, wind, and dust were in the enemy's faces. His own men were in perfect training, and in the burning heat did not turn a hair. But the Northmen were fresh from high living, and could not bear up long. When they gave way, the same scenes as at Aquae Sextiae took place among the women. One hundred and twenty thousand men, it is said, were killed - among them the gallant Boiorix, their king - and 60,000 taken prisoners. Disputes rose as to who had really won the day. Marius generously insisted on Catulus sharing his triumph. But it was to him that the popular voice ascribed the victory, and there can be little doubt that the popular voice was right.

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