[Flight of Marius.] Meanwhile what had become of Marius? Already a halo of legend was gathering round his name, and all Italy was ringing with his adventures. When he had fled from Rome (not sorry now, we may be sure, that he had gone through his late exhibitions in the Campus Martius), he had sent his son to some of his father-in-law's farms to get necessary provisions. Young Marius was overtaken by daylight, before he could get to his father-in-law's farm, and pack the things up, and was nearly caught by those on his track. But the farm-bailiff saw them in time, and, hiding him in a cart full of beans, yoked the teams, and drove him to Rome. [Ostia.] There young Marius went to his wife's house, and, getting what he wanted, set out at nightfall for Ostia, and finding a ship starting for Africa, went aboard. His father had not waited for his return. He too had embarked at Ostia for Africa with his son-in-law. But now in his old age the sea was not so kind to him as when, in his bold and confident youth, he had sailed to sue for his first consulship from the very land to which he was now flying. A storm came on, and the ship was blown southwards along the coast. Marius begged the captain to keep clear of Tarracina, because Geminius, a leading man there, was his bitter foe. [Sidenote: Circeii.] But the storm increased; Marius was sea-sick, and they were forced to go ashore at Circeii (Monte Circello). Some herdsmen told them that horsemen had just been there in pursuit; so they spent the night in a thick wood, hungry, and tortured by anxiety. Next day they went to the coast again, and Marius implored the men to stand by him, telling them that when he was a child an eagle's nest fell into his lap, with seven young ones in it, and the soothsayers had said that it meant that he should attain to the highest honours seven times. [Minturnae.] About two miles and a half from Minturnae they spied some horsemen making towards them; and, plunging into the sea, they swam towards some merchantmen near the shore. Two slaves swam with Marius, keeping him up, and he got into one ship, and his son-in-law into the other, while the horsemen shouted to the crew to put ashore, or throw Marius overboard. The captains consulted together, and a terrible moment it must have been for the fugitives. But the spell of the Cimbric victories was potent still, and the captains replied that they would not give up Marius. So the soldiers rode off in a rage. But the sailors, having so far acted generously, were anxious to get rid of their dangerous guest, and, landing at the mouth of the Liris, on pretence of waiting for a fair wind, told Marius to go ashore and get some rest, and, while he was lying down, sailed away. Half stupified, he scrambled through bogs, and dykes, and mud, till he came to an old man's cottage, and begged the owner to shelter a man who, if he escaped, would reward him beyond his hopes. The man told him that he could hide him in a safer place than his cottage; and, showing him a hole by the riverside, covered him up in it with some rushes. But he was soon rudely disturbed. Geminius was on his trail, and Marius heard some of his emissaries loudly threatening the old man for hiding an outlaw. In his terror Marius stripped and plunged into the river, and so betrayed himself to the pursuers, who hauled him out naked and covered with mud, and gave him up to the magistrates of Minturnae. By these he was placed under a strong guard in the house of a woman named Fannia. She, like Geminius, had a personal grudge against him, for in his sixth consulship he had fined her four drachmas for ill-conduct. But now when she saw his misery she forgot her resentment, and did her best to cheer him. Nor was this difficult, for the stout heart of Marius had never failed him. He told Fannia that, as he was coming to her house, an ass had come out to drink at a neighbouring fountain, and, fixing its eyes steadily on him, had brayed aloud and frisked vivaciously, whence he augured that he would find safety by sea. The magistrates, however, had resolved to kill him, and sent a Cimbrian to do the deed, for no citizen would do it. The man went armed with a sword into the gloomy room where Marius lay. But soon he ran out crying, 'I cannot slay Marius.' He had seen eyes glaring in the darkness, and had heard a terrible voice say, 'Darest thou slay Caius Marius?' His heart had failed him; he had thrown down the sword and fled. Either the magistrates now changed their minds, or the people forced them to let Marius go, or perhaps Fannia connived at his escape. Plutarch says that the people escorted him to the coast, and, when they came to a sacred grove, called the Marician Grove, which no man might enter, but which it would take a long time to go round, an old man had led the way into it, saying that no place was so sacred but that it might be entered to save Marius. [Aenaria.] In some way he reached the coast where a friend had secured a vessel, and being driven by the wind to Aenaria (Ischia), he there found his son-in-law and sailed for Africa.

[Eryx.] Want of water forced them to put in at Eryx on the N.W. of Sicily; but the Roman quaestor there was on the look-out, and killing sixteen of the crew nearly took Marius. Landing at Meninx (Jerbah), the fugitive heard that his son was in Africa too, and had gone to Hiempsal, King of Numidia, to ask for aid, upon which he set sail again and landed at Carthage. [Carthage.] The Roman governor there sent to warn him off from Africa. Marius was dumb with indignation, but on being asked what answer he had to send, replied, so ran the story, 'Go and say you have seen Caius Marius sitting on the ruins of Carthage.'

Hiempsal meanwhile had been keeping young Marius in a sort of honourable captivity. But, according to a story similar to that told of Thomas a Becket's father, a damsel of the country had fallen in love with his handsome face, and helped him to escape. [Circina.] Father and son now retired to Circina (Kerkennah), where news soon reached him which brought him back to Italy.

[Counter-revolutions at Rome.] Hardly had Sulla left Brundusium when the truce which he had patched up was broken. Cinna being bribed, as was said probably without foundation, with 300 talents, had demanded that the Italians lately enfranchised should be enrolled in the old tribes. [Cinna.] We do not know very much about Cinna, but we do seem to gather that he was bold, resolute, not ungenerous or bloodthirsty; and it cannot be too strongly insisted on that, like Saturninus, and Sulpicius, and Drusus, he was only demanding justice. [Street-fighting. Cinna driven from Rome.] Octavius opposed him, and, hearing that Cinna's partisans were threatening the tribunes in the Forum, he charged down the Via Sacra with a band of followers, and dispersed them, and a great number of Cinna's followers were slain. On this Cinna left Rome, and, joined by Sertorius, whom we shall hear of again, went round the towns mustering his friends. The Senate declared his consulship to be void, and elected L. Cornelius Merula in his place. [His cause espoused by the Campanian army.] Cinna, with characteristic audacity, instantly hastened to the army in Campania; and, rending his clothes and throwing himself on the ground, so worked on the pity of the soldiers that they lifted him up, and told him he was consul still, and might lead them where he pleased. [Marius lands in Etruria.] Then, visiting the Italian towns, he obtained many recruits; and, hearing that Marius had landed in Etruria (perhaps on his invitation), he agreed to act in concert with him, in spite of the opposition of Sertorius.

[The Senate summons Pompeius from Picenum.] Meanwhile Octavius and Merula had fortified the city, had sent for troops from Cisalpine Gaul, and had summoned the proconsul Pompeius from Picenum. Pompeius came and halted at the Colline Gate. It was suspected that he was waiting to join the successful side. With him was his son, afterwards called 'the Great,' who now showed of what stuff he was made by putting down a mutiny against his father and baffling a plot for his own assassination. [Marius sacks Ostia, and he, Sertorius, and Cinna hem Rome in.] Marius, with a band of Moors, and the slaves whom he had collected from the Etrurian field-gangs, was admitted by treachery into Ostia and sacked the town. Cinna marched to the right bank of the Tiber, opposite the Janiculum. Sertorius held the river above the city, and a corps was sent to Ariminum to prevent any help coming from North Italy. [The Senate summons Metellus, and courts the alliance of the Samnites.] At this crisis the Senate sent for Metellus and tried to obtain the aid of the Samnites, who, as we have seen, joined Marius and Cinna. The treachery of a tribune in command of the Janiculum gave the Marians admission to the city. But they were driven out again, and might even have been dislodged from the Janiculum had not Pompeius persuaded Octavius to check the pursuit. Pompeius was playing a waiting game, ready to join the strongest, or crush both parties, as he saw his chance. And now within the city starvation set in, and a pestilence spread. Marius had blocked up the Tiber, and occupied the outlying towns on which the communications of the capital depended. Nor could the Senate trust its own troops. [Death of Pompeius.] Pompeius was killed by a thunder-bolt - not less suspicious than that which slew Romulus - and his body had been torn from the bier, and dragged through the streets by the people. [Disaffection in the Senate's troops.] The soldiers of Octavius cheered Cinna when he marshalled his troops opposite them near the Alban Mount. Moreover the leaders themselves were at variance. Octavius, seeing the humour of his men, was afraid to fight, but would concede nothing. Metellus wished for a compromise. Both armies were now outside the city, the pestilence probably having driven the Marians to withdraw. But Marius had command of the Via Appia, the Tiber, and most of the neighbourhood; and the famine became sorer in Rome. [Incompetence of Octavius and Metellus.] The soldiers wished Metellus to take the command from Octavius, and, on his refusal, deserted in crowds to the enemy. So also did the slaves, to whom Octavius would not promise freedom, as Cinna gladly did. [The Senate submits to Cinna.] At last the Senate sent to make terms with Cinna; but while they were stickling about acknowledging his title of consul, he advanced to the gates. Then they surrendered at discretion, only begging him to swear to shed no blood. Cinna, refusing to be bound by this condition, promised that he would not voluntarily do so. For he saw by his side the grim figure of the man to whom he had given pro-consular powers, who had already taunted him with weakness for conferring with the Senate at all, and in whose sullen, unshorn face he read a craving for vengeance which nothing but blood would satisfy.

[A massacre at Rome.] When Cinna entered the city, Marius, with savage irony, said that an outlaw had no business within the walls, and he would not come in till the sentence had been formally rescinded by a meeting of the people in the Forum. But the gates, when once he had passed them, were closed, and for five days and five nights Rome became a shambles. Appian says that Marius and Cinna had both sworn to spare the life of Octavius. But Marius was never a liar, and the story is false on the face of it; for just before this Appian relates how, when Cinna had promised to be merciful, Marius would make no sign. [Death of Octavius.] Octavius is said to have seated himself in his official chair, dressed in his official robes, on the Janiculum, and to have awaited the assassins there. His head was fastened up in front of the Rostra in emulation of the ghastly precedent set by Sulla. He was an obstinate, dull man; and if this burlesque of the conduct of the senators when the Gauls took Rome was really enacted, the theatrical display must have been cold comfort for those of his party on whom his incapacity brought ruin. [Sidenote: Chief victims of the massacre.] [The Caesars.] Among the latter were the brothers Caesar, Caius, who had sought to be consul before he was praetor, and had been denounced for it by Sulpicius, and Lucius, the conqueror at Acerrae and author of the Julian law. [Publius Crassus.] Publius Crassus, consul in 97, and one of Caesar's lieutenants in the Social War, fled with his son, and when overtaken first stabbed his son and then himself. [Marcus Antonius.] Marcus Antonius, the great forensic orator, was so odious to Marius that the latter, on hearing that he was taken, wished, so the story runs, to go and kill him with his own hand. Antonius was in hiding, and was betrayed by the indiscretion of a slave, who, being questioned by a wine-seller why he was buying more or better wine than usual, whispered to him that it was for Marcus Antonius. On the soldiers coming to kill him, he pleaded so eloquently for his life that they wept and would not touch him. But their officer, who was waiting below, impatiently came up and cut off his head with his own hand. Lucius Merula opened his veins, and so bled to death. His crime was that he had been made consul when Cinna was deposed. His last act seems odd to us, but pathetically bespoke the man's piety and recalls the last scene in the life of Demosthenes. He wrote on a tablet that he had taken off his official cap when opening his veins, so as to avoid the sacrilege of a flamen of Jupiter dying with it on his head. [Sidenote: Catulus.] Marius had behaved generously once to Q. Lutatius Catulus, his old colleague against the Cimbri; but Catulus had helped to drive him into exile, and there was to be no second mistake of that sort. 'He must die,' he said, when the relatives of Catulus pleaded for his life. It is not unlikely that disease, and drinking, and his late hardships had made the old man insane. He had been occasionally good-natured in former days; now he seemed to gloat in carnage. For every sneer cast at him, for every wrong done to him in past years, he took a horrible revenge. When Cinna had summoned him, he had said that he would settle the question of enrolment in the tribes once for all. He wished not to select victims, but to massacre all the leading optimates. Sertorius begged Cinna to check the slaughter. Cinna did try to curb the outrages of the slave bands; but he dared not break with Marius, whom he named as joint consul with himself for the year 86. But as soon as his colleague was dead, he and Sertorius surrounded the ruffians and killed them to a man.

[Death of Marius.] Marius did not live much longer. He had had his revenge. He had gained his seventh consulship. It is said that, telling his friends that after such vicissitudes it would be wrong to tempt fate further, he took to his bed and after seven days died. He drank hard, was seized with pleurisy, and in his last hours became delirious. He fancied that he was in Asia, and by shouts and gestures cheered on the army of his dreams, and with 'such a stern and iron-clashing close' died January 13 or 17. He was more than seventy years old, and had enjoyed his seventh consulship for either thirteen or seventeen days.

Lucius Valerius Flaccus succeeded Marius as consul, and passed a law making one-fourth of a debt legal tender for payment of it; and probably in the same year the denarius was restored to its standard value. A census was also held, which would include the new Italian citizens, and Philippus, whose opposition to Drusus on this very question had helped to kindle the Social War, was censor. [Sidenote: Settlement of Italian disabilities by Cinna.] Cinna, as he was pledged to do so, must have carried some measure for enrolling the Italians in the old tribes; but we can only conjecture what was actually done. Sulpicius had already carried such a measure, but it had been probably revoked by Sulla before he left Italy. In 84, just before his return, the Senate, it is said, gave the Italians the right of voting, and distributed the libertini, or freed slaves, among the thirty-five tribes. Perhaps this was a formal ratification of what had been passed before under Cinna's coercion.

[Cinna's supremacy.] Cinna was now all-powerful at Rome. For four successive years, 87 to 84 B.C., he was consul; and with the exception of Asia, Macedonia, Greece, and Africa, where Metellus had escaped and was in arms, the whole Roman world was at his feet. But he did not know how to use his power. He may have removed the restrictions on grain, and did proclaim Sulla and Metellus outlaws; but, though he should have bent every energy to hinder Sulla's return, he did worse than nothing, and, instead of Sertorius, sent the incapable Flaccus and the ruffian Fimbria against the general who had just taken Athens and defeated Archelaus. The miscarriage of their enterprise will be told in the next chapter. When Cinna suddenly became alive to the fact that the avenger was at hand, and that either he must act promptly or Sulla would be in Rome, he hastened to Ancona, where he sent one division of the army across to the opposite coast. But the second division was driven back by a storm; and the soldiers then dispersed, saying that they would not fight against their own countrymen. On this the rest of the army refused to embark. Cinna went to harangue them, and one of his lictors in clearing a way struck a soldier. Another soldier struck him. [Cinna slain at Ancona.] Cinna told his lictors to seize this second mutineer, and in the tumult that arose Cinna was slain. Plutarch says that the troops murdered him because he was suspected of having killed Pompeius, and that, when he tried to bribe a centurion with a signet-ring to spare him, the centurion replied that he was not going to seal a bond but slay a tyrant. But Cinna probably died as he lived, a brave man, and one who could not have held ascendency for so long, and over men like Sertorius, had he not been an able as well as a brave man.

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