Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Jugurtha Is Brought to Rome in Chains

In 106 B.C., the same year that Jugurtha was captured, Rome was disturbed by the rumour that a great army of barbarians was approaching Italy.

They were tall and blue-eyed, these hordes of barbarians, and were believed to come from the shores of the North Sea, where the German races had their home.

The Senate sent brave generals and strong armies against these terrible foes, but the barbarians scattered the Roman legions and shamed the brave generals.

Their victories made the Teutones and Cimbri insolent and proud.

'We can destroy the Roman legions,' they said, 'so it will be an easy task to plunder Italy, and destroy even Rome herself.'

The Senate and the people grew more and more alarmed, while those who had sought to belittle the fame of Marius repented. For was he not the only general who could save them now?

So Marius, although he was still in Africa, was elected Consul a second time.

It is true that the law forbade the election of any one who was absent from Rome. But necessity knows no law, said the Romans, and Marius was elected.

When Marius was told of the honour that had been conferred upon him he was well pleased. It was another step in the ambitious path he was ascending. He at once sailed for Italy, that he might be ready to defend his country from the barbarians.

By the 1st January 104 B.C., Marius had reached the gates of Rome and celebrated a splendid triumph, Jugurtha and two of his sons being led in his procession loaded with chains.

Jugurtha had been a dangerous foe, and the people of Rome could scarcely believe, until they saw, that he was actually a captive and in chains.

When the triumph was over, many of them ventured to approach him, to put out their hand to touch the broken-spirited king. In wanton cruelty they snatched the clothing off his body, and even wrenched the gold rings from off his ears.

But soon he was led away and thrust into the prison at the foot of the Capitoline hill. His misery had confused his mind, and as he was left alone his foolish laughter echoed through his prison, while he cried, 'O Hercules, how cold your bath is.'

For six days he endured the pangs of hunger, for his gaolers gave him no food, and so at last the king, shorn of his strength and power, died.

After his triumph Marius at once set out with his army to fight against the barbarians. But the Teutones and the Cimbri had turned away from Rome, and it was a long time before Marius encountered them.

He was not, however, the kind of general to let his troops be idle. He kept them at work, and the discipline of the camp was strict.

If the soldiers marched, each was made to carry his own baggage, and each had also to cook his own food.

Soon the men, if they carried their loads without grumbling, were nicknamed 'Marian mules.'

Another story tells that this nickname arose in quite a different way.

When Marius first joined the army under Scipio, the general on a certain day inspected not only the arms and horses of his men, but their mules and wagons as well.

Both the horse and mule belonging to Marius were in perfect condition, and had evidently received more care than those of his comrades.

Scipio commended the beasts, and often reminded the soldiers of their well-groomed appearance, until at length, half in scorn and half in mirth, any man in Marius's army who worked harder and more persistently than his neighbour was called by his comrades 'a Marian mule.'

A year passed, and the barbarians had not yet appeared.

Marius was elected Consul for the third time, for the Senate still dreaded the appearance of the enemy, and wished him to be in command when it did descend into Italy.

Another year passed, and still they did not come.

At the end of 103 B.C. Marius went back to Rome. It was time for the new elections, and Marius pretended that he did not wish to be Consul again.

But Saturninus, one of the tribunes, said that if he refused office when his country was in danger he would be a traitor.

This was strong language, but it did not displease Marius, who in reality would have been greatly disappointed had he not been elected.

So now he promised to accept the office if it was the wish of the people that he should do so. Then for the fourth time Marius was chosen Consul, with Catulus as his colleague.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus