Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Gaius Marius Wins the Notice of Scipio Africanus

Gaius Marius was born in 157 B.C. His parents were humble folk, who had to work for their daily bread.

Marius grew up knowing nothing of the indolence and luxury that surrounded so many Roman youths of noble birth.

His boyhood was lived in a mountain village, where, if his training made him rough and uncouth, it also taught him to endure hardness, and to eat and drink only what was needful for his health. It was many long years before Marius knew anything of the polished manners and indulgent ways of the city.

From his youth Gaius Marius was bold and active. As he grew older, his temper would often flash out in ungovernable passion when there was little to provoke it.

The lad first served as a soldier under the younger Scipio Africanus. He was used to frugal fare, and to him the simple manner in which Scipio insisted that his soldiers should live seemed only natural.

The young soldier's bravery gained the attention of his commander more than once, and it is easy to believe that such notice awoke his pride and roused his ambition.

One evening, as he sat at supper, Scipio was asked where the Romans would find another leader when he was no longer with them.

'Perhaps here,' answered Scipio, and as he spoke he touched Marius lightly on the shoulder.

At these words the ambition of Marius leaped to greater heights than ever before.

When he was thirty-eight years of age he became a tribune, and he at once set himself to win the favour of the people by bringing forward a measure to keep the election of magistrates free from bribery, but the Senate refused to allow the bill to be put to the vote.

Marius, nothing daunted, threatened that the Consuls should be imprisoned if they did not compel the Senate to let the bill take its course. So determined was he that he gained his end. The bill came before the people, and they, well pleased that Marius had compelled the Senate to yield, voted for it, and the bill became law.

In 115 B.C. he became a prætor, and was sent to service in Spain. Here he showed that he was a leader of men, for under him the Roman army speedily cleared the land of the robbers that had for long infested it.

At this time those who rose to fame in Rome were almost always either rich or eloquent.

But Marius was poor, and he had no gift of speech, yet these things did not prevent him from looking forward to the days when he, too, would be famous.

And already the people believed in him. He worked so hard and lived so simply that they looked on the uncouth soldier with goodwill.

A little later he married into the family of the illustrious Cæsars, and this improved his position, and added to his growing influence in the State. His wife Julia was the aunt of the great Roman, Julius Cæsar.

This was the lieutenant Metellus took with him to the war against Jugurtha.


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