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

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Capture of Jugurtha's Treasure Towns

Jugurtha and Bocchus knew that they had cause to dread the new Roman General. Certainly he would move swiftly, so the king and his ally resolved to march in different directions, in the hope that one of them would be able to fall upon Marius when he was least expecting an attack.

But it was Marius who in the end surprised Jugurtha, near the town of Cirta, and after a skirmish forced him to fly, hearing that he was defeated, determined to forsake him and make peace with Rome. But Marius was too anxious to capture Jugurtha to pay much attention to the advances of King Bocchus.

As the kings had foreseen, Marius moved swiftly. He marched first to Capsa, a city in which Jugurtha kept many of his royal treasures.

It was taken without much difficulty and burned, while the inhabitants were either killed or sold into slavery.

City after city, fort after fort, fell into the hands of the untiring general, until at length he reached another of the king's treasure forts.

The name of the fort is unknown. It was not a town, but a mere border citadel in the far west of Numidia, and was built on the top of a high rock, which looked impossible to scale. The one way of approach to the fort was by a steep and narrow path.

Marius besieged the fort, but it was strongly defended, and had a large store of arms, as well as of food and water.

It was here that a reinforcement of Italian cavalry joined him, under the command of Cornelius Sulla. As Marius had proved a thorn in the flesh to Metellus, so Sulla was to prove to his commander. In days to come he was his rival and his most bitter enemy.

Marius had at length decided to give up the siege of the border fort, when a way was found to take it.

A soldier from the Roman camp was one day looking at the steep rock which sloped down from the fort, when he noticed a ledge on which there were a number of snails.

As snails happened to be his favourite food, he climbed up to gather them, then clambered farther in search of more.

Higher and higher he mounted, until at length he found himself near the top of the cliff.

He now saw that he was close to an oak tree, the root of which was embedded deep in a crevice.

The soldier mounted to the topmost branch, and looking over into the fort he saw that no sentinels were near. He had made a great discovery.

Down the rock he clambered as quickly as he dared, and hastening back to the camp, told Marius that it was possible to scale the cliff at a point where the citadel was not guarded.

Marius promptly ordered some soldiers to follow the mountaineer up the face of the cliff.

It was no easy task, for the soldiers were cumbered with weapons, but by the help of their guide they reached the top in safety. Not a sentinel was to be seen.

Marius waited until he thought the soldiers had had time to accomplish their hazardous climb, then he ordered an attack to be made at the front of the fort.

The garrison rushed to the walls to repel the assault, but in the midst of their struggle they were startled to hear behind them the noise of trumpets, the clash of arms.

The soldiers who had scaled the rock had entered the fort, and the garrison and the wretched inhabitants were seized with sudden panic at their appearance and fled.

Then the Romans pursued the fugitives, cutting down all who resisted, and soon the citadel, which had so nearly defied them, was in their hands.

But Marius was not yet satisfied, for Jugurtha was still free, and he had promised the Roman people that he would speedily capture or kill the king.