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CHAPTER XXXIL

RULE OF THE RESTORED OLIGARCHY.

THE WARS WITH JUGURTHA AND THE CIMBRI.

B.C. 121 TO B.C. 100.

"Pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute, audacia, largitio, avaritia vigebant."

Sallcst.

"The history of Rome from the time of the Gracchi is the history of a state that was hurried to its rain by the ignorance of the people and the vices of their leaders. We now and then meet with an honest man, but the number is small."—Long.

IlOW THE NOBLES USED THEIR VICTORY—OPTIMATE8 AND POPULATES—THE CONFLICT TENDING TO DESPOTISM—GOVERNMENT OP THE RESTORED OPTIMATKS—THE METELU —DALMATIAN AND OTHER WARS—0ATO AND THE SOORDIS0I—THE CIMBRI AND TEUTONES—AFFAIRS OF NUMIDIA—ORIGIN AND CHARACTER OF JUGURTHA—HE SERVES AT NUMANTIA—DEATHBED OF RING MICIPSA—MORDER OF HIEMPSAL— ROMAN COMMISSIONERS BRIBED BY JUOURTHA—CAPTURE OF CIRTA AND DEATH OF ADHERBAL — THE JUOURTHINE WAR—CORRUPTION OF BESTIA AND SCAURUS—THE TRIBUNE MEMMIU8—JUGURTHA AT ROME—MURDER OF MASSIVA—SPURIUS ALBINUS IN AFRICA —CAPITULATION OF A. ALBINUS—INDIGNATION AT ROME—PROSECUTIONS OF THE OPTIMATES—METELLUS SENT TO AFRICA, WITH MARK'S AS LEGATE —OVERTURES OP JUGURTHA—BATTLE OF THE RIVER MUTHUL—SUCCESSES OF METELLUS—HE IS RETULSED FROM ZAMA—CONSPIRACY OF BOMILCAR—RISE OF CAIUS MARIUS—HIS MARRIAGE WITH JULIA—THE SOOTHSAYER AT UTICA—MARIUS ASPIRES TO THE CONSULSHIP—SCORN OF METELLUS — ELECTION OF MARIUS — METELLUS TAKES THALA—

BOCCHUS AND JUGURTHA NEGOTIATIONS WITH METELLUS — MARtCS ARRIVES IX

AFRICA—HIS FIRST CAMPAIGN—TAKING OF CAPSA—EXPEDITION TO THE MOLOCHATH

THE LAST BATTLE OF JUGURTHA—TREACHERY OF KINO BOCCHUS—MISSION or

SULLA AND CAPTURE OF JUOURTHA—TRIUMPn OF MARIUS —HIS JEALOUSY OF SCLLA —THE COMING CONFLICT—THE CIMBRI AND TEUTONES—DEFEATS OF CARBO, SILANU3, LONGINCS, AND OF MALLIUS AND OEPIO—SUCCESSIVE CONSULSHIPS OF MARIUS —BIS VICTORY OVER THE TEUTONES AT AIX—VICTORY OVER THE CIMBRI—CONDITION OF ROME AND ITALY—INSURRECTIONS OF SLAVES—SUFFERINGS OF THE PROVINCESPIRACY—SECOND SERVILE WAR IN SICILY—SIXTH CONSULSHIP OF MARIUS—BIRTHS OF CICERO, POMPEY, AND CAESAR.

If the failure and death of the Gracchi averted a democratic revolution at Rome, it was at the cost of destroying every hope of moderate reform. The victorious party returned to power with all the vices and dangers inherent in a restoration. The conflict, in which they had gained their victory, was of a totally different character from that between the patricians and the plebeians in the early age of the republic. That was an honest effort for a fair share of political power, made by a body which was qualified to use it when obtained, and granted by the original citizens when they were convinced that the demand could no longer be resisted. The result was to make Rome a free and powerful state, on the basis of the union of the two orders. But out of that union there had grown up a new nobility, partly patrician and partly plebeian, no longer banded together in defence of those political privileges

RC. 130.] OPTIMATES AND POPULARES. 45

which give a certain dignity to an aristocracy—for all Roman citizens now possessed the equality of civil rights and universal suffrage—but holding its grasp upon the administrative government by means of and for the sake of wealth alone. That wealth, obtained by the depopulation of Italy and the plunder of the provinces, was employed in bribery at home: and the people, who were ever ready to attack a delinquent governor, got their share of the plunder at the elections. The Roman Equites and Italian capitalists reaped their full share of the booty as contractors and farmers of the revenue (negotiatores and publicani). In such a state of things it was no wonder that the effort failed, either to raise up an independent opposition to the great families from a middle class whose interests were identical with theirs, or to lay a new foundation of freedom on the basis of a populace held in subservience by corruption, nor that the use of the influence thus acquired decided the failure of the revolution. The victory was one of personal interests, and it was now to be followed up for personal interests alone.

The absence of definite political principles was implied by the new party names that now came into use. The ruling faction called themselves the Optimates {those of the best class)—a term which seems to have come into use about the time of the Gracchi. The name was of course intended to assume that they were what Cicero describes them, "all good and honest people, of all ranks and conditions ; " but a far truer idea is given by Mr. Long's description:—"We may easily guess who were the Optimates. They were the rich and powerful, who ruled by intimidation, intrigue, and bribery, who bought the votes of the people, and sold their interests." Opposed to them were the Populares, or men of the people, a title just as much self-assumed as the other, not signifying the people themselves, but men who assumed the character of popular leaders for purposes generally as selfish and corrupt as those of the Optimates. "From the time of the Gracchi to the time of C. Julius Csesar the contest was between the party of the Optimates and the party of the Populares. It was a contest in which the rich and powerful on both sides struggled for political superiority and personal aggrandizement. The party of the Optimates had a plainer object than the opposite party: they wished to maintain the power of their faction and the authority of the Senate. The leaders of the popular party could have no other object than to overthrow their opponents by means of the people, that is, by the votes of a body of men, many of whom were poor and venal." * Rome possessed neither of those elements by which a healthy commonwealth secures its own perpetual renovation,—a class of public men able and willing to devote themselves to the service of the state without making it the means of livelihood or of wealth, and an independent public opinion, sufficiently intelligent, strong, and constant in its action, to influence the whole course of the government, and especially to recal it to first principles. Where such elements are in action, the motto of " measures rather than men," however hypocritical as a party cry, will fairly represent the general working of the state: in the long run, the men will govern for the sake of the measures. But such a contest of personal greed and ambition as commenced at Rome at the time of the Gracchi can have but one end—an end which the impracticable reforms of the few honest men help to bring about. The popular party is the first to yield up its liberties to a leader powerful enough to overthrow the nobles and then to play the despot over those who fancied him their champion and servant; and the nobles can only recover their lost ground by submitting their mutual jealousies to a leader equally despotic. At Rome the popular party found such leaders in Marina and Julius Cassar, the aristocracy in Sulla and Octavian; and when the impenetrable cunning of the last had induced the people to accept him as their hereditary leader, while the true spirit of his government was aristocratic, the empire was firmly founded on the traditions of both parties, as the old republic had been based on the union of the patricians and plebeians.

Meanwhile the restored government of the Optimates was as destitute of ability and common honesty as it was of moderation, and terror had its natural effect on their policy. "While the aristocracy had formerly governed as it chose, and for more than a century without any substantial opposition, the crisis which it had now passed through revealed to it, like a flash of lightning in a dark night, the abyss which yawne'd before its feet."t With the failure of the agrarian legislation of the Gracchi and the removal of the last restrictions on the old possessors, the social miseries of Italy revived. Farms were again swallowed up in sheep-walks: capital was concentrated in so few hands that, by the end of the century, but 2000 wealthy families were numbered among the Roman citizens: the slaves employed to till the vast possessions of the rich broke out into almost annual insurrections: the

* Long, Dtcline, ic, vol. i., p. 29(5.

(■ Mommsen, History of Home, vol, iii., p. 137.

RC. 118] DALMATIAN AND OTHER AVARS. 47

provinces were filled with the like disorders: and the Mediterranean swarmed with pirates, especially on the coasts of Asia. One thing only was wanting to display the corruption of the ruling party in all its shamelessness and their incompetence in all its shame. The disgrace they brought upon themselves in conducting the foreign relations of the republic was also the occasion of bringing to light the men who were the first to usurp despotic power at Rome, Marius in the name of the people, Sulla as the champion of the Optimates.

During the twenty years succeeding the fall of Caius Gracchus, there were wars with barbarians on the mountain frontiers of Italy and Greece, wars in which we read of more triumphs than victories. A large share of these triumphs was enjoyed by the Metelli, six of whom—four sons and probably two nephews of old Metcllus Macedonicus—held the consulship within a period of fifteen years (b.c. 123-109). It was at a cheap rate indeed, if we may believe the story, that L. Caecilius Metellus, consul in B.c. 119, obtained the surname of Delmaticus, and a triumph over the Dalmatians (b.c. 117).* This Illyrian people inhabited the central part of the eastern coast of the Adriatic, whose indented shores sheltered their corsairs. They had been subdued, at least nominally, by the consuls C. Marcius Figulus and P. Scipio Nasica (b.c. 156-155). Metellus. is said to have led his consular army into their country solely to obtain a pretext for a triumph, and to have been received without opposition. Still the triumph would not have been granted unless he had at least made some show of military operations; and the plunder he brought home from his two years' government sufficed for the restoration of the temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum, which had been built after the battle of the lake Regillus. Two more Metelli obtained triumphs in B.c. 113 for victories in Sardinia and Thrace. C. Porcius Cato, the grandson of the censor, was less fortunate in his government of Macedonia as consul (b.c. 114). In a war with the Scordisci, a people probably of Gallic origin, who extended from the Danube to the frontier of the province, he lost his army; and on his return to Rome he was convicted on a charge of extortion (b.c. 113). He retired to Spain, and renounced the Roman citizenship for that "f Tarraco. The honour of success against the Scordisci was reserved for the consulship of M. Livius Drusus, the same who as tribune was the rival of C. Gracchus (b.c. 112). Amidst these petty campaigns, the Romans were called to meet a barbarian invasion scarcely less formidable than that of the Gauls nearly four centuries before. The vast hosts of the Cimbri and Tetjtoxes were imprudently engaged in Noricum by the consul Cn. Papirius Carbo, who was utterly defeated (b.c. 113). But as the invaders fortunately turned aside into Gaul, where they were finally defeated twelve years later by C. Marius, we may postpone further notice of them till we have related the great African war, which furnished the crowning proofs of the corruption and incapacity of the nobles, which gave Marius a triumph no less over them than over Jugurtha, which laid the foundation for the career of Sulla, and was no remote cause of the Civil Wars of Rome.

* The name is commonly spelt Dalmata, hut the old form on coins and inscriptions U Dclmaia. After the destruction of Delminium by the Consul C. Marcius figulus, in B.C. 156, their capital was at Salona, which still retains the name.—Seo Sir Gardner Wilkinson's Dalmalia and MmUtnegro.

Micipsa, King of Numidia, died in B.c. 118. We have already seen how, by the death of his two brothers, the dominions of his father Masinissa had been reunited under his sceptre.* Maintaining a steady fidelity to the Romans, he reigned peacefully at his capital of Cirta, (Constant! nek), which he embellished with splendid buildings. Here he gathered about him a circle of educated Greeks, and passed his old age in those literary pursuits for which the African princes became distinguished. But there was one among them, who inherited the rude vigour of the old Nomad chieftains, and secretly resolved to supplant his gentler kinsmen. Jugurtha, the illegitimate son of Mastanabal, the youngest brother of Micipsa, inherited from his grandfather those qualities of which

* The relationship between the princes of the house of Masinissa will be seen from the following table :—

Masinissa, d. B.c. 149. i

< i )

Micipsa, d. B.C. 118. Gulussa. Mastanabal.

r > 1 r >

Adherbal, Hicmpsal, Massiva, Cauda, Juot/btha,

d. B.0. 112. d. B.c. 117. d. B.c. 111. d. before B.c. 78. d. B.C. 104.

Murdered by Jugurtha. Assassinated at I I

Rome by order | |

of Jugurtha. Hiempsal II., Oxyntas.
King of Numidia.

Juba I., King of Numidia,
Friend of Pompey.

Juba IT., King of Numidia,

and afterwards of Mauretauia;

Friend of Augustus.

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