Gaius Marius. Unfortunately, this advance had brought him near the dominions of Bocchus finally provoking the Mauretanian into action; in the deserts just west of Serif, Marius was taken by surprise by a combined army of Numidians and Mauretanians under the command of the two enemy kings. Caught off guard by Sulla's cavalry, pinned down by Catulus' infantry and flanked by Marius, the Cimbri were slaughtered and the survivors enslaved. The losses in the preceding decade had been bad enough, but this defeat, apparently caused by the arrogance of the nobility and its refusal to co-operate with talented non-nobles, thoroughly discredited the aristocracy's management of foreign threats. "Marius and the Roman Nobility", This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 17:43. Related Content Marius was defeated and fled Rome. Yet, unfortunately, his name has only survived in relative obscurity because his achievements were eclipsed by his ultimate fall. He frustrated them by refusing to give battle, staying inside his heavily fortified camp fighting of their attempts to storm his fortress. [143] Upon hearing of this, Sulla rallied his troops to his personal banner and called upon them to defend him against the insults of the Marian faction. [72] The Senate was unable to induce Caepio in cooperate with Mallius, which proved both generals' undoing. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. This is especially the case of Marius' characterisation in the narratives of both Sallust and Plutarch. Seeking to use them, and with precedent for waiving the property requirements during the existential crisis that was the Second Punic War, Marius was exempted from the requirements. Sulla raised and ably led a cavalry contingent during the Numidian campaign, during which he won great popularity within the ranks for sharing the common legionary’s hardships. The commander of the garrison, one Titus Turpilius Silanus, a client of Metellus, escaped unharmed. [119] Plutarch also reports that while in the East, Marius attempted to goad Mithridates VI of Pontus into declaring war on Rome, so that the Roman people might be forced to rely on Marius's military leadership once more. To this Marius retorted 'Well, if you think you are any good a general, why don't you try to make me? In the realm of politics he helped lead the Populares faction against the Optimates of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, their rivalry coming to a head in 88–87 BC during Sulla's first civil war. [74] While his election was not unprecedented, as Quintus Fabius Maximus had been elected for consecutive consulships[75] and it was not unheard of for consuls to be elected in absentia, it certainly was not with recent precedent. Gaius Marius came from a wealthy family from Arpinum and was part of the Equestrian class. No longer would personal grudges solely be pursued in the courts:[c] political enemies would be executed en masse. Marius allegedly urged Metellus to sentence Silanus to death on charges of cowardice, but then apparently turned on Metellus, arguing that the sentence was disproportionate and overly harsh. [29] Being accused of electoral corruption was common during the middle and late Republic and details of the trial are sketchy or apocryphal. Although this was no responsibility of Marius, he was smeared as a man who betrayed … [96], Marius was reelected to his fourth consecutive consulship as consul for 101 BC with his friend Manius Aquillius as his colleague. Upwards of 120,000 Cimbri were slain. Marius joined the military where he was an excellent soldier, and was able to advance up through the ranks of the military. He ultimately fled to Africa, where he dodged his enemies and slowly assembled a small force for his eventual return to Rome. Apparently, the Ambrones had camped apart from the Teutones. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Then he set out to confront Jugurtha. He suffered some casualties in a minor engagement up in one of the mountain valleys near Tridentum. Marius and his contemporaries' need for soldiers cemented a paradigmatic shift away from the levy-based armies of the middle Republic towards open recruitment. Frank, Elfrieda. Examples of this are the extortion and treason courts set up by Saturninus and Gaius Mamilius'. [137], Marius' experience in the conflict brought him few honors, though he served at a senior level and won at least a few victories. [118], However, scholars have pointed out that Marius's supposed 'humiliation' cannot have been too long-lasting. License. Yet, Marius got around this by inducing an ally of his, then-tribune Titus Manlius Mancinus, to have the Assembly override the Senate's decision and appoint him in command. He won with the support of the Metelli faction,[19] specifically Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus. The Senate prorogued Metellus' command in Numidia,[54] thereby preventing Marius from assuming command. [153] Their heads were exhibited in the Forum. Gender: Male Race or Ethnicity: White Occupation: Military, Politician. [113], Marius, although he was generally allied with the radicals, complied with the request and put down the revolt in the interest of public order. [100] Meeting with the Cimbri, the invading tribesmen threatened the Romans with the advance of the Teutones and Ambrones. Cite This Work [48] Metellus shed bitter tears when he learned of the decision; refusing to personally hand over command to Marius, Metellus was surprised at a positive welcome. [59] At the end of 107 he surprised Jugurtha by a dangerous desert march to Capsa in the far south where, after the town surrendered, he put all the survivors to the sword. Teutobod, the Teutonic king, and 3,000 warriors escaped the battle only to be caught by the Sequani who handed them over to Marius. [20] According to Plutarch, the Metelli were one of his family's hereditary patrons; while this connection may be a latter-day exaggeration,[21] it was not uncommon for prospective consuls to campaign for their candidates for the tribunate and lower the possibility of opposition tribunes exercising their vetoes. Marius narrowly escaped capture and death on several occasions and eventually found safety with his veterans in Africa. [76], Marius was still in Africa when the Assembly elected him consul for 104 BC. Since his opponents were waiting for him, Marius had the opportunity to reconnoiter the area and select a suitable site for the upcoming battle. Death Marius spent the last several years of his life in internal battles with patrician leaders. Although Plutarch claims that Marius' father was a labourer, this is almost certainly false since Marius had connections with the nobility in Rome, he ran for local office in Arpinum, and he had marriage relations with the local nobility in Arpinum, which all combine to indicate … But in 95 BC, Rome passed a decree, the Lex Licinia Mucia, expelling from the city all residents who were not Roman citizens. [145] This was a momentous event, and was unforeseen by Marius, as no Roman army had ever marched upon Rome: it was forbidden by law and ancient tradition. [91] Marius ordered his camp servants and all other non-combatants to march with the army. Gaius Marius comes from a latin family, that lived in a village close to the town of Arpinum. The wealthy continued to try to influence the voting by inspecting ballots and Marius passed a law narrowing the passages down which voters passed to cast their votes in order to prevent outsiders from harassing the electors. However, it greatly expanded the Republic’s recruitment pool and eventually became standard operating procedure in old Rome. [129] With Marius in command of their camp and supplies the Marsi had to withdraw. He held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. It is unknown how prominent Marius' family were at this time. [161], This characterisation is not viewed by modern historians as entirely fair,[162] for Marius' attempts to win the consulship and for self-aggrandisement were not out of the norm of politicians of the middle to late Republic. Called to an emergency session by Marius, the Senate issued its 'final decree' (the Senatus consultum ultimum), and ordered Marius, as consul, to put down the revolt. Gaius Marius was easily one of the Roman Republic’s most accomplished men. This is when Claudius Marcellus and his 3,000 men loudly and viciously attacked the enemy rear. Since eagles were considered sacred animals of Jupiter, the supreme god of the Romans, it was later seen as an omen predicting his election to the consulship seven times. [162][d] At a broad level, the use of the Assemblies totally eroded senatorial control and created significant and prolonged instability,[171] only resolved by the destruction of the Republican form of government and the transition to Empire. [23] But while the election procedures were supported by the plebs in Rome, Marius shortly thereafter alienated them by vetoing a bill for the expansion of the ever-popular grain dole, citing high cost. While the ancient historians, who were often hostile toward Marius, claimed that this was a widespread purge, "the most assiduous researchers can only attribute responsibility for seven of the fourteen known victims to [Marius]" (Carney, 67). This led Poppaedius Silo, one of the Marsi generals, to challenge him: 'So if you are such a great general, Marius, why not come down [from your fortifications] and fight it out?' Gaius Marius (c. 157-86 B.C.) [18] He likely, however, participated in the major Roman victory of 121 BC which permanently cemented Roman control over southern Gaul. Once they reached the Arno at Sublaqueum they were attacked by the Marsi. Hyden, Marc. Marius was the first "new man" in 35 years to wi… After celebrating a splendid Roman triumph, Marius traveled to the north with his army, trained them, and prepared for a campaign that might determine Rome’s fate, but the barbarian alliance did not arrive as expected. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Nevertheless, Marius’ unrestrained vengeance utterly ruined his once largely commendable reputation. The Romans had to fight Jugurtha in the desert where the Numidian light cavalry had an advantage. [citation needed] It is not clear, however, whether Plutarch's narrative history properly reflects how controversial this proposal in fact was: Cicero, writing at least during the Republic, describes this lex Maria as quite straightforward and uncontroversial. Lupus died in a Marsic ambush on the River Tolenus. At this point Marius re-organized a few detachments, and led a column of 2,000 men through the Numidans and linked up with Metellus. [89], Marius' consular colleague in 102 BC, Quintus Lutatius Catulus, did not fare so well. According to Plutarch, during a conversation after dinner, when the conversation turned to generals, someone asked Scipio Aemilianus where the Roman people would find a worthy successor to him, the younger Scipio gently tapped on Marius' shoulder, saying: "Perhaps this is the man". [43] Metellus did not give Marius his blessing to return to Rome,[41] allegedly advising Marius to wait and run with Metellus's son (who was only twenty, which would signify a campaign 20 years in the future), Marius began to campaign for the consulship. [13] This led to Roman soldiers of the time being referred to as Marius' mules. The Cimbri established a fearsome alliance with the Teutones, Ambrones, and others to challenge Rome. [40] In 109 BC, likely to improve his chances for the consulship,[41] Marius joined then-consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus, in his campaign against Jugurtha. And it was likely initially envisioned as nothing more than a temporary measure to meet the extraordinary threats of Numidia and the Cimbrian tribes. So, Marius sailed to Rome where he implemented an effective campaign strategy of pandering to the lowest strata of society and thoroughly demonizing the aristocracy. During the Battle of the Muthul Marius' actions probably saved the army of Metellus from annihilation. [129] Marius had expected sole command and he did not get along with Caepio with disastrous results. It was not uncommon for men from his class to join the lowest ranks of the Senate and be sponsored by a patrician house. Although Plutarchclaims that Marius' father was a labourer, this is almost certainly false since Marius had connections with the nobility in Rome, he ran for local office in Arpinum… He was also noted for his important reforms of Roman armies. Cinna assumed control of the Populares faction but … Sulla and his supporters in the Senate passed a death sentence on Marius, Sulpicius and a few other allies of Marius. Marius narrowly escaped capture and death on several occasions and eventually found safety in Africa. [165] However, this development did not emerge from Marius. In 106 Marius marched his army far to the west, capturing a fortress by the river Molochath. In 102-101, Marius defeated them at Aquae Sextiae and, with Quintus Catulus, on the Campi Raudii. Caepio's disdain for Mallius – a new man like Marius and hunger for glory – made it impossible for them to cooperate. [113] After Saturninus and Glaucia surrendered, Marius attempted to keep Saturninus and his followers alive by locking them safely inside the Senate house, where they would await prosecution according to the law. Ancient History Encyclopedia. The book features 2 b/w maps. He also improved the pilum, a javelin which (after improvement) when thrown and impacting the enemy, would bend so to be unusable. One of the major arguments for these land reforms was to rebuild the manpower pool from which the legions recruited. While many soldiers complained about this added burden, this proved to be a commonsense and effective reform that became permanent. "Gaius Marius." After his governorship, Marius’ political career temporarily went cold. [69] The next year, 106 BC, another consul, Quintus Servilius Caepio, marched to Gaul with another new army to salvage the situation. [37] After the start of hostilities, the first army sent to Numidia was apparently bribed to withdraw and the second army was defeated and forced to march under the yoke. 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