|The Story of Rome|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|A vivid account of the story of Rome from the earliest times to the death of Augustus, retold for children, chronicling the birth of a city and its growth through storm and struggle to become a great world empire. Gives short accounts of battles and campaigns, and of the men who expanded the borders of the Roman empire to include all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Ages 10-14 |
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
The Senate sent brave generals and strong armies
against these terrible foes, but the barbarians
scattered the Roman legions and shamed the brave
Their victories made the Teutones and Cimbri insolent
"We can destroy the Roman legions," they said, "so it
will be an easy task to plunder Italy, and destroy even
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
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
 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
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
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