Marius in Roman Biography

Ma'ri-us, (Caius,) a Roman general, distinguished for his splendid talents, indomitable energy, and unprincipled ambition, was born near Arpinum (now Arpino) in 157 B.C. His parents were poor and plebeian. He served under Scipio Africanus at the siege of Numantia, and was chosen tribune of the people in 119. He obtained the praetorship in 115, though strongly opposed by the patrician party, and about the same time married Julia, an aunt of Julius Caesar. Having accompanied Metellus as legate and second in command into Africa, (109 B.C.,) he won such popularity by his skill and bravery that he was elected consul for 107 B.C. and intrusted , with the command of the Jugurthine war. He defeated J¬ęgurtha, who was made prisoner in 106. In 104 B.C. Marius was again chosen consul, as being the only one capable of defending the state from the threatened invasion of the Teutones and Cimbri. He defeated the barbarians at Aix, (Aquae Sextiae,) in Gaul, in 102 B.C. Having been elected consul the next year, for the fifth time, Marius, in conjunction with Catulus, gained a signal and overwhelming victory over the Cimbri in the plain of Vercellae, (Vercelli.) By the aid of the tribune Saturninus, Marius became consul for 100 B.C., in spite of the determined hostility of the patricians. Durirg this consulate an agrarian law was passed, and Metellus Nuniidicus was exiled for refusing to conform to it. On the expiration of his term of office, Marius went to Asia, under the pretext of sacrificing to Cybele, but really in order to excite Mithridates to a war with Rome, that he might again distinguish himself in his congenial element. In 90 B.C. both Marius and Sulla entered the service of the consuls Octavius and China in the Marsian or Social war ; but, jealous of the reputation of his rival, the former soon resigned. Sulla, having become consul in 88 B.C., obtained the command in the Mithridatic war, upon which Marius, assisted by his friends, caused a law to be passed transferring it to him. He was soon driven from the city by Sulla and his adherents, and forced to take refuge in Africa. When Sextilius, Governor of Libya, sent him orders to leave the country, on pain of being treated as an enemy, Marius replied to the messenger, "Go tell him that you have seen the exile Marius sitting on the ruins of Carthage." The next year, while Sulla was absent in Greece, Marius, joined by the consul Cinna, entered Rome and ordered a general massacre of the opposite party. Among the patricians who perished was M. Antonius, the orator so highly praised by Cicero. Marius and Cinna became consuls, (86 B.C.,) but the former was attacked by a fever, of which he died the same year. See Plutarch, "Life of Marius:" George Long, "Life of Marius," London, 1844; Merimbe, "Etudes sur l'Histoire Romaine," etc. : Sallust, " Jugurtha;" F. Weiland, "C. Maiii septies Consulis Vita," Berlin, 1845: P. Ekerman, " Dissertatio de C. Mario seplies Consule," 1742; Smith, "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Urography;." " Nouvelle Biographie Generate."

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