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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


IV. The Revolution

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER IV - The Rule of the Restoration


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Metellus ventured to follow the king through a desert, in which his troops had to carry water along with them in skins forty-five miles; Thala was reached and fell after a forty days' siege; but the Roman deserters destroyed the most valuable part of the booty along with the building in which they burnt themselves after the capture of the town, and--what was of more consequence--king Jugurtha escaped with his children and his chest. Numidia was no doubt virtually in the hands of the Romans; but, instead of their object being thereby gained, the war seemed only to extend over a field wider and wider. In the south the free Gaetulian tribes of the desert began at the call of Jugurtha a national war against the Romans.

In the west Bocchus king of Mauretania, whose friendship the Romans had in earlier times despised, seemed now not indisposed to make common cause with his son-in-law against them; he not only received him in his court, but, uniting to Jugurtha's followers his own numberless swarms of horsemen, he marched into the region of Cirta, where Metellus was in winter quarters. They began to negotiate: it was clear that in the person of Jugurtha he held in his hands the real prize of the struggle for Rome. But what were his intentions--whether to sell his son-in-law dear to the Romans, or to take up the national war in concert with that son-in-law--neither the Romans nor Jugurtha nor perhaps even the king himself knew; and he was in no hurry to abandon his ambiguous position.

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