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
From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Gaius Marius, the son of a poor day-labourer, was born in 599 at the village of Cereatae then belonging to Arpinum, which afterwards obtained municipal rights as Cereatae Marianae and still at the present day bears the name of "Marius' home" (Casamare). He was reared at the plough, in circumstances so humble that they seemed to preclude him from access even to the municipal offices of Arpinum: he learned early--what he practised afterwards even when a general--to bear hunger and thirst, the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and to sleep on the hard ground.
As soon as his age allowed him, he had entered the army and through service in the severe school of the Spanish wars had rapidly risen to be an officer. In Scipio's Numantine war he, at that time twenty-three years of age, attracted the notice of the stern general by the neatness with which he kept his horse and his accoutrements, as well as by his bravery in combat and his decorous demeanour in camp.
He had returned home with honourable scars and warlike distinctions, and with the ardent wish to make himself a name in the career on which he had gloriously entered; but, as matters then stood, a man of even the highest merit could not attain those political offices, which alone led to the higher military posts, without wealth and without connections. The young officer acquired both by fortunate commercial speculations and by his union with a maiden of the ancient patrician clan of the Julii.
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