Gaius Marius, at the end of the second century BCE, was in practice the dominant figure on the political scene of Rome. The proof of this was repeated fulfillment of the consul’s function. Plutarch says that when he held the office for the seventh time in a row, the conspiracy for his life was plotted.
This time he was supposed to be in the city of Minturnae, where his political opponents decided to kill him. However, to everyone’s surprise, no one of the local residents would take up the task. Finally, a barbarian who was then in the city was sent as a assassin – he was either a Gaul or a Cymbrian.
When the assassin entered the room in which Marius was staying, despite the darkness, the Roman’s eyes seemed to hit fire and light up the room. At that time Marius was to say in a low voice: “Do you dare to kill Gaius Marius?” The barbarian was so shocked and afraid, that he dropped his sword and ran out of the room. Returning to the opponents, he announced – “I can not kill Marius”.
Plutarch, Gaius Marius
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