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Who was Jugurtha?

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Jugurtha in chains before Sulla
Jugurtha in chains before Sulla

Jugurtha, grandson of Masynissa (an ally of Rome from the Second Punic War ) was king of Numidia from 118 BCE His ambition allowed him to defeat two rivals for the throne of the state, divided by Micipsa. Seeking the unification of the state, however, Jugurtha fell into a conflict with Rome, which led to the so-called Jugurthian War, which was fought in 111-105 BCE.

Initially, Jugurtha was successful, mainly thanks to numerous bribes among Roman politicians and chiefs. Only a series of victories of Quintus Cecilius Metellus and the final victory of Gaius Marius in the battle of Cyrta led to the triumph of the Romans.

In 104 BCE Marius had a solemn triumph, during which the captured Jugurta was performed in shackles in front of a crowd of many thousands of Romans. Jugurtha, completely unaware of the plans for him, was to say after entering the cell: Hercules, what a cold bath this is!. After the ceremony, he was murdered in prison.

  • Maciej Maciejowski, Wojna jugurtyńska 111-105 p.n.e., Zabrze 2008

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