Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Gaul Dares Not Kill Gaius Marius

As you know, Marius had been proclaimed a public enemy, and it was the duty of any one who captured him to put him to death. The magistrates of Minturnæ resolved to do their duty.

But no citizen was to be found who would undertake to put Marius to death, for his fame made him still terrible in their eyes.

At length a Gaul, who had seen him as he fought with the Cimbri, was sent, sword in hand, to kill the prisoner.

Marius had been thrust into a dimly-lighted room. As the Gaul opened the door he saw nothing save two eyes which gleamed like fire. As he advanced the eyes seemed to follow his every movement, until he was conscious of nothing save the terror of that burning gaze.

The next moment a loud voice cried: 'Fellow, darest thou kill Gaius Marius?' and in a flash the Gaul knew that in truth he dared not. Throwing down his sword, he rushed from the room in a frenzy of terror, crying: 'I cannot kill Gaius Marius.' So the magistrates and citizens of Minturnæ had the prisoner once more on their hands.

It may be that something of the same awe that had overpowered the Gaul took possession of them, for now they determined to help their prisoner escape.

Marius was brought out of his gloomy prison and taken once more to the seashore and placed on board a ship.

A favourable wind carried the vessel swiftly to Africa, where Marius landed, to find his son already there and awaiting him.

After young Marius had listened to the tale of his father's adventures, he was sent to Hiempsal, King of Numidia, to beg for protection for his father and himself.

Marius, meanwhile, went to Carthage. But scarcely had he reached it when Sextilius, the Roman governor, sent an officer to bid him leave the province.

'Sextilius forbids you to stay in this province,' said the officer. 'If you do, he declares he will put the decree of the Senate in execution, and treat you as an enemy to the Romans.'

After all he had gone through, must he be persecuted still? In grief as well as in anger Marius sat silent and dismayed.

At length the officer asked what answer he should take back to Sextilius. 'Go tell him,' answered he, 'that you have seen Gaius Marius sitting in exile among the ruins of Carthage.'


Gaius Marius sitting in exile among the ruins of Carthage.

Meanwhile, young Marius had reached the King of Numidia, and was treated by him with kindness.

But each time that he proposed to go back to his father, Hiempsal had some polite reason for not allowing him to leave his court.

The king, indeed, was hesitating as to whether or not he would send the exiles back to Sulla, and so win the favour of Rome.

But young Marius grew impatient of these delays, and one day he made his escape and went back to his father.

It was plain that the King of Numidia could not be trusted, and that there was no safety for the exiles in Africa. So father and son hastened to the coast, and hiring a little fishing-boat, they sailed to an island named Cercina, which was not far from the continent.

It was well that they had not lingered in Carthage, for soon after they had embarked in their little boat, horsemen, sent by the King of Numidia, reached the shore, expecting to capture both Marius and his son.