(Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus)

d. 91 BC

Metellus was a political rival of Marius, and his family eventually became allied with Sulla. Metellus was named consul in 109 B.C. to taken command of the Jugurthine War. Although Metellus was an able commander, he was most well known for refusing Jugurtha's gold, since Jugurtha had managed to secure and maintain his position through his notorious bribery of other Roman Nobles, including Bestia, the predecessor of Metellus. Marius served with great distinction under Metellus, and eventually replaced him as commander. When he returned to Rome in 107 B.C., Metellus was greeted with a triumph. He was well respected and was elected censor in 102 B.C. He intended to run for consul against Marius two years later, but was instead driven into exile by the treachery of Marius and the populist demagogues Saturnius and Glacius.

The Metellus family produced many Roman statesman, usually of strong republican sympathies. The son of Metellus Numidicus was Metellus Pius, who fought against Sertorius in Spain. Metellus Scipio was a colleague of Cato the Younger as Utica. Other members of the Metellus gens appear elsewhere in Roman History from the Punic Wars to the Imperial Age.

Key events during the life of Metellus:

109 BC
Elected Consul and given charge of the war against Jugurtha in Numidia.
107 BC
Returns from Africa and receives a great triumph.
102 BC
Elected censor.
100 BC
Driven from Rome by the treachery of Marius, Saturnius and Glacius.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Caius Marius  in  Our Young Folks' Plutarch  by  Rosalie Kaufman
Gaius Marius Becomes Commander of the Army  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Metellus Is Driven from Rome  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor

Short Biography
Marius Renowned general. Modernized legions. Waged a bloody feud with party of Sulla.
Saturnius and Glaucia Populist tribunes who helped Marius get elected consul for the sixth time.
Jugurtha Numedian king, flagrantly bribed senate to maintain power. Enemy of Rome.