The war is historically interesting primarily for political rather than military reasons. The events leading up to the war caused an enormous scandal in Rome because in the years preceding the war, and even after war was declared, Jugurtha openly bribed numerous high ranking Romans in both the military and the senate in order to get favorable treatment. He flaunted his immunity from justice and is famously quoted as saying "Rome is a city for sale, and doomed to perish as soon as it finds a purchaser!" The reason this was scandalous was that the Roman Republic in previous years, was famous for its honesty and rectitude in public affairs. (In 279 BC for example, when Pyrrhus tried to gain favor by bribery, he found not a single Senator who would accept his gifts.) The war is also interesting because it marked the beginning of the rivalry between Marius and Sulla. Marius gained the consulship for the first time during the war, but before he could gain the glory of bringing the war to a close himself, Sulla aided in the capture of Jugurtha by means of trickery.
|Battle of the Muthal
Fought B.C. 108, between the Numidians, under Jugurtha, and the Romans, under Metellus Numidicus. The Numidians were strongly posted on the heights above the river, but were driven out by the legionaries with heavy loss, Jugurtha did not again face the Romans in the field, contenting himself with a guerilla warfare.
|Battle of Cirta
Marius defeated Jugurtha and Bocchus in a battle near Cirta, while on his way to winter quarters.
|Numedian king, flagrantly bribed senate to maintain power. Enemy of Rome.|
|Commanded troops in Numidia against Jugurtha. Enemy of Marius.|
|Renowned general. Modernized legions. Waged a bloody feud with party of Sulla.|
|Defeated Mithradates in Greece. Marched on Rome, defeated the party of his enemy Marius.|
|Jugurtha, King of Numidia in||The Story of the Romans by H. A. Guerber|
|Gaius Marius Becomes Commander of the Army in||The Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor|
|Capture of Jugurtha's Treasure Towns in||The Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor|
|Capture of Jugurtha in||The Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor|
|Jugurtha, the Purchaser of Rome in||Historical Tales: Roman by Charles Morris|
Jugurtha came to the tent of his father-in-law unarmed.
in The Story of Rome