dinsdag 9 februari 2016

Jugurtha 1

By the end of the 2nd century BC the kingdom of Numidia of Micipsa is fallen apart. Until that time, the kingdom was a vassal state of Rome. North Africa looked politically at that time as follows:
Mauritania (Bocchus), Western Numidia (Jugurtha), Numidia Eastern (Adherbal),  Africa (Roman province).
Sallust describes a century later extended the war, which Jugurtha engaged. Jugurtha attacks in 113 B.C. Cirta (capital of East-Numidia) and after 15 months the city is taken where Adherbal (AdirbaƤl) was put to death, but also many Roman and Italic traders are murdered. It takes up to 105 B.C. before Jugurtha after a half-hearted action by Roman generals, several embarrassing defeats of the Romans, bribery, guerrilla eventually was extradited by Bocchus to the Romans. As the price for his betrayal of Jugurtha Bocchus was given Western Numidia. In the long run, however, this increased Mauritania was a;so incorporated by the Romans. This episode typifies the power politics of the Romans by  excellence. Allies and accomplices are used as long as needed. Jugurtha was aware of this  and sells his skin as expensive as possible. The classical author Florus also notes in his book I, 36:
“Rightly feared the Romans Jugurtha as their worst enemy after Hannibal.”
Now Jugurtha was very likely a Numidian, but the ruler of eastern Numidia had a very recognizable name Punic: Adherbal. After the fall of Carthage, the Punics in large numbers spread throughout the Numidian countries where they have already acquired significant positions quickly. The Numidian kings themselves made use of the Punic language and were handed the Carthaginian archives of the Romans, to the extent they were rescued from the ashes of the city.

The war against Jugurtha, Sallustius.