BLTC Press Titles

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Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

The Bhagavad Gita


Famous Men of Rome

by John Henry Haaren


will. When he said he would do anything he would do it in spite of all difficulties. He was a very great soldier. Many people thought him the best of the Roman generals.

He succeeded in a war against Ju-gur'tha, king of Numidia, after other generals had failed. He took many cities from Jugurtha and at last captured the king himself and all his treasure.

Jugurtha was brought to Rome and compelled to walk behind the chariot of Marius in a grand triumphal procession. He was afterwards put into a foul dungeon and left there to die.

The nobles did not like Marius. He was the son of plebeian parents and he had taken the side of the plebeians against the nobles. Therefore the nobles hated him, and they would have done everything they could against him, only that they needed his help to protect Rome from very dangerous enemies.

A host of barbarian people, called Cim'bri, Teu'to-nes, and Am-bro'nes, had left their homes on the shores of the Baltic Sea and invaded the southern lands. They were strong, fierce men, and they laid waste every country they passed through. They defeated several Roman armies that were sent against them. Some of the tribes of Hel-ve'ti-a (the country now called Switzerland) joined them and one of those tribes defeated and killed a Roman consul and made his army pass under the yoke.

The Romans were, therefore, very much frightened. They thought that the barbarians would soon be in Italy. So Marius was appointed to go against them with a great army. He crossed the Mediterranean into Gaul and met the Teutones and Ambrones near the city of Aries on the River Rhone. The Cimbri had already gone to Italy.

Marius first made a strong entrenched camp. He wanted to give his men time to get accustomed to the manners of the strange enemy before attempting to fight them. The Roman soldiers had shown fear at sight of the barbarians. They had never before seen such people.

The Teutones were like giants. They had large, wild, staring eyes and long hair, and they made terrible war-cries. The Ambrones and the Cimbri were as savage in appearance. The king of the Teutones was very tall and so active that he could leap over six horses placed abreast.

When the barbarians saw that the Romans would not fight, they began to taunt and insult them. They walked up and down in front of the Roman camp day after day, calling the soldiers cowards.

"Why don't you come out and fight us like men %" they cried. "Are you afraid \ Come out, come out; we are in a hurry! We are going to Rome after we kill you!"

Marius had hard work to keep his men from rushing out upon the barbarians. He did not yet want to fight, but he said to his soldiers:

"When the proper time comes we will give these savages all the fighting they want."

One day a gigantic Teuton chief, with a long shield and spear, came up to the very entrance of the Roman camp and called loudly for Marius himself to come out and fight. The great general laughed heartily at the impudence of the barbarian, and he sent out a gladiator to fight with him in order to give sport to the Romans.

Gladiators were men who fought one another in the shows at Rome for the amusement of the people. They were usually slaves and were very strong, active, and well-trained fighters.

It did not take the gladiator long to defeat the Teuton. In a few minutes he laid the savage giant low, and the Romans shouted with joy at the sight.

After the Teuton was killed the Romans still remained in their camp. Marius was not yet prepared to fight. At last the barbarians got tired waiting and they started off to march to Italy.


So great was the number of the barbarians that it took them six whole days to march past the Roman camp. When all had passed Marius left his camp and followed them by slow marches. Before long the two armies arrived at the city of Aix on the south coast of Gaul.

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