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[54] Both parties sent ambassadors to secure the alliance of King Arabio and of the so-called Sittians, who received their name from the following circumstance. A certain Sittius,1 who was under accusation at Rome, took flight in order to avoid trial. Collecting an army from Italy and Spain, he crossed over to Africa, where he allied himself now with one and now with another of the warring kings of that country. As those with whom he joined himself were always victorious, Sittius acquired a reputation and his army became wonderfully efficient. When Gaius Cæsar pursued the Pompeians to Africa Sittius joined him and destroyed Juba's famous general, Saburra, and received from Cæsar, as a reward for these services, the territory of Masinissa, not all, but the best part of it. Masinissa was the father of this Arabio and the ally of Juba. Cæsar gave his territory to this Sittius, and to Bocchus, the king of Mauritania, and Sittius divided his own portion among his soldiers. Arabio then fled to the sons of Pompey in Spain. He returned to Africa after Cæsar's death and kept sending to the younger Pompeius detachments of his men, whom he received back in a state of good training. He expelled Bocchus from his territory and killed Sittius by stratagem. Although for these reasons he was friendly toward the Pompeians, he nevertheless decided against that party, because it was so extremely unlucky, and joined Sextius, through whom he acquired the favor of Octavius. The Sittians also joined him by reason of their friendship for the elder Cæsar.

1 Publius Sittius Nucerinus was a robber on a large scale. He was at the head of a band in Africa sufficiently large to be called an army at the time of Catiline's conspiracy, and Catiline claimed him as an ally at that time (Sallust, Cat. 21). He rendered important aid to Cæsar in Africa by falling upon Juba's rear when the latter was advancing with an army to the aid of the Pompeians. After the battle of Thapsus he demolished the remnant of the hostile force under the command of Saburra, killing the latter and taking Faustus Sulla and Afranius prisoners (Hirtius, Bell. Afr. 25, 36, 95).

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