, (Plut.; Ἱάμψαμος
, Diod. ; Ἱεμψάλας
The name is probably a corruption of Hicemsbal. (Gesenius, Ling. Phoen. Mon.
1. A son of Micipsa, king of Numidia, and grandson of Masinissa. Micipsa, on his deathbed, left his two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, together with his nephew, Jugurtha, joint heirs of his kingdom.
But the unprincipled ambition of Jugurtha, and the jealousy of him long entertained by the other two, rendered it certain that this arrangement could not be of long duration; and at the very first meeting of the three princes their animosity displayed itself in the most flagrant manner. Hiempsal especially, as the younger of the two brothers, and of the most impetuous character, allowed his feelings to break forth, and gave mortal offence to Jugurtha.
After this interview, it being agreed to divide the kingdom of Numidia, as well as the treasures of the late king, between the three princes, they took up their quarters in different towns in the neighbourhood of Cirta; but Hiempsal having imprudently established himself at Thirmida, in a house belonging to a dependent of Jugurtha, the latter took advantage of this circumstance to introduce a body of armed men into the house during the night, who put to death the unhappy prince, together with many of his followers. (Sal. Jug. 5
; Diod. Exc. Vales.
xxxv. p. 605; Flor. 3.2
.) Such is Sallust's narrative. Livy, on the contrary, appears, so far as we can judge from the words of his Epitomist, to represent the death of Hiempsal as the result of open hostilities. (Liv. Epit.
lxii.) Orosius, who probably followed Livy, says only Hiempsalem occidit