previous next


2. King of Numidia, and father of Juba, the adversary of Caesar. (Caes. Civ. 2.25; Suet. Jul. 71.) It appears from an inscription preserved by Reinesius and Spon, that he was a grandson of Masinissa, and son of Gulussa.1 (See Wess. ad Diod. vol. ii. p. 607.) If this account be correct, he was already a man of advanced age, when we find him mentioned as affording shelter to the young Marius and Cethegus, after the triumph of the party of Sulla at Rome, B. C. 88. At what time he obtained the sovereignty, or over what part of Numidia his rule extended, we have no information, none of the Roman historians having mentioned the arrangements adopted in regard to Numidia after the Jugurthine war, But though Hiempsal received at his court the refugees of the Marian party, as already stated, he was far from determined to espouse their cause, and sought to detain them in a kind of honourable captivity, while he awaited the issue of events. They, however, made their escape, and joined the elder Marius. (Plut. Mar. 40; Appian, App. BC 1.62.) In consequence, probably, of his conduct on this occasion, he was afterwards expelled from the throne of Numidia by Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the leader of the Marian party in Africa, and Hiarbas established in his stead; but when, in B. C. 81, Pompey landed in Africa, and overthrew Domitius, he drove out Hiarbas in his turn, and reinstated Hiempsal on the throne. (Plut. Pomp. 12; Appian, App. BC 1.80.) He appears to have remained in undisputed possession of the kingdom from this period till his death, the date of which is not mentioned, but it may be inferred from the incidental notice in Suetonius (Suet. Jul. 71) that he was still alive as late as B. C. .62. Cicero also refers to him in an oration delivered the preceding yéar (Adv. Rullum, Or. 2.22) in terms that evidently imply that he was then still on the throne. The peculiar privileges there adverted to, as possessed by the lands of Hiempsal in Africa, were probably conceded to him by Pompey. Many of the Gaetulian tribes were at the same time subjected to his authority. (Hirt. B. Afr. 56.) Sallust also cites (Jug. 17), as an authority for some of his statements concerning the early history of Africa, certain books written in the Punic language--qui regis Hiempsalis dicebantur. There is no doubt that the Hiempsali here meant is the present one; nor does there seem any reason to suppose, with Heeren (Ideen. vol. iv. p. 21), that Sallust meant to designate him only as the proprietor, not the author, of the work in question.


1 * It seems, however, that there is considerable doubt as to the true reading of the inscription in question: according to the version given by Belley (Mém. de l' Acad. des Inscr. vol. xxxviii. p. 104.) and Eckhel (vol. iv. p. 158), it would make Hiempsal a son of Gauda, and, consequently, great-grandson of Masinissa, which is certainly upon chronological grounds more probable.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
88 BC (1)
81 BC (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: