Well, then, for his praetorship Marius got only moderate commendation. After his praetorship, however, the province of Farther Spain was allotted to him, and here he is said to have cleared away the robbers, although the province was still uncivilized in its customs and in a savage state, and robbery was at that time still considered a most honourable occupation by the Spaniards. But when he returned to political life, he had neither wealth nor eloquence, with which the magnates of the time used to influence the people.
Still, the very intensity of his assurance, his indefatigable labours, and his plain and simple way of living, won him a certain popularity among his fellow citizens, and his honours brought him increasing influence, so that he married into the illustrious family of the Caesars and became the husband of Julia, who was the aunt of that Caesar who in after times became greatest among the Romans, and in some degree, because of his relationship, made Marius his example, as I have stated in his Life. 1
There is testimony both to the temperance of Marius, and also to his fortitude, of which his behaviour under a surgical operation is a proof. He was afflicted in both legs, as it would appear, with varicose veins, and as he disliked the deformity, he resolved to put himself into the physician's hands. Refusing to be bound, he presented to him one leg, and then, without a motion or a groan, but with a steadfast countenance and in silence, endured incredible pain under the knife. When, however, the physician was proceeding to treat the other leg, Marius would suffer him no further, declaring that he saw the cure to be not worth the pain.