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I am about to relate the war which the Roman people carried on with Jugurtha, King of the Numidians; first, because it was great, sanguinary, and of varied fortune; and secondly, because then, for the first time, opposition was offered to the power of the nobility; a contest which threw every thing, religious and civil, into confusion,1 and was carried to such a height of madness, that nothing but war, and the devastation of Italy, could put an end to civil dissensions.2 But before I fairly commence my narrative, I will take a review of a few preceding particulars, in order that the whole subject may be more clearly and distinctly understood.

In the second Punic war, in which Hannibal, the leader of the Carthaginians, had weakened the power of Italy more than any other enemy3 since the Roman name became great,4 Masinissa, King of the Numidians, being received into alliance by Publius Scipio, who, from his merits was afterward surnamed Africanus, had performed for us many eminent exploits in the field. In return for which services, after the Carthaginians were subdued, and after Syphax,5 whose power in Italy was great and extensive, was taken prisoner, the Roman people presented to Masinissa, as a free gift, all the cities and lands that they had captured. Masinissa's friendship for us, accordingly, remained faithful and inviolate; his reign6 and his life ended together. His son, Micipsa, alone succeeded to his kingdom; Mastanabal and Gulussa, his two brothers, having been carried off by disease. Micipsa had two sons, Adherbal and Hiempsal, and had brought up in his house, with the same care as his own children, a son of his brother Mastanabal, named Jugurtha, whom Masinissa, as being the son of a concubine, had left in a private station.

1 V. Threw every thing, religious and civil into confusion] “Divina et humana cuncta permiscuit.” “"All things, both divine and human, were so changed, that their previous condition was entirely subverted."” Dietsch.

2 Civil dissensions] “Studiis civilibus.” This is the sense in which most commentators take studia; and if this be right, the whole phrase must be understood as I have rendered it. So Cortius; "Ut non prius finirentur [studio civilia] nisi bello et vastitate Italiæ." Sallust has studia paratium, Jug c. 42; and Gerlach quotes from Cic. pro Marcell. c. 10: "Non enim consiliis solis et studiis, sed armis etiam et castris dissidebamus."

3 More than any other enemy] “Maximè.

4 Since the Roman name became great] “Post magnitudinem nominis Romani.” “"I know not why interpreters should find any difficulty in this passage. I understand it to signify simply since the Romans became so great as they were in the time of Hannibal; for, before that period they had suffered even heavier calamities, especially from the Gauls."” Cortius.

5 Syphax] “"He was King of the Masæsyli in Numidia; was at first an enemy to the Carthaginians (Liv. xxiv. 48), and afterward their friend (Liv. xxviii. 17). He then changed sides again, and made a treaty with Scipio ; but having at length been offered the hand of Sophonisba, the daughter of Asdrubal, in marriage, he accepted it, and returned into alliance with the Carthaginians. Being subsequently taken prisoner by Masinissa and Lælius, the lieutenant of Scipio, (Liv. xxx. 2) he was carried into Italy, and died at Tibur (Liv. xxx. 45)."” Bernouf.

6 His reign] “Imperii.” Cortius thinks that the grant of the Romans ceased with the life of Masinissa, and that his son Micipsa, reigned only over that part of Numidia which originally belonged to his father. But in this opinion succeeding commentators have generally supposed him to be mistaken.

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