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Marius, having filled up his legions1 and auxiliary cohorts, marched into a part of the country which was fertile and abundant in spoil, where, whatever he captured, he gave up to his soldiers. He then attacked such fortresses or towns as were ill defended by nature or with troops, and ventured on several engagements, though only of a light character, in different places. The new recruits, in process of time, began to join in an encounter without fear; they saw that such as fled were taken prisoners or slain; that the bravest were the safest; that liberty, their country, and parents,2 are defended, and glory and riches acquired, by arms. Thus the new and old troops soon became as one body, and the courage of all was rendered equal.

The two kings, when they heard of the approach of Marius, retreated, by separate routes, into parts that were difficult of access; a plan which had been proposed by Jugurtha, who hoped that, in a short time, the enemy might be attacked when dispersed over the country, supposing that the Roman soldiers, like the generality of troops, would be less careful and observant of discipline when the fear of danger was removed.

1 LXXXVII. Having filled up his legions, etc.] Their numbers had been thinned in actions with the enemy, and Metellus perhaps took home some part of the army which did not return to it.

2 Their country and parents, etc.] “Patriam parentesque,” etc. Sallust means to say that the soldiers would see such to be the general effect and result of vigorous warfare; not that they had any country or parents to protect in Numidia. But the observation has very much of the rhetorician in it.

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