Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Jugurtha, king of Numidia, the country which corresponds to what is now Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, was an illegitimate son of Mastanabal, who shared with his two brothers, Micipsa and Gulussa, the kingdom that had been held by Masinissa (q.v.). Jugurtha passed his youth with the Roman army under Scipio Africanus the younger in Spain. On the death of Micipsa, his uncle (118 B.C.), by whom he had been adopted, Jugurtha was called to share the government with Adherbal and Hiempsal, Micipsa's sons; but his ambition led him to claim the whole kingdom. Hiempsal was assassinated, and Adherbal driven out of the country. The latter appealed to the Romans, but Jugurtha's envoys succeeded by bribery in obtaining for him the western and more fertile part of Numidia. Jugurtha, however, did not respect the settlement, and put his cousin to death at Cirta, In 111 B.C. Rome declared war against Numidia, but Jugurtha bribed the consul Calpurnius Bestia into according him an advantageous peace; although, however, the former appeared at Rome to justify his conduct, the treaty was disavowed. Nevertheless, Jugurtha defeated Spurius Albinus and drove all the Romans out of his territory, and even when Metellus was placed in command no very decided success was gained over him. At length, however, the military skill of Marius and the diplomacy of Sulla, aided by the treachery of Bocchus, who betrayed his son-inlaw into an ambush, the war was brought to a close, and 104 B.C. Jugurtha was led in triumph to Rome, where he perished in the prison beneath the Capitol. The Jugurthine War, an account of which was written by Sallust, was remarkable not only for the ability shown by Jugurtha and the later Roman generals, but also as being an important episode in the political history of Rome.