The war of Yugurtha - World History

The war of Yugurtha - World History
Posted on 30-12-2022

The war of Yugurtha ( 120 ) Rome faces the Numidian Yugurtha and an invasion of Germanic tribes.

By the end of the second century Judea had asserted its existence as an independent kingdom ruled by the high priest John Hyrcanus. There is little information about the long period that the Jews spent under Persian rule and then under the rule of Ptolemaic Egypt, a sign that life in Judea had been calm and Jewish worship had been respected by foreign rulers. However, first Seleucid repression and then home rule had reinvigorated Jewish politics, and factional differences came to the fore. The greatest differences were between priests and laymen. The former held the Temple and the official ritual in their hands, and they called themselves sadokim,or sadducees, that is, followers of Zadok, the high priest of King Solomon, in whose family, according to tradition, the position had fallen until a few years ago. The Sadducees were strictly orthodox and traditionalists, and only accepted the Mosaic Law, contained in the first five books of the Bible. Theoretically it was the law that God had given to the Jews before they entered Canaan, but in reality it incorporated many Babylonian myths, beliefs and customs. (If anyone preserved the primitive ritual, it was the Samaritans, whom the Jews regarded as heretics.) In contrast, the Sadducees did not accept many other popular Jewish beliefs, most of them borrowed from Persian Mazdaism: the existence of angels and demons, life after death, the final judgment for which God would reward the just and punish sinners, etc. Another belief that had arisen during the exile in Babylon but was not accepted by the Sadducees was the hope in the Messiah. This had never been explicitly embodied in the sacred texts. Those who waited for the Messiah quoted numerous biblical passages, but they were always paragraphs (and even sentences) taken out of context or forcedly interpreted in an allegorical way. This had never been explicitly embodied in the sacred texts. Those who waited for the Messiah quoted numerous biblical passages, but they were always paragraphs (and even sentences) taken out of context or forcedly interpreted in an allegorical way. This had never been explicitly embodied in the sacred texts. Those who waited for the Messiah quoted numerous biblical passages, but they were always paragraphs (and even sentences) taken out of context or forcedly interpreted in an allegorical way.

The Sadducees had achieved that only the priests could be part of the Sanhedrin, an assembly in which decisions on religious matters were made, but taking into account that, for the Jews, the difference between religion and civil or political status was not very well defined . The laymen, thus excluded from the Sanhedrin, called themselves perushim (separated), a word that, through the Greek, became Pharisees. The Pharisees had an exuberant mythology around angels and their hierarchies, Satan, the fallen angel, and his armies of demons, the resurrection of the dead, and above all, the future arrival of the Messiah.

There were many other minority sects. Some of an ascetic nature, the most important of which was that of the Essenes, who lived in communes located mostly on the shores of the Dead Sea, where access to women was not allowed. On the other hand, the rebellions of the Maccabees had created some violent sects, some of which degenerated into mere bandits who somehow considered themselves servants of God.

John Hyrcanus sympathized with the Sadducees, as was to be expected: he was a priest and, furthermore, the Pharisees expected the arrival of a king from the house of David (to which, certainly, he did not belong, since the Maccabees were Levites, and in addition the house of David had long since been extinct), so the Pharisees were potential traitors (who could at any moment recognize the Messiah and proclaim him king).

In 120 Mithridates V of Pontus was assassinated and, as his children were minors, power passed to his widow, Laodice.

In 119 Cayo Mario was elected tribune . He had fought in Spain under Scipio the Younger, and now stood out as a fervent defender of the reforms advocated by the Gracchi, although his achievements were modest.

The Chinese Emperor Wudi had big military plans, for which he needed large sums of money. To do this he established a monopoly on salt and iron and introduced a tax on ships and roads. These were the first steps in a series of economic reforms largely attributed to Minister Sang Hongyang. He was the main representative of the so-called modernist school,heir to the Qin administration, which advocated state intervention in all relevant aspects of the country's economy. Sang Hongyang pushed through various laws to fix the prices of goods and coordinate their transportation, so as to avoid both shortages and overproduction. The strong economic control required the creation of a ministry of agriculture, another of finance inspectors, as well as an authority to monitor canals and parks.

Since Cleopatra returned to Alexandria, Ptolemy VII's situation had improved remarkably, and in 118 he was able to declare a broad amnesty that ended infighting at court. The heir to the throne disowned his wife and sister, Cleopatra. This set him at odds with her mother, Cleopatra Evergetis, but even so, she made him accept the hand of her other sister, Cleopatra Selene. The following year he married Cleopatra to the brother of Antiochus VIII.

Rome founded the city of Narbo Marcio (present-day Narbona) on the Gallic coast, 200 kilometers west of Massilia. It soon became the most important city in the province, which was renamed Gallia Narbonensis. The region had a very pleasant climate, and it became a summer resort for many Romans. Since it was the only province to which the Romans used to travel (business aside), it soon became known simply as "the province", from which the current name of the region derives: Provence.

That same year Micipsa, the king of Numidia, died. The throne was scheduled to be inherited by his sons Aderbal and Hiempsal along with his nephew Yugurtha, but Yugurtha assassinated Hiempsal in 117, invaded Adherbal's territory in 116, he sent him into exile and had himself proclaimed king of Numidia. Numidia was a Roman protectorate, and Rome could not allow Yugurtha to make these decisions. The senate formed an embassy that went to Numidia to find out what had happened. Yugurta showered the senators with gifts and they returned to Rome explaining that in reality it had all been a misunderstanding. However, the Senate was not satisfied and Yugurta was called to Rome to explain. There he bribed some more senators and the final decision was that Numidia was divided into two parts: the worst was assigned to Yugurta and the best to Adherbal.

Ptolemy VII also died, who fragmented Egypt, as he bequeathed his kingdom to his eldest son, Ptolemy IX , but arranged for his youngest son Alexander I to become king of Cyprus, as well as for a bastard son, named Ptolemy Apion, to be appointed governor from Cyrene. The ordinal of Ptolemy IX is due to the fact that after the reconciliation between Cleopatra and Ptolemy VII, the brief reign of their son, Ptolemy VIII, was recognized. Those who count as Ptolemy VII the son of Ptolemy VI and call Ptolemy VIII whom we have been calling Ptolemy VII, therefore consider that the new king is Ptolemy X. This discrepancy drags on to all the following kings of Egypt.

Meanwhile, Antiochus VIII's brother managed to wrest Phoenicia and Celesiria (the region in which Antioch was situated, north of Phoenicia) from him, and proclaimed himself king, under the name Antiochus IX. Cleopatra Tryphena, the wife of Antiochus VIII, had her sister Cleopatra, wife of Antiochus IX, assassinated, but Antiochus IX the following year, in 115 , took revenge by murdering Cleopatra Tryphena. Then their mother, Cleopatra Evergetis, widow of Ptolemy VII, managed to get her daughter Cleopatra Selene, who was married to Ptolemy IX, to leave him and marry Antiochus VIII.

This year Gaius Mario was again in Spain as praetor, where he pacified some distant regions, although it was not a task that brought military glory: Since the fall of Numancia, native resistance in Spain had ceased to be a serious problem. for Rome.

However, some new barbarians were about to cause new headaches for the Romans. The territories currently occupied by Germany and Poland had been invaded some time ago by Germanic tribes, among which the Cimbri and Teutons stood out. The latter called themselves Teutsch or Deutsch, and "deutsch" is "German" in modern German.

In 113 the Chinese Empire introduced new copper coins and prohibited the private minting of coins. These new coins continued to be used for almost a thousand years.

The Cimbri and Teutons crossed the Rhine and came into contact with the Helvetii, Celtic tribes, two of whom joined them in 112 and all swept into Gaul, where they met with resistance from the Belgae to the north and the Romans. to the south.

Meanwhile Yugurta made war on his cousin Adherbal, killed him, and recaptured all of Numidia. In the war, many Italians who lived in the province of Africa and who defended Adherbal died. Rome declared war on Numidia and sent an army under the command of the consuls Lucius Calpurnius Bestia and Marco Emilio Escaurus,   but Yugurta bribed Calpurnius and in 111 a compromise peace was reached. Shortly after, Yugurta assassinated a cousin of his, Massiva, who had a chance to occupy the throne with the approval of the Romans. This caused Rome to resume the war.

In Pontus, Laodice, the widow of King Mithridates V, tried to put her son Chrestus on the throne, but her other son killed Chrestus, imprisoned his mother, and crowned himself king under the name Mithridates VI. The new king was to give Rome a lot of work in the following decade, so many stories are told about him. It was said that he had received a vast education, and that he spoke as many as 22 languages. The most famous anecdote about him tells that he drank small amounts of all kinds of poisons to immunize himself against them. In reality this technique is only effective with very few poisons and the resistance thus acquired is now known as mithridatism.

By this time the Sarmatians had increased their pressure to the south of their domains. One of their tribes, the Alans, occupied the lands north of the Caucasus, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, others, the Roxolans, had absorbed the Scythians from the shores of the Azov Sea and threatened the kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus. Its king, Parisades II, asked Mithridates VI for help, making the Cimmerian Bosphorus a protectorate of Pontus. Some Cimmerians had retreated south of the Danube, where they mixed with the Thracians.

The Chinese Emperor Wudi conquered the kingdom of Vietnam and incorporated it into the Chinese Empire. The Chinese called it Annam (the pacified south). In 110 he achieved the annexation of the kingdoms of Yue and Nanyue. Since the Chinese discovered the existence of Western civilization, the economic importance of the Silk Road became apparent, and from 109 their armies began advancing along it to create a safe corridor to protect trade with the West.

The Romans finally managed to find a general who was immune to Yugurta's bribery attempts. He was Quintus Caecilius Metellus, nephew of the general who had won the Fourth Macedonian War. For the first time Yugurta received heavy blows, after a victory at Suthul he was defeated at Muthul, and after the defeat he was forced to abandon regular warfare and wage guerrilla warfare, because of which Metellus's progress was derailed. slower and slower.

In 108 China annexed the Korean peninsula , after 20 years of campaigning. He thus destroyed the Gojoseon kingdom, to which legends attributed a history of more than two thousand years. Meanwhile, John Hyrcanus, the king of Judea, laid siege to Samaria. The Samaritans asked Antiochus IX for help, but he could do little. The city fell in 107 and Judea was confirmed as the greatest power in the area.

That same year Cayo Mario returned to Rome, who had been in Numidia under the orders of Metellus. He returned with a certain reputation as a war hero and began to accuse Metellus of delaying victory in his own interest, which was not true, but was credible in these times, and thus Mario managed to be elected consul. He immediately wanted to assume the command that Metellus had, but the Senate did not consider it appropriate. Then, after a campaign of violent speeches against the conservatives, he managed to recruit an army of volunteers from among the Roman proletariat. It was the first time that Rome had assembled a legion of proletarians, men who turned out to be more loyal to their general than to his government, and who went to war in the hope of big booty.

Alexander I of Cyprus, with the help of his mother, Cleopatra Evergetis, succeeded in overthrowing his brother Ptolemy IX and became Ptolemy X Alexander, King of Egypt. In exchange, he left Cyprus to his brother, who began to take part in the disputes between Antiochus VIII and Antiochus IX.

At 105 Mario was about to deliver the final blow to Yugurta. That year he was joined as lieutenant by Lucio Cornelio Sulla, who reached an agreement with Yugurtha's father-in-law, King Bocco I of Mauritania .(modern Morocco) to deliver Yugurta to him. Despite the fact that Mario had defeated Bocco I on several occasions and that practically all the credit was his, the truth is that Sila (much more cunning than Mario) took most of the recognition. This was due, among other things, to the fact that Sulla sympathized with the conservatives, unlike Mario, and they managed to spread the news in Rome according to their convenience. Naturally, this made Sulla earn the enmity of Mario. The western part of Numidia was annexed to Mauritania as a reward, while the eastern part came under the suzerainty of King Gauda,​​brother of Yugurtha.

In 104 Yugurta was taken to Rome, and died in prison. While he was still in Numidia, Marius was appointed consul for the second time, and the Senate, on the brink of despair, entrusted him with the defense of Gaul Narbonensis, in which no army had succeeded in subduing the Cimbri and Teutons. A sign of Rome's desperation is that, illegally, Mario was re-elected consul five years in a row, while the danger lasted.

That same year John Hyrcanus died, and the kingdom of Judah passed into the hands of his son Aristobulus I, who added the title of king to that of high priest. He definitively conquered Galilee and the kingdom of Judea reached its maximum extent, but he died the following year, and was succeeded by his brother Alexander Jannaeus.

Beginning this year, Emperor Wudi sent several expeditions to Sogdiana (the northern part of Bactria).

In 103 the slaves of Sicily revolted again, starting the Second Servile War. Meanwhile, the Cimbri and the Teutons tried to sack Hispania, but the Celtiberians stopped them. This gave Marius a certain advantage, who in 102 found the Teutons on the banks of the Rhône. He followed them south, letting them wear themselves out in partial attacks, always remaining on the defensive, but upon reaching Aquae Sextiae he gave them battle. The barbarian attacks could not beat the disciplined Roman ranks. When they were exhausted, a detachment that had remained hidden attacked from the rear and finally annihilated them.

But the Cimbri had crossed the Alps and were in Cisalpine Gaul, where they forced the Roman armies to retreat to the Po Valley. In 101 Mario left Gaul and joined the army of the Po. Under his direction, the Romans recrossed the river and met the Cimbri at Vercellae, where the invaders were crushed. The Helvetii (who were Celts, and not Germans) ended up settling in the region that has since been called Helvetia (present-day Switzerland).

That year the Romans also managed to put down the bloody revolt in Sicily and ended the Second Servile War. It was also the year that Cleopatra Evergetis died, apparently murdered by her son Ptolemy X. On the other hand, Ptolemy Apion proclaimed himself king of Cyrene and the region was once more independent of Egypt. By this time King Mithridates VI of Pontus dominated the regions of Galatia and Cappadocia, with which his country had become the greatest power in Asia Minor.

The Chinese, with a victory at Farganá, definitively dominated the Silk Road almost to the border with Bactria, which at that time was being plundered by the Tokarians.

In 100 the Sinhalese warlord Dutugumunu won a definitive victory over the Tamil king Elara, with which the Sinhalese finally dominated the island of Ceylon. The Sinhalese monarchy favored Buddhism, developed the country, built monuments, temples and irrigation systems.

Thank You