The Rise of the Roman Empire (Episode 26): The Battle of Juggernaut
Massinisa, who became the ruler of Numidia with the help of Rome, became a close friend of the Romans during his lifetime. He also assisted Rome on behalf of Numidia in various wars. After the death of the skilled warrior and general Massinisa in 148 BC, the power of his kingdom was divided among his three sons, Micipsa, Gulussa and Mastarnable. The eldest son, Mississippi, had administrative powers, including the capital, Cirta, and the treasury.The other two brothers took charge of the army and the judiciary. Shortly after the death of Gulusa and Masternabel, Mississippi continued to rule Numidia as the sole king. He also took over the rearing of Jugurtha, the son of Masternable.
Mississauga maintained its alliance with Rome. During the Numanite War, an army led by the adult Jugurtha fought for the Numidians on behalf of CPO Amelianas. The CPO praised Jugurtha's initiative and military prowess. Mississauga then proclaimed him her own child and jointly nominated him as heir to the throne with her own sons Hiempsal and Adherbal.
*Occupy the power of Jugurtha
Mississippi died in 116 BC. Numidia split between Jugurtha and his two cousins. But Jugurtha was very ambitious. His goal was to seize all the power alone. Himpsall was killed by assassins in Jugurtha's plot. Adherbal survived, but was soon defeated in a battle with Jugurtha's supporters and fled to Rome. Here Adherbal submitted a petition for Rome's intervention to the Senate.
Meanwhile, Jugurtha's delegation arrived in Rome. They won the favor of many influential senators and Roman citizens with lots of gifts. As a result, when the Senate formed a ten-member commission under Lucius Opimius to investigate Adherbal's allegations, a majority of its members sided with Jugurtha. As a result, Numidia split the Senate without punishing Jugurtha.The richest western part of the state was handed over to Jugurtha, and the eastern part, including the capital Sirta and parts of the former Carthage, to Adherbal.
*The fall of Adherbal
Jugurtha was not satisfied with the part of Numidia. He had in mind the idea of seizing the power of the whole Numidia. He went to war against Adherbal. The capital, Sirta, was besieged in 113 BC. Many Italians who settled here were fighting for Adherbal. Rome tried to reach an agreement between the two sides by sending representatives twice during this time.But Jugurtha's cunning and greed for gifts prevented him from taking any firm action against her. As a result, all attempts at compromise failed. Adherbal was killed at his behest when Sirtar fell in his hand. Many of Adherbal's supporters, including these Italian settlers, also died at the hands of Jugurtha's followers. This incident caused great anger among the Roman citizens.
*Battle of Bastia
Consul Bastia first sailed to Sicily with his army, from where his fleet landed on the coast of Africa. He occupied several nearby towns before entering Numidia. Jugurtha took the road of negotiation with the Roman forces without going to a test of strength. He is said to have been able to negotiate a peace treaty on extremely flexible terms, bribing Bastia with large sums of money. Jugurtha surrendered nominally and managed to keep his kingdom intact by giving Rome a small gift.