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SALLUST'S BELLUMIUGURTHINUM: READING JUGURTHA AS THE OTHER
BRENDA MARINA FIELDS
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2007 Brenda Marina Fields
I would like to first and foremost thank my director, Dr. Lewis Sussman, who has always
been a source of inspiration and support. In large part, I owe my love of Latin to him. I would
like to extend my thanks to my other committee members as well, Dr. Victoria Pagan and Dr.
Timothy Johnson. I am also indebted to my husband Anthony for his love and support and to
our dog Athena for brightening any day no matter how grim. To Generosa I owe countless cups
of coffee and the words of encouragement that accompanied each one of them. I thank all my
other friends for the faith they have always showed and continue to show in me, for the well-
timed distractions, and for their company on so many late nights on the sixth floor of Library
West. Furthermore, I thank my students for reminding me everyday that I love what I do. As
always, my greatest debt of gratitude is for my parents, who allow me to tell them about my
research and pretend to understand, and who believe that what I do every day is important and
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ..............................................................................................................4
ABSTRAC T .......................................................................... 6
1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ......................................................................................... .......... .. .. ...8
2 HOMOGENEOUS, EMPTY TIME AND THE HISTORICAL NARRATIVE .................... 11
Homogeneous, Empty Time and the Imagined Community .................................................11
The "Meanwhile" in Sallust's Bellum lugurthinum ......................................................15
S im u l ............... ..... .... .... .. ............... .................................. 15
Interim and Interea ................ ........................ ................ .........18
C um T em poral C lau ses........... ...... ........................................ .............. .......... ....... 20
3 SALLUST'S NARRATIVE VOICE................................................................. ................ 25
C ross-R references ................................................................2 5
Expressions of U ncertainty............................................................ ......................... 29
First Person Plural Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives .....................................................29
C chronological D distortion ............................................................................. .....................33
4 JU GURTHA : THE OTHER ........................................................................ ............... 36
G geography, N om ads, and A borigines............................................. ............................ 36
Slave and Master, Client and Patron, Numidia and Rome ............................................. 43
Rom an Identity and the M etus H ostilis .............. .................................... ....................48
5 CON CLU SION .......... ....................................................... ...... ............ ... 50
L IST O F R EFER EN CE S ......... ........... ............................................... ..................53
B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .............................................................................. .....................56
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
SALLUST'S BELLUMIUGURTHINUM: READING JUGURTHA AS THE OTHER
Brenda Marina Fields
Chair: Lewis A. Sussman
This thesis examines the construction of Roman identity in Sallust's Bellum lugurthinum.
In this monograph, Sallust writes about a war that occurred approximately seventy years before
the date of composition (respectively, 112-105 BCE and 41 BCE), yet he intends his narration to
comment on the present day. Sallust's approach to historiography is not scientific, like modem
historiography, in which exact dates and accuracy of facts are of utmost importance. Instead,
Sallust concerns himself with the power history has on its readers. Sallust's moral agenda is
patent and has already been the subject of much study, but this thesis proposes that his aim
extends further into a national agenda. This thesis takes a literary approach based on post-
colonial theories on nationhood and psychoanalytical theories on identity.
I present a theory of narrative time called homogeneous, empty time, as developed by
Benedict Anderson and improved on by Homi Bhabha. Sallust employs homogeneous, empty
time through the construction of the "meanwhile." He establishes the "meanwhile" by
employing various temporal adverbs and clauses. In this way, Sallust narrates events in
sequence, but as if occurring in the same instant. He draws his readers into the narrative as they
gaze directly on vivid action. Homogeneous, empty time allows him to divorce events from their
historical reality and place them side-by-side. By thus conflating past, present, and future,
Sallust comments directly on his own time by narrating the past.
I then continue the study of Sallust's narrative voice on a larger scale, as he unites passages
together to develop over-arching themes. He also directly engages the readers through continual
reference to the first person plural, thereby creating the illusion of a dialogue between himself
and his audience. Furthermore, his deliberate distortion of chronology, previously considered an
act of carelessness, proves to be a narrative tool by which he focuses the readers' attention onto
actions that highlight his moral and national agenda.
Finally, I show how Sallust constructs the anti-hero Jugurtha, against whom the Romans
fight, as the Other. He presents the Roman Self as the opposite of Jugurtha. Jugurtha is a
nomad, whereas a Roman ought to be stable and ought to adhere to the customs of his ancestors.
Jugurtha subverts the Rome/client kingdom relationship, whereas a Roman ought always to
promote harmony by upholding the patron/client relationship. Whenever a Roman strays from
the correct Roman behavior, he loses touch with his Roman identity and fails in his endeavors. I
also show that Sallust presents Roman identity as liable to subversion because Rome no longer
has an enemy worthy of fear. Rome lost such a fear when Carthage was destroyed. Here, I
incorporate Michel Foucault's theory that states only exist in permanent competition and Ernest
Renan's belief that a common hatred of the enemy unites a nation in the desire to do great things.
Sallust instructs his Roman readers to combat the decline that has followed the destruction of
Carthage by restoring harmony between the classes in Roman society. To do so, Romans must
cease to be motivated by ambition and greed, and must instead pursue virtue.
In 41 BCE, Sallust published the Bellum lugurthinum. Civil war dominated the previous
decade, culminating in the assassination of Caesar in 44, but the discord did not end there. The
Second Triumvirate had recently defeated Brutus and Cassius at Philippi in 42, effectively
bringing an end to the very thing to which Romans clung for their sense of identity: the Republic.
With most of the leaders of the Republic dead, the average Roman had no idea what was to
follow, war or peace, Republic or tyranny. Rome had only seen peace once since the end of
Numa's reign (Liv. 1.19.2),1 and an end to strife seemed a distant possibility, though in reality
the Peace of Brundisium would soon follow, and from there Actium and the Pax Romana.
Roman identity was challenged on every level as civil war divided families, neighbors, and
friends. Meanwhile, the Italians, recently enfranchised during the Social War by the Lex Julia in
90, were already struggling to assimilate into Roman society.2
We must imagine that many "Romans" struggled to understand what it meant to be
Roman. Sir Ronald Syme writes, "At Rome they spoke loudly and warmly of 'tota Italia.' An
aspiration, not a fact."3 How might the leaders of Rome turn this aspiration into fact? One
solution was the Octavian's encouragement of the Aeneid,4 but Vergil had not yet published his
1 In 235 BCE at the end of the First Punic War. Livy says the gates of the temple of Janus have been closed twice,
but the second time is in 29 BCE, during the reign of Augustus, and postdates the Bellum Ig,, dlii,,m Ogilvie
1965: 93-94 ad 1.19.1-4 posits that closing the temple of Janus to mark peace was not a recognized practice in the
late Republic, but was reinstituted by Octavian for propaganda.
2 See Syme 2002 : 28-213 and Scullard 2004 : 61-187 for a history of the pivotal time period.
3 Syme 1964: 5.
4 For the Aeneid's role in shaping Roman identity, see Syed 2005.
Eclogues when Sallust is writing.5 I propose that Sallust, himself a municipal man,6 takes on this
momentous task in writing the Bellum lugurthinum. In his preface, Sallust states:
Bellum scripturus sum quod populus Romanus cum lugurtha rege Numidarum
gessit... quia tunc primum superbiae nobilitatis obviam itum est. Quae contentio
divina et humana cuncta permiscuit eoque vecordiae processit, ut studiis civilibus
bellum atque vastitas Italiae finem faceret. (5.1-2)7
I am about to write about the war which the Roman people waged with Jugurtha,
king of the Numidians... because then for the first time the arrogance of the
nobility faced opposition. And this struggle threw all divine and human affairs
into a confusion and produced such a frenzy that only war and the devastation of
Italy could make an end to civil strife.8
The war and devastation (or by hendiadys, the devastating war) of Italy to which Sallust refers is
the Social War, and this extends further into the resulting civil war between Marius and Sulla. A
clearer parallel to the current struggles in Rome did not exist. Sallust narrates his own time
through the medium of the Jugurthine War. Ultimately, the Social War united Italian and
Roman; now, the Romans of Sallust's day have the opportunity to unite once more in concordia
and reassert their Roman identity in the face of powers that threaten to divide.
This paper proposes that Sallust uses his narrative voice to represent Jugurtha as the
Other and that he narrates the failure of the major Roman figures in the war in terms of
Jugurtha's Otherness. This reading of Sallust as a national historian results in a holistic view of
Sallust that accounts for his often overbearing narrative voice and his errors of place and time.
Those very qualities that bring him censure from the modern historiographic perspective become
5 The Eclogues were probably published individually or in pairs, and Vergil either began writing or published the
first of his Eclogues in 42 or 41 BCE. They were not complete until 39. See Bowersock 1971, Coleman 1977: 14-
16, Van Sickle 2004 : 24-27, Tarrant 1978, and Bowersock 1978. Bowersock and Tarrant deal specifically
with Eclogue 8.
6 Jerome 151h; On Sallust's origins, Syme 1964: 14 notes that Jerome's statement that Sallust was from Amiternum
does not mean he was born or raised there. Nevertheless, he was first generation Roman at best.
7All Latin text from the Bellum Ii,, ini,, i are from Reynolds 1991.
8 All translation are my own and are translated fluidly with attention to the original Latin.
virtues for the narrator of a national history. The first chapter discusses Sallust's construction of
homogeneous, empty time-a concept derived from modern theories on nationalism-through the
use of temporal adverbs and clauses. The second chapter shows how Sallust asserts his narrative
voice in three ways: (1) through first person plural verbs denoting cross-references within the
text and expressions of uncertainty, (2) through first person plural pronouns and possessive
adjectives, and (3) through deliberate distortions in his chronology. The final chapter concerns
the characterization of Jugurtha, Sallust's anti-hero. Sallust develops Jugurtha as the Other by
casting him as a nomad and as a client who fails to understand his status in relation to Rome. I
argue that Jugurtha's Otherness pollutes the Roman political scene, and that this corruption of
Roman identity was made possible by the destruction of Carthage and the subsequent loss of
HOMOGENEOUS, EMPTY TIME AND THE HISTORICAL NARRATIVE
Homogeneous, Empty Time and the Imagined Community
In 1940, Walter Benjamin coined the term homogeneous, empty time" in his "Theses
on the Philosophy of History" when he wrote about Social Democratic theory, "The concept of
the historical progress of mankind cannot be sundered from the concept of its progression
through a homogenous, empty time. A critique of the concept of such a progression must be the
basis of any criticism of the concept of progress itself."9 Unfortunately, he does not define
homogenous, empty time, and his immediate death later that year left the term undefined and his
essay unpublished until 1968. Benedict Anderson adopts Benjamin's homogeneous, empty time
and casts his imagined community within it.10 He describes homogeneous, empty time as time
"in which simultaneity is, as it were, transverse, cross-time, marked not by prefiguring and
fulfillment, but by temporal coincidence, and measured by clock and calendar."11 For Anderson,
homogeneous, empty time is the temporality of the novel and the newspaper, two print mediums
that unify the imagined community. Anderson's definition for the nation depends on an
imagined community reinforced by the novel and the newspaper, and therefore by homogeneous,
empty time. Anderson does not account for Benjamin's critical view on homogeneous, empty
time and on the progress of mankind through such time. Anderson alters homogeneous, empty
time into a positive construct. For Benjamin, it was destructive, as it allowed the Social
9 Benjamin 1968: 264, published posthumously, but written in 1940, while Benjamin was in Paris awaiting a flight
out of Europe. His friends circulated these theses among themselves until publication in 1968.
10 The imagined community is Anderson's definition for the nation: "I propose the following definition for the
nation: it is an imagined political community-and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign," Anderson
1983: 5-6. The imagined community is imagined because the members of a nation, unless consisting of 150
members of fewer, will never know every other member though they imagine themselves as living in a community
together, Anderson 6. It is limited because even the most powerful nation has borders and competes against other
nations, Anderson 7. It is sovereign because it is because it opposes divinely-ordained kingdoms, Anderson 7.
1 Anderson 1983: 24-28.
Democrats to assert cultural superiority by narrating their progress through homogeneous, empty
Anderson conflates homogeneous, empty time with the temporality of the "meanwhile,"
specifically in reference to print-capitalism.12 Print allows the members of an imagined
community, of a nation, by engaging in the same daily act of reading the newspaper to develop
an awareness of the hundreds of thousands of people participating in the same activity.13 This
allows them to identify with these people whom they may never meet but nevertheless interact
within the imagined community. The idea is that each person reading the newspaper imagines
that meanwhile, other members of his community are doing the exact same thing. Anderson sees
the same process at work in narratives.
Anderson's conception of homogeneous, empty time is not complete and even admits
some error. Homi Bhabha picks up on Anderson's concept of the "meanwhile" and develops a
more accurate understanding of its function in establishing national identity.14 Anderson
depends too heavily on synchrony and ignores iteration and instantaneity, which Bhabha believes
are the true functions of the "meanwhile" and which incorporate the sense of "profound
ambivalence" central to Benjamin's original conception.15 The difference is between (1) two or
more actions occurring at the same moment within a continuous sequence of actions and (2) any
number of actions transpiring and/or coinciding external to any established duration of time with
no regard to actions prior or following. Anderson offers continuous action, and Bhabha responds
12 Print-capitalism refers the availability of novels and newspapers to the masses as commodities.
13 Anderson 1983: 44.
14 Bhabha 1994: 157-161 addresses the misconceptions promoted by Anderson and aims at elaborating on
Anderson's claims to create a more complete understanding of homogeneous, empty time.
15 On synchrony as opposed to iteration and instantaneous time, see Bhabha 1994: 159; on the ambivalence of
narrative, ibid. 161.
with alienated succession. Prior and following actions do exist, but they do not necessitate the
instant in which the "meanwhile" manifests itself. Within homogeneous, empty time, the past,
present, and future coexist, and the historical reality is rewritten to fit the present reality. Time is
chopped up, events placed side-by-side, as if the passage of days, weeks, months, and years
mean little and affect nothing. The clock and calendar lend a false sense of progress and, by
defining time, actually homogenize it: each minute on the clock, each day on the calendar weigh
the same. The "meanwhile" presents temporal succession without continuity, and even those
events that happen simultaneously in real life must be represented on the page in a succession
bereft of real time. In a way, homogeneous, empty time replaces timelessness as a means by
which we separate events from reality and assign them new meaning without disregarding
reality. Events in homogeneous, empty time do not exist outside of time as timeless events do.
Furthermore, Anderson fails to separate the homogeneous, empty time of narrative from
the here-and-now-Benjamin's Jetztzeit-of political reality.16 Partha Chatterjee writes, "People
can only imagine themselves in empty homogeneous time; they do not live in it.... It linearly
connects past, present, and future, creating the possibility for all of those historical imaginings of
identity, nationhood, progress, and so on.... But empty homogeneous time in not located
anywhere in real space."17 This is critical to an understanding of narrative history. People do
not live in a national community; they imagine themselves in one, and this fantasy is constantly
threatened by reality. Therefore, national identity must be continually reinforced to combat the
16 Anderson's faults, especially his misreading of Benjamin, are the subject of Kelly (2000). Kelly: 848 writes, "For
Benjamin, the idea of living in homogenous, empty time is pathetic, and the agents promoting it were evil."
Anderson diverged from this idea by making homogeneous, empty time the utopian ideal while still asserting its
existence in the real world.
1 Chatterjee 2005: 928.
overwhelming weight of a reality dominated by heterogeneous time.18 Narratives, whether
historical or novel, aim at such reinforcement. Here, Anderson shines again: "The idea of a
sociological organism moving calendrically through homogeneous, empty time in a precise
analogue of the idea of a nation, which also is conceived as a solid community moving steadily
down (or up) history."19 The progress of the individual is the progress of the nation. Mass
media and the dissemination of narratives throughout an imagined community unite the members
of that community "by the horizontal camaraderie of the page.... [and constitutes] the sense of
being and belonging in an empty, homogeneous temporality of progression."20
Concerning homogeneous, empty time, we can now say that (1) it allows members of an
imagined community to experience their shared identity via the narrative and the shared
experience of reading that narrative; (2) it is reinforced by the "meanwhile," in which events
occur in succession and instantaneously, but not necessarily simultaneously, while still allowing
time to me measured by clock and calendar; (3) it allows events to be divorced of their historical
reality, placed side-by-side, and narrated without continuity; (4) it is a construct in which people
can imagine themselves, but in which they cannot actually live; (5) it is essential to the
establishment and reinforcement of a national identity, as the characters moving in
homogeneous, empty time mirror the nation moving in history. With this understanding, I will
now show how Sallust uses the "meanwhile" and the narrative voice to create a sense of
homogeneous, empty time for his Roman readers.
18 Foucault 1998 discusses the burden of heterogeneous time and its effect on modem national identity.
19 Anderson 1983: 26.
20 Nelson 2005: 131.
The "Meanwhile" in Sallust's Bellum lugurthinum
Sallust depends on two main tools to establish the "meanwhile" in his Bellum
lugurtinum: temporal adverbs and cum (quom) temporal clauses. Here, we see Sallust operating
on the small scale. In contrast, the narrative devices to be discussed in the following chapter
show how he integrates larger units of text within the framework of homogeneous, empty time.
The temporal adverbs and clauses mentioned here function to unify individual clauses and
phrases, not passages distant from each other within the text. Among the vast quantity of
temporal adverbs at Sallust's disposal, I focus on simul, interim, and interea.21 The cum
temporal clauses at which I look are those that specifically indicate instantaneous time and define
or date the time of the main action on Anderson's clock and calendar, but I will also look at
conditional and explanatory cum temporal clauses.22
Simul, which appears forty times in the Bellum lugurthinum, draws particular interest
because of its etymological connections with our own simultaneous. I will show, however, that
Sallust does not use simul to construct simultaneity, which would conform to Anderson's
misreading of homogeneous, empty time, but instead to illustrate instantaneous action and to
narrate events in succession. Simul, however, does not always indicate instantaneous time, but
can represent both... and in one word. Sallust uses simul nineteen times to mark such simple
connection.23 For example:
21 I pass over dum, interdum, and ubi, but they function similarly to the examples given for interea and interim.
Donec, quoad, and interibi do no occur.
22 For cum conditionals see Allen 2001 : 542; for explanatory, ibid 549.a.
23 BI4.2, 24.5, 25.5, 47.2, 53.7, 64.5, 70.5, 73.2, 76.2, 84.5, 91.1, 92.2, 94.1, 97.1, 97.5, 102.5, 103.7, 106.1, and
apud negotiators, quorum magna multitude Vticae erat, criminose simul et
magnifice de bello loqui. (64.5)
Among the traders, of whom there was a great number in Utica, [Marius] spoke
about the war slanderously and at the same time boastfully.
One could just as easily, and accurately, read "both slanderously and boastfully." Sallust does
not link two actions together in succession, but merely connects two adverbs. Similarly, when
simul appears in BI 91.2, it marks simple temporality and does not relate events. Marius orders
his soldiers to prepare to march out simul cum occasu solis, at the same time as the setting of the
sun.24 These uses of simul add nothing to the establishment of homogeneous, empty time.
Simul in conjunction with undique, however, functions prominently to allow Sallust's
Roman readers to visualize action occurring across large expanses of space and performed by
multiple people, perhaps hundreds or thousands.25 Sallust writes about the Romans at the battle
Igitur Metellus pro tempore atque loco paratis rebus cuncta moenia exercitu
circumuenit, legatis imperat ubi quisque curaret. Deinde signo dato undique
simul clamor ingens oritur. (57.2-3)
Therefore Metellus, having made his preparations in accordance with the
circumstances and the nature of the place, encircled all the walls with his army
and assigned to each legate his own post of command. Then, when the signal had
been given, a unnatural battle-cry arose from everywhere at the same time.
Sallust creates a powerful image as we-the-Roman-readers imagine a vast Roman army bonding
together in one act to frighten the enemy.26 He floods his audience's imagination with the din of
swords on shields and the loud voices of thousands of soldiers raising the battle-cry. The
24 This use of simul, though purely temporal, does not mark calendrical time. This is not temporal coincidence
measured by clock and calendar of Anderson 1983: 24.
25 BI 57.3, 101.1, 113.6; in passage 113.6, the number of people mentioned is probably only a few.
26 "We-the-Roman-readers" borrows from Anderson 1983: 27, "we-Filipino-readers," and refers to the members of
the Roman imagined community who constitute Sallust's audience.
language and especially the historical present verbs remove the action from the past and place is
in the immediate, instantaneous present.
Similar to this is simul in 99.1, when Marius orders all the horn-blowers of the cohorts to
sound at the same time. Across the breadth of the battlefield, people who do not stand face-to-
face still engage in the same activity and through this participation feel a sense of belonging with
their comrades. This is a concept at the heart of the imagined community.27 Likewise, we-the-
Roman-readers imagine ourselves participating, standing on the battlefield defending Rome as
the horns resound around us. Sallust allows no pause between the giving of the order and the
sounding of the horns; the horn-blowers do not blow their horns one at a time as the sound
slowly builds into a cacophony. Sallust takes us from quiet and still to boisterous and dynamic
in one instant, from nothing to overwhelming.
Sallust also employs simul to imply cause and effect. This will be more clear with other
temporal adverbs, but Sallust does offer one example:
Nam ubi mare magnum esse et saeuire uentis coepit, limum harenamque et saxa
ingentia fluctus trahunt: ita facies locorum cum uentis simul mutatur. (78.3)
For when the sea begins to swell and rage with the winds, the waves drag along
mud and sand and massive rocks so that the face of the places is changed at the
same time as the winds.
Sallust says that the landscape changes at the same time that the winds change, but the reader
imagines that the winds cause the landscape to be changed; the winds must shift first to effect
this reconfiguration of the terrain.
27 Anderson 1983: 6 says "all communities larger than primordial villages of face-to-face contact (and perhaps even
these) are imagines," and, "members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members,
meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion."
The remaining examples of simul represent an instant in time in which Sallust narrates
events in quick succession as if occurring simultaneously, though they do not.28 He places
events side-by-side in an additive sequence divorced from real time. The most compelling
example presents four actions in one instant:
Perfugae, minume cari et regionum scientissumi, hostium iter explorabant. Simul
consul quasi nullo inposito omnia prouidere, apud omnis adesse, laudare et
increpare merentis. (100.3)
The deserters, because they were valued least and knew the land best, were
reconnoitering the path of the enemy. At the same time, the consul [Marius], as if
no one else had been placed in command,29 was looking after everything, was
present among everyone, and was praising and rebuking where each was
Four snapshots flash in the reader's mind. The scouts occupy half the scene, while triplex
Marius, in command of every detail, omnipresent, and responsive to his men's actions, consumes
the rest of the field of vision. Action is imbedded within action, as Sallust forces us to imagine
three levels of action: the deserters reconnoiter, Marius moves throughout the army, and his men
perform acts of glory and dishonor. The first verb, explorabant, establishes the tense, and the
historical infinitives following simul adopt this imperfectness, thereby emphasizing the vividness
and action of the narrative.30
Interim and Interea
Now I turn to words that expressly indicate the "meanwhile," interim and interea.31 The
first time Sallust uses interea presents a compelling example of the "meanwhile:"
28 B 14.1, 14.23, 20.1, 46.1, 52.6, 51.4, 56.4, 65.5, 97.4, 100.3, 101.6, 101.7, 102.12, 106.2, 109.1.
29 Paul 1984: 242 ad loc. suggests for quasi nullo inposito "as if no one had been entrusted with such duties;"
Watkiss 1971: 324 ad loc. "as though no officers had been put in charge."
30 Infinitives also appear in 51.4, 52.6, 101.6, 101.7.
31 For interea: 12.2, 29.4, 38.3, 41.8, 46.1, 51.5, 52.5, 86.2, 88.1, 103.1, 104.2; for interim: 12.5, 21.2, 25.1, 28.4,
29.3, 36.1, 39.2, 40.1, 49.4, 54.2, 55.1, 58.4, 59.2, 66.1, 82.2, 84.2, 87.2, 94.5, 96.3, 101.4, 101.10, 105.5.
Itaque tempus ad utramque rem decernitur, sed maturius ad pecuniam
distribuendam. Reguli interea in loca propinqua thesauris alius alio concessere.
And so a time was settled for each item, with the earlier time being for the
division of the money. Meanwhile, the princes each departed on separate paths to
places near the treasury.
Here, the "meanwhile" fills an unknown amount of time and encompasses the activities of three
people, Adherbal, Hiempsal, and Jugurtha. How long their journeys took and what the princes
were doing is irrelevant. Only two facts matter: they traveled during this homogeneous, empty
time and they arrived at the unidentified places near the treasury. These ambiguities of place and
time might bother a modern historian, but Sallust concerns himself with the narrative facts,
which allow him to draw attention to the issue of the money without bogging down the reader
with petty details.32
In 87.1-2, Sallust presents another aspect of the "meanwhile" as Marius assumes
command of the Roman troops in Africa:
omnia ibi capta militibus donat; dein castella et oppida natural et uiris parum
munita adgreditur, proelia multa, ceterum leuia, alia aliis locis facere. Interim
novi milites sine metu pugnae adesse, uidere fugientis capi aut occidi,
fortissumum quemque tutissumum, armis libertatem patriam parentisque et alia
omnia tegi, gloriam atque diuitias quaeri.33
There, [Marius] gave the soldiers all the booty; then he attacked small fortresses
and towns insufficiently protected by nature and men, fighting many battles, but
trivial ones all over the place. Meanwhile, the new recruits learned to approach34
battle free from fear and saw that deserters were captured or killed, that the
bravest men were the safest, that by the force of arms were their liberty, country,
and parents-and everything else-protected and glory and riches sought.
32 For the role of money within the narrative and especially for the characterization of Jugurtha, see Kraus 1999:
33 N.b. the historical infinitivesfacere, adesse, and videre.
34 Watkiss 1971: 310 ad loc. suggests this translation for the historical infinitive.
Here again, the temporal adverb indicates cause and effect, and it also fills up the empty time
with complementary, yet competing action. Marius is leading his men in battle, among whom
the new recruits learn through experience and observation how a Roman ought to behave in
battle. Consequently, we-the-Roman-readers also observe how a Roman ought to behave. The
sense of homogeneous, empty time bonds Marius with his soldiers, and the readers with Marius
and his soldiers.
Cum Temporal Clauses
Cum temporal clauses represent Sallust's most sophisticated construction of the
"meanwhile."35 Some of these clauses represent the type of temporal coincidence discussed
above in reference to temporal adverbs, but others allow Sallust to date the action of the main
clause. Unlike the narrative cum clause with the subjunctive, which is much more common, the
cum temporal clause does not describe general circumstances, but defines and dates. Sallust can
therefore use these clauses to fit events within the framework of homogeneous, empty time
measured by clock and calendar. Sallust employs fourteen cum temporal clauses throughout the
114 sections of the Bellum lugurthinum, with their use steadily increasing as the action of the
narrative approaches climax in 101.36
Sallust's cum temporal clauses fall into four general categories: (1) of temporal
coincidence, (2) explanatory, (3) conditional, and (4) of exact time. This last group separates
into two subcategories: those of exact time that cannot be equated to the clock or calendar and
35 Sallust uses the antiquated spelling quom, which I will maintain in quotations, but the standard cum will be used
in the text since all grammatical reference are to Allen 2001 , which uses cum.
36 Cum temporal clauses: 12.5, 31.20, 31.22, 49.4, 51.2, 60.6, 62.7, 85.21, 91.1, 92.8, 98.2, 101.8, 102.5, 106.5; On
the climax at 101, Levene 1992: 54 says that the BI has no clear climax, but acknowledges that the battle at Cirta
comes closest. I disagree. 101 marks a clear turning point in the narrative. Jugurtha puts his hope back in peace
and Marius' success leads Bocchus to ally with the Romans. It also marks the switch in emphasis from Marius to
Sulla. The action ceases to rise and begins to decline. Jugurtha fades from the narrative, and Sallust quickly mops up
the details to arrive at the denouement, which he narrates without any pomp and circumstance. As Levene himself
comments, Sallust places no emphasis on the capture of Jugurtha.
those that can. Within this second subset, a distinction arises between clock and calendar. Those
of the first category-temporal coincidence-occur with interim and function in accordance with
the examples for interim above.37 Of the second type, Sallust writes an explanatory once:
'Rex Bocche, magna laetitia nobis est, quom te talem uirum di monuere uti
aliquando pacem quam bellum malles...' (102.5)
'King Bocchus, we take great pleasure in that the gods have advised such a man
as yourself to finally prefer peace to war...'
The temporal relationship here is one of cause and effect, as with simul in 78.3 and interim in
Sallust offers two examples from the third category, conditionals. The iterative nature of
cum translated as "whenever" coincides within Bhabha's understanding of homogeneous, empty
time.38 The iteration is clear when Marius berates the nobles while addressing his countrymen:
Atque enim, quom apud vos aut in senatu uerbafaciant, pleraque oratione
maiores suos extollunt: eorum fortia facta memorando clariores sese putant.
And even when they speak among you or in the senate, [the nobles] are always
praising their own ancestors for most of the oration: they think that they are made
more famous by calling to memory the brave deeds of others.39
The homogeneous, empty time of the action underscores the audacity of the nobiles. Sallust
writes no beginning or end to this action. Through cum, Marius' audience and Sallust's readers
imagine these nobiles speaking, depending on the virtues of others instead of their own, over and
7 BI 12.5 & 49.4; If Sallust had disregarded the interim, a cum circumstantial would probably have suited the
situation better, but the adverb fixes the homogeneity of the temporality.
38 Bhabha 1994: 159, "Anderson misses the alienating and iterative time of the sign. He naturalizes the momentary
'suddenness' of the arbitrary sing, its pulsation, by making it part of the historical emergence of the novel, a
narrative of synchrony. But the suddenness of the signifier is incessant; instantaneous rather than simultaneous. It
introduces a signifying space of iteration rather than a progressive or linear seriality. The 'meanwhile' turns into
quite another time, or ambivalent sign, of the national people. If it is the time of the people's anonymity it is also
the space of the nation's anomie."
39 In order to accommodate enim, I translate cum as "when" and insert aI'\ a\ s" into the main clause. Just as easily,
we might read, "And also, whenever they speak..., they are praising...." The meaning is the same.
over, in constant iteration. Therefore, Marius' listener should follow his proposed course of
action-enlisting in his army-to combat such superbia at every instant.
In 31.22, cum introduces the protasis of a future more vivid condition. Memmius
addresses the people of Rome:
et uobis aeterna sollicitudo remanebit, quom intellegetis aut seruiundum esse aut
per manus libertatem retinendam.
And everlasting anxiety will remain for you, as soon as you understand that you
must either be slaves or preserve your liberty by force.
Cum is much stronger than si; it makes the condition even more vivid. Memmius, and Sallust,
intend the force of the condition to imply present fulfillment, an act which breaks down the
barriers of time and space and joins the past,40 present, and future. This passage exemplifies
how homogeneous, empty time allows Sallust to involve his readers in the narrative. Memmius
is not just addressing his fellow Romans, but also Sallust's fellow Romans and the future
generations of Rome. His words exist outside of historical, temporal reality.
The most powerful cum temporal clauses, however, indicate exact time, whether
measured by clock and calendar or not.41 The two passages showing exact time divorced of
clock and calendar create a snapshot of an instant in time:
Et iam scalis egressi mlites prope summa ceperant. quom oppidani concurrunt,
lapides, ignem, alia praeterea tela ingerunt. (60.6)
And already our soldiers, scaling on ladders, had nearly seized the top of the wall,
when the townspeople charged forward and began throwing stones, fire, and other
40 Memmius has just abused the nobility for oppressing the Roman people and this is the cause of their present and
future dilemma, BI 31.1-21.
41 Exact time without measure: 60.6, 92.9; time measured by clock: 51.2, 98.2, 101.8, 106.5; by calendar: 31.20,
Ea uineae cum ingenti periculo frustra agebantur, nam quom eae paulo
processerant igni aut lapidibus corrumpebantur. (92.8)
The siegecraft were being led forward with great danger and in vain, for as soon
as they had advanced but a little, they were being destroyed by fire and stones.
Both passages present single, pivotal moments in battle in a snapshot full of static movement.
Movement is implied by present and imperfect verbs, but the words themselves are immobile on
the page. Both cum's homogenize the time. If we were to paint these scenes, men would seem
to struggle forward, and fire and stones to hang in the air in suspended rain. In this way, the
Roman soldiers are always struggling and the enemy are always assailing them with missiles.
Clock and calendar come into play when Sallust references the action of the cum clause
to a specific event in the main clause or vice versa. At 106.5, Sallust marks the time of day in
the main clause and narrates the clocked action with a cum inversum:
Iamque nocturno itinere fessis omnibus Sulla pariter cum ortu solis castra
metabatur, quom equites Mauri nuntiant lugurtham circiter duum milium
intervallo ante eos consedisse.
And now Sulla, when all his men were worn out by the nighttime march, was
drawing the perimeter of his camp at sunrise, when the Moor horsemen
announced that Jugurtha had pitched camp about two miles ahead of them.
We as readers can fix a time for Sulla's measuring of the camp. In fact, Sallust actually offers us
cum ortu solis, specifying where exactly on the narrative clock we might place the messengers'
announcement. As for calendrical time, Sallust offers passages such as 62.7:
Eorum magna pars, uti iussum erat, adducti; pauci, quom primum deditio coepit,
ad regem Bocchum in Mauretaniam abierant.
Most [of the deserters], as was ordered, were led to [Metellus]; a few, as soon as
the surrender began, fled to King Bocchus in Mauretania.
The date of the surrender is a fixed moment, an instant in time which may have even been
recorded in the annals at Rome. It anchors the flight of the deserters not only in this instant, but
also in homogeneous, empty time.
Sallust has carefully related events on a small scale in such a way that he has
homogenized time. He traps we-the-Roman-readers within this imagined homogeneous, empty
time, in which the past, the War with Jugurtha, the present, Rome on the brink of another civil
war, and the future, the unknown fate of Rome in the hands of unknown leaders of unknown
virtue, are one and the same. Instantaneous moments of action hang in the air threatening to
iterate. On the one hand, he offers images of the Roman army assailed by fire and missile and of
nobiles haughtily asserting their right to power based on the deeds of their ancestors while their
own merits are lacking. On the other, he provides hope as the army rouses to the battle cry and
as citizens in Rome preserve their liberty, even by force.
SALLUST'S NARRATIVE VOICE
The previous discussion of homogeneous, empty time assumes that the Bellum
lugurthinum is a narrative, and that Sallust serves as both author and narrator.42 It is absurd to
pretend that an author who interjects so much of him own voice into the history and who begins
with a clear moral agenda (1-4) could step back and relate events in a modem historical
fashion.43 This would not be history to a Roman.44 For Sallust, history is not a record of events,
but a narrative account with a purpose.45 He is writing the history of the winners, but winners on
the brink of self-destruction. I will discuss how Sallust uses first person plural verbs indicating
cross-references and uncertainty, first person plural pronouns and possessive adjectives, and
chronological distortion as narrative tools to establish the homogeneous, empty time in which he
sets his narrative.
Each time Sallust writes diximus, he creates cross-references within the text that imply a
chronological sequence between scenes.46 These cross-references relate events and create a
cohesiveness within the text, but they also do much more. Diximus directly involves the reader,
42 On the narrative voice in general, see Genette 1993, 54-84; on Sallust as narrator, Dud 2000, who discusses tragic
and poetic elements in the Jugurtha, especially in Adherbal's speech to the Senate (BI 14). Grethlein 2006 shows
how Sallust asserts his narrative voice (1) through reference to his sources and cross-references within the text,
which draw attention to his presence and to his shaping of the narrative, and (2) through expressions of uncertainty,
which draw in the reader, which show that the story does not naturally unfold, but is shaped by a narrator, and which
adopt the perspective of his Roman characters.
43 See Earl 1961: 5-17. Sallust's moral agenda is to show virtus in decline and urge its restoration through the
pursuit of Gloriaa by the exercise of ingenium in such a way that [one] carries out egregiafacinora," 8.
44 On ancient historiography and its narrative elements, see Hawthornl969: xxxv-liii and Walsh 1961: 21-45. He
notes that since philosophy and history were the main prose genres in Rome, history functioned as the literary
(narrative) prose, 20n.
45 Walsh 1961: 44: "Sallust... embraces the ethical preoccupations of earlier Roman chroniclers, so that he views all
hsitory in terms of man's duty to gods and fellow-men.
46 Grethlein 2006: 303-304 discusses how these cross-references establish the narrative voice.
as if Sallust were speaking with us-the-Roman-readers.47 He actively engages us and forces us
to agree with whatever statement he is referring back to, as if together we had settled on this
interpretation of characters and events. The first person plural is more than mere convention.
Sallust is saying that we, I Sallust and you-the-Roman-reader, have said these things. He uses
diximus eight times, seven in conjunction with supra and once with paulo ante.48
Sallust compounds the cross-references at 33.2 and 34.1. The second refers back to the
first, which in turn refers to the numerous crimes of Jugurtha that Sallust has narrated thus far:
Ac tametsi in ipso magna uis animi erat, confirmatus ab omnibus quorum potential
aut scelere cuncta ea gesserat quae supra diximus, C. Baebium tribunum plebis
magna mercede parat, quoius inpudentia contra ius et iniurias omnis munitus
And although there was great assurance in himself, encouraged by all those men
by whose power or wickedness he had done all those things which I (we)
mentioned above, he bought the support of Gaius Baebius, tribune of the plebs,
with a substantial bribe, so that he would be protected by this man's
shamelessness against justice and all abuses.
C. Baebius tribunus plebis, quem pecunia corruptum supra diximus, regem tacere
Gaius Baebius, tribune of the plebs, whom I (we) said above was corrupted by
money, ordered the king to be quiet.
Through this intratextuality, Sallust deliberately links Baebius' corruption with Jugurtha's crimes
outlined in 29, the passage referred to in 33.2. He first recalls the crimes, placing them in the
forefront of the reader's mind, and then not two sections later, he recalls the corruption of a
47 Cf. Anderson 1983: 27 on the first person plurals in the beginning of Noli me Tangere. The "we" are we-Filipino-
readers. Likewise, here, the "we" are we-Roman-readers. By using the first person plural, Jose Rizal and Sallust
posit their respective imagined communities.
48 With supra: 30.3, 33.2, 34.1, 37.3, 52.5, 75.6, 84.1; withpaulo ante; 38.6; Grethlein 2006: 304 deals with the
cross-reference between 36.4 and 37.3, which he calls particularly striking because of the close proximity between
the passages. In addition to diximus, Sallust also uses ostendimus, 67.3, and docuimus, 40.4 and 49.1, in a similar
Roman tribune which secured protection against these crimes. Sallust almost makes us wonder
which is worse: Jugurtha's deeds or Baebius' acquiescence to them. He also connects Baebius'
office with thepotentia and scelus of 33.2. With such a display of the narrative voice, Sallust
makes it impossible for his manipulation of the text not to be felt. Consequently, it is impossible
for us-the-Roman-readers to disassociate ourselves from an active reading. Sallust demands
reflection on these events, demands an imagined dialogue between him and us.
Even more powerful, but used more sparingly is memorauimus. Both instances, 25.4 and
28.4, refer to M. Aemilius Scaurus, whom Sallust paints in unflattering terms. 25. 4 refers back
to 15.4, when Sallust first introduces Scaurus:
sed ex omnibus maxume Aemilius Scaurus, homo nobilis inpiger factiosus, auidus
potential honors diuitiarum, ceterum uitia sua callide occultans.
But among all these men Aemilius Scaurus stood out most, a noble, factious, and
energetic man, greedy for power, honor, and wealth, but skilled at hiding his own
Sallust describes him in compounding tricolon. He defines Scaurus with three general terms, of
which the first two are further broken down into three subcategories. Scaurus is (1) a man (a)
noble, (b) energetic, and (c) factious; (2) greedy of (a) power, (b) honor, and (c) riches; and (3)
skilled at hiding his own faults. With the reinforcement on the cross-referencing passages,
especially 28.4, which specifically mentions his natural and habitus, this portrait of Scaurus is
complete. Sallust, however, has constructed this specious representation of Scaurus for us to
remember. We are obliged to forget whatever details Sallust leaves out.49
49 Renan 1996: 228 is famous for having said at a lecture in 1882, "tout citoyon francais doit avoir oubli6 la Saint-
Barth6lemy, les massacres du Midi au XIIIe siecle." On remembering and forgetting, see Anderson 1983: 187-206;
Smith 2004: 73-77.
In shaping the reader's perception of Scaurus, the hand of the narrator is clearly at work.
Sallust does not alter those facts that can be checked against Scaurus' personal memoirs,50 but
instead focuses on the motivation behind Scaurus' actions. For instance, when he refuses
Jugurtha's bribe, Sallust attributes it to fear of popular resentment at such an obvious bribe, not
to virtue (15.5). Cicero presents quite a different Scaurus, as one of the most upright figures in
Roman history, though he no doubt engages in his own act of forgetting, and the reality is most
likely somewhere in between Sallust's and Cicero's estimations.1
Whatever Sallust's motivation for defaming Scaurus, the important fact is that he shapes
the reader's memory to fit this specious characterization.52 The memory he creates is of a noble
who abuses his power, who turns from honor and virtue to criminal behavior (29.2). As soon as
Sallust has established this portrait of Scaurus, Memmius rises to speak to the people (31). His
speech aims at moving the plebs to reassert their political power and to restore the concordia that
had dominated in Rome prior to the fall of Carthage.53 Anthony Smith dismisses the idea that
Rome constituted a nation: "the narrow patrician circumspection of rights... indicates] that
Rome and Latium fail to conform to the ideal-type of the modem 'nation'." This is the very
thing Sallust fights against by championing concordia.54
50 Cic. Brut. 29.112
51 On the career of Scaurus, see Syme 1964: 164-166 and Paul 1984: 64-67 ad 15.4.
52 Hands 1959 attributes Sallust's prejudice towards Scaurus to parallels Sallust drew between Scaurus and Cicero;
von Fritz 1943: 145-156 to political hatred towards a prominent aristocratic leader.
53 Sallust considers the removal of this metus hostilis to be the cause of Rome's current decline (41.2-5). Memmius'
speech closely parallels Sallust's own opinions on the origin of factional politics (41-2). See Earl 1964: 68-69 for an
account of the similarities.
54 Smith 2004: 132; Smith 129 establishes seven criteria for a nation: geographic borders; a legal community with a
single law code; a mass participant (all class) community; a culture propagated by mass education; an autonomous
community in which all members are citizens; sovereignty within an international framework; and ideology.
Expressions of Uncertainty
In addition to such cross-references, Sallust makes his narrative voice heard through
expressions of ambiguity or uncertainty. I do not wish to dwell on this tool, as Jonas Grethlein
has given it extensive attention, but I will draw on one particular example to elucidate the
point.55 Sallust marks this expression of uncertainty withparum conperimus.56 At 67.3, he
comments on Turpilius' escape from Vaga:
saeuissumis Numidis et oppido undique clauso, Turpilius praefectus unus ex
omnibus Italicis intactus profugit. Id misericodiane hospitis an pactione aut casu
ita eueneritparum conperimus, nisi, quia illi in tanto malo turpis uita integra fama
potior fuit, inprobus intestabilisque uidetur.
Although the Numidians were especially fierce and the town was completely
closed off, one man out of all the Italians escaped unharmed, the prefect Turpilius.
We have been unable to determine for sure whether this happened because of the
mercy of his host or a secret agreement, or because of chance; except he seems
too shameful and detestable, since in such a wicked affair, he preferred a
shameful life to a untarnished reputation.
Sallust opposes the intactus Turpilius to his loss of integrafama, and the choice of turpis to
describe Turpilius' life is striking. Sallust's shaping of the narrative inflames the reader at the
actions of Turpilius and his diction marks which possibility he believes to be true. Parum
conperimus is a deceptive pretense. Sallust has determined, even if he has not discovered it
through inquiry, that Turpilius had secret dealing that ensured his safety, and he guides the
reader to the same conclusion.
First Person Plural Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives
The first person plural verbs just mentioned directly engage the reader and establish
narrative voice through cross-references and expressions of uncertainty, but they are not the only
55 Grethlein 2006: 304-313.
56 He uses the same phrasing when he questions whether Bocchus' hesitation to agree to deliver Sulla to Jugurtha
was feigned of genuine (113.1).
references to we-the-Roman-readers. Sallust regularly inserts first person plural pronouns and
possessive adjectives, which directly engage the reader by building upon a sense of an imagined
community and by breaking down the barriers of time separating the historic past from the
During his preface, Sallust writes:
Nam saepe ego audiui Q. Maxumum, P. Scipionem,
nostrae praeclaros uiros solitos ita dicere, quom maiorum imagines intuerentur,
uehementissume sibi animum ad uirtutem adcendi. (4.5)
For often I have heard the Quintus Maximus, Publis Scipio, and other famous
men of our state were accustomed to say that when they beheld the masks of their
ancestors, their minds were most ardently inflamed towards the pursuit of virtue.
He goes on to clarify that it was the memorial rerum gestarum of their ancestors, not the wax
itself, that aroused such feelings (4.6). This passage functions on multiple levels. Nostrae draws
attention to the community to which Sallust, we-the-Roman-readers, Quintus Maximus, and
Publius Scipio belong. We feel a sense of belonging to this imagined community; thus, the pride
felt by these great men upon seeing the imagines transfers to us. This action of remembering the
deeds of the ancestors becomes exclusive to the Romans, as nostrae civitas admits no external
viewers. Sallust limits the gaze to we-the-Roman-readers.57 The subsequent reference to
memorial rerum gestarum directly links the power of imagines to spur one to virtue to the power
of Sallust's own historical narrative to do the same. Therefore, even if one of his readers does
not have imagines of his own to inspire him, he still has the memory of great deeds recorded in
57 Syed 2005: 53 write on "gaze," "ancient thinking about the self held that influence over a person's mental images
brought with it influence over his/her emotions as well." For more on "gaze," see Syed 44-50, Davidson 1991, and
Feldherr 1998: 1-50 (who refers to "gaze" as "vision").
Memory comes into play again during Sallust's third digression (79). Sallust narrates the
story of two Carthaginian brothers, the brothers Philaeni, who sacrifice their lives for their
country over a border dispute. Sallust begins this excursus:
Sed quoniam in has regions per Leptitanorum negotia uenimus, non indignum
uidetur egregium atque mirabile facinum duorum Carthaginiensium memorare:
eam rem nos locus admonuit. (79.1)
But since we have come to these regions by the affairs of the people of Lepcis, it
seems not unworthy to remember the exceptional and extraordinary deed of two
Carthaginians: the place reminds us of this affair.
This memory, however, is external to Roman identity. Sallust casts himself and the reader as the
object ofadmonuit. In a way, Sallust makes Lepcis the narrator, and he steps back. The deeds
of two non-Romans are intended to arouse the spirits of the Romans. At first, this seems to work
against the establishment of a Roman Self versus a foreign Other, but in truth, Sallust is allowing
an intermediary group to emerge. The Philaeni brothers are mimics of the Romans. 58 These
brothers represent fraternal cooperation, "the highest moral virtue."59 Additionally, they give
their lives for their country, which Sallust brands respublica (79.9). When this excursus is read
in light of the surrounding action, why Sallust allows the mimetic element to manifest itself
becomes clear. The cooperation between Metellus and Marius is breaking down. These mimics
feign the Roman identity that Metellus and Marius fail to maintain. Furthermore, the respective
superbia and ambitio of Metellus and Marius have supplanted their concern for the res publica.0
Still, this mimetic memory threatens the Roman Self, so Sallust does not dwell long on it. The
58 Bhabha 1994: 87-91.
59 So argued by Weidelmann 1993: 55.
60 Scanlon 1987: 51-52 notes that this digression not only highlights Metellus' superbia and Marius' ambitio, but
also falls exactly between the beginning of Metellus' command and the end of Marius' and divides the achievements
of Metellus from those of Marius.
brothers Philaeni consume one section. Then Sallust returns to his subject and reasserts his
narrative voice (Nunc ad rem redeo, 79.10).
Sallust's voice shines once more during the battle of Zama (57-60). Though the Romans
do not succeed in besieging the city, they perform valiantly in this battle because Marius and
Metellus are still cooperating. Metellus has refused to pursue the nomadic Jugurtha through the
countryside (56.1) and begs for Marius' help lacrimans per amicitiam perque rem publicam
(58.5).61 While the Roman cavalry are guarding the Roman camp and Metellus moves out to
lugurtha ex occulto repente nostros inuadit: qui in proxumo locati fuerant,
paulisper territi perturbantur, relicui cito subueniunt. (59.2)
Jugurtha suddenly attacked our men from a hiding place: those who were nearest
were for a short time frightened and terrified, but the rest quickly came to help
By placing the identity of nostros on the Roman soldiers, Sallust once again directly involves us-
the-Roman-readers readers in the battle. We experience the fear and terror of the soldiers; we
feel relief when our comrades rush to our aid. The near defeat (ita suis hostispaene victos dare,
59.3) consumes our thoughts as we gaze upon our fellow Romans in the bitterest strife (eo
acerrume niti, 60.1). Then, Sallust shows our soldiers scaling the walls while the townsmen
assault them with stones, fire, and other missiles (60.6).62 As he continues, Sallust evokes even
stronger emotions as we gaze upon the following:
nostri primo resistere; deinde, ubi unae atque alterae scelae conminutae, qui
supersteterant adflicti sunt, ceteri, quoque modo potuere, pauci integri, magna
pars uolneribus confecti abeunt. (60.7)
61 This amicitia is the same bond of friendship that collapses following Marius' election to the consulship, about
which Sallust comments with the story of the brothers Philaeni.
62 This is the same passage discussed in chapter 2 as engaging the reader through the use of a cum temporal clause.
This passage offers an excellent example of how the various functions of the narrative voice come together to
produce dramatic effect.
At first our men resisted; but then, when one after another ladder was shattered
and those who were standing on them were crushed, the rest fled in whatever way
they were able, a few unharmed, but most consumed by wounds.
The rapid succession of clauses dominated by participles and historical infinitive builds upon the
tension. We look in horror as our comrades fall from heights or attempt to flee until night finally
brings an end to battle (60.8). Sallust makes us forget that he narrates a battle that occurred
about seventy years before-he empties time of its meaning-and we imagine ourselves standing
helpless on the battlefield. This struggle occurs right now in the memory of every Roman.
When historians judge the "value" of Sallust, a regular complaint concerns his errors of
chronology.63 These errors, however, are unimportant within the Sallustian framework of
homogeneous, empty time. A glaring distortion arises at the beginning of the Bellum
lugurthinum when Sallust narrates Micipsa's adoption of Jugurtha and his subsequent death.
Scipio Aemelianus conquered at Numantia in 133 BCE.64 Jugurtha then returned to Numidia
with a letter from Scipio extolling his maxuma virtus (9.2). Sallust narrates Micipsa's response:
Igitur rex, ubi ea quae fama acceperat ex litteris imperatoris ita esse cognouit,
quom uirtute tum gratia uiri permotus flexit animum suom et lugurtham beneficiis
uincere adgressus est statimque eum adoptauit et testamento pariter cum filiis
heredem instituit. (9.3)
Therefore, the king, when he understood from the general's letter that the rumor
which he had heard was true, moved by both the virtue and the influence [of
Jugurtha], changed his plans and attempted to win Jugurtha over with kindness.
He immediately adopted him and in his will made him an equal heir with his sons.
Sallust clearly states that Micipsa immediately (statim) adopted Jugurtha. He continues:
63 Canter 1911 and Syme 1964: 142-147 lists these errors and works out as much of the chronology as possible.
64 App. Hisp. 96-98.
Sed ipse paucos post annos morbo atque aetate confectus quom sibi finem uitae
adesse intellegeret, coram amicis et cognatis itemque Adherbale et Hiempsale
filiis dicitur huiusce modi verba cum lugurtha habuisse. (9.4)
But after a few years [Micipsa], consumed by sickness and old age, when he
realized that the end of his life was approaching, is said to have spoken to
Jugurtha in the presence of friends and relations, including his sons Adherbal and
Hiempsal, and the conversation went something like this.
A speech follows in which Micipsa urges Jugurtha, Adherbal, and Hiempsal to remember their
filial affection after his death (10). Then, paucispost diebus, Micipsa dies (11.2), and the
princes hold a meeting in which Hiempsal says that Jugurtha was adopted tribusproxumis annis
(11.6). Sallust has established a rapid chronology in which Jugurtha returns from Numidia,
Micipsa adopts him, a few years, but no more than three, pass, and Micipsa dies. At most,
Sallust permits four years between the destruction of Numantia and Micipsa's death, but Micipsa
died in 118 BCE, at least fifteen years after the destruction of Numantia.
Ronald Syme believes, "This is perhaps careless rather than artifice."65 I disagree. 66
Gerard Genette has established that narrative pacing represents efficiency, economy, and the
narrator's judgment concerning the importance of events.67 What transpired during the
intervening years does not matter and placing these events side-by-side in rapid succession
heightens the tension and focuses on the impiety of Jugurtha's subsequent murder of his two
65 Syme 1964: 149, citing specifically the contradiction of tribus proxumis annis.
66 So too does von Fritz 1943: 141: "The unsuspecting reader, unless he has a very exact knowledge of the
chronology from other sources, must certainly come to the conclusion that the interval between Jugurtha's stay in
Spain and the troubles which broke out immediately after the death of Micipsa was little more than three years, and
not sixteen, as was actually the case. He will therefore receive the impression that Jugurtha's attitude towards his
co-rulers was the direct result of his presumed conversations with the young Roman noblemen who took part in the
siege of Numantia." These "presumed" conversations are those in 8.2, when the novi atque nobiles convinced
Jugurtha that if Micipsa were to die, he might become sole ruler of Numidia and that all things can be bought in
Rome. Later, he says that it is difficult to believe this is carelessness or unintentional, ibid. 142.
67 Genette 1993: 63-64.
adoptive brothers. In Sallust's chronology, Jugurtha brings his family prestige only to
immediately shatter it.
If Sallust were a scientific historian in the modern sense and not a narrator, he would not
be able to move his readers, nor provide them with a sense of unity. His ability to interweave
events and draw attention to characters and characteristics depend upon his narrative voice. His
cross-references, expressions of doubt, use of first person plurals, and chronological distortions
allow him to invest us-the-Roman-readers in this imagined community so that we directly
experience shock, fear, pride, and inspiration.
JUGURTHA: THE OTHER
Jugurtha is the central figure in Sallust's monograph. The Roman players change from
Bestia to Metellus to Marius to Sulla, but Jugurtha remains throughout.68 Jugurtha functions as
an anti-hero, and he is not alone in Roman historiography. Livy has such figures as Sextus
Tarquinius and Hannibal, Cicero and Sallust himself have Catiline, Tacitus has Tiberius,
Sejanus, and Nero. These figures, who either are not Roman or fail to uphold their Romanness,
offer a negative image of what it means to be Roman. No Roman from the Jugurthine War could
serve as a model Roman in Sallust's estimation because they all eventually give in to one major
character flaw or another, so instead he offers Jugurtha. Unable to define the Self, he defines the
Other. He then describes the failure of the major Roman players in terms of their mimicry of the
Other, which results in a loss of their Roman status and is ultimately responsible for the decline
Geography, Nomads, and Aborigines
When we first meet Jugurtha, illegitimacy defines his identity (5.7). Sallust then briefly
describes his youth, marked by excellence of mind and body (6.1), but soon shifts to a different
view of Jugurtha. Sallust implies that Jugurtha is a man without a home. Though Micipsa
lugurtham... domi habuit (5.7), he has not accepted him as a member of that family. Sallust
shows this through the mistrust Micipsa places in his adoptive son. Jugurtha offers no reason for
postquam hominem adulescentem exacta sua aetate et paruis liberis magis
magisque crescere intellegi, uehementer eo negotio permotus multa cum animo
suo uoluebat. Terrebat eum natural mortalium auida imperi et praeceps ad
68 Kraus 1999: 239-240 marks Jugurtha's "relative absence" in sections 84-114, when Marius dominates the scene.
This is, however, only a relative absence, and Jugurtha still figures in the plot, though Sallust has shifted the focus to
Marius. His presence is reasserted in 101, discussed in Chapter 1 as the climax of the narrative.
explendam animi cupidinem, praeterea opportunitas suae liberorumque aetatis,
quae etiam mediocris uiros spe praedae transuorsos agit, ad hoc studia
Numidarum in lugurtham adcensa, ex quibus, si talem uirum dolis interfecisset,
ne qua seditio aut bellum oriretur anxius erat. (6.2-3)
After [Micipsa] realized that the man was young and was thriving more and more
while his own age was wearing on and his sons were young, he was very much
disturbed by this situation and constantly dwelling on it. The nature of mortal
men, greedy for power and zealous towards fulfilling its heart's desire, frightened
him, as did the opportunity provided by his own age and that of his children,
which leads astray even men of ordinary ability with the hope of spoils, and in
addition to this was the increasing favor of the Numidians towards Jugurtha, from
whom, if he were to kill such a man through treachery, he feared some rebellion
or war would arise.
This is the view of the Numidians Sallust has painted thus far: a people fearful of their own
relations. The mistrust runs deep, and we might even read Jugurtha's behavior as a response to
the obvious lack of faith placed in him. After all, Micipsa is the first to consider an attack on his
own family member.69 Jugurtha quickly sees through Micipsa's feigned regard for him: regem
ficta locutum intellegebat (11.1). This familial strife culminates in the slaughter of Hiempsal
(12.5). Whatever home Jugurtha might have had is now completely destroyed and his identity as
a nomad is fixed.
Sallust has given us a nomad, and now he highlights the difference between the nomad
Jugurtha and the stable Roman in his excursus on African geography (17-19). This digression
has bothered scholars, as a circumspect glance shows little connection with Sallust's theme.70
69 On the battle imagery and vocabulary of motion and attack in Sallust's description of Micipsa's reaction to
Jugurtha's early display of virtus and popularity among the Numidians, see Kraus 1999: 232-233.
0 Levene 1992: 57 discusses the digression in terms of its contributions to the fragmentary nature of the BIby
allowing a brief mention of Carthage that implies more to the story. Scanlon 1980: 126, 131-132 considers the
digression mere imitation of Thucydides and a feature of style. Grethlein 2006: 313 views the digressions as an
opportunity to establish the narrative voice through reference to his source (the Punic books of King Hiempsal,
17.7). Syme 1964: 152-153 calls the digression appropriate, but also "Greek erudition and fancies," and seems to
think the digression useful as a jumping off point for a discussion of Sallust's sources. Paul 1984: 72 ad loc assigns
a structural function to mark the passage of five or six years between the partition of Numidia and the start of the
war. Hawthorn 1969: 6 excludes the digression from his text. Wiedemann 1993: 53 comes closest with, "it is a
statement about the difference between the well-ordered state, and the anarchy of division," and here he speaks
specifically about Hercules's death and the dispersal of the peoples in his army.
This might be an accurate conclusion if his theme were merely the decline of Roman morality,
but a nationalistic agenda sheds new light on the function of this excursus. Sallust literally casts
Numidia in the position of the third world in contrast to the first world Rome. First, he
establishes all Africa as a third continent, separate from Asia and Europe:
In division orbis terrae plerique in parte tertia Africam posuere, pauci tantum
modo Asiam et Europam esse, sed Africam in Europa (17.3)
In the division of the earth, almost everyone has established Africa as a third part,
and just a few think there is only Asia and Europe, Africa being in Europe.
Sallust sides with theplerique. His specious expression of uncertainty involves we-the-Roman-
readers and influences us to agree with theplerique as well. For Sallust, to whom third world is
an unknown construction, Africa is nevertheless a third world. He places little stock in the
misconception that Africa could be part of Europe, for he immediately describes the physical
separation between Europe and Africa created by the Mediterranean Sea-nostri maris-and the
Strait of Gibraltar (13.4).
These are separate worlds, and the repetition of nostrum mare at 18.5 and 18.12 further
reinforces the distinction. When Jugurtha comes to Rome (33-35), his third world status pollutes
the Roman political scene.71 His discordant presence and attempt to mimic Roman behavior
result in the success of his bribes in ensuring his personal safety and the escape of Bomilcar to
Africa despite the open assassination ofMassiva. His Otherness has torn asunder the Roman
political system that should have prevented such crimes. Jugurtha emits the only words issued
directly from his mouth in the entire monograph as he leaves the city:
"urbem uenalem et mature perituram, si emptorem inuenerit." (35.10)
"That is a city for sale and ready for ruin, if it finds a buyer."
1 Sallust attributes Jugurtha's influence to bribery, but Allen 1938 reveals how Sallust purposefully misrepresents
the political reality. Jugurtha's influence in the Roman senate was based on his amicitia with the Scipios.
His presence in Rome, his belief in this sentiment, which was inspired by the novi atque nobiles
Romans with whom he served in Numantia (8.1),72 and his actions in accordance with that belief
result in its fulfillment, the successful bribe of the tribune Gaius Baebius (33.2). Baebius is now
infected by Jugurthine Otherness and has lost touch with his Roman identity. The reference back
to this bribery at 34.1, as mentioned in chapter two, strengthens this association and further links
Baebius' crime with Jugurtha's.
Homi Bhabha writes, "Each cultural naming represents the impossibility of cross-cultural
identity."73 By labeling Jugurtha a nomad, Sallust thus implies that the Roman identity is the
opposite, fixed and stable. Sallust establishes that the Gaetulians and Libyans are indigenous to
Africa and are
vagi, palantes, quas nox coegerat sedes habebant. (18.2)
a roving, wandering people, who made their resting places those which night had
compelled them to take.
The Persians, having come to Africa after the death of Hercules, intermarried with the native
Gaetulians to create a race of nomads now known as Numidians. Though the Libyans, Medes,
and Armenians soon established towns, the Numidians took longer to settle, but eventually
absorbed their neighboring populations in northern Africa. Because Sallust composes his
narrative in homogeneous, empty time, he can relate unknown centuries of activity by multiple
peoples in just three sections.
72 qui Iri, mhil,. non mediocre animum pollicitando adcendebat:... Romae omnia venalia esse.
73 Bhabha 1994: 130 means that by labeling a group with a name different from your own, you make it impossible to
identify and sympathize with the other group. The civilized cannot identify with the barbarous, the British with the
Indians, and so forth. In our case, the Romans cannot identify with the nomadic Numidians. Each repetition of the
sign, which here is the name placed on the Other, reinforces the impossibility of cross-cultural identification.
The Romans, however, according to their own mythic tradition, are in essence aboriginal.
Although Livy 1.1-3 draws a distinction between the aborigines and the Troiani, the Trojans
were but a few men quickly assimilated into the aboriginal tribes. Also, their ultimate descent
form Dardanus and Saturn allows them some degree of aboriginal status on their own. The
Gaetulians, on the other hand, migrated to north Africa from further south (Gaetuli sub sole
magis, haudprocul ab ardoribus, 18.9) and a group of Persians and Gaetulians separated from
the larger group. Under the name 'Numidians,' they took over the area next to Carthage (18.11).
Furthermore, if we accept the Aeneas myth, then the Romans are aboriginal through the
eponymous hero Romulus, as well as through the marriage of Aeneas, ultimately descended from
Dardanus, and Lavinia.74 Alternately, we might select one of the multiple eponymous heroes
from Plutarch's Life of Romulus (1-2). Within the homogeneous, empty time of the nation's
memory, conflicting accounts pose no problem. The distance by which Romans are removed
from the historical reality of their origins allows the accepted truth to become truer and any
confusing or problematic details to disappear into the emptiness.75 Thus, the Romans view
themselves as a stable society and assume a degree of cultural superiority.
In contrast to this, Sallust continuously emphasizes the nomadic lifestyle of the
Numidians and their parent races. Since Sallust writes from the point of view of the winner, he
is free to inscribe his version of history on the Other.76 Fortunately for Sallust, the very name
74 The existence of competing myths of descent is a defining feature of the nation, Smith 1999:86-87. For Aeneas's
Roman identity, see Syed 2005. Syed 175 says that Lavinia's "Latinness is inscribed in her and her father's name,"
which Vergil emphasizes with the words Laviniaque venit / litora (Aen. 1.2-3) and genus under Latinum (Aen. 1.6).
Also, Livy writes that when the Trojans came arrived in Italy, Latinus rexAboriginesque qui tur ea tenebant loca
ad arcendam vim advenarum armati ex urbe atque agris concurrunt (1.1.5).
75 Bhabha 1994: 74 writes, "The myth of historical origination-racial purity, cultural priority- produced in relation
to the colonial stereotype functions to 'normalize' the multiple beliefs." This helps explain why competing myths
pose no problem within the framework of Roman national memory.
76 Bhabha 1994: 95, "Western national discourse... normalizes its own history of colonial expansion and exploitation
by inscribing the history of the other in afixed hierarchy of civil progress" (emphasis my own).
Numidian, derived from the Greek voadg-one who roams about for pasture-strengthens this
association.7 Thus, whenever he refers to Jugurtha as Numida or refers to him as king or leader
of the Numidians, he recalls Jugurtha's nomadic heritage and underlines his characteristic
instability.78 Throughout the narrative, Jugurtha is constantly in motion. During Aulus'
campaign, Jugurtha is described as follows:
ipse quasi uitabundus per saltuosa loca et tramites exercitum ductare. (38.1)
He himself, as if taking evasive action, was leading his army though wooded
places and footpaths.
This action is not even worthy of a nomad, who by definition searches for pastureland. Jugurtha
is merely wasting time and frustrating the Roman command. Sallust reduces Jugurtha to a sub-
nomad status. When Aulus determines to follow Jugurtha, the Numidians attack his camp at
night and he is forced into surrender and a peace treaty (38.4-10). By behaving as a nomad-that
is, by mimicking Jugurtha's behavior, the behavior of the Other-Aulus fails to uphold his own
A further failure follows when Aulus' brother Albinus breaks down the barriers of filial
affection and declares void his brother's treaty (39.2-3) amid a war caused by the collapse of
familial bonds in the Numidian royal house. Clearly, Jugurtha's murder of his brothers outshines
Albinus' slight against Aulus, but for a Roman to lay asidepietas,
ex delicto fratris inuidiam ac deinde periculum times (39.2)
fearing hatred on account of his brother's offense and the consequent danger,
77 cf. Polybius Hist. 1.19.2-3.
78 Jugurtha's movement and resulting disorder are the subject of Kraus 1999.
is to violate fundamental principles of Roman family life.79 Aulus and Albinus represent a
breakdown of the mos maiorum, which ought to stand in fierce opposition to Jugurtha's constant
state of flux.
When Metellus assumes command of the Roman army from the Albinus, who has lost
touch with his Romanness, the army has devolved into a nomadic state. Though Albinus had
tried to maintain a permanent camp (44.4), nevertheless,
lixae permixti cum militibus diu noctuque uagabantur, et palantes agros uastare,
uillas expugnare, pecoris et mancipiorum praedas certantes agere eaque mutare
cum mercatoribus uino aduecticio et aliis talibus. (44.5)
Camp followers along with soldiers wandered about day and night, and wandering
about in packs they devastated the countryside, plundering villas, fighting with
each other to take sheep and slaves as booty, and trading these things with
merchants for imported wine and other such things.
Sallust describes the soldiers using the same terms he used of the Gaetulians and Lybians in
18.2: vagor andpalor. They wander about aimlessly and in separate units, having fully assumed
the role of nomads. Metellus must restore order, must restore Roman identity. Moreover,
Sallust describes Metellus' own movements (45.2) as clearly purposeful: to strengthen the army
by keeping the soldiers from doing wrong (45.3). In this way, he restores the rank and file and
makes the army as incorruptible as he is (46.1).
At this point in the narrative, Metellus represents the true Roman, o though Sallust
prepares us for the future manifestation of his superbia towards Marius (contemptor animus et
superbia, 64.1). Once that superbia takes hold of Metellus, Sallust introduces an external
character who furthers Metellus' decline:
79 On the Roman family, see Sailer 1984; Rawson 1986; Bradley 1991.
80 Sallust says that the entire Roman state (the Senate, allies, Latin cities, and kings) all rallied to the war effort
under Metellus (63.4) and calls Metellus a spirited man of unblemished repute (63.1). As Syme 1964: 151 remarks,
despite Sallust's apparent distaste for the nobility, he narrates Marius' successes "without deprecation of Metellus."
Earl 1961: 70-76 discusses Metellus' adherence to Sallustian virtues.
Erat praeterea in exercitu nostro Numida quidam nominee Gauda, Mastanabalis
filius, Masinissae nepos, quem Micipsa testamento secundum heredem scripserat.
In addition, there was a certain Numidian by the name of Gauda in our army, the
son of Mastanabal and the grandson of Masinissa, whom Micipsa had made a
secondary heir in his will.
Sallust creates an immediate division between we-the-Romans and Gauda, whom he primarily
identifies as Numida, as if his name were of secondary importance. With the arrangement of
exercitu nostro Numida... Gauda, Sallust juxtaposes nostro to Numida and establishes Gauda as
first and foremost a nomad. When this figure of the Other asks Metellus to grant him a seat of
honor and a guard of Roman equites, Marius seizes upon Metellus' refusal, an act of the latter's
superbia, to further his own ambitio (65.2-4).
Metellus' refusal to grant Gauda a seat of honor beside him (65.2) recalls Hiempsal's
initial refusal to yield the seat of honor to Jugurtha during their meeting following Micipsa's
death (11.3). This collapse of familial bonds, in light of the story of the brothers Philaeni (as
discussed in chapter three) and the early successes of Metellus and Marius as they worked
together, mirrors the collapse of amicitia between the Roman commanders, which manifests
itself in Metellus' refusal to support Marius as candidate for consul (64.4). Sallust uses Gauda's
Otherness to reinforce the increasing sway of superbia over Metellus. The nomadic figures
Jugurtha and Gauda are pernicious influences.
Slave and Master, Client and Patron, Numidia and Rome
According to Homi Bhabha, the dialectic at the heart of colonial discourse is one of
self/other, master/slave.81 Rome offers a perfect example. In Roman society, this colonial
discourse manifests itself in reproducing on the international scale the domestic patron/client
81 Bhabha 1994: 72.
system. Patron/client represents a Roman's personal identification in relation to those with
whom he interacts. The patron cannot exist without a client. On the international stage, the
corresponding master/slave dialectic becomes Rome/client kingdom.82 This is the status of
Numidia following the Punic Wars:
populus Romanus quascumque urbis et agros manu ceperat regi dono dedit. Igitur
amicitia Masinissae bona atque honest nobis permansit. (4.4-5)
The Roman people gave as a gift to the king [Masinissa] whatever cities and
territories he had taken. Therefore the bond of friendship with Masinissa
remained honest and true for us.
We have already seen how important personal bonds are within the Bellum lugurthinum, and I
will return to the specific case of amicitia soon, but for now let's examine how Sallust represents
the Rome/client kingdom dialectic between Numidia and Rome. Amicitia... bona atque honest
reveals that Masinissa understands his subservient position to Rome, but he dies, leaving the
kingdom in the hands of his son Micipsa (4.5-6).83 Micipsa too recognizes his duties to Rome
and sends cavalry and infantry, along with Jugurtha, to aid Scipio Aemelianus in Numantia (7.2).
Early in the narrative, even Jugurtha acts in accordance with his position as a
representative of the client kingdom. Jugurtha performs valiantly in war, and as a result, Scipio
relies on him in nearly all difficult affairs and considers him among his friends (7.6).84 In fact,
he forms friendships with many Romans (7.7). Unfortunately, while in Numantia, the seeds are
82 On clientele, see Badian 1984 : 1-14.
83 On Masinissa and the relationship between Rome and Numidia, see Walsh 1965. Badian 1984 : 125-140
fleshes out this relationship between Numidia and Rome. Masinissa understands his subservient position, but like
many rulers of client kingdoms, he does not fully understand what clientele means. In Liv. 45.13.12, Masinissa's
son Masagaba says to the Roman senate Masinissam meminisse
et multiplicatum habere; usu regni contentum scire dominium et ius eorum, qui dederint, esse.
84 Igitur imperator omnisfere res asperas per ,l~,., ri ,ii agere, in amicis habere.
placed in Jugurtha's mind which will lead him to attempt to subvert the Rome/client kingdom
Ea tempestate in exercitu nostro fuere complures noui atque nobiles quibus
diuitiae bono honestoque potiores erant, factiosi domi, potentes apud socios, clari
magis quem honest, qui lugurthae non mediocre animum pollicitando
adcendebant: si Micipsa rex occidisset, fore uti solus imperi Numidias potiretur;
in ipso maxumam uirtutem, Romae omnia uenalia esse. (8.1)
At that time, there were many men, both new men and noble,86 to whom riches
were more important than virtue and honesty, partisan men at home, influential
among the allies, notorious rather than respectable, who inflamed the ambitious
mind of Jugurtha by persistently promoting the hope that if king Micipsa should
die, he could gain sole control over Numidia; in him there was the greatest virtue,
and all things were for sale in Rome.
Immediately after this, Scipio Aemelianus warns Jugurtha to seek et gloriam et regnum through
the cultivation of amicitia with the Roman people (8.2), but Jugurtha disregards this advice.
Instead he seeks his glory and kingdom by murdering his brother Hiempsal (12.5), a clear
violation of familial pietas.
When the matter of Hiempsal's murder comes before the Roman senate, Sallust draws a
clear distinction between Jugurtha and Adherbal: Jugurtha relies on bribes, whereas Adherbal
begins his address by explicitly mentioning his subservient status:
'Patres conscripti, Micipsa pater meus moriens mihi praecepit uti regni Numidiae
tantummodo procurationem existumarem meam, ceterum ius et imperium eius
penes uos esse.' (14.1)
'Conscript fathers, my father Micipsa warned me as he was dying that I should
consider myself only a steward of the kingdom of Numidia, but that right and
power are in your hands.'
85 The danger of the dialectics of colonial discourse of master/slave and self/other, which I have extended to
patron/client and Rome/client kingdom is that such relationships can be subverted by being inverted. As Bhabha
1994: 72 remarks, though, this is also a necessity of a symmetrical or dialectical relationship.
86 Koestermann 1971: 50 takes novi as "young" and reads hendiadys. This places all the blame in the nobiles. I
think new men and noble men is correct as Sallust seems concerned with the decline of both novi homines and
nobiles, cf. Paul 1984: 32 ad loc, Watkiss 1984: 88 ad loc, and Kraus 1999: 227.
Regardless of his actual feelings on the matter, Adherbal's life depends on promoting the
Rome/client kingdom dialectic. He continually appeals for the help owed to him as a good client
by his patron Rome and frequently mentions the amicitia between himself and Rome.87 In this
way, he makes the crimes against the client sins against the patron. As Adherbal concludes his
appeal to the senate, he brings together his client status and Jugurtha's contempt for their family:
'nolite pati regnum Numidiae, quod uostrum est, per scelus et sanguinem familiar
nostrae tabescere.' (14.25)
'Do not allow the kingdom of Numidia, which is yours, to waste away through the
wickedness and bloodshed of our family.'
Unfortunately for Adherbal, Jugurtha has already begun his pollution of the Roman
political scene with his bribery. The senate votes to divide Numidia between Jugurtha and
Adherbal (16.2), but as soon as Jugurtha is settled in his new kingdom, his mind stretches
towards Adherbal's (in regnum Adherbalis animum intendit, 20.1). Adherbal once again relies
on his amicitia with the Romans and attempts diplomacy (20.5), but Jugurtha continues his
assault on Adherbal, hoping to finish the war before the Romans can intervene (21.3). After
various dealings with the Romans, Jugurtha refuses to yield to Scaurus and continues his siege of
Cirta, where Adherbal has taken refuge (25.10-11).
At this moment, Jugurtha completely abandons all pretense of respect for Rome, shatters
any lingering amicitia, and succumbs to his depraved nature. In Cirta, the Italian merchants
defending the town advise Adherbal to trust in the power of the senate and surrender to Jugurtha
under the condition that his life be spared (26.1). Adherbal does not wish to trust Jugurtha, but
yields to the Italians. Massacre ensues:
8 Adherbal uses amicitia at 14.1, 14.5 (twice), 14.12, 14.17, 14.18, 14.20 and amicus at 14.2, 14.10, and 14.15.
Badian 1984 : 11-13 argues that amicitia oringally represented a specific type of clientele that did not require
a treaty and may have referred only to non-legal relationships between equals. Eventually, this distinction was lost
and amicus became "a polite term for an inferior (or, conversely, a superior)."
lugurtha in primis Adherbalem excruciatum necat, deinde omnis puberes
Numidas atque negotiores promiscue, uti quisque armatus obuius fuerat, interficit.
First, Jugurtha tortured Adherbal to death, and then he killed all adults who were
found in possession of weapons, with no discrimination between Numidians and
With this total subversion of the Rome/client kingdom dialectic, Jugurtha effectively declares
war on Rome.88 Armatus obuius implies that the victims of this massacre were resisiting
Jugurtha. Perhaps the Italians had changed their mind or only some Italians, those that resisted,
were killed. 89 Whatever the case, Sallust moves quickly to the Roman response: Gaius
Memmius seizes upon the slaughter of the Italians to inflame the plebs to demand war (27 and
The relationship between patron and client is of supreme importance to Sallust. Although
he has been variously identified as apopularis,90 Sallust's true concern seems to be maintaining
concordia. He is just as critical of the plebs when they overstep their bounds as he is of the
nobiles. He attributes Marius' successful election as consul to Gauda's influence and to the zeal
of the common people to advance new men (plebs...novos extollebat, 65.5), not to Marius' own
virus. Marius' virus has been slipping since he subverted his own patron/client relationship and
violated his amicitia with Metellus by seeking the consulship against his patron's wishes. From
88 Jugurtha, however, is surprised when Rome declares war: AtI,,In, iI,, contra spem nuntio accept, quippe quoi
Romae omnia uenire in animo haeseret... (28.1).
89 Morstein-Marx 2000 argues that this massacre was hardly a massacre at all, and that the death of the Italians was
not the true cause of the war. Livy Per. 64 attributes the cause to the murder of Adherbal. Rich 1976: 51-55
compares this declaration of war to that against Carthage following the siege of Saguntum, and believes that the
senate had already decided to go to war with Jugurtha if he did not cease his aggressions against Adherbal and his
siege of Cirta by the start of the new consular year.
90 Earl 1961: 2 gives a brief overview of the history of scholarship on the question of Sallust's political allegiance
with the populares and especially with Caesar. Earl successfully shows that Sallust's real concern is with concordia
between the orders, not the dominance of one over the other, ibid 68-69.
this point forth, Marius' driving force is ambitio. Like Jugurtha, he seeks power and glory no
longerper virtutem, but instead by subverting the patron/client relationship.
Roman Identity and the Metus Hostilis
Jugurtha's effects on Roman identity beg one important question: why was Roman
identity liable to subversion? For Sallust, the answer is the destruction of Carthage:
Nam ante Cathaginem delatam populus et senatus Romanus placide modesteque
inter se rem publicam tractabant, neque gloriae neque dominationis certamen inter
ciuis erat: metus hostilis in bonis artibus ciuitatem retinebat. (41.2)91
For before the destruction of Carthage, the people and the Roman senate mutually
governed the republic peacefully and with restraint, and between citizens there
were struggles neither for glory nor for power: the fear of the enemy was
maintaining the state in good morals.92
The loss of the metus hostilis results in the slow decline of those Roman morals that
characterized national identity for Sallust. Ernest Renan defined a nation as a group of people
who have done great things and wish to do more, united by a mistaken view of the past and a
hatred of their neighbors.93 This hatred of the enemy and a fear of the enemy unite a people.
Prior to the destruction of Carthage, the senate and the people governed the state inter se.
coepere nobilitas dignitatem, populus libertatem in lubidinem uortere, sibi
quisque ducere trahere rapere. Ita omnia in duas parties abstract sunt, res public,
quae media fuerat, dilacerata. (41.5)
The nobility began to turn their rank, the people their freedom, into lust, each
person was appropriating, taking, and plundering for himself.94 And thus
91 cf. BC 10.1: Sed ubi labor atque iustitia res public creuit, reges magni bello domiti, nationesferae etpopuli
ingentes ui subacti, C,,, ilh,. aemula imperi Romani ab stirpe interiit, cuncta maria terraeque patebant, saeuire
fortune ac miscere omnia coepit.
92 For Sallust, the bonae artes are fides, probitas, industrial, aequitas, continentia, and abstinentia (BC 10.4). Sallust
believed that the exercise of bonae artes was a fundamental necessity to achieve virtues (Earl 1964: 11).
93 "Avoir des gloires communes dans le pass, une volont6 commune dans le present; avoir fait de grandes choses
ensemble, vouloir en faire encore, voilW les conditions essentielles pour 6tre un people," Renan 1996: 240.
94 Paul 1984: 125 ad loc thinks this may be a reference to the Gracchan land reforms.
everything was divided into two parties, and the republic, which was their
common possession, was torn to pieces.
Sallust describes the collapse of concordia. Temporary concordia between Metellus and Marius
produced their initial successes as they stood together against the enemy, but Jugurtha does not
represent a true threat to Rome and so does not inspire metus hostilis. The corrupting forces of
superbia and ambitio confound this concordia, and Metellus slows in his progress against
Jugurtha. Rome finally conquers Jugurtha when Marius and Sulla work together to effect the
Bocchus' betrayal of Jugurtha.95 Michel Foucault states, "Government is possible only when the
strength of the state is known: It is by this knowledge that it can be sustained. The state's
capacity and the means to enlarge it must be known. The strength and the capacity of other
states, rivals of my state, must also be known."96 If we apply this to Sallust' view on the metus
hostilis, the destruction of Carthage becomes the factor that caused the government itself of
Rome to collapse. If only the Romans were to find a new enemy worthy of metus hostilis, they
might once again unite, as they did against Carthage. Such an outlook draws particular focus to
the subject of remembering and forgetting. This is the legacy Sallust promotes, but we know
from Livy that the politics were not so harmonious as Sallust would have us believe. We-the-
Roman-readers are obliged to forget that Scipio appealed directly to the Centuriate Assembly
when the senate, led by Fabius Maximus, refused him command in Africa (Liv. 28.36-48); we
are obliged to forget that a number of Italian town revolted and joined Hannibal (Liv. 22.61).97
As a narrator, Sallust is allowed-according to Renan, required-to distort history. Sallust has
rewritten history to fit the present reality.
95 Sallust says that Sulla won the men of the army over to his side without injuring the consul's reputation (neque
interim, quodparva ambition solet, consulis aut cuiusquam bonifamam laedere, 96.3).
96 Foucault 1988: 151.
97 On Rome's Italian allies, see Reid 1915.
In the preface to both of his monographs, the Bellum Catilinae and the Bellum
lugurthinum, Sallust establishes a clear moral agenda tied closely to his experiences in Roman
political life. Previously, scholars have focused on Sallust's narrative presence in these
monographs only in terms of this moral agenda, but a deeper look shows that this moral agenda
masks a greater national agenda, especially in the Bellum lugurthinum. All around him, Sallust
sees Rome in decline. Not only is the state constantly torn apart by civil war, but also
individuals lay aside what Sallust sees as their Roman identity in order to pursue gloria through
base means: avaritia and ambitio. Resorting to such means subverts the established patron/client
relationship at the heart of Roman social and political life. Sallust wants to maintain these
relationships through the restoration of concordia, in which both patron and client understand
and respect their respective positions. Sallust narrates the collapse of concordia in his own day
through the medium of major figures in the Jugurthine War. The patron ought not to show
contempt for his client and assume a haughty attitude, as Metellus does when Marius seeks the
consulship, nor should the client under the influence of ambition defy his patron, as Marius does
when he refuses to wait for Metellus' consent.
By divorcing the events of the Jugurthine War from their historical reality and placing
them side-by-side in homogeneous, empty time through the construction of the "meanwhile,"
Sallust involves his readers in the narrative and creates a sense of belonging among his Roman
readers, who gaze directly on scenes of battle and political intrigue and share in the emotions of
Romans who lived seventy years before. By conflating past, present, and future, Sallust applies
the lessons of the past directly to the present and implies the future results of a continued
collapse of Roman identity and concordia.
Sallust furthers this aim by asserting his narrative voice. One means is the use of first
person plural verbs, by which he creates intratextual cross-references and expresses uncertainty.
Closely related is the use of first person plural pronouns and possessive adjectives. These first
person plurals engage the Roman readers in the "we" as if Sallust were having a dialogue with
them. The third way in which Sallust asserts his narrative voice is with deliberate chronological
distortion. In this way, he draws the reader's focus to certain events, such as the murder of
Hiempsal, which are directly important to Sallust's moral and national agenda.
Sallust develops his sense of Roman identity in contrast to the identity he inscribes on the
Other, in this case, Jugurtha. Jugurtha is a nomad, characterized by movement and neglect for
familial pietas, whereas the Roman ought to be stable, ought to adhere to the mos maiorum, and
ought to respect familial bonds. When the Roman assumes a nomadic persona, he loses touch
with his Roman identity and fails in his endeavors. Jugurtha is also a client of Rome, but he fails
to understand, or at least to acknowledge, his status as client and attempts to subvert the
relationship between Rome and her client kingdom Numidia. This brings him in direct conflict
with Rome, just as Marius' subversion of his status as Metellus' client results in conflict and
failure. Only when Marius and Sulla briefly restore concordia does Rome conquer Jugurtha. At
the root of the loss of Roman identity through the actions of Bestia, Albinus and Aulus, Metellus,
and Marius is the loss of the metus hostilis, the direct result of the destruction of Carthage.
Romans needed a threatening Other against whom they could bond together in concordia,
Without this enemy, Roman identity began to slip and Romans turned on each other. The result
were the civil wars to which Sallust alludes in his preface (5.1-2).
One must always be careful when applying modern theories to the ancient world, but
viewing Sallust's Bellum lugurthinum as a narrative aimed at restoring or defining national
identity allows us to better understand some of the subtleties at work in text, the cross-references,
the errors of place and time, and the overbearing presence of the author. Sallust views his
history as a timeless force, narrating the past, written in the present, and relevant to the future.
He could not have understood that he was writing in a way that theories that developed two
millennia later could elucidate more fully; nevertheless, these theories prove useful in analyzing
the Bellum lugurthinum.
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Brenda Marina Fields was born 04 June 1983 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She grew up in
Plantation, Florida, where she graduated from South Plantation High in 2001. In 2005, she
graduated from the University of Florida summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in classics.
She will receive a Master of Arts in Latin from the University of Florida in 2007.