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Sallust speaks of the Numidian as velox patiens laborum (Jug. 17.6). Regular industry of course can only be expected in a people whose life has settled into homely ways, among an agricultural rather than a pastoral or nomad race.
The Kabyle husbandman is represented as of steady and laborious energy, shunning idleness as a reproach, taking kindly to employment as artisan or trader as well as to the labours of the field, and moving readily from the country to the town in search of more remunerative work. The Touaregs again of the Sahara seem indifferent to the extremes of heat and cold, and to abrupt transitions between the feverish marshes and the arid sands. Their patient hardihood is ready for all trials, and they have all the rapidity of movement which is common among the wild horsemen of the desert. · Reference has been already made to the accounts furnished by Herodotus of the peoples of Northern Africa. From the variety of local names it would appear in the fifth century B.C. only tribal unions existed, and those of limited extent. In the neighbourhood and under the influence of Carthage there was later more coherence, and thus we read in Sallust of great kingdoms among the Numidae and Mauri. But the union was probably precarious and weak; the army of Jugurtha dispersed after a battle-quo cujusque animus fert eo discedunt (Jug. 54. 4)-as if each clan acted for itself, when the common enterprise was over. Towns and districts too are represented as making their own terms with the invaders, while their king is still in arms.
The great vicissitudes in the career of Masinissa point to a like conclusion. Now he is at the head of the Massyli, now Aying with a few faithful comrades before overpowering force, now a tracked and wounded outlaw whose followers subsist on brigandage. Then again, years afterwards, the clansmen flock around him when he comes to lead them to the war.
In modern days the love of tribal independence has been so strong among the native races, that they could not combine even to defend it. The Arabs of the tent look for their government to the natural heads of family and clan, and care only for an union of the patriarchal type. The Kabyles of the highlands carried their love of equality and freedom to the
furthest limit of democracy: entrenched in their mountain strongholds they seem to have paid little more than nominal submission to Roman, Vandal, Arab masters, to have clung to their customs and language with obstinate tenacity, while every village claimed to be self-governed, under a loose federation of the weakest type.
To modify an individualism so excessive there has grown up the institution of the fof. This is the spirit of faction which divides and reunites on some new principle the members of every local aggregate, bringing disunion into the valley, the hamlet, even into the narrow circle of the family, but on the other hand providing every one with friends, partisans, allies, in far-off regions. Its boundary lines may be undulating and capricious; it may depend on enduring marks of difference, or grow out of the pettiest and most accidental causes, but it is strong enough to become a master passion, and dictate the terms of a whole code of honour. It may perhaps be not too bold to argue in this matter from the present to the past. Possibly, if we had more details, we might explain by the action of the fof much of what is told us of the alliances, animosities, dynastic quarrels, in the history of Northern Africa.
Carthage was certainly not slow to take advantage of the divisions in the native races ; she played off a Syphax against a Masinissa, and brought first one and then the other to her side when his rival was in arms against her.
Each of them had probably at first no organized kingdom, but only personal adherents, with the varying support of larger or smaller aggregates of the same fof. Rome was not slow to leam the lesson, and her fortune brought her at the last the ablest partisan. The rival claims again of Mezetulus and Masinissa, or of the successors of Micipsa, or the pretensions even of a Gauda, may have rested for support on such divisions. So the chieftains of the Mauri, Bocchus, and Bogud, fight first together on the side of Caesar against the Numidian Juba, but afterwards join different parties in the Civil Wars of Rome, and twice at different epochs are found in hostile camps, where they represent probably great national parties.
III. CHANGES IN THE MILITARY SYSTEM
INTRODUCED IN THE AGE OF MARIUS.
In the age of Marius changes were introduced which tended almost to revolutionize the military system of the Romans. Of these some were directly due to the insight or policy of Marius himself, while others may be illustrated from what we know of his career. It may be convenient therefore to have a summary statement of them put together here.
1°. It had for ages rested with the senate as a matter of unquestioned right to prepare for each campaign by regulating the extent and source of the new levies while determining the total numbers that were to be brought into the field. But Marius in his first consulship, we read (Jug. 84), acting on his own discretion, largely exceeded the limits which the senate had determined, and set thereby a precedent which the great commanders of the future were not slow to follow.
2o. A far more sweeping change gave a new character to the rank and file. Drawn by conscription hitherto from all classes save the lowest, they had carried with them to the camp the sentiments of the land owner or the farmer ; the poorest were now to be admitted to the ranks ; volunteers took the place of conscripts; they were bound to twenty years of service : even after that they were often kept under the standards (vexil. laris), though free from the hard routine of work and drill. The soldier's life therefore was a professional career, and all his interests, prospects, and ambition centred in the camp, where he soon learned to think more of the sympathies which bound him to his comrades and commander than of loyalty to the government at Rome (Jug. 86).
3o. To secure unity of action and success at a distant seat of war or in far-reaching struggles it was found needful to keep the same general in command year after year. Thus Marius was elected consul in his absence to meet the invading Cimbri (Jug. 114. 3), and remained at his post till the enemies were crushed or routed. There was thus time for the growth of personal attachment between the soldiers and the leader who had led them to victories, or sated them with plunder. The o.igarchy could no longer reckon with confidence upon the army, which before was levied or disbanded at its pleasure, and commanded only by its nominees. Ambitious leaders were not slow to profit by the chances offered. Marius indeed won the affections of his men by sharing every hardship with them, and by consummate mastery of every detail of duty (Jug. 63). Others stooped to more questionable means, relaxed the bonds of discipline, and bid for popularity by largess and indulgence, increasing thus the licence of peace and the cruelties of war (Plutarch, Sulla, 11).
40. The soldiers of fortune who now crowded to the camp began to look for some provision when their term of service had expired. They cast greedy eyes upon the state domain or public land which was the prize of conquest, and their old commander strained all his influence to push their claims at Rome.
In earlier days colonies had been sent out from time to time to guard disputed frontiers, or to satisfy the landless poor, but now they took the form of retiring pensions for the veterans. Grants of land were made by thousands for this purpose, with scant regard sometimes for the rights of former occupants or neighbours ; comrades in the ranks settled side by side upon the farms, where they wearied often of the homely labour, flocked together to the standard of their former leader, or to some partisan who used the same rallying cry.
5o. The general whose best years were spent in active service in the field had little time to gain experience of the shifting currents of the party politics' of Rome, or skill in the debates of the senate or the forum. But there was sure to be some statesman or intriguer, ready to make common cause with a great soldier, to urge his claims upon the public ear, to propose the grant of a triumph in his honour, or a colonial settlement for his veterans, or an extraordinary commission when he wished again for service. The league of Marius with Saturninus was the beginning of a fatal system which degraded alike the statesman and the soldier, and de the tribunate a mere tool of military ambition, instead of a bulwark of constitutional rights.
The influence of the nobles certainly had suffered while the military institutions were being thus remodelled. But privilege and class-distinctions were still amply represented in the service. Marius perhaps had risen from the ranks, and in the Civil Wars a few adventurers may have pushed their way to place and fortune in spite of their ignoble birth. But the soldiers (gregarii milites) commonly aspired to nothing higher than the post of a Centurion : the officers were drawn wholly from the ruling classes, and the lines were sharply drawn between the separate careers. Senators and knights had once served in the cavalry which was attached to all the legions, but this practice had fallen long ago into disuse ; volunteers of lower rank first took their places, and at last that arm of the service was left exclusively to the dependant races, like the auxiliary cohorts which were markedly distinguished from the regular infantry of Rome.
The other changes that were introduced affected the tactics of the army rather than its spirit or its relations to the civil powers.
60. The four different grades of infantry appear no more after the Jugurthine war; the three lines of the legion-the hastati, principes, triarii, with their difference of rank and armour, based upon the old distinctions of the Servian constitution, disappear about this time, with the velites who served beside them. The light armed troops are drawn exclusively from the allies, and the legion becomes a uniform and compact mass.
70. Ten cohorts now replace the thirty maniples of earlier times. To withstand the weight and rush of the first rapid onset of the Cimbri it was needful perhaps to draw up the lines in closer order. The old system with its regular intervals between the maniples was better suited for maneuvres in the face of disciplined enemies with cautious tactics, but the Northern tribes relied on an impetuous charge and overpowering numbers (cf. Marquardt, Rom. St. 2. 422).
8o. The pilum had become the common weapon of the homogeneous legion. It was modified by Marius for the Cimbric wars. Of the two pegs which fastened the spike of metal to the handle, one was now made of wood which snapped under the weight of the spear when it was hurled, so that it either became bent and useless, or dragged heavily after the shield on which it struck, encumbering the movement of the bearer.