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Jugurtha was a brilliant and ambitious young man, who had served under Scipio in the Spanish Numantine war, and returned to Africa steeped in honors.
Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was awarded a grass crown.
The Jugurthine War had started in 112 BC when Jugurtha, grandson of Massinissa of Numidia, claimed the entire kingdom of Numidia in defiance of Roman decrees and divided it between several members of the royal family. Rome declared war on Jugurtha in 111 BC, but for five years Roman legions under Quintus Caecilius Metellus were unsuccessful.
Jugurtha who had fled to Mauretania for refuge. It was a dangerous operation from the first, with King Bocchus weighing up the advantages of handing Jugurtha over to Sulla or Sulla over to Jugurtha.
A plot was hatched whereby Bocchus would betray his ally, Jugurtha, to the Romans in exchange for peaceful coexistence. Jugurtha was captured and handed over to Sulla, according to plan, who then took his captive to Marius. In 105 BC, the war was over and Marius was honored as victor due to his command, despite claims by Sulla to have been responsible for the capture.
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