The career of Gaius Marius came to an end corresponding to his advancing age. But Marius wouldn't go out without one last fight. The Fall of Marius was a violent and bloody end to an otherwise long and honorable career. With Sulla rising to power, the desperate Marius turned to tactics only hinted at in previous events.
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With the death of Saturninus and self exile by Marius in 99 BC, a period of relative calm slipped into Roman politics. The calm wouldn?t last long, however, and a new Tribune in a mold similar to the Gracchi brothers, came to the forefront. Marcus Livius Drusus was actually the son of a political opponent of the Gracchi, but he took up the cause of the Italian people with a new zeal. Drusus, among several reforms, attempted to distribute land and citizenship for the Latin rights Italian allies. The failure of his political platform helped spark the Social War.
After the defeat of the Cimbri, the political career of Gaius Marius began to crumble. Violent mob tactics through the Tribune, Saturninus created an environment of Political Turmoil, that would only get temporarily better with the removal of both men.
The crisis caused by the migrations of the Germanic Cimbri and Teutons was a major factor securing power for Gaius Marius. After several successive and enourmous defeats at the hands of the Cimbri, the Romans looked to Marius to stabilize matter. That's exactly what he did, at least in military terms, as he served 5 continuous consulships between 104 and 100 BC.
Roman Road Construction
Standard Roman roads consisted of a metalled surface (ie gravel or pebbles) on a solid foundation of earth or stone. A simple yet technologically advanced plan was in place and implemented for the construction of each road. Where possible, roads were built in the straightest line possible, only avoiding major terrain obstacles where it made practical sense. A Roman road was a multi-layered architectural achievement, but the construction process was fairly simple to define.
Marius Reforms the Legions
With his election as Consul in 107 BC, and his subsequent appointment as commander of the Roman legions in Numidia, Marius faced a difficult challenge. Invasions of Germanic Cimbri and Teuton tribes into southern Gaul had forced large Roman armies to counter them. Thoroughly defeated in every engagement, Rome faced a manpower crisis similar to those faced during Hannibal?s offensive in the Second Punic War. Prior to Marius, Rome recruited its main legionary force from the landowning citizen classes, men who could equip themselves and who supposedly had the most to lose in the case of Roman defeat.
Fighting through political and social burdens placed on him, the Rise of Marius was as much a result of his own ambition as a direct indication of the social and political condition in Rome. First elected Consul in 107 BC, Marius would serve an unprecedented 7 terms in the Republic's highest office.