UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
nor did it appear that there was any likelihood of success against the
illustrious rebel. Treachery came to the rescue. In B. C. 141 Variathus was
induced by fair promises to make peace. He was for the time declared to be
a "friend" of the Senate and Roman people; but the whole transaction was
for no other purpose than to put the great insurgent off his guard. In the
following year the consul suddenly renewed the war, and Variathus, at last
defeated in battle, was compelled to seek peace. While the conditions were
yet undecided he was assassinated by his own ambassadors, who had been
hired by the Roman consul Caepio to perform this finishing piece of supreme
villainy. Thus, in B. C. 139, was Rome set free from the terror which the
Lusitanian chieftain had so long inspired. Then she breathed more freely.
Before the overthrow of Variathus the Celtiberians had again (B. C. 143)
revolted and renewed the struggle for the overthrow of the Roman power in
Numantia. The consul, Metellus, was sent against them, and during the first
two campaigns gained several successes over the rebels. Afterwards the tide
turned, and the Romans were brought to great straits in a series of
defeats. Caius Hostilius Mancinus was compelled, in order to save himself
and his army, to sign a treaty recognizing the independence of Numantia.
The Roman Senate was enraged at this act, and repudiated the compact.
Hostilius was taken by an officer and redelivered in chains to the
Numantians, but they refused to take personal vengeance on their recent
foe, and permitted him to return to Rome. It was thus that alleged
barbarism set an example of humanity to be wasted on her who had none.
After the Numantine war had continued for nine years Scipio Africanus was
sent out to bring it to an end. (1) He found the Roman army in Spain
demoralized and set himself at once to the restoration of discipline. The
horde of hangers-on, who for profit or license had infested the camp, were
expelled and everything speedily brought to a military standard. He then
advanced to Numantia and undertook the reduction of the place by siege.
Never was the heroism of a people better illustrated in defense of their
country than in the conduct of the Arevaci fighting for their last
stronghold. They held out until famine came to the aid of war. Then they
ate the bodies of the dead and then yielded.
The whole population, with the exception of fifty of the principal
citizens, who were reserved for Scipio's triumph, were sold as slaves. What
remained of Numantia was leveled to the earth. Resistance to the will and
purpose of Rome ceased throughout the peninsula. Colonies of Romans-
adventurers, merchants, land-speculators-came in like a flood. Latin was
heard at first in the sea-coast communities, and then in the towns of the
far interior. Spain was Romanized, and the new order was accepted from the
Pyrenees to the pillars of Hercules. As to Scipio, to whose military genius
must be attributed the final conquest of the country, he returned to Rome
to be honored with the title of Numantinus, in addition to Africanus, by
which he was already distinguished for his triumph over Carthage.
In the same year (B. C. 129) which witnessed the final pacification of
Spain, the first Roman province was organized in Asia Minor. The
circumstances attending this event were anomalous. Attalus III., king of
Pergamus, who for a long time had been entitled a friend by the Senate,
died in B. C. 133, leaving no heir to his throne. In his will he bequeathed
his dominions to the people of Rome. In the mean time a certain
Aristonicus, a natural son of Eumenes, father of the late king, advanced
his claim to the Pergamine crown, and endeavored to maintain his right by
arms. The movement, however, ended in a fiasco. Aristonicus was defeated
and captured, and the will of Attalus was carried into effect. Pergamus was
organized into a pro-consular government under the title of the Province of
One of the most marked results of the great
___________________________________ 1 In the army which Scipio led against
Numantia were three young officers who were destined in a short time-though
in different fields of action-to play an important part in the great drama
of Rome. These were Caius Marius, one of the great leaders in the Civil
War; Jugurtha, grandson of Masinissa and present ruler of Numidia, and
Tiberius Gracchus, the great commoner of his times.