Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern
Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.
Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.
Dear Gaius Marius …
You soldier of fortune and native of Arpino. A career spent seeking fame and fortune through military combat. Product of the Kaliyuga. Tribune and later Consul through marriage, your career was set.
War with Jurgatha of Numidia. Now known as Algeria. Bought you great fame in Rome. Which you translated into reforms; of the Roman way of life. Opening the door to ordinary folk, to enter the army. Which like today, gave employment to the poor huddled masses.
With the aid of Sulla, your eventual successor. Subduing the North African country of Numidia. Supremacy gave the boost to your popularity, you craved. The defeats of roman armies in Gaul, gave you the opportunity that the oligarchs would otherwise not have given.
The defeat of the Gauls along the Alpine border, gave you your next glory from war. For the people of Rome were grateful, yet the patricians became suspicious of your ambitions. For you were an outsider and not from an oligarchical family. Bestowing lands outside of Italy to the landless citizenry. Reduced your popularity with these patricians.
After being away from Rome, returning to a peace that was then broken by your old foe Sulla. From one of those patrician families. You had stolen his glory from the Numidian wars. So the hatred was set. As you, Marius tried to take charge of the Roman army, set to invade Greece and the King of Pontus Mithridates. Your political ambition set brother against brother and Rome’s first civil war overtook this ambition.
For Sulla was younger and just as ambitious. You Marius, left for safer climates when Sulla entered Rome. The revenge fuelled arrival, in Rome back from North Africa, was your undoing. The people became fearful of your power and soldiers. They were saved when you contracted Pleurisy. That your seventh consulship, ended with your death. Barely three weeks into it.
Your legacy was one that saw the end of the Roman Republic, just forty years later. As you set in motion the loyalty of the armies. To their generals not the state. Thus the later fate of Europe was sealed.
This was chosen from Page 29 of the Fall of the Roman Empire, by Plutarch.