Gaius Marius cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Gaius Marius

Roman general, statesman & military reformer (157-86 BC)

156   -   1986

country of citizenship: Ancient Rome
language of expression: Latin
occupation: Ancient Roman priest, Ancient Roman politician, Ancient Roman Military Personnel
position held: tribune of the plebs, praetor, Ancient Roman senator, Roman consul, quaestor, Roman governor, augur

Gaius Marius (Latin pronunciation: [ˈɡaːjʊs ˈmarɪ.ʊs]; c. 157 BC – 13 January 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. Victor of the Cimbric and Jugurthine wars, he held the office of consul an unprecedented seven times during his career. He was also noted for his important reforms of Roman armies. He was at the centre of a paradigmatic shift from the militia levies of the middle Republic to the professional soldiery of the late Republic; he also improved the pilum, a javelin, and made large-scale changes to the logistical structure of the Roman army.For his victory over invading Germanic tribes in the Cimbrian War, he was dubbed "the third founder of Rome". His life and career, by breaking with many of the precedents that bound the ambitious upper class of the Roman Republic together and instituting a soldiery loyal not to the Republic but to their commanders, was highly significant in Rome's transformation from Republic to Empire. In the realm of politics he helped lead the Populares faction against the Optimates of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, their rivalry coming to a head in 88–87 BC during Sulla's first civil war. A year later Marius died of natural causes during his seventh consulship.
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