Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Jugurthine War / The Conspiracy of Catiline (Penguin Classics) Paperback – February 28, 1964
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
"Wealth and Beauty can only give us a fleeting and perishable fame, but intellectual excellence is a glorious and everlasting possession." This stance sits nicely alongside the fact that he was expelled from the Senate for alleged immorality in 50 B.C.! The solution to this problem seems to be that human nature is a complex phenomenon, and that man is capable of both brute carnality and intellectual honesty, depending on the chemical swings of the moment without totally compromising his integrity.
Only a part of Sallust's work has survived, most notably his history of the war against Jugurthine, an able North African monarch, and the Conspiracy of Catiline, a debauched but charismatic member of the aristocracy who aimed at a populist coup. This volume is composed of these two histories.
The war against the ruthless but talented Jugurthine was more about politics than tactics. Jugurthine took advantage of the growing material greed of senators and tribunes in the late Roman Republic to bribe them to connive at his usurpation of the Numidian Kingdom. This policy was only successful in the short term, however, as the aggravated greed of the Romans led to a war of conquest, plunder, and annexation of his kingdom.
Sallust's account is particularly effective at showing the rise of Marius, a common soldier from a plebian family, who succeeded in overcoming prejudice to rise to the top of the Roman State as Consul. Although he later became a bloodthirsty revolutionary, his toughness, honesty, and energy contrast with the corruption and decadence that was already infecting Rome's higher orders.Read more ›
In the Jugurthine War, you get wonderful details on the rise of the great generals, Marius and Sulla, who were friends and then deadly rivals in a struggle that essentially sowed the seeds of the end of the Roman Republic in the next generation. While the plot covers a war in Northern Africa on a ruthless rebel King, Jugurtha, the most important aspects of the work are on the transformation of the Roman army from amateur soldier-farmer landowners to a professional corps that admitted anyone. While a necessary measure to maintain the expansion of the Roman empire as the population of traditional army recruits dwindled, this led directly to rise of powerful generals, who could rely on the personal loyalty of their troops if they wished to grab power in civil war, which had been avoided for centuries. First, there was Sulla's dictatorship, then Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon. But the story takes place before that, when the military genius Marius was transforming the army and mentoring the ambitious Sulla. The reader can study the organization of the army as well as the changing mores of Roman society that this reflected. It is a great masterpiece and fun read, with wonderfully quirky details. In many ways, it is about the end of the oligarchy that ruled the Republic for so long, as exemplified by the failure of Metellus and how despised enemy, Marius (who was not a aristocrat and knew no Greek) took over from him and triumphed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gaius Sallustius Crispus [anglicised as "Sallust"; 86-35 BCE] was a Roman historian and politician, and is the earliest known Roman historian with surviving works to his name. Read morePublished on September 5, 2012 by Steven H Propp
This is one of those ancient works that arguably parallels our own times as some argue the things that happened within are evident in our own recent times and a sign of a possible... Read morePublished on March 12, 2012 by MISTER SJEM
This is a primary source, so be prepared! It's a great read and a good way to flex your critical thinking skills. Any historian or classicist should enjoy this.Published on April 11, 2011 by Bansh&Jack
Sallust was adept in the writing of history as these works attest. A reason not to read this work is if you are able to read it in the original Latin. Read morePublished on April 19, 2003 by S. Redwine III
The more things change, the more they stay the same. With Enron,
Worldcom, and other companies going down in flames all around us-
with the little guys getting the... Read more