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(born c. 157, Cereatae, near Arpinum, Latiumdied Jan. 13, 86 BC, Rome) General and consul who redesigned the Roman army. He secured command of the army in Africa (107) and solved the chronic manpower shortage by enlisting landless citizens for the first time. He defeated Jugurtha in 106. At Rome he held unconstitutional successive consulships (104–100) while it was threatened by the Cimbri and the Teutones, whom he fought and defeated. He held a command during the Social War and was awarded another in 88 to replace Sulla as Asian commander and confront Mithradates. When an outraged Sulla marched on Rome, Marius fled for his life. He returned forcibly in 87, was elected consul for the seventh time, and ruthlessly murdered his opponents.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Marius, Gaius, visit Britannica.com.
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