cost of glory

25 – Marius 1: Ambition

25 – Marius 1: Ambition Episode Transcript

Hated by many contemporaries, admired by even more – and later Romans, such as the emperor Augustus.  
“Seven times Consul, Praetor, Tribune of the Plebs, Quaestor, Augur, Military Tribune, Marius waged war against Jugurtha, the King of Numidia and captured him. He annihilated an army of Teutones. He triumphed over the Cimbri…”
Gaius Marius, an outsider, an Italian…  A story of rising from obscurity to the apex of the Roman hierarchy.  How did he do it?
And does he deserve the blame for starting the Roman Civil War? 
Nobody becomes the greatest Roman alive in times of peace. 
Marius was a young man of incredible ambition and razor sharp perception. He not only noticed the rare opportunities, but he seized them with dogged determination. Even more remarkably, Marius’ achievements didn’t happen until he was an older man. 
In fact, Marius’ story was practically just beginning when he was age 50. Perhaps yours will too. 
In this first installment of The Life of Gaius Marius, we learn about the foundations Marius laid in his early life as he positioned himself for greatness. 
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On today’s podcast:
  • Learning the populist game from Scipio Africanus and the Gracchi
  • Fitting in but staying different
  • Acquiring a fortune and a reputation
  • Entering Roman politics as an outsider
  • Conciliating Rivals
  • From Tribune, to Praetor, to Consul 
  • War with Jugurtha