B. c.160 bc, studied philosophy under Panaetius (becoming a firm Stoic), law under Mucius Scaevola (becoming an expert jurist), and oratory under Sulpicius Galba (without becoming an effective speaker), then served as military tribune under Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus at Numantia. He was defeated for the consulship of 115 by Aemilius Scaurus, prosecuted him, and was in turn prosecuted by him (both unsuccessfully) for ambitus. In 109–108 he and Marius served with distinction as legates under Caecilius Metellus Numidicus in Numidia, where they became bitter enemies. As consul 105 he restored Roman morale after the disaster of Arausio and introduced military reforms (among them arms drill), on which Marius later built his own army reforms and his German victories. As legate of Mucius Scaevola 2 he was left in charge of Asia when Scaevola returned to Rome, and he offended the publicani by strictly controlling their activities. In 92 he was prosecuted for extortion (the prosecution was encouraged by Marius), took Socrates as his model in his defence, and was convicted by the court manned by equestrians. He went into exile at Smyrna and there wrote a largely autobiographical and highly personal history of his time, much used by later historians of the period. His conviction marked the bankruptcy of the equestrian courts first instituted by Gaius Sempronius Gracchus and led to the attempted reform by his nephew Livius Drusus.
Subjects: Classical Studies.