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Bocchus

BOCCHUS, king of Mauretania (about 110 B.C.), and father-in-law of Jugurtha. In 108 he vacillated between Jugurtha and the Romans, and joined Jugurtha only on his promising him the third part of his kingdom. The two kings were twice defeated. Bocchus again made overtures to the Romans, and after an interview with Sulla, who was Marius's quaestor at that time, sent ambassadors to Rome. At Rome the hope of an alliance was encouraged, but on condition that Bocchus showed himself deserving of it. After further negotiations with Sulla, he finally agreed to send a message to Jugurtha requesting his presence. Jugurtha fell into the trap and was given up to Sulla. Bocchus concluded a treaty with the Romans, and a portion of Numidia was added to his kingdom. Further to conciliate the Romans and especially Sulla, he sent to the Capitol a group of Victories guarding a device in gold showing Bocchus handing over Jugurtha to Sulla.

See Jugurtha; also Sallust, Jugurtha, 80-120; Plutarch, Marius, 8-32, Sulla, 3; A.H.J. Greenidge, History of Rome (London, 1904).

His son, Bocchus, was king of Mauretania, jointly with a younger brother Bogud. As enemies of the senatorial party, their title was recognized by Caesar (49 B.C.). During the African war they invaded Numidia and conquered Cirta, the capital of the kingdom of Juba, who was thus obliged to abandon the idea of joining Metellus Scipio against Caesar. At the end of the war, Caesar bestowed upon Bocchus part of the territory of Massinissa, Juba's ally, which was recovered after Caesar's murder by Massinissa's son Arabion. Dio Cassius says that Bocchus sent his sons to support Sextus Pompeius in Spain, while Bogud fought on the side of Caesar, and there is no doubt that after Caesar's death Bocchus supported Octavian, and Bogud Antony. During Bogud's absence in Spain, his brother seized the whole of Numidia, and was confirmed sole ruler by Octavian. After his death in 33, Numidia was made a Roman province.

Bell. Afric. 25; Dio Cassius xli. 42, xliii. 36, xlviii. 45; Appian, Bell. Civ. ii. 96, iv. 54.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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