SEMPRONIUS ASELLIO (about 1 00 B.C.), military tribune of Scipio Africanus at the siege of Numantia, composed Rerum Gestarum Libri in at least fourteen books.
The dates assigned by Jerome for his birth and death are 148 and 103 or 102 B.C. But it is impossible to reconcile the first of these dates with other facts recorded of him, and the date given by Jerome must be due to an error, the true date being about 180 B.C. We learn from Velleius Paterculus that he served under Scipio at the siege of Numantia in 134.
Popillius Laenas, in 138, is contrasted with the subsequent success of Scipio, bears the stamp of having been written while the news of the capture of Numantia was still fresh.
In 153 they again revolted, and were not finally overcome until the capture of Numantia (133).
The twenty years' war waged round this city, and its siege and destruction by Scipio the Younger (133 B.C.) form only the most famous episode in the long struggle, which has left its mark in entrenchments near Numantia excavated in 1906-1907 by German archaeologists.
After the fall of Numantia, and still more after the death of Sertorius (72 B.C.), the Celtiberians became gradually romanized, and town life grew up among their valleys; Clunia, for instance, became a Roman municipality, and ruins of its walls, gates and theatre testify to its civilization; while Bilbilis (Bambola), another municipality, was the birthplace of the eminently Roman poet Martial.
Of these causes came the two great slaverevolts of the second half of the 2nd century B.C. The first lasted from 134 to 132, the time of Tiberius Gracchus and the fall of Numantia.
NUMANTIA, an ancient hill fortress in northern Spain, in the province of Soria (Old Castile), overhanging the village of Garray, near the town of Soria, on the upper Douro.
Here, on a small isolated high plateau in the middle of the valley, was the stronghold which played the principal part in a famous struggle between the conquering Romans and the native Spaniards during the years 154-133 B.C. Numantia was especially concerned inthe latter part of this war from 144 onwards.
The result was regarded as a glorious victory, and in Roman literature the fall of Numantia was placed beside the fall of Carthage (149 B.C.).
The site was, under the Roman Empire, occupied by a Roman town called Numantia, and the Itinerary tells of a Roman road which ran past it.
In the long struggle many Roman armies were defeated, many commanders disgraced, many Spanish leaders won undying fame as patriot chiefs (see NUMANTIA).
Numantia, the centre of the fiercest resistance, fell in I 33 B.C. before the science of Scipio Aemilianus (see ScIPIo), and even northern Spain began to accept Roman.
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