Juba I of Numidia
Juba I of Numidia was a King of Numidia
Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom in part of present-day Eastern Algeria and Western Tunisia in North Africa. It is known today as the Chawi-land, the land of the Chawi people , the direct descendants of the historical Numidians or the Massyles The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later...

. He was the son and successor to King of Numidia Hiempsal II
Hiempsal II
Hiempsal II was a king of Numidia. He was the son of Gauda, half-brother of Jugurtha, and was the father of Juba I.In 88 BC, after the triumph of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, when Gaius Marius and his son fled from Rome to Africa, Hiempsal received them with apparent friendliness, his real intention...



Juba I was the father of King of Numidia and later Mauretania
Mauretania is a part of the historical Ancient Libyan land in North Africa. It corresponds to present day Morocco and a part of western Algeria...

, Juba II
Juba II
Juba II or Juba II of Numidia was a king of Numidia and then later moved to Mauretania. His first wife was Cleopatra Selene II, daughter to Greek Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman triumvir Mark Antony.-Early life:Juba II was a prince of Berber descent from North Africa...

 (50/52 BC – 23), father-in-law of Juba II’s wives Greek
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

Ptolemaic dynasty
The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

 princess Cleopatra Selene II (40 BC – 6 BC), Cappodocian princess Glaphyra
Glaphyra was an Anatolian Princess from Cappadocia and through marriage was related to the Herodian Dynasty. -Family and early life:Glaphyra was a royal princess of Greek, Armenian and Persian descent. Her father was the Roman ally king Archelaus of Cappadocia, her only natural sibling was her...

 and paternal grandfather to King Ptolemy of Mauretania
Ptolemy of Mauretania
Ptolemy of Mauretania was a prince and the last Roman client King of Mauretania.-Family and early life:Ptolemy was the son of King Juba II and Queen Cleopatra Selene II of Mauretania. He had a younger sister called Drusilla of Mauretania...

 (1 BC – 40 AD) and Mauretanian princess Drusilla of Mauretania (born 5 AD).


In 81 BC Hiempsal had been driven from his throne, soon afterwards, Pompey
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey or Pompey the Great , was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic...

 was sent to Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 by Sulla to reinstate Hiempsal as king in Numidia, because of this Hiempsal and later Juba became Pompey’s ally. This alliance was strengthened during a visit by Juba to Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 where Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 insulted him by pulling on his beard during accusations Juba made against Caesar, and still further in 50 BC, when the tribune Gaius Scribonius Curio
Gaius Scribonius Curio
Gaius Scribonius Curio was the name of a father and son who lived in the late Roman Republic.-Father:Gaius Scribonius Curio was a Roman statesman and orator. He was nicknamed Burbulieus for the way he moved his body while speaking...

 openly proposed that Numidia should be sold privately, and when his wife became Caesar's lover.

In August 49 BC, Caesar sent Curio to take Africa from the Republicans. Overconfident and holding the governor of Africa, Publius Attius Varus
Publius Attius Varus
Publius Attius Varus was the Roman governor of Africa during the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompeius Magnus . He declared war against Caesar, and initially fought and defeated Gaius Scribonius Curio, who was sent against him in 49 BC.-Political career:Varus held the office of praetor no...

 (Varus) in low esteem Curio took fewer legions than he had been given. In the Battle of the Bagradas River
Battle of the Bagradas River (49 BC)
The Battle of the Bagradas River occurred on August 24 and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia...

 (49 BC), Curio led his army in a bold, uphill attack which swiftly routed Varus' army and in the process wounded Varus. Encouraged by this success, Curio acted on what proved to be faulty intelligence, and attacked what he believed to be a detachment of Juba's army. In fact, the bulk of the king's forces were there and, after an initial success, Curio's forces were ambushed and virtually annihilated by Saburra (Juba's military commander). Curio was surrounded with the remnants of his troops on a hilltop and died in the fighting. Only a few were able to escape on their ships, and King Juba took several senators captive back to Numidia for display and execution.

With the arrival of Caesar in Africa, Juba originally planned to join Publius Cornelius Scipio Salvito
Publius Cornelius Scipio Salvito
Publius Cornelius Scipio ‘Salvito’ was a consul who lived in the late Roman Republic. He was a member of the Cornelia gens and a relative of Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal....

, but his kingdom was invaded from the west by Caesar's ally Bocchus II
Bocchus II
Bocchus II was king of Mauretania. Son of Bocchus I , who was dead in 49 BC, in the early years of Bocchus reign, Mauretania was jointly ruled between Bocchus and his younger brother Bogud, with Bocchus ruling east of the Mulucha River and his brother west. As enemies of the senatorial party,...

 and an Italian adventurer, Publius Sittius. He therefore left only 30 elephants behind and marched home to save his country.

Scipio knew he couldn't fight without more troops, and sent a desperate message to Juba for assistance. Juba immediately left the command of his kingdom's defence with Sabura, and joined Scipio with 3 legions, around 15,000 light infantry, 1,000 cavalry and 30 elephants for the Battle of Thapsus
Battle of Thapsus
The Battle of Thapsus took place on April 6, 46 BC near Thapsus . The Republican forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecillius Metellus Scipio, clashed with the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar.-Prelude:...

. However, he camped away from Scipio's main lines. Seeing the certain defeat of Scipio's army, Juba did not take part in the battle and fled with his 30,000 men. Having fled with the Roman general Petreius
Marcus Petreius
Marcus Petreius was a Roman politician and general. He cornered and killed the notorious rebel Catiline at Pistoria.-Career:...

 and finding their retreat cut off, they made a suicide pact and engaged in one on one combat. The idea was that one would meet an honourable death. Sources vary on the outcome, but most likely, Petreius killed Juba and then committed suicide with the assistance of a slave.


The endangered Chilean Wine Palm, Jubaea chilensis, is named for Juba I of Numidia.


  • Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars - Caesar.
  • Appian
    Appian of Alexandria was a Roman historian of Greek ethnicity who flourished during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius.He was born ca. 95 in Alexandria. He tells us that, after having filled the chief offices in the province of Egypt, he went to Rome ca. 120, where he practised as...

    , B.C. i. 80.
  • Velleius Paterculus ii. 54.
  • Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar
    Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

    , Commentarii de Bello Civili
    Commentarii de Bello Civili
    Commentarii de Bello Civili , or Bellum Civile, is an account written by Julius Caesar of his war against Gnaeus Pompeius and the Senate...

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