The adopted brother of the Numidian king, Jugurtha, he threatened the legitimacy of Jugurtha's rule.
Micipsa, the king of Numidia, was succeeded by his three sons,
Jugurtha. After Jugurtha had killed his brother, Numidia split into two parties: one supporting Jugurtha and one supporting Adherbal. He was defeated in their first engagement, and he fled to Rome. He, as well as envoys from Jugurtha, appealed to the Roman Senate to intercede. They divided the kingdom between the two brothers. Jugurtha received the more fertile and thickly populated portion to the west and Adherbal received the portion to the east, which contained more harbors and buildings.
Sallust accounts how Adherbal was “quiet, peaceful, of a tranquil disposition, open to attack and rather inclined to fear than an object of fear” (BJ 20). Jugurtha took advantage of this, and he invaded Adherbal’s territory. Adherbal eventually reached the point at which he had to give up his kingdom or fight, and he met Jugurtha on the battlefield. First he lost his army and then was besieged at Cirta. He sent appeals to the Roman Senate to remember their friend. However, the Roman envoys were too late. At the urging of the Italian merchants at Cirta, Adherbal surrendered. Jugurtha tortured him to death and took the city of Cirta.
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