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date: 22 January 2020

Caio Mario (‘Gaius Marius’)locked

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(‘Gaius Marius’)

Libretto by Gaetano Roccaforte , first set by Niccolò Jommelli (1746, Rome); the title also appears as Cajo Mario and Caio Marzio.

Roccaforte, typically, drew his subject matter from Roman history, in this case from Titus Livius, book 62.64, and Plutarch’s Lives. When Jugurtha invades a neighbouring kingdom, the Roman Senate sends the Consul, Gaius Marius, against him, accompanied by Annio [Annius], his future son’in’law, and Lucio [Lucius], his first lieutenant. Jugurtha is defeated in battle, and the only member of his family to survive is his daughter, Princess Rodope, with whom Lucius falls in love. She, however, loves Annius and wants to kill Marius’s daughter Marzia. Marius dreams that he has sacrificed his daughter to the gods; to discover the meaning of the dream he secretly sends Lucius to the oracle at Delso with instructions to follow his party to Rome. Lucius confides his mission to Rodope, who suggests that he falsify the oracle, and he agrees; he persuades her to meet him in Rome....

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