Bocchus (Greek: Βοκχος, Bochos) was a king of Mauretania about 110 BC and designated by historians as Bocchus I. He was also the father-in-law of Jugurtha, with whom he made war against the Romans. He delivered Jugurtha to the Romans in 106 BC.
In 108 BC, 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 Gaius Marius's Quaestor at that time, sent ambassadors to Rome. In 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.
Bocchus I was the father of Bocchus II and Bogud, who inherited the kingdom from their father and split it between them. Bocchus II eventually acquired Bogud's half of the kingdom. After his death in 33 BC, all of Mauretania became a Roman province.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bocchus". Encyclopædia Britannica 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 106. This cites:
- Sallust, Jugartha, 80-120
- Plutarch, Marius, 8-32, Sulla, 3
- A. H. J. Greenidge, History of Rome (London, 1904).