The Life Of Pompey
I. Towards Pompey the Roman people seem to have been disposed from the very first, just as the Prometheus of Aeschylus was towards his deliverer Hercules, when he says:
Though hateful is the sire, most dear to me the son
For neither did the Romans ever display hatred so violent and savage towards any commander as towards Strabo the father of Pompey, whom they dreaded, when he was alive, for his military talent, for he was a man most expert in arms; and when he was killed by lightning and his body was carried out to interment they pulled it from the bier on which it was lying and treated it with indignity: nor, on the other hand, did any other Roman besides Pompey ever receive from the people tokens of affection so strong, or so early, or which grew so rapidly with his good fortune, or abided with him so firmly in his reverses. The cause of their hatred to the father was his insatiable avarice: the causes of their affection to the son were many; his temperate life, his practice in arms, the persuasiveness of his speech, the integrity of his character, and his affability to every man who came in his way, so that there was no man from whom another could ask a favour with so little pain, and no man whose requests another would more willingly labour to satisfy. For in addition to his other endearing qualities, Pompey could give without seeming to confer a favour, and he could receive with dignity.
II. At the beginning also his countenance contributed in no small degree to win the good-will of the people and to secure a favourable reception before he opened his mouth. For the sweetness of his expression was mingled with dignity and kindness, and while he was yet in the very bloom of youth his noble and kingly nature clearly showed itself. There was also a slight falling back of the hair and softness in the expression of his eyes, which produced a resemblance to the likenesses of Alexander, though indeed the resemblance was more talked of than real. Accordingly many at first gave him the name, which Pompey did not object to, whence some in derision called him Alexander. It was in allusion to this that Lucius Philippus, a consular man, when he was speaking in favour of Pompey, said it was nothing strange if he who was Philippus loved Alexander. They used to report that Flora the courtesan, when she was now advanced in years, always spoke with pleasure of her intimacy with Pompey, and said that she could never leave the embrace of Pompey without bearing marks of the ardour of his passion. Besides this, Flora used to tell that Geminius, one of the companions of Pompey, conceived a passion for her, and plagued her much with his solicitations, and when she said that for the sake of Pompey she could not consent, Geminius applied to Pompey. Now Pompey, as she told the story, gave Geminius permission, but he never after touched Flora or had a meeting with her, though it was believed that he was attached to her; and Flora did not take this as most courtesans do, but was ill for a long time through grief and regret for the loss of her lover. And indeed it is said that Flora enjoyed such reputation and was so much talked of, that Cæcilius Metellus, when he was ornamenting the temple of the Dioscuri with statues and paintings, had the portrait of Flora painted and placed in the temple on account of her beauty. The wife of his freedman Demetrius also, who had the greatest influence with Pompey and left a property of four thousand talents, contrary to his habit he did not treat kindly nor in a manner befitting her free condition: but it was through fear of her beauty, which was irresistible and much talked about, and that he might not appear to be captivated by her. Though he was so exceedingly cautious in such matters and so much on his guard, yet he did not escape the imputations of his enemies on the ground of amours, but he was slanderously accused of commerce with married women and of betraying many of the public interests to gratify them. Of his temperance and simplicity in his way of living the following anecdote is told. On one occasion when he was ill and indisposed to his ordinary food, the physician prescribed a thrush for him. After search had been made and none found, for the season was past, some one observed that one might be found at the house of Lucullus, for he kept them all the year round: "Well then," said Pompey, "I suppose if Lucullus were not luxurious, Pompey could not live;" and without regarding the physician's advice he took something that was ready at hand. This, however, belongs to a later period.
III. When he was still quite a youth and was serving under his father, who was opposed to Cinna, he had one Lucius Terentius for his companion and tent-mate. This Lucius being bribed by Cinna, designed to kill Pompey, and others were to fire the general's tent. Information of this came to Pompey while he was at supper, at which, nothing disturbed, he went on drinking more gaily, and showing great signs of affection towards Terentius; but when they were turning in to rest he slipped unobserved from under the tent, and after placing a guard about his father, kept quiet. When Terentius thought the time was come, drawing his sword he got up, and approaching the bed of Pompey, he struck many blows upon the bed-covering, supposing that Pompey was lying there. Upon this there was a great commotion owing to the soldiers' hatred of their general, and there was a movement made towards mutiny by the men beginning to pull down the tents and take their arms. The general, fearing the tumult, did not come near; but Pompey, going about in the midst of the soldiers, implored them with tears in his eyes, and finally throwing himself on his face before the gate of the camp right in their way, he lay there weeping, and told those who were going out to trample on him, so that every man drew back for very shame, and thus the whole army, with the exception of eight hundred men, changed their design and were reconciled to their commander.
IV. Upon the death of Strabo, Pompey had to defend a prosecution in respect of a charge of peculation against his father. He detected one of his freedmen in having appropriated most of the property, and proved it to the magistrates; but he was himself accused of having in his possession hunting nets and books which were taken among the plunder at Asculum. He received these things from his father when he took Asculum, but he lost them after his return to Rome, when the guards of Cinna broke into his house and plundered it. He had many preliminary contests with the accuser before the trial commenced, in which, by showing himself to possess an acuteness and firmness above his years, he got great reputation and popularity, so that Antistius, who was prætor and presided at that trial, conceived a great affection for Pompey, and offered him his daughter to wife, and spoke about it to his friends. Pompey accepted the proposal, and an agreement was secretly made between them; but yet the matter did not fail to be generally known by reason of the partizanship of Antistius. When at last Antistius declared the votes of the judices to be for his acquittal, the people, as if a signal had been concerted, called out the name Talasius, which, pursuant to an old custom, they are used to utter on the occasion of a marriage. This ancient custom, they say, had the following origin: When the daughters of the Sabines had come to Rome to see the games, and the noblest among the Romans were carrying them off to be their wives, some goatherds and herdsmen of mean condition took upon their shoulders a tall handsome maid and were carrying her off. In order, however, that none of the better sort who might fall in with them should attempt to take the maid from them, they called out as they ran along that she was for Talasius (now Talasius was a man of rank and much beloved), so that those who heard the cry clapped their hands and shouted as being pleased at what the men were doing and commending them for it. From this time forth, as the story goes, inasmuch as the marriage of Talasius turned out to be a happy one, it is usual to utter the same expression by way of merriment at the occasion of a marriage. This is the most probable story among those which are told about the name Talasius. However, a few days after the trial Pompey married Antistia.
V. Having gone to Cinna to the camp, Pompey became alarmed in consequence of some charge and false accusation, and he quickly stole out of the way. On his disappearing, a rumour went through the camp and a report that Cinna had murdered the young man, whereupon the soldiers, who had long been weary of him and hated their general, made an assault upon him. Cinna attempted to escape, but he was overtaken by a centurion, who pursued him with his naked sword. Cinna fell down at the knees of the centurion, and offered him his seal ring, which was of great price; but the centurion with great contempt replied: "I am not going to seal a contract, but to punish an abominable and unjust tyrant," and so killed him. Cinna thus perished, but he was succeeded in the direction of affairs by Carbo, a still more furious tyrant than himself, who kept the power in his hands till Sulla advanced against him, to the great joy of the most part, who in their present sufferings thought even a change of masters no small profit. To such a condition had calamities brought the state, that men despairing of freedom sought a more moderate slavery.
VI. Now about this time Pompey was tarrying in Picenum in Italy, for he had estates there, but mainly because he liked the cities, which were well disposed and friendly towards him by reason of their ancient connection with his father. Seeing that the most distinguished and chief of the citizens were leaving their property and flocking from all sides to Sulla's camp as to a harbour of refuge, Pompey did not think it becoming in him to steal away to Sulla like a fugitive, nor without bringing some contribution, nor yet as if he wanted help, but he thought that he should begin by doing Sulla some service and so approach with credit and a force. Accordingly he attempted to rouse the people of Picenum, who readily listened to his proposals, and paid no attention to those who came from Carbo. A certain Vindius having remarked that Pompey had just quitted school to start up among them as a popular leader, the people were so infuriated that they forthwith fell on Vindius and killed him. Upon this Pompey, who was now three and twenty years of age, without being appointed general by any one, but himself assuming the command in Auximum, a large city, placing a tribunal in the forum and by edict ordering two brothers Ventidii who were among the chief persons in the place and were opposing him on behalf of Carbo, to quit the city, began to enlist soldiers, and to appoint centurions and officers over them, and he went to all the surrounding cities and did the same. All who were of Carbo's party got up and quitted the cities, but the rest gladly put themselves in the hands of Pompey, who thus in a short time raised three complete legions, and having supplied himself with provisions and beasts of burden and waggons and everything else that an army requires, advanced towards Sulla, neither hurrying nor yet content with passing along unobserved, but lingering by the way to harass the enemy, and endeavouring to detach from Carbo every part of Italy that he visited.
VII. Now there rose up against him three hostile generals at once, Carinna, and Clœlius and Brutus, not all in front, nor yet all from the same quarter, but they surrounded him with three armies, with the view of completely destroying him. Pompey was not alarmed, but getting all his force together he attacked one of the armies, that of Brutus, placing in the front his cavalry, among whom he himself was. From the side of the enemy the Celtæ rode out to meet him, when Pompey with spear in hand struck the first and strongest of them and brought him down; on which the rest fled and put the infantry also into confusion, so that there was a general rout. Hereupon the generals quarrelled among themselves and retired, as each best could, and the cities took the part of Pompey, seeing that the enemy had dispersed in alarm. Next came Scipio the consul against him, but before the lines had come close enough to discharge their javelins, the soldiers of Scipio saluted those of Pompey and changed sides, and Scipio made his escape. Finally, near the river Arsis, Carbo himself attacked Pompey with several troops of horse, but Pompey bravely stood the attack, and putting them to flight pursued and drove all of them upon difficult ground where no cavalry could act; and the men, seeing that there was no hope of saving themselves, surrendered with their arms and horses.
VIII. Sulla had not yet received intelligence of these events, but upon the first news and reports about Pompey, being alarmed at his being among so many hostile generals of such reputation, he made haste to relieve him. Pompey being informed that Sulla was near, ordered his officers to arm the forces and to display them in such manner that they might make the most gallant and splendid appearance to the Imperator, for he expected to receive great honours from him; and he got more than he expected. For when Sulla saw him approaching and his army standing by, admirable for the brave appearance of the men and elated and rejoicing in their success, he leapt down from his horse, and being addressed, according to custom, by the title of Imperator, he addressed Pompey in return by the title of Imperator, though nobody would have expected that Sulla would give to a young man who was not yet a member of the Senate, the title for which he was fighting against the Scipios and the Marii. And indeed everything else was in accordance with the first greeting, for Sulla used to rise from his seat as Pompey approached and take his vest from his head, which he was not observed to do generally to any other person, though there were many distinguished men about him. Pompey, however, was not made vain by these marks of distinction, but on being immediately sent into Gaul by Sulla, where Metellus commanded and appeared to be doing nothing correspondent to his means, Pompey said it was not right to take the command from a man who was his senior and superior in reputation; however he said he was ready to carry on the war in conjunction with Metellus, if he had no objection, in obedience to his orders and to give him his assistance. Metellus accepted the proposal and wrote to him to come, on which Pompey entering Gaul, performed noble exploits, and he also fanned into a flame again and warmed the warlike and courageous temper of Metellus, which was now near becoming extinct through old age, as the liquid, heated stream of copper by flowing about the hard, cold metal is said to soften and to liquefy it into its own mass better than the fire. But as in the case of an athlete who has obtained the first place among men and has gloriously vanquished in every contest, his boyish victories are made of no account and are not registered; so the deeds which Pompey then accomplished, though of themselves extraordinary, yet as they were buried under the number and magnitude of his subsequent struggles and wars, I have been afraid to disturb them, lest if we should dwell too long on his first exploits, we should miss the acts and events which are the most important and best show the character of the man.
IX. Now when Sulla was master of Italy and was proclaimed Dictator, he rewarded the other officers and generals by making them rich and promoting them to magistracies and by granting them without stint and with readiness what they asked for. But as he admired Pompey for his superior merit and thought that he would be a great support to his own interests, he was anxious in some way to attach him by family relations. Metella, the wife of Sulla, had also the same wish, and they persuaded Pompey to put away Antistia and to take to wife Aemilia, the step-daughter of Sulla, the child of Metella by Scaurus, who was then living with her husband and was pregnant. This matter of the marriage was of a tyrannical character, and more suited to the interests of Sulla than conformable to the character of Pompey, for Aemilia, who was pregnant, was taken from another to be married to him, and Antistia was put away with dishonour and under lamentable circumstances, inasmuch as she had just lost her father also, and that, too, on her husband's account; for Antistius was murdered in the Senate-house because he was considered to be an adherent of Sulla for the sake of Pompey; and the mother of Antistia having witnessed all this put an end to her life, so that this misfortune was added to the tragedy of the marriage; and in sooth another besides, for Aemilia herself died immediately afterwards in child-birth in the house of Pompey.
X. After this, news arrived that Perpenna was securing Sicily for himself, and that the island was supplying to those who remained of the opposite faction a point for concentrating their forces; for Carbo was afloat in those parts with a navy, and Domitius had fallen upon Libya, and many other fugitives of note were crowding there, who had escaped from the proscriptions. Against these Pompey was sent with a large force: and Perpenna immediately evacuated Sicily upon his arrival. Pompey relieved the cities which had been harshly treated, and behaved kindly to them all except to the Mamertini in Messene. For when the Mamertini protested against the tribunal and the Roman administration of justice, on the ground that there was an old Roman enactment which forbade their introduction, "Won't you stop," said he, "citing laws to us who have our swords by our sides?" It was considered also that Pompey triumphed over the misfortunes of Carbo in an inhuman manner. For if it was necessary to put Carbo to death, as perhaps it was, he ought to have been put to death as soon as he was taken, and then the act might have been imputed to him who gave the order. But Pompey produced in chains a Roman who had three times been Consul, and making him stand in front of the tribunal while he was sitting, sat in judgment on him, to the annoyance and vexation of those who were present; after which he ordered him to be removed and put to death. They say that when Carbo had been dragged off, seeing the sword already bared, he begged them to allow him to retire for a short time as his bowels were disordered. Caius Oppius, the friend of Cæsar, says that Pompey behaved inhumanly to Quintus Valerius also; for Pompey, who knew that Valerius was a learned man and a particular lover of learning, embraced him, and after walking about with him and questioning him about what he wanted to know, and getting his answer, he ordered his attendants to take Valerius away and immediately put him to death. But when Oppius is speaking of the enemies or friends of Cæsar, it is necessary to be very cautious in believing what he says. Now as to those enemies of Sulla who were of the greatest note and were openly taken, Pompey of necessity punished them; but as to the rest he allowed as many as he could to escape detection, and he even aided some in getting away. Pompey had determined to punish the inhabitants of Himera which had sided with the enemy; but Sthenis the popular leader having asked for a conference with him, told Pompey that he would not do right, if he let the guilty escape and punished the innocent. On Pompey asking who the guilty man was, Sthenis replied, it was himself, for he had persuaded those citizens who were his friends, and forced those who were his enemies. Pompey admiring the bold speech and spirit of the man pardoned him first and then all the rest. Hearing that his soldiers were committing excesses on the march, he put a seal on their swords, and he who broke the seal was punished.
XI. While he was thus engaged in Sicily and settling the civil administration, he received a decree of the Senate and letters from Sulla which contained an order for him to sail to Libya and vigorously oppose Domitius, who had got together a power much larger than that with which Marius no long time back had passed over from Libya to Italy and put all affairs at Rome in confusion by making himself a tyrant after having been a fugitive. Accordingly making his preparations with all haste Pompey left in command in Sicily Memmius, his sister's husband, and himself set sail with a hundred and twenty large ships, and eight hundred transports which conveyed corn, missiles, money, and engines. On his landing with part of his vessels at Utica and the rest at Carthage, seven thousand men deserted from the enemy and came over to him; he had himself six complete legions. It is said that a ludicrous thing occurred here. Some soldiers having fallen in with a treasure, as it seems, got a large sum of money. The matter becoming known, all the rest of the soldiers got a notion that the place was full of money, which they supposed to have been hid during the misfortunes of the Carthaginians. The consequence was that Pompey could do nothing with the soldiers for many days while they were busy with looking after treasure, but he went about laughing and looking on so many thousands all at one time digging and turning up the ground, till at last the men were tired and told their commander to lead them were he pleased, as they had been punished enough for their folly.
XII. Domitius had posted himself to oppose Pompey, with a ravine in his front which was difficult to pass and rough; but a violent rain accompanied with wind commenced in the morning and continued, so that Domitius giving up his intention of fighting on that day ordered a retreat. Pompey taking advantage of this opportunity advanced rapidly and began to cross the ravine. But the soldiers of Domitius were in disorder and confusion, and what resistance they offered was neither made by the whole body nor yet in any regular manner: the wind also veered round and blew the storm right in their faces. However the storm confused the Romans also, for they did not see one another clearly, and Pompey himself had a narrow escape with his life, not being recognised by a soldier to whom he was somewhat slow in giving the word on being asked for it. Having repulsed the enemy with great slaughter (for it is said that out of twenty thousand only three thousand escaped) they saluted Pompey with the title of Imperator. But Pompey said that he would not accept the honour, so long as the enemy's encampment was standing, and if they thought him worthy of this title they must first destroy the camp, upon which they forthwith rushed against the rampart, and Pompey fought without a helmet for fear of what just had happened. The camp was taken and Domitius fell. Some of the cities immediately submitted, and others were taken by storm. Pompey also made a prisoner of Iarbas, one of the kings, who had sided with Domitius, and he gave his kingdom to Hiempsal. Availing himself of his success and the strength of his army he invaded Numidia. After advancing many days' march and subduing all whom he met with, and firmly establishing the dread of the Romans among the barbarians which had now somewhat subsided, he said that he ought not to leave even the wild beasts of Libya, without letting them have some experience of the strength and courage of the Romans. Accordingly he spent a few days in hunting lions and elephants; and in forty days in all, as it is said, he defeated his enemies, subdued Libya, and settled all the affairs of the kings, being then in his four and twentieth year.
XIII. On his return to Utica he received letters from Sulla, with orders to disband the rest of the army, and to wait there with one legion for his successor in the command. Pompey was annoyed at this and took it ill, though he did not show it; but the army openly expressed their dissatisfaction, and when Pompey requested them to advance, they abused Sulla, and they said they would not let Pompey be exposed to danger without them, and they advised him not to trust the tyrant. At first Pompey endeavoured to mollify and quiet them, but finding that he could not prevail, he descended from the tribunal and went to his tent weeping. But the soldiers laid hold of him and again placed him on the tribunal, and a great part of the day was spent in the soldiers urging him to stay and be their leader, and in Pompey entreating the soldiers to be obedient and not to mutiny, till at last, as they still urged him and drowned his voice with their cries, he swore he would kill himself, if they forced him; and so at last with great difficulty they were induced to stop. Sulla at first received intelligence that Pompey had revolted, on which he said to his friends, it was his fate now that he was old to fight with boys, alluding to the fact that Marius, who was very young, gave him most trouble, and brought him into the extremest danger; but on hearing the true state of affairs, and perceiving that everybody with right good will was eager to receive Pompey and to escort him, he made haste to outdo them. Accordingly he advanced and met Pompey, and receiving him with all possible expressions of good-will, he saluted him with a loud voice by the name of Magnus, and he bade those who were present to address him in the same way. The word Magnus means Great. Others say that it was in Libya first that the whole army with acclamation pronounced the name, and that it obtained strength and currency by being confirmed by Sulla. But Pompey himself, after everybody else, and some time later when he was sent into Iberia as proconsul against Sertorius, began to call himself in his letters and edicts Magnus Pompey; for the name was no longer invidious when people had been made familiar with it. And here one may justly admire and respect the old Romans, who requited with such appellations and titles not success in war and battles only, but honoured therewith political services and merits also. Two men accordingly the people proclaimed Maximi, which means the Greatest; Valerius, because he reconciled the senate to the people when there was a misunderstanding between them; and Fabius Rullus, because he ejected from the senate certain rich persons the children of freedmen who had been enrolled in the list of senators.
XIV. After this Pompey asked for a triumph, but Sulla opposed his claim: for the law gives a triumph to a consul or to a prætor only, but to no one else. And this is the reason why the first Scipio, after defeating the Carthaginians in greater and more important contests in Iberia, did not ask for a triumph, for he was not consul, nor yet prætor. Sulla considered that if Pompey, who was not yet well bearded, should enter the city in triumph, he who, by reason of his age, was not yet a member of the senate, both his own office and the honour given to Pompey would be exposed to much obloquy. Sulla made these remarks to Pompey, to show that he did not intend to let him have a triumph, but would resist him and check his ambition, if he would not listen to reason. Pompey, however, was not cowed, but he told Sulla to reflect, that more men worship the rising than the setting sun, intending him to understand that his own power was on the increase, but that the power of Sulla was diminishing and fading away. Sulla did not distinctly hear these words, but observing that those who did hear them, by looks and gestures expressed their astonishment, he asked what it was that Pompey had said. When he heard what it was, he was confounded at the boldness of Pompey, and called out twice, "Let him triumph!" Now many persons were annoyed, and expressed their dissatisfaction at the triumph, on which Pompey, wishing to annoy them still more, it is said, made preparation for entering the city in a car drawn by four elephants, for he brought from Libya many of the king's elephants that he had taken; but as the gate was too narrow, he gave up his project and contented himself with horses. The soldiers, who had not obtained as much as they expected, were ready to make a disturbance and impede the triumph, but Pompey said that he cared not for it, and would rather give up the triumph than humour them; whereupon Servilius, a man of distinction, who had made most opposition to the triumph of Pompey, said, Now he perceived that Pompey was really Great and was worthy of the triumph. It is also certain that he might then have been easily admitted into the senate, if he had chosen; but he showed no eagerness for it, seeking, as they say, reputation from what was unusual. For it was nothing surprising if Pompey were a senator before the age, but it was a most distinguished honour for him to triumph before he was a senator. Another thing also gained him the good-will of the many in no small degree, for the people were delighted at his being reviewed among the Equites after the triumph.
XV. Sulla was annoyed to see to what a height of reputation and power Pompey was advancing, but as he was ashamed to attempt to check his career he kept quiet. However, when Pompey had brought about the election of Lepidus as consul in spite of Sulla and against his wish, by canvassing for Lepidus, and by employing the affection of the people towards himself to induce them to favour Lepidus, Sulla seeing Pompey retiring with the crowd through the Forum, said, "I see, young man, that you are pleased with your victory: and indeed how can it be otherwise than generous and noble, for Lepidus, the vilest of men, to be declared consul before Catulus the best, through your management of the people? However, it is time for you not to slumber, but to attend to affairs, for you have strengthened your rival against yourself." Sulla showed mainly by his testament that he was not well disposed to Pompey, for he left legacies to his other friends, and made them his son's guardians, but he passed over Pompey altogether. But Pompey took this very quietly, and behaved on the occasion as a citizen should do; and accordingly, when Lepidus and some others were putting impediments in the way of the body being interred in the Field of Mars, and were not for allowing the funeral to be public, Pompey brought his aid, and gave to the interment both splendour and security.
XVI. As soon as Sulla's death made his prophetic warnings manifest, and Lepidus was attempting to put himself in Sulla's place, not by any circuitous movement or contrivance, but by taking up arms forthwith, and again stirring up and gathering round him the remnants of the factions which had long been enfeebled and had escaped from Sulla; and his colleague Catulus, to whom the most honest and soundest part of the Senate and the people attached themselves, was the first of the Romans of the day for reputation of temperance and integrity, but was considered to be better adapted for the conduct of civil than of military affairs, and circumstances themselves were calling for Pompey, he did not hesitate what course to take, but attaching himself to the optimates, he was appointed commander of a force to oppose Lepidus, who had already stirred up a large part of Italy and held with an army under the command of Brutus, Gaul within the Alps. Now Pompey easily defeated the rest whom he attacked, but at Mutina in Gaul he sat down for some time opposite to Brutus, while Lepidus having hurried on to Rome and posted himself before the walls was demanding a second consulship and terrifying the citizens with a numerous army. But the alarm was ended by a letter from Pompey, who had brought the war to a fortunate issue without a battle. For Brutus, whether it was that he gave up his force himself or was betrayed by his army changing sides, surrendered his person to Pompey and with some horsemen as an escort retired to one of the small towns near the Padus, where after the interval of a single day he was put to death by Geminius, whom Pompey sent to him; and Pompey was much blamed for this. For at the very commencement of the affair of the army changing sides, he wrote to the Senate that Brutus had voluntarily surrendered, and he then sent another letter in which he criminated the man after he was put to death. This Brutus was the father of the Brutus who together with Cassius killed Cæsar, a man who neither fought nor died like his father, as is told in his Life. As soon as Lepidus was driven from Italy, he made his escape into Sardinia, where he fell sick and died of vexation, not at the state of affairs, as they say, but from finding some writing by which he discovered that his wife had committed adultery.
XVII. But a general, Sertorius, who in no respect resembled Lepidus, was in possession of Iberia and was hovering over the other Romans, a formidable adversary; for the civil wars had concentrated themselves as in a final disease in this one man, who had already destroyed many of the inferior commanders, and was then engaged with Metellus Pius, who was indeed a distinguished soldier and of great military ability, but owing to old age was considered to be following up the opportunities of war somewhat tardily, and was anticipated in his plans by the quickness and rapidity of Sertorius, who attacked him at all hazards and somewhat in robber fashion, and by his ambuscades and circuitous movements confounded a man well practised in regular battles and used to command a force of heavy-armed soldiers trained to close fighting. Upon this Pompey, who had an army under his command, bestirred himself to be sent out to support Metellus; and though Catulus ordered him to disband his force he would not obey, but kept under arms in the neighbourhood of the city continually inventing excuses, until the command was given to him on the proposal of Lucius Philippus. It was on this occasion, as it is said, that some one in the Senate asked Philippus with some surprise, if he thought that Pompey ought to be sent out as Proconsul, and Philippus replied, "Not as Proconsul, as I think, but in place of the Consuls," meaning that both the consuls of that year were good for nothing.
XVIII. When Pompey arrived in Iberia, as it usually happens with the reputation of a new commander, he gave the people great hopes, and the nations which were not firmly attached to the party of Sertorius began to stir themselves and change sides; whereupon Sertorius gave vent to arrogant expressions against Pompey, and scoffingly said, he should only need a cane and a whip for this youth, if he were not afraid of that old woman, meaning Metellus. However he conducted his military operations with more caution, as in fact he kept a close watch on Pompey and was afraid of him. For contrary to what one would have expected, Metellus had become very luxurious in his mode of life and had completely given himself up to pleasure, and there had been all at once a great change in him to habits of pride and extravagance, so that this also brought Pompey a surpassing good-will and reputation, inasmuch as he maintained a frugal mode of living, a thing that cost him no great pains, for he was naturally temperate and well regulated in his desires. Though there were many vicissitudes in the war, the capture of Lauron by Sertorius gave Pompey most annoyance; for while he supposed that Sertorius was surrounded, and had uttered certain boasting expressions, all at once it appeared that he himself was completely hemmed in, and as for this reason he was afraid to stir, he saw the city burnt before his face. But he defeated, near Valentia, Herennius and Perpenna, who were men of military talent, and among others had fled to Sertorius and served under him; and he slaughtered above ten thousand of their men.
XIX. Elated by this success, and full of great designs, he hastened to attack Sertorius himself, in order that Metellus might not share the victory. They engaged on the banks of the Sucro, though it was near the close of day, both parties fearing the arrival of Metellus, one wishing to fight by himself, and the other wishing to have only one opponent. The issue of the battle was doubtful, for one wing was victorious on each side; but of the two commanders-in-chief Sertorius got the more honour, for he put to flight the enemy who were opposed to him. A man of tall stature, an infantry soldier, attacked Pompey, who was on horseback; and as they closed and came to a struggle, the blows of the swords fell on the hands of both, but not with the same effect; for Pompey was only wounded, but he cut off the man's hand. Now, as many men rushed upon Pompey, and the rout had already begun, he escaped, contrary to all expectation, by quitting his horse, which had trappings of gold and decorations of great value; for while the enemy were dividing the booty and fighting about it with one another, they were left behind in the pursuit. At daybreak both commanders again placed their forces in order of battle, with the intention of securing the victory, but when Metellus approached, Sertorius retreated and his army dispersed. For the fashion of his men was to disperse and again to come together, so that Sertorius often wandered about alone, and often appeared again at the head of one hundred and fifty thousand men, like a winter-torrent suddenly swollen. Now, when Pompey went to meet Metellus after the battle, and they were near one another, he ordered his lictors to lower their fasces out of respect to Metellus as the superior in rank. But Metellus would not allow this, and in all other respects he behaved with consideration to Pompey, not assuming any superiority on the ground of being a consular and the elder, except that when the two armies encamped together the watchword for both armies was given out by Metellus; but the two armies generally encamped apart. For the enemy used to cut off their communications and separate them, being fertile in stratagems, and skilful in showing himself in many quarters in a short time, and in leading from one combat to another. Finally, by cutting off their supplies, plundering the country, and getting the command of the sea, he drove both Pompey and Metellus from that part of Iberia which was under him, and they were compelled to fly to other provinces through want of provisions.
XX. Pompey having spent most of his own property and applied it to the purposes of the war, demanded money of the senate, and said that he would come to Italy with his army if they did not send it. Lucullus, who was then consul, being at variance with Pompey, and intriguing to get the command in the Mithridatic war for himself, bestirred himself to get money sent for fear of letting Pompey have a reason for leaving Sertorius, and attacking Mithridates, which he wished to do, for Mithridates was considered to be an opponent whom it would be an honour to oppose and easy to vanquish. In the meantime, Sertorius was assassinated by his friends, of whom Perpenna was the chief leader, and he attempted to do what Sertorius had done, having indeed the same troops and means, but not equal judgment for the management of them. Now Pompey immediately advanced against Perpenna, and perceiving that he was floundering in his affairs, he sent down ten cohorts into the plain, as a bait, and gave them orders to disperse as if they were flying. When Perpenna had attacked the cohorts, and was engaged in the pursuit, Pompey appeared in full force, and joining battle, gave the enemy a complete defeat. Most of the officers fell in the battle; but Perpenna was brought to Pompey, who ordered him to be put to death, in which he did not show any ingratitude, nor that he had forgotten what had happened in Sicily, as some say, but he displayed great prudence and a judgment that was advantageous to the commonweal. For Perpenna, who had got possession of the writings of Sertorins, offered to produce letters from the most powerful men in Rome, who being desirous to disturb the present settlement and to change the constitution, invited Sertorius to Italy. Now Pompey, apprehending that this might give rise to greater wars than those which were just ended, put Perpenna to death, and burnt the letters without even reading them.
XXI. After staying long enough to extinguish the chief disturbances, and to quiet and settle those affairs which were in the most inflammatory state, he led his army back to Italy, and happened to arrive at the time when the servile war was at its height. This was the reason why Crassus the commander urged on the hazard of a battle, which he gained, with the slaughter of twelve thousand three hundred of the enemy. Fortune, however, in a manner adopted Pompey into this success also, for five thousand men who escaped from the battle fell in his way, all of whom he destroyed, and he took the opportunity of writing first to the senate, to say that Crassus indeed had conquered the gladiators in a pitched battle, but he had pulled up the war by the roots. And this was agreeable to the Romans to hear, owing to their good-will towards Pompey, and also to speak of. As to Iberia and Sertorius, no one even in jest would have said that the conquest was due to any one else than Pompey. But though the man was in such repute, and such expectations were entertained of him, there was still some suspicion and fear that he would not disband his army, but would make his way by arms and sovereign power straight to the polity of Sulla. Accordingly, those who through fear ran to greet him on the way, were as many as those who did it from good-will. But when Pompey had removed this suspicion also by declaring that he would disband his army after the triumph, there still remained one subject of reproach for those who envied him, that he attached himself more to the people than to the senate, and that he had determined to restore the authority of the tribunate, which Sulla had destroyed, and to court the favour of the many, which was true. For there was nothing for which the people were more madly passionate, and nothing which they more desired, than to see that magistracy again, so that Pompey considered the opportunity for this political measure a great good fortune, as he could not have found any other favour by which to requite the good-will of the citizens, if another had anticipated him in this.
XXII. Now after a second triumph and the consulship were voted to him, Pompey was not for this reason considered an object of admiration and a great man; but the people considered it a proof of his distinction, that Crassus, though the richest of all who were engaged in public life, and the most powerful speaker and the greatest man, and though he despised Pompey and everybody else, did not venture to become a candidate for the consulship till he had applied to Pompey. Pompey indeed was well pleased with this, as he had long wished to have the opportunity of doing some service and friendly act to Crassus. According he readily accepted the advances of Crassus, and in his address to the people he declared that he should be as grateful to them for his colleague as for the consulship. However, when they were elected consuls, they differed about everything, and came into collision: in the senate Crassus had more weight, but among the people the influence of Pompey was great. For Pompey restored the tribunate to the people, and he allowed the judicia to be again transferred to the Equites by a law. But the most agreeable of all spectacles was that which Pompey exhibited to the people when he personally solicited his discharge from service. It is the custom among the Roman Equites when they have served the time fixed by law, to lead their horse into the Forum before the two men whom they call Censors, and after mentioning each general and Imperator under whom they have served, and giving an account of their service, they receive their dismissal. Honours also and infamy are awarded according to each man's conduct. Now on this occasion the Censors Gellius and Lentulus were sitting in all their official dignity, and the Equites who were to be inspected were passing by, when Pompey was seen descending from the higher ground to the Forum, bearing the other insignia of his office, but leading his horse by the hand. When he came near and was full in sight, he bade the lictors make way for him, and he led his horse to the tribunal. The people admired, and kept profound silence; the censors were both awed and delighted at the sight. Then the elder said: "I ask you, Pompey Magnus, if you have performed all the military services that the law requires?" Pompey replied with a loud voice, "I have performed all, and all under my own command as Imperator." On hearing this the people broke out into loud shouts, and it was impossible to repress the acclamations, so great was their delight; but the censors rising, conducted Pompey home to please the citizens, who followed with loud expressions of applause.
XXIII. Now when the term of office was near expiring for Pompey, and the differences with Crassus wore increasing, one Caius Aurelius, who though a man of equestrian rank did not meddle with public affairs, on the occasion of an assembly of the people ascended the Rostra, and coming forward said, that Jupiter had appeared to him in his sleep and had bid him tell the consuls not to lay down their office before they were reconciled. On this being said, Pompey stood still, without saying a word, but Crassus making the first advance to take his hand and address him, said, "I think I am doing nothing ignoble or mean, fellow citizens, in being first to give way to Pompey, whom you considered worthy of the name of Magnus before he had a beard, and decreed to him two triumphs before he was a senator." Upon this they were reconciled and laid down their office. Now Crassus continued the kind of life which he had originally adopted; but Pompey withdrew himself from his numerous engagements as advocate, and gradually quitted the forum, and seldom went into public, and always with a large crowd of people. For it was no longer easy to meet with him or see him without a train; but he took most pleasure in showing himself with a numerous company close around him, and by these means he threw a dignity and importance about his presence, and thought that he ought to keep his high rank from contact or familiarity with the many. For life in the garment of peace is a hazardous thing towards loss of reputation for those who have gained distinction in arms and are ill suited for civil equality; for such men claim the first place in peace also, as in war, while those who get less honour in war cannot submit to have no advantage in peace at least. Wherefore when they moot in the Forum with the man who has been distinguished in camps and triumphs, they humble him and cast him down; but if a man renounces all pretensions to civil distinction and withdraws, they maintain his military honours and power untouched by envy. Facts soon showed this.
XXIV. Now the power of the pirates had its beginning in Cilicia, and at first its adventure was attended with hazard and sought concealment, but it gained confidence and daring in the Mithridatic war by lending itself to aid the king. Then, the Romans being engaged in the civil wars about the gates of Rome, the sea was left destitute of all protection, and this by degrees drew them on, and encouraged them not to confine their attacks to those who navigated the sea, but to ravage islands and maritime cities. And now men who wore powerful by wealth and of distinguished birth, and who claimed superior education, began to embark on board piratical vessels and to share in their undertakings as if the occupation was attended with a certain reputation and was an object of ambition. There were also piratical posts established in many places and fortified beacons, at which armaments put in, which were fitted out for this peculiar occupation not only with bold vigorous crews and skilful helmsmen and the speed and lightness of the ships, but more annoying than their formidable appearance was their arrogant and pompous equipment, with their golden streamers and purple sails and silvered oars, as if they rioted in their evil practices and prided themselves on them. And flutes and playing on stringed instruments and drinking along the whole coast, and capture of persons high in office, and ransomings of captured cities, were a disgrace to the Roman supremacy. Now the piratical ships had increased to above a thousand, and the cities captured by them were four hundred. They attacked and plundered the asyla and sacred places which had hitherto been unapproached, such as those of Claros, Didyma, Samothrace, the temple of Chthonia in Hermione, the temple of Æsculapius in Epidaurus, and those of Neptune at the Isthmus and Tænaros and Kalauria, and those of Apollo at Actium and Leucas, and that of Juno in Samos, and in Argos, and Lacinium. They also performed strange rites on Olympus and celebrated certain mysterious ceremonies, among which were those of Mithras and they are continued to the present time, having been first introduced by them. But they did most insult to the Romans, and going up from the sea they robbed on their roads and plundered the neighbouring villas. They once seized two prætors Sextilius and Bellinus in their purple dress, and they carried off with them their attendants and lictors. They also took the daughter of Antonius, a man who had enjoyed a triumph, as she was going into the country, and she was ransomed at great cost. But their most insulting behaviour was in the following fashion. Whenever a man who was taken called out that he was a Roman and mentioned his name, they would pretend to be terror-struck and to be alarmed, and would strike their thighs and fall down at his knees praying him to pardon them; and their captive would believe all this to be real, seeing that they were humble and suppliant. Then some would put Roman shoes on his feet, and others would throw over him a toga, pretending it was done that there might be no mistake about him again. When they had for some time mocked the man in this way and had their fill of amusement, at last they would put a ladder down into the sea, and bid him step out and go away with their best wishes for a good journey; and if a man would not go, then they shoved him into the water.
XXV. The power of the pirates extended over the whole of our sea at once in a measure, so that it could not be navigated and was closed against all trade. It was this which mainly induced the Romans, who were hard pressed for provisions and were expecting great scarcity, to send out Pompey to clear the sea of the pirates. Gabinius, one of the friends of Pompey, drew up a law which gave Pompey, not a naval command, but palpably sole dominion and power over all men without any responsibility. For the law gave him authority over the sea within the columns of Hercules and all the main land to the distance of four hundred stadia from the sea. There were not many places within the Roman dominions which lay beyond those limits, but the chief nations and the most powerful of the kings were comprised within them. Besides this, Pompey was empowered to choose fifteen legati from the Senate who should command in particular parts, to take from the treasuries and from the Publicani as much money as he pleased, and two hundred ships, with full authority as to the number and levying of the armed force and of the rowers for the vessels. When these provisions of the law were read, the people received them with exceeding great satisfaction, but the chief of the Senate and the most powerful citizens considered that this unlimited and indefinite power was indeed too great to be an object of envy, but was a matter for alarm. Accordingly with the exception of Cæsar they opposed the law; but Cæsar spoke in favour of it, though indeed he cared very little for Pompey, but from the beginning it was his plan to insinuate himself into the popular favour and to gain over the people. But the rest vehemently assailed Pompey. One of the consuls who had observed to him that if he emulated Romulus he would not escape the end of Romulus, was near being killed by the people. When Catulus came forward to speak against the law, the people out of respect were silent for some time; but after he had spoken at length with honourable mention of Pompey and without any invidious remark, and then advised the people to spare him and not to expose such a man to repeated dangers and wars, "What other man," he continued, "will you have, if you lose him?" when with one accord all the people replied, "Yourself." Now as Catulus could produce no effect, he retired from the Rostra; when Roscius came forward, nobody listened, but he made signs with his fingers that they should not appoint Pompey to the sole command, but should give him a colleague. At this it is said that the people being irritated sent forth such a shout, that a crow which was flying over the Forum was stunned and fell down into the crowd. Whence it appears, that birds which fall, do not tumble into a great vacuum in the air caused by its rending and separation, but that they are struck by the blow of the voice, which, when it is carried along with great mass and strength, causes an agitation and a wave in the air.
XXVI. Now for the time the assembly was dissolved. But on the day on which they were going to put the law to the vote, Pompey privately retired to the country, but on hearing that the law had passed, he entered the city by night, considering that he should make himself an object of jealousy if the people met him and crowded about him. At daybreak he came into public and sacrificed; and an assembly being summoned he contrived to get many other things in addition to what had been voted, and nearly doubled his armament. For he manned five hundred ships, and one hundred and twenty thousand heavy-armed soldiers and five thousand horse were raised. He chose out of the senate twenty-four men who had held command and served the office of prætor; and there were two quæstors. As the prices of provisions immediately fell, it gave the people, who were well pleased to have it, opportunity to say that the very name of Pompey had put an end to the war. However, by dividing the waters and the whole space of the internal sea into thirteen parts and appointing a certain number of ships and a commander for each, with his force, which was thus dispersed in all directions, he surrounded the piratical vessels that fell in his way in a body, and forthwith hunted them down and brought them into port; but those who separated from one another before they were taken and effected their escape, crowded from all parts and made their way to Cilicia as to a hive; and against them Pompey himself went with sixty of the best ships. But he did not sail against them till he had completely cleared of the piratical vessels the Tyrrhenian sea, the Libyan, and the seas around Sardinia, and Corsica, and Sicily, in forty days in all, by his own unwearied exertions and the active co-operation of his commanders.
XXVII. In Rome the consul Piso, through passion and envy, was damaging the preparations for the war, and disbanding the seamen who were to man the ships, but Pompey sent round his navy to Brundisium and himself advanced through Tyrrhenia to Rome. On hearing this all the people poured forth out of the city upon the road, just as if they had not only a few days before conducted him out of the city. And the rejoicing was caused by the speediness of the change, which was contrary to expectation, for the Forum had a superabundance of provisions. The consequence was that Piso ran the risk of being deprived of the consulship, for Gabinius had already a law drawn up. But Pompey prevented this, and having managed everything else with moderation and got what he wanted, he went down to Brundisium and set sail. But though he was pressed by the urgency of the business and sailed past the cities in his haste, still he did not pass by Athens but he went up to it. After sacrifices to the gods and addressing the people, just as he was quitting the place he read two inscriptions, each of a single verse, addressed to him, the one within the gate:
As thou own'st thyself a mortal, so thou art in truth a God
and that on the outside:
Expected, welcomed, seen, we now conduct thee forth
Now as he treated mercifully some of the piratical crews which still held together and were cruising about the seas upon their preferring entreaties to him, and after receiving a surrender of their vessels and persons did them no harm, the rest entertaining good hopes attempted to get out of the way of the other officers, and coming to Pompey they put themselves into his hands with their children and wives. But he spared all, and it was chiefly through their assistance that he tracked out and caught those who still lurked in concealment, as being conscious that they had committed unpardonable crimes.
XXVIII. The greater part and the most powerful of the pirates had deposited their families and wealth, and their useless people, in garrisons and strong forts among the heights of the Taurus; but manning their ships the pirates themselves awaited the approach of Pompey near Coracesium in Cilicia, and a battle was fought in which they were defeated and afterwards blockaded. At last sending a suppliant message they surrendered themselves and their cities and the islands of which they had possession and in which they had built forts that were difficult to force and hard to approach. Accordingly the war was ended, and all the pirates were driven from the sea in no more than three months. Pompey received by surrender many ships, and among them ninety with brazen beaks. The pirates, who amounted to more than twenty thousand, he never thought of putting to death, but he considered that it would not be prudent to let them go and to allow them to be dispersed or to unite again, being poor, and warlike and many in number. Reflecting then that by nature man neither is made nor is a wild animal nor unsocial, and that he changes his character by the practice of vice which is contrary to his nature, but that he is tamed by habits and change of place and life, and that wild beasts by being accustomed to a gentler mode of living put off their wildness and savageness, he determined to transfer the men to the land from the sea and to let them taste a quiet life by being accustomed to live in cities and to cultivate the ground. The small and somewhat depopulated cities of Cilicia received some of the pirates whom they associated with themselves, and the cities received some additional tracts of land; and the city of Soli, which had lately been deprived of its inhabitants by Tigranes the Armenian king, he restored and settled many of them in it. To the greater part he gave as their residence Dyme in Achæa, which was then without inhabitants and had much good land.
XXIX. Now those who envied Pompey found fault with these measures; but as to his conduct towards Metellus in Crete, even his best friends were not pleased with it. Metellus, who was a kinsman of the Metellus who had the command in Iberia jointly with Pompey, was sent as commander to Crete before Pompey was chosen. For Crete was a kind of second source of pirates and next to Cilicia; and Metellus having caught many of them in the island took them prisoners and put them to death. Those who still survived and were blockaded, sent a suppliant message and invited Pompey to the island, as being a part of his government and falling entirely within the limits reckoned from the coast. Pompey accepted the invitation and wrote to Metellus to forbid him continuing the war. He also wrote to the cities not to pay any attention to Metellus, and he sent as commander one of his own officers, Lucius Octavius, who entering into the forts of the besieged pirates and fighting on their side made Pompey not only odious and intolerable, but ridiculous also, inasmuch as he lent his name to accursed and godless men and threw around them his reputation as a kind of amulet, through envy and jealousy of Metellus. Neither did Achilles, it was argued, act like a man, but like a youth all full of violence and passionately pursuing glory, when he made a sign to the rest of the Greeks and would not let them strike Hector:
For fear another gave the blow and won
The fame, and he should second only come
but Pompey even protected and fought in behalf of the common enemy, that he might deprive of a triumph a general who had endured so much toil. Metellus however did not give in, but he took and punished the pirates, and after insulting and abusing Octavius in his camp he let him go.
XXX. When news reached Rome that the Pirates' war was at an end and that Pompey being now at leisure was visiting the cities, Manlius, one of the tribunes, proposed a law, that Pompey should take all the country and force which Lucullus commanded, with the addition of Bithynia, which Glabrio had, and should carry on the war against the kings Mithridates and Tigranes, with both the naval force and the dominion of the sea on the terms on which he received it originally. This was in short for the Roman dominion to be placed at the disposal of one man. For the provinces which alone he could not touch under the former law, Phrygia, Lycaonia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, the upper Colchis, Armenia, these he now had together with the armies and resources with which Lucullus defeated Mithridates and Tigranes. But though Lucullus was thus deprived of the glory of his achievements and was receiving a successor in a triumph rather than in a war, the aristocratical party thought less of this, though they considered that the man was treated unjustly and ungratefully, but they were much dissatisfied with the power of Pompey which they viewed as the setting up of a tyranny, and they severally exhorted and encouraged one another to oppose the law and not to give up their freedom. But when the time came, the rest kept back through fear of the people and were silent, except Catulus, who after finding much fault with the law and the tribune, yet without persuading any one, urged the Senate from the Rostra, repeating it many times, to seek for a mountain, like their ancestors, and a rock, to which they might fly for refuge and preserve their liberty. Accordingly the law was ratified, as they say, by all the tribes and Pompey in his absence was put in possession of nearly everything which Sulla got after he had made himself master of the city by arms and war. On receiving the letters and reading the decrees in the presence of his friends who were congratulating him, Pompey is said to have contracted his eyebrows and to have struck his thigh, and to have spoken like a man who was already tired and averse to command, "Oh, the endless toils, how much better it were to have been one unknown to fame, if there shall never be an end to my military service and I shall never elude this envy and live quietly in the country with my wife." On hearing these expressions not even his intimate friends could endure his hypocritical pretences, as they knew that he was the more delighted, inasmuch as his difference with Lucullus gave additional fire to his innate ambition and love of command.
XXXI. And in truth his acts soon discovered his real temper: for he issued counter-edicts in all directions by which he required the presence of the soldiers and summoned to him the subject rulers and kings. And as he traversed the country, he let nothing that Lucullus had done remain undisturbed, but he both remitted the punishments of many, and took away what had been given, and in short he left nothing undone in his eagerness to prove to the admirers of Lucullus that he was entirely without power. Lucullus through his friends complained to Pompey, and it was agreed that they should have a meeting. They met in Galatia: and as they were most distinguished generals and had won the greatest victories, their lictors met with the fasces wreathed with bay; but Lucullus advanced from green and shady parts, and Pompey happened to have crossed an extensive tract without trees and parched. Accordingly the lictors of Lucullus seeing that the bays of Pompey were faded and completely withered, gave them some of their own which were fresh, and so decorated and wreathed the fasces of Pompey with them. This was considered a sign that Pompey was coming to carry off the prizes of victory and the glory that was due to Lucullus. As to the order of his consulship and in age also Lucullus had the priority, but the reputation of Pompey was more exalted on account of his two triumphs. However they managed their first interview with as much civility and friendliness as they could, magnifying the exploits of each other, and congratulating one another on their victories: in their conferences however they came to no reasonable or fair settlement, but even fell to mutual abuse, Pompey charging Lucullus with avarice, and Lucullus charging Pompey with love of power; and they were with difficulty separated by their friends. Lucullus being in Galatia assigned portions of the captured land and gave other presents to whom he chose; while Pompey, who was encamped at a short distance, prevented any attention being paid to the orders of Lucullus, and took from him all his soldiers except sixteen hundred, whose mutinous disposition he thought would make them useless to himself, but hostile to Lucullus. Besides this, Pompey disparaged the exploits of Lucullus and openly said that Lucullus had warred against tragedies and mere shadows of kings, while to himself was reserved the contest against a genuine power and one that had grown wiser by losses, for Mithridates was now having recourse to shields, and swords and horses. Lucullus retorting said, that Pompey was going to fight with a phantom and a shadow of war, being accustomed, like a lazy bird, to descend upon the bodies that others had slaughtered and to tear the remnants of wars; for so had he appropriated to himself the victories over Sertorius, Lepidus and Spartacus, though Crassus, Metellus and Catulus had respectively gained these victories: it was no wonder then, if Pompey was surreptitiously trying to get the credit of the Armenian and Pontic wars, he who had in some way or other contrived to intrude himself into a triumph over runaway slaves.
XXXII. Lucullus now retired, and Pompey after distributing his whole naval force over the sea between Phœnicia and the Bosporus to keep guard, himself marched against Mithridates, who had thirty thousand foot soldiers of the phalanx and two thousand horsemen, but did not venture to fight. First of all, Mithridates left a strong mountain which was difficult to assault, whereon he happened to be encamped, because he supposed there was no water there; but Pompey, after occupying the same mountain, conjectured from the nature of the vegetation upon it and the hollows formed by the slopes of the ground that the place contained springs, and he ordered wells to be dug in all parts: and immediately the whole army had abundance of water, so that it was a matter of surprise that Mithridates had all along been ignorant of this. Pompey then surrounded Mithridates with his troops and hemmed him in with his lines. After being blockaded forty-five days Mithridates succeeded in stealing away with the strongest part of his army, after having first massacred those who were unfit for service and were sick. Next, Pompey overtook him on the Euphrates and pitched his camp near him; and fearing lest Mithridates should frustrate his design by crossing the river, he led his army against him in battle order at midnight, at which very hour it is said that Mithridates had a vision in his sleep which forewarned him of what was going to happen. He dreamed that he was sailing on the Pontic sea with a fair wind, and was already in sight of the Bosporus, and congratulating his fellow voyagers, as a man naturally would do in his joy at a manifest and sure deliverance; but all at once he saw himself abandoned by everybody and drifting about upon a small piece of wreck. While he was suffering under this anguish and these visions, his friends came to his bed-side and roused him with the news that Pompey was attacking them. The enemy accordingly must of necessity fight in defence of their camp, and the generals leading their forces out put them in order of battle. Pompey, seeing the preparations to oppose him, hesitated about running any risk in the dark, and thought that he ought only to surround the enemy, to prevent their escape, and attack them when it was daylight, inasmuch as their numbers were greater. But the oldest centurions by their entreaties and exhortations urged him on; for it was not quite dark, but the moon which was descending in the horizon still allowed them to see objects clear enough. And it was this which most damaged the king's troops. For the Romans advanced with the moon on their backs, and as the light was much depressed towards the horizon, the shadows were projected a long way in front of the soldiers and fell upon the enemy, by reason of which they could not accurately estimate the distance between them and the Romans, but supposing that they were already at close quarters they threw their javelins without effect and struck nobody. The Romans perceiving this rushed upon the enemy with shouts, and as they did not venture to stand their ground, but were terror-struck and took to flight, the Romans slaughtered them to the number of much more than ten thousand, and took their camp. Mithridates at the commencement with eight hundred horsemen cut his way through the Romans, but the rest were soon dispersed and he was left alone with three persons, one of whom was his concubine Hypsikratia, who on all occasions showed the spirit of a man and desperate courage; and accordingly the king used to call her Hypsikrates. On this occasion, armed like a Persian and mounted on horseback, she was neither exhausted by the long journeys nor ever wearied of attending to the King's person and his horse, till they came to a place called Inora, which was filled with the King's property and valuables. Here Mithridates took costly garments and distributed among those who had flocked to him after the battle. He also gave to each of his friends a deadly poison to carry about with them, that none of them might fall into the hands of the Romans against his will. Thence he set out towards Armenia to Tigranes, but Tigranes forbade him to come and set a price of a hundred talents upon him, on which Mithridates passed by the sources of the Euphrates and continued his flight through Colchis.
XXXIII. Pompey invaded Armenia at the invitation of young Tigranes, who had now revolted from his father, and he met Pompey near the river Araxes, which rises in the same parts with the Euphrates, but turns to the east and enters the Caspian Sea. Pompey and Tigranes received the submission of the cities as they advanced: but King Tigranes, who had been lately crushed by Lucullus, and heard that Pompey was of a mild and gentle disposition, admitted a Roman garrison into his palace, and taking with him his friends and kinsmen advanced to surrender himself. As he approached the camp on horseback, two lictors of Pompey came up to him and ordered him to dismount from his horse and to enter on foot: they told him that no man on horseback had ever been seen in a Roman camp. Tigranes obeyed their orders, and taking off his sword presented it to them; and finally, when Pompey came towards him, pulling off his cittaris, he hastened to lay it before his feet, and what was most humiliating of all, to throw himself down at his knees. But Pompey prevented this by laying hold of his right hand and drawing the king towards him; he also seated Tigranes by his side, and his son on the other side, and said that Tigranes ought so far to blame Lucullus only, who had taken from him Syria, Phœnicia, Cilicia, Galatia, and Sophene, but that what he had kept up to that time, he should still have, if he paid as a compensation to the Romans for his wrongful deeds six thousand talents, and his son should be King of Sophene. Tigranes assented to these terms, and being overjoyed by the Romans saluting him as king, he promised to give every soldier half a mina of silver, to a centurion ten minæ, and to a tribune a talent. But his son took this ill, and on being invited to supper he said that he was not in want of Pompey to show such honour as this, for he would find another Roman. In consequence of this he was put in chains and kept for the triumph. No long time after Phraates the Parthian sent to demand the young man, as his son-in-law, and to propose that the Euphrates should be the boundary of the two powers. Pompey replied that Tigranes belonged to his father rather than to his father-in-law, and that as to a boundary he should determine that on the principles of justice.
XXXIV. Leaving Afranius in care of Armenia, Pompey advanced through the nations that dwell about the Caucasus, as of necessity he must do, in pursuit of Mithridates. The greatest of these nations are Albani and Iberians, of whom the Iberians extend to the Moschic mountains and the Pontus, and the Albani extend to the east and the Caspian Sea. The Albani at first allowed a free passage to Pompey at his request; but as winter overtook the Romans in the country and they were occupied with the festival of the Saturnalia, mustering to the number of forty thousand they attacked the Romans, after crossing the Cyrnus river, which rising in the Iberian mountains and receiving the Araxes which comes down from Armenia, empties itself by twelve mouths into the Caspian. Others say that the Araxes does not join this stream, but that it has a separate outlet, though near to the other, into the same sea. Pompey, though he could have opposed the enemy while they were crossing the river, let them cross quietly, and then he attacked and put them to flight and destroyed a great number. As the King begged for pardon, and sent ambassadors, Pompey excused him for the wrong that he had done, and making a treaty with him, advanced against the Iberians, who were as numerous as the Albani and more warlike, and had a strong wish to please Mithridates and to repel Pompey. For the Iberians had never submitted either to the Medes or the Persians, and they had escaped the dominion of the Macedonians also, inasmuch as Alexander soon quitted Hyrkania. However Pompey routed the Iberians also in a great battle, in which nine thousand of them were killed and above ten thousand taken prisoners, and he entered Colchis; and on the Phasis he was met by Servilius with the vessels with which he was guarding the Pontus.
XXXV. The pursuit of Mithridates was attended with great difficulties, as he had plunged among the nations around the Bosporus and the Mæotis; and intelligence reached Pompey that the Albani had again revolted. Moved by passion and desire of revenge, Pompey turned against the Albani. He again crossed the Cyrnus with difficulty and danger, for the river had been fenced off with stakes to a great extent by the barbarians; and as the passage of the river was succeeded by a long waterless and difficult march, he had ten thousand skins filled with water and then advanced against the enemy, whom he found posted on the river Abas to the number of sixty thousand foot and twelve thousand cavalry, but poorly armed, and for the most part only with the skins of beasts. They were commanded by a brother of the king, named Kosis, who, when the two armies had come to close quarters, rushed against Pompey and struck him with a javelin on the fold of his breastplate, but Pompey with his javelin in his hand pierced him through and killed him. In this battle it is said that Amazons also fought on the side of the barbarians, and that they had come down hither from the mountains about the river Thermodon. For after the battle, when the Romans were stripping the barbarians, they found Amazonian shields and boots, but no body of a woman was seen. The Amazons inhabit those parts of the Caucasus which extend towards the Hyrcanian sea, but they do not border on the Albani, for Gelæ and Leges dwell between; and they cohabit with these people every year for two months, meeting them on the river Thermodon, after which they depart and live by themselves.
XXXVI. After the battle Pompey set out to advance to the Hyrkanian and Caspian sea, but he was turned from his route by the number of deadly reptiles, when he was three days' march from it. He retired to the Less Armenia; and he returned a friendly answer to the Kings of the Elymæi and Medes who sent ambassadors, but against the Parthian king who had invaded Gordyene and was plundering the people of Tigranes, he sent Afranius with a force who drove him out and pursued him as far as the territory of Arbela. Of all the concubines of Mithridates who were brought to him, he knew not one, but sent all back to their parents and kin; for the greater part were the daughters and wives of generals and princes. Stratonike, who was in the greatest repute and guarded the richest of the forts, was, it is said, the daughter of a harp-player, who was not rich and was an old man; and she made so sudden a conquest of Mithridates over his wine by her playing, that he kept the woman and went to bed with her, but sent away the old man much annoyed at not having been even civilly spoken to by the king. In the morning, however, when he got up and saw in his house tables loaded with silver and golden cups, and a great train of attendants, with eunuchs and boys bringing to him costly garments, and a horse standing before the door equipped like those that carried the king's friends, thinking that this was all mockery and a joke he made an attempt to escape through the door. But when the slaves laid hold of him and told him that the king had made him a present of the large substance of a rich man who had just died, and that this was but a small foretaste and sample of other valuables and possessions that were to come, after this explanation hardly convinced he took the purple dress, and leaping on the horse rode through the city exclaiming, "All this is mine." To those who laughed at him he said, this was nothing strange, but it was rather strange that he did not pelt with stones those who came in his way, being mad with delight. Of this stock and blood was Stratonike. But she gave up this place to Pompey, and also brought him many presents, of which he took only such as seemed suitable to decorate the temples and add splendour to his triumph, and he told her she was welcome to keep the rest. In like manner when the King of the Iberians sent him a couch and a table and a seat all of gold, and begged him to accept them, he delivered them also to the quæstors for the treasury.
XXXVII. In the fort Kænum Pompey found also private writings of Mithridates, which he read through with some pleasure as they gave him a good opportunity of learning the man's character. They were memoirs, from which it was discovered that he had taken off by poison among many others his son Ariarathes and Alkæus of Sardis because he got the advantage over the King in riding racehorses. There were registered also interpretations of dreams, some of which he had seen himself, and others had been seen by some of his women; and there were lewd letters of Monime to him and his answers to her. Theophanes says that there was also found an address of Rutilius in which he urged the King to the massacre of the Romans in Asia. But most persons with good reason suppose this to be a malicious story of Theophanes, perhaps invented through hatred to Rutilius, who was a man totally unlike himself, or perchance to please Pompey, whose father Rutilius in his historical writings had shown to be a thoroughly unprincipled fellow.
XXXVIII. Thence Pompey went to Amisus, where his ambition led him to reprehensible measures. For though he had abused Lucullus greatly, because while the enemy was still alive, he published edicts for the settlement of the countries and distributed gifts and honours, things which victors are accustomed to do when a war is brought to a close and is ended, he himself, while Mithridates was still ruling in the Bosporus and had got together a force sufficient to enable him to take the field again, just as if everything was finished, began to do the very things that Lucullus had done, settling the provinces, and distributing gifts, many commanders and princes, and twelve barbarous kings having come to him. Accordingly he did not even deign when writing in reply to the Parthian, as other persons did, to address him by the title of King of Kings, and he neglected to do this to please the other kings. He was also seized with a desire and a passion to get possession of Syria and to advance through Arabia to the Erythræan sea, that in his victorious career he might reach the ocean that encompasses the world on all sides; for in Libya he was the first who advanced victoriously as far as the external sea, and again in Iberia he made the Atlantic sea the boundary of the Roman dominion; and thirdly, in his recent pursuit of the Albani he came very near to reaching the Hyrkanian sea. Accordingly he now put his army in motion that he might connect the circuit of his military expeditions with the Erythræan sea; and besides, he saw that Mithridates was difficult to be caught by an armed force, and was a harder enemy to deal with when flying than when fighting.
XXXIX. Wherefore, remarking that he would leave behind him for Mithridates an enemy stronger than himself, famine, he set vessels to keep a guard on the merchants who sailed to the Bosporus; and death was the penalty for those who were caught. Taking the great bulk of his army he advanced on his march, and falling in with the bodies still unburied of those who with Triarius had fought unsuccessfully against Mithridates and fallen in battle, he buried all with splendid ceremonial and due honours. It was the neglect of this which is considered to have been the chief cause of the hatred to Lucullus. After subduing by his legate Afranius the Arabs in the neighbourhood of the Amanus, he descended into Syria, which he made a province and a possession of the Roman people on the ground that it had no legitimate kings; and he subdued Judæa and took King Aristobulus prisoner. He built some cities, and he gave others their liberty and punished the tyrants in them. But he spent most time in judicial business, settling the disputes of cities and kings, and in those cases for which he had no leisure, sending his friends; as for instance to the Armenians and Parthians, who referred to him the decision as to the country in dispute between them, he sent three judges and conciliators. For great was the fame of his power, and no less was the fame of his virtue and mildness; by reason of which he was enabled to veil most of the faults of his friends and intimates, for he did not possess the art of checking or punishing evil doers, but he so behaved towards those who had anything to do with him, that they patiently endured both the extortion and oppression of the others.
XL. The person who had most influence with Pompey was Demetrius, a freedman, a youth not without understanding, but who abused his good fortune. The following story is told of him. Cato the philosopher, who was still a young man, but had a great reputation and already showed a lofty spirit, went up to Antioch, when Pompey was not there, wishing to examine the city. Now Cato, as was his custom, walked on foot, but his friends who were journeying with him were on horseback. Observing before the gate a crowd of men in white vestments, and along the road, on one side the ephebi, and on the other the boys, in separate bodies, he was out of humour, supposing that this was done out of honour and respect to him who wanted nothing of the kind. However he bade his friends dismount and walk with him. As they came near, the man who was arranging and settling all this ceremony, with a crown on his head and a wand in his hand, met them and asked where they had left Demetrius and when he would arrive. Now the friends of Cato fell a-laughing, but Cato exclaimed, "O wretched city," and passed by without making further answer. However Pompey himself made Demetrius less an object of odium to others by submitting to his caprices without complaint. For it is said that frequently when Pompey at entertainments was waiting for and receiving his guests, Demetrius would already have taken his place at the table, reclining with haughty air, and with his vest over his ears hanging down. Before he had returned to Rome, Demetrius had got possession of the most agreeable places in the suburbs, and the finest pleasure-grounds and costly gardens were called Demetrian; and yet up to his third triumph Pompey was lodged in a moderate and simple manner. But afterwards when he was erecting for the Romans that beautiful and far-famed theatre, he built, what may be compared to the small boat that is towed after a big vessel, close by a house more magnificent than he had before; and yet even this was so far from being such a building as to excite any jealousy that the person who became the owner of it after Pompey, was surprised when he entered it, and he asked where Pompey Magnus used to sup. Such is the story about these matters.
XLI. The King of the Arabians in the neighbourhood of Petra hitherto had not troubled himself at all about the Romans, but now being much alarmed he wrote to say that he was ready to submit and to do anything. Pompey wishing to confirm him in this disposition made an expedition against Petra, wherein he did not altogether escape censure from most people. For they considered that this was evading the pursuit of Mithridates, and they urged him to turn against him who was his old antagonist and was fanning his flame and preparing according to report to lead an army through the country of the Scythians and Pæonians against Italy. But Pompey thinking it would be easier to crush the forces of Mithridates in the field than to overtake him when he was flying, did not choose to exhaust himself to no purpose in a pursuit, and he contrived to find other occupations in the interval of the war and he protracted the time. Fortune, however, settled the difficulty; for when he was at no great distance from Petra, and had already pitched his camp for that day and was exercising himself with his horse around the camp, letter-bearers rode up from Pontus with good tidings. This was manifest at once by the points of their spears, for they were wreathed with bay. Pompey at first wished to finish his exercises, but as the men called out and entreated him, he leapt from his horse and taking the letters advanced into the camp. But as there was no tribunal and there had not been time to make even the kind of tribunal that is used in the camp, which they are accustomed to form by digging out large lumps of earth and putting them together upon one another, in their then zeal and eagerness they piled together the loadings of the beasts of burden and raised an elevated place. Pompey ascending this announced to the soldiers, that Mithridates was dead, having put an end to his own life because his son Pharnakes rebelled against him, and Pharnakes had taken possession of everything in those parts, and put all under his own dominion and that of the Romans, as he said in his letter.
XLII. Upon this the soldiers being delighted, as was natural, occupied themselves with sacrifices and entertainments, considering that in the person of Mithridates ten thousand enemies had expired. Pompey having brought his own undertakings and expeditions to a termination, which he had not anticipated could be so easily done, immediately retired from Arabia; and quickly traversing the intermediate provinces he arrived at Amisus, where he found that many presents had been sent by Pharnakes and many corpses of members of the royal family, and the corpse of Mithridates also, which could not well be recognised by the face (for those who had embalmed the body had neglected to destroy the brain); but those who wished to see the body, recognised it by the scars. Pompey himself would not see the body, but fearing divine retribution He was amazed at the dress and armour of Mithridates, both at the size and splendour of what he saw; though the sword belt, which cost four hundred talents, Publius stole and sold to Ariarathes, and the cittaris, a piece of wonderful workmanship, Gaius the foster-brother of Mithridates himself gave to Faustus the son of Sulla who asked for it. Pompey did not know this at the time; but Pharnakes who afterwards discovered it punished the thieves. After Pompey had arranged and settled affairs in those parts, he continued his march with more pomp. On arriving at Mitylene he gave the city its freedom for the sake of Theophanes, and he witnessed the usual contest there among the poets, the sole subject being his own exploits. Being pleased with the theatre he had a sketch taken of it and a plan made, with the intention of making one like it in Rome, but larger and more splendid. When he was in Rhodes, he heard all the sophists and made each a present of a talent. Poseidonius put in writing the discourse which he read before Pompey in opposition to the rhetorician Hermagoras on the doctrine of general invention. In Athens Pompey behaved in like manner to the philosophers, and after giving also to the city fifty talents towards its restoration, he was in hopes to set foot in Italy with a reputation above that of any man and to be received by his family with the same eagerness that he had to see them. But the Dæmon who takes care always to mix some portion of ill with the great and glorious good things which come from Fortune, had long been lurking on the watch and preparing to make his return more painful to him. For during the absence of Pompey his wife Mucia had been incontinent. Indeed while Pompey was at a distance he treated the report with contempt, but when he had come near to Italy, and had examined the charge with more deliberation, as it seems, he sent her notice of divorce, though neither then nor afterwards did he say for what reason he put her away: but the reason is mentioned in Cicero's letters.
XLIII. All kinds of reports about Pompey preceded his arrival at Rome, and there was great alarm, as it was supposed that he would forthwith lead his army against the city and that a monarchy would be firmly established. Crassus taking his sons and his money secretly got away from Rome, whether it was that he really was afraid, or, what is more probable, he wished to give credibility to the calumny and to strengthen the odium against Pompey. As soon, however, as Pompey landed in Italy, he summoned his soldiers to an assembly,and after saying what was suitable to the occasion and expressing his affectionate thanks to them, he bade them disperse among their several cities and each go to his home, remembering to meet again for his triumph. The army being thus dispersed, and the fact being generally known, a wonderful circumstance happened. For the cities seeing Pompey Magnus unarmed and advancing with a few friends, as if he were returning from an ordinary journey, pouring forth through good will and forming an escort brought him into Rome with a larger force, so that if he had designed to make any change and revolution at that time he would not have wanted the army which he had disbanded.
XLIV. As the law did not allow a general to enter the city before his triumph, Pompey sent to the Senate to request they would put off the consular elections and to grant him this favour, that he might in his own person assist Piso in his canvass. As Cato opposed his request, he did not attain his object. But Pompey admiring Cato's boldness of speech and the vigour which he alone openly displayed in behalf of the law, desired in some way or other to gain the man; and as Cato had two nieces, Pompey wished to take one of them to wife and to marry the other to his son. Cato saw his object, which he viewed as a way of corrupting him and in a manner bribing him by a matrimonial alliance; but his sister and wife took it ill that he should reject an alliance with Pompey Magnus. In the mean time Pompey wishing to get Afranius made consul, expended money on his behalf among the tribes, and the voters came down to the gardens of Pompey where they received the money, so that the thing became notorious and Pompey had an ill name for making that office which was the highest of all and which he obtained for his services, venal for those who were unable to attain to it by merit. "These reproaches however," said Cato to the women, "we must take our share of, if we become allied to Pompey." On hearing this the women agreed that he formed a better judgment than themselves as to what was proper.
XLV. Though the triumph was distributed over two days, such was its magnitude that the time was not sufficient, but much of the preparation was excluded from the spectacle, and enough for the splendour and ornament of another procession. The nations over which Pompey triumphed were designated by titles placed in front. The nations were the following, Pontus, Armenia, Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, Media, Colchis, the Iberians, Albani, Syria, Cilicia, Mesopotamia, the parts about Phœnice and Palestine, Judæa, Arabia, and the whole body of pirates by sea and land who had been subdued. Among these nations fortified places not fewer than a thousand were taken, and cities not far short of nine hundred, and eight hundred piratical ships; and cities forty save one were founded. Besides this it was shown on written tablets that 5000 myriads (fifty millions) were the produce of the taxes, while from the additions that he had made to the state they received 8500 myriads (eighty-five millions), and there were brought into the public treasury in coined money and vessels of gold and silver twenty thousand talents, not including what had been given to the soldiers, of whom he who received the least according to his proportion received fifteen hundred drachmæ. The captives who appeared in the procession, besides the chief pirates, were the son of Tigranes the Armenian with his wife and daughter, and Zosime a wife of King Tigranes, and Aristobulus King of the Jews, and a wife and five children of Mithridates, and Scythian women, and also hostages of the Albani and Iberians and of the King of Commagene, and numerous trophies, equal in number to all the battles, which Pompey had won himself or by his legati. But it was the chief thing towards his glory, and what had never happened before to any Roman, that he celebrated his third triumph over the third continent. For though others before him had triumphed three times, Pompey by having gained his first triumph over Libya, his second over Europe, and this the last over Asia, seemed in a manner to have brought the whole world into his three triumphs.
XLVI. At this time Pompey was under four-and-thirty years of age, as those affirm who in all respects compare him with Alexander and force a parallel, but in fact he was near forty. How happy would it have been if he had died at the time up to which he had the fortune of Alexander; but the period that followed brought to him good fortune accompanied with odium, and ill fortune that was past all cure. For the power which he got in the city by fair means, he employed on the behalf of others illegally; and as much strength as he gave to them, so much he took from his own reputation, and so he was overthrown by the strength and magnitude of his own power before he was aware of it. And as the strongest parts and places in cities, when the enemies have got possession of them, give to them their own strength, so Cæsar being raised up through the power of Pompey against the State, overthrew and cast down the man by whose help he became strong against others. And it was brought about thus. Immediately upon Lucullus returning from Asia, where he had been treated with great contumely by Pompey, the Senate gave him a splendid reception, and when Pompey had arrived they urged Lucullus still more to take a part in public affairs, for the purpose of limiting the credit of Pompey. Though Lucullus was in other matters now dull and chilled for all active life, having given himself up to the pleasures of ease and the enjoyment of wealth, yet he forthwith sprang up against Pompey, and by a vigorous attack got a victory over him with respect to the arrangements of Lucullus that he had annulled, and had the advantage in the Senate with the co-operation of Cato. Pompey, defeated and pressed on all sides, was compelled to fly to tribunes and to attach himself to young men, of whom the most scandalous and the most daring, Clodius, took up his cause, but threw him completely under the feet of the people; and by making him inconsistently with his station constantly frequent the Forum and carrying him about, he used him for the purpose of confirming everything that was said or proposed to please and flatter the people. Further, he asked of Pompey for his reward, just as if he were not degrading him but were doing him a service, and he afterwards got what he asked, the betrayal of Cicero, who was a friend of Pompey and had served him in public matters more than any one else. For when Cicero was in danger and prayed for his aid, Pompey would not even see him, but shut the front door upon those who came on Cicero's part and went out by another door. Cicero fearing the trial retired from Rome.
XLVII. At this time Cæsar returned from his government and undertook a political measure, which brought him the greatest popularity for the present and power for the future, but did the greatest damage to Pompey and the State. For he became a candidate for his first consulship; but seeing that while Crassus was at variance with Pompey, if he attached himself to one of them he would have the other for his enemy, he applied himself to effect a reconciliation between them, a thing which in other respects was fair and useful to the State, but was managed by him for a bad reason and with a dexterity full of treacherous design. For the strength which kept the State, just as in the case of a vessel, in a condition of equilibrium and prevented it falling over to this side or that, when brought together and united caused it to incline to one side with an irresistible force that overpowered and beat down everything. Accordingly Cato said that they were mistaken who affirmed that the State was overturned by the quarrel which afterwards broke out between Cæsar and Pompey, for they laid the blame on the last events; for it was not their disunion nor yet their enmity, but their union and concord which was the first and greatest misfortune that befel the State. Cæsar was elected consul, and forthwith he courted the needy and poor by proposing measures for the establishment of cities, and the division of lands, wherein he stepped beyond the proprieties of his office and in a manner made his consulship into a tribunate. When his colleague Bibulus opposed him and Cato was prepared to support Bibulus most vigorously, Cæsar brought forward Pompey on the Rostra, and put the question to him, "If he approved of the proposed laws;" upon Pompey saying that he did, "Will you not then," said Cæsar, "if any one makes resistance to the laws, come forward before the people to maintain them?" "Certainly," said Pompey, "I will come against those who threaten swords, with sword and shield." It was the general opinion that Pompey up to that day had never said or done anything more arrogant, so that even his friends in his defence said that the words had escaped him at the moment. But yet it was clear from what followed that he had completely given himself up to Cæsar to do what he pleased with him: for contrary to all expectation Pompey married Cæsar's daughter Julia, who had been betrothed to Cæpio and was going to be married to him within a few days; and to pacify Cæpio, Pompey gave him his own daughter who was already promised to Faustus the son of Sulla. Cæsar himself married Calpurnia the daughter of Piso.
XLVIII. After this Pompey filled the city with soldiers and managed everything by force. For the soldiers suddenly fell on the consul Bibulus as he was going down to the Forum with Lucullus and Cato, and broke the fasces; and some one bedaubed Bibulus by throwing a basket of ordure over his head, and two of the tribunes who were conducting him were wounded. By these means they cleared the Forum of their opponents and then carried the law about the distribution of lands. The people being taken with this bait were now become tame and ready to support any project of theirs, giving no trouble at all, but silently voting for what was proposed to them. Accordingly the regulations of Pompey as to which he was at variance with Lucullus were confirmed, and Cæsar received Gaul within and without the Alps and the province of Illyricum for five years with four complete legions; and it was settled that the consuls for the next year should be Piso the father-in-law of Cæsar, and Gabinius, who was the most extravagant of the flatterers of Pompey. While this was going on, Bibulus shut himself up in his house and never went out for eight months, the remainder of the period of his consulship, but he sent out counter-edicts full of abuse and charges against both: Cato as if inspired and under divine influence foretold in the Senate what would happen to the city and to Pompey; and Lucullus renouncing public life kept quiet, on the ground that his age disqualified him for political concerns, on which Pompey observed that for an old man luxury was more unsuitable to his age than to mingle in affairs of state. However Pompey himself also was soon rendered inactive through passion for his young wife, with whom he passed the chief part of his time, and lived in the country and his gardens, and he paid no attention to what was going on in the Forum, so that even Clodius, who was then tribune, despised Pompey and engaged in the most daring measures. For after Clodius had ejected Cicero and sent off Cato to Cyprus under colour of giving him a command, and Cæsar was gone to Gaul, and Clodius saw that the people were devoted to him as he was doing everything and framing all his measures to please them, he immediately attempted to repeal some of the regulations of Pompey, and seizing the person of the captive Tigranes he kept him in his own house, and he instituted prosecutions against the friends of Pompey, and so made trial of the power of Pompey by attacking his friends. At last when Pompey came forward upon the occasion of a certain trial, Clodius having with him a body of men filled with insolence and arrogance took his station in a conspicuous place and put to them the following questions: "Who is Imperator unlimited? what man seeks another man? who scratches his head with one finger?" The people like a Chorus trained to chant corresponding parts, while Clodius was shaking his toga, at every question with loud shouts replied, "Pompey."
XLIX. Now this also annoyed Pompey, who was unaccustomed to be abused and had no practice in this kind of warfare; but he was still more vexed when he perceived that the Senate were pleased at the insults offered to him and at his paying the penalty for his treachery to Cicero. But when it happened that they came to blows in the Forum and even proceeded so far as to wound one another, and a slave of Clodius was detected in the crowd stealing through the bystanders up to Pomipeius with a dagger in his hand, Pompey alleging these proceedings as his excuse, and besides that, being afraid of the insolence and abuse of Clodius, came no more into the Forum so long as Clodius was in office, but kept to his house and was planning with his friends how he could pacify the resentment of the Senate and the nobles towards him. However he would not listen to Culleo, who advised him to put away Julia and giving up the friendship of Cæsar to pass over to the Senate, but he followed the advice of those who recommended that Cicero should be restored, who was the greatest enemy of Clodius and most beloved by the Senate. Pompey with a strong party accompanied Cicero's brother who was going to make his entreaty to the people, and after some wounds had been inflicted in the Forum and some persons were killed, they got the advantage over Clodius. Cicero returning to the city in pursuance of a law immediately reconciled Pompey to the Senate, and, by speaking in favour of the law relating to grain, in a manner again made Pompey master of all the land and sea that the Romans possessed. For under his control were placed harbours, places of trade, the disposal of produce, in a word, all the affairs of those who navigated the sea and cultivated the land. But Clodius complained that the law had not been made on account of the scarcity of grain, but that the scarcity of grain was caused in order that the law might be passed, and that Pompey might again fan into a flame and recover his power, which was as it were wasting away through his want of spirit. Others explained this to have been a device of the consul Spinther, whose object was to engage Pompey in a higher official employment, that himself might be sent out to support king Ptolemæus. However Canidius the tribune proposed a measure to the effect that Pompey without an army and with two lictors should go to bring about a reconciliation between the Alexandrians and the king. And indeed it was supposed that Pompey was not displeased at the measure, but the Senate rejected it on the specious pretext that they feared for the safety of Pompey. There were writings to be found scattered about the Forum and near the Senate-house, to the effect that Ptolemæus wished Pompey to be given to him as general instead of Spinther. And Timagenes says that Ptolemæus without any reason and without necessity had quitted Egypt and left it at the advice of Theophanes who was planning profitable occupation for Pompey and a subject for a fresh command. But the villainy of Theophanes does not make this so probable, as the character of Pompey makes it improbable, for he had no ambition of so mean and illiberal a kind.
L. Pompey being appointed to look after the management and the supply of corn, sent his deputies and friends to many places, and he himself sailed to Sicily and Sardinia and Libya and collected grain. When he was about to set sail, there was a violent wind on the sea, and the masters of the ships were unwilling to put out, but Pompey embarking first and bidding them raise the anchor, cried, "It is necessary to sail; there is no necessity to live." By such boldness and zeal, and the help of good fortune, Pompey filled the markets with grain and the sea with ships, so that the superfluity of what he got together sufficed even for those who were without, and there was as from a spring an abundant overflowing for all.
LI. During this time the Celtic wars raised Cæsar to great distinction; and though he was considered to be a very long way from Rome, and to be occupied with Belgæ and Suevi and Britanni, he contrived, by his skilful management, without being perceived, in the midst of the popular assemblies, and in the most important matters, to frustrate the political measures of Pompey. For Cæsar's military force was like a body that invested him, and he was training it to toil, and making it invincible and formidable, not to oppose the barbarians, but he was disciplining his men in these contests just as if it were merely hunting wild beasts and pursuing them with dogs; and in the meantime he was sending to Rome gold and silver, and the rest of the spoil and wealth which he got in abundance from so many enemies, and by tempting people there with gifts, and assisting ædiles in their expenses, and generals and consuls and their wives, he was gaining over many of them; so that when he had crossed the Alps and was wintering in Luca, there was a great crowd of men and women who vied with one another in their eagerness to visit him, besides two hundred of the Senatorian class, among whom were Pompey and Crassus; and one hundred and twenty fasces of proconsuls and prætors were seen at Cæsar's doors. Now, after filling all the rest with hopes and money, he sent them off; but a compact was made between him and Crassus and Pompey, that they should be candidates for the consulship, and that Cæsar should help them by sending many of his soldiers to vote, and that as soon as they were elected, they should secure for themselves the command of provinces and armies, and should confirm Cæsar's provinces to him for another five years. Upon this being publicly known, the first men in the State were displeased, and Marcellinus coming forward before the popular assembly, asked both Crassus and Pompey to their faces, if they would be candidates for the consulship. The assembly bade them give him an answer, on which Pompey spoke first, and said, that perhaps he should and perhaps he should not. Crassus replied in a manner more befitting a citizen, for he said that he would act either way, as he should think it best for the common weal. But when Marcellinus stuck close to Pompey, and was considered to be speaking in violent terms, Pompey said that Marcellinus, of all men, showed the least regard to fair dealing, because he was not grateful to him in that he was the means of Marcellinus becoming eloquent, though he was formerly mute, and of now being so full as to vomit, though formerly he was starving of hunger.
LII. However, though everybody else declined to become candidates for the consulship, Cato persuaded Lucius Domitius, and encouraged him not to give up, for he said the contest with the tyrants was not for power, but for liberty. But Pompey and his partisans fearing the vigour of Cato, and lest, as he had all the Senate on his side, he should draw away and change the minds of the sounder part of the people, would not allow Domitius to come down into the Forum, but they sent armed men and killed the linkbearer, who was advancing in front, and put the rest to flight. Cato was the last to retreat, after being wounded in the right arm while he was fighting in front of Domitius. By such means they attained the consulship, nor did they conduct themselves in it with more decency. First of all, while the people were electing Cato prætor and giving their votes, Pompey broke up the assembly, alleging that the omens were not favourable; and they had Vatinius proclaimed in place of Cato by bribing the tribes. In the next place they introduced measures by means of Trebonius, which gave to Cæsar, pursuant to the agreement, a second five years, to Crassus Syria and the Parthian expedition, but to Pompey all Libya, and both the provinces of Iberia and four legions, of which he lent two to Cæsar at his request for the war in Gaul. Now Crassus went out to his province, after giving up his consular functions; and Pompey opened his theatre, and gave gymnastic and musical contests at the dedication of it, and fights of wild beasts, in which five hundred lions were killed; and at the end he exhibited an elephant-fight, a most astonishing spectacle.
LIII. For all this Pompey got admiration and love; but on the other hand he brought on himself no less odium by giving up the forces and the provinces to legati who were his friends, while himself in the places of amusement in Italy going about from one to another spent his time with his wife, either because he loved her, or because he could not bear to leave his wife who was attached to him; for this also is said. And the love of the young woman for her husband was much talked about, for her affection towards Pompey was not what might have been expected considering his age; but the reason appears to have been the chaste conduct of her husband who knew only his married wife, and the dignity of his manners which were not austere but agreeable and particularly attractive to women, if we must not disbelieve the testimony even of Flora the courtezan. It happened that at the election of ædiles some men came to blows and no small number were killed near Pompey, and as his garments were drenched with blood, he changed them. There was great confusion and hurrying to the house of the slaves who were carrying the vests; and it happened that Julia, who was with child, saw the bloody toga, upon which she fainted and with difficulty recovered, and in consequence of that alarm and the excitement, she miscarried. Even those who found most fault with the alliance of Cæsar and Pompey, could not blame the woman for her affection. She became pregnant a second time and brought forth a female child, but she died of the pains of labour and the child did not survive her many days. Pompey made preparations to bury her in his Alban villa, but the people by force took the body and carried it down into the Field of Mars, more from pity for the young woman than to please Pompey and Cæsar. But of the two, it was considered that the people gave a larger portion of the honour to Cæsar who was absent than to Pompey who was present. But in the city the waves forthwith began to move and everything was tossed to and fro, and was the subject of conversation tending to a complete split, now that the marriage connection was ended which hitherto rather veiled than checked the ambition of the two men. After no long time news also arrived that Crassus had lost his life among the Parthians; and that which had been a great hindrance to the civil war breaking out was now removed, for both Cæsar and Pompey feared Crassus, and accordingly to some extent confined themselves within limits in their behaviour towards one another. But when fortune had cut off the man who was keeping a watch over the struggle, forthwith the words of the comic poet became applicable:
Now each against the other smears his limbs,
And strews his hands with dust
So small a thing is fortune in comparison with men's nature. For fortune cannot satisfy men's desires, since so great an amount of command and extent of wide-stretched territory put no check on the desires of two men, but though they heard and read that "all things were divided into three portions for the gods and each got his share of dominion," they thought the Roman empire was not enough for them who were only two.
LIV. Yet Pompey once said when he was addressing the people, that he had obtained every office sooner than he expected, and laid it down sooner than was expected. And in truth he had the disbandings of his forces a perpetual testimony of the truth of what he said. But now being convinced that Cæsar would not give up his power, he sought by means of the functionaries of the state to strengthen himself against him, but he attempted no change of any kind and did not wish to be considered to distrust Cæsar, but to disregard him rather and to despise him. However when he saw that the officers were not disposed of according to his judgment, the citizens being bribed, he allowed anarchy to spring up in the state; and forthwith there was much talk about a dictator, whom Lucilius the tribune first ventured to mention by advising the people to choose Pompey dictator. Cato attacked him for this, and Lucilius ran the risk of losing his tribunate, and many of the friends of Pompey came forward to exculpate him and said that he did not seek that office or wish for it. Upon this Cato commended Pompey and exhorted him to turn his attention to the establishment of order, and Pompey then out of shame did turn his attention to it, and Domitius and Messala were made consuls; but afterwards there was again anarchy, and a greater number of persons now began to agitate the question of a dictator more boldly, and Cato and his partisans fearing that they should be forced to yield, determined to let Pompey have a certain legalized authority for the purpose of diverting him from that pure tyrannical office. Bibulus, who was an enemy of Pompey, was the first to propose in the Senate to choose Pompey sole consul and he said that the city would thus either be relieved from the present disorder, or they would be slaves to the best man among them. This opinion appeared strange from such a person, when Cato rising for the purpose as it was expected of speaking against Bibulus, as soon as there was silence, said that for his part he would not have introduced the proposed measure, but as it was introduced by another he advised that it should be adopted, for he preferred any government to no government, and he thought that nobody would administer affairs better than Pompey at a time of such disorder. The Senate accepted the proposal and passed a decree that Pompey if elected should be solo consul, and that if he wanted a colleague, he might choose any person whom he approved of, but not before two months had elapsed; and Pompey being made consul on these terms and declared by Sulpicius the Interrex, addressed Cato in a friendly manner, admitting his great obligations to him and urging him to give him his advice as a private man in the discharge of his office. But Cato would not admit that Pompey was under any obligations to him, for he had said nothing that he did say out of regard to him, but out of regard to the state: he added that he would give him his advice if he were privately applied to; and if Pompey did not invite him, he would publicly tell him his opinion. Such was Cato in everything.
LV. After entering the city, Pompey married Cornelia, a daughter of Metellus Scipio, who was not a virgin, but had lately been left a widow by Publius, the son of Crassus, who had lost his life among the Parthians, and whose virgin bride she was. The young woman possessed many charms besides her youthful beauty, for she was well instructed in letters, in playing on the lyre, and in geometry, and she had been accustomed to listen to philosophical discourses with profit. In addition to this she had a disposition free from all affectation and pedantic display, faults which such acquirements generally breed in women: her father also, both in respect to family and reputation, was above all imputation. Still the marriage did not please some people on account of the disparity of years; for the youth of Cornelia made her a fitter match for a son of Pompey. But those who were more judicious considered that Pompey had overlooked the state, which was in an unfortunate condition, to cure which the state had selected him for her physician, and put herself solely in his hands; and he was wearing chaplets and celebrating a marriage, when he ought to have considered his consulship a calamity, as it would not have been conferred on him so contrary to all constitutional practice, if his country were in a prosperous condition. However, he presided at the trials for corruption and bribery, and drew up laws, pursuant to which the trials were conducted, and with the exception presently to be mentioned, he conducted all the proceedings with dignity and fairness, and he secured to the courts safety, order, and quiet, by taking his own place there with armed men; but when his father-in-law Scipio was under trial, he sent for the three hundred and sixty judices to his house and obtained their support for him, and the accuser gave up the prosecution when he saw Scipio conducted from the Forum by the judices. This brought Pompey again into bad report, which was still further increased when he came forward to speak in praise of Plancus, though he had by special law put an end to encomiums on persons under trial. Cato, who happened to be one of the judices, stopped his ears with his hands, saying it was not right in him to listen to the encomiums which were contrary to law. In consequence of this Cato was rejected before the votes were given, but Plancus was convicted by the votes of the rest and to the shame of Pompey. Now, a few days after, Hypsæus, a consular man, who was under prosecution, watched for Pompey as he was going to sup after taking the bath, and clasping his knees, suppliantly entreated him; but Pompey passed by contemptuously, saying that Hypsæus was spoiling his supper, and doing nothing more. By showing himself thus partial he got blame. However, in every other respect he established good order, and took his father-in-law as his colleague for the remaining five months. A decree also was made that he should hold the provinces for another four years, and should receive yearly a thousand talents, out of which he was to feed and maintain his troops.
LVI. Cæsar's friends taking advantage of this, claimed some notice for Cæsar also, who was fighting so many battles for the supremacy of Rome; they said that he deserved either another consulship, or to have a fresh period added to his command, during which no other should supersede him and carry off the glory due to his labours, but that he who had accomplished those things should hold the command and quietly enjoy the honour. A debate arose on those subjects, on which Pompey, affecting to deprecate the odium against Cæsar out of regard to him, said that he had letters of Cæsar, who was willing to have a successor and to be relieved from service, but still Cæsar thought it fair that he should be allowed to be a candidate for the consulship though he was not at Rome. To this Cato made opposition, and said that Cæsar ought to become a private person and lay down his arms, and then get any favour that he could from the citizens; and when Pompey did not prosecute the debate, but submitted as if he were worsted, his real opinions about Cæsar became more suspected. He also sent to Cæsar and demanded back the troops which he had lent him, pretending that he wanted them for the Parthian war. But Cæsar, though he knew why he was required to give up the troops, sent them back after handsomely rewarding them.
LVII. After this Pompey had a dangerous illness at Neapolis, from which he recovered. Upon the suggestion of Praxagoras, the people of Neapolis offered sacrifices for his restoration to health. The neighbouring people followed their example, and the thing thus going the round of Italy, every city, small and great, celebrated a festival for several days. No place was large enough to contain the people, who flocked together from all parts, but the roads were filled and the villages and ports with the people rejoicing and sacrificing. Many persons also with chaplets on their heads and lighted torches received Pompey, and accompanied him throwing flowers over him, so that his journey and progress was a most beautiful sight and very splendid. However, it is said that this circumstance contributed to bring about the war as much as anything else. For an arrogant feeling entered the mind of Pompey, and, with the greatness of the rejoicing, carried off all reflection on the present state of affairs; and throwing away the caution which had always secured his good fortune and his measures, he fell into a state of such unmingled confidence and contempt of Cæsar's power, as to suppose that he would require neither arms to oppose him nor any troublesome preparation, but that he could put him down much easier than he had raised him. Besides this, Appius came from Gaul with the troops which Pompey had lent to Cæsar; and he greatly disparaged Cæsar's exploits there, and uttered much abuse against Cæsar; and he said that Pompey did not know his own power and reputation, if he intended to strengthen himself against Cæsar by other troops, for that he could put down Cæsar with Cæsar's own troops, as soon as he made his appearance; so great, as he said, was their hatred of Cæsar and their affection towards Pompey. Accordingly Pompey was so much elated, and through his confidence filled with such contempt, that he even ridiculed those who were afraid of the war; and to those who said that, if Cæsar advanced against the city, they saw no troops sufficient to repulse him, with smiling countenance and tranquil mien he bade them give themselves no trouble about that, "for in whatever part of Italy," he said, "I stamp the earth with my foot, there will spring up forces both men and horse."
LVIII. And now Cæsar also stuck to public affairs more vigorously, himself keeping at no great distance from Italy, and continually sending his soldiers to the city to attend the elections, and with money insinuating himself into the favour of many of the magistrates and corrupting them; among whom was Paulus the consul who changed sides for fifteen hundred talents, and Curio the tribune who was released by Cæsar from countless debts, and Marcus Antonius who through friendship for Curio was involved in his obligations. Now it was said that one of the centurions who had come from Cæsar, while standing near the Senate-house and hearing that the Senate were refusing to allow Cæsar a prolongation of his term of government, said as he struck his hand on his sword, "But this will give it." And all that was doing and preparing had this design in view. Yet the claims and reasons urged by Curio in favour of Cæsar were of a more constitutional character. For he asked one of two things, either that they should require Pompey also to give up his force, or they should not take Cæsar's troops from him: he said, "Whether they become private persons on fair terms or continued a match for one another by each keeping what he had, they would remain quiet; but he who proposed to weaken one of them would double the power which he feared." Upon this Marcellus the consul called Cæsar a robber, and urged the Senate to vote him an enemy, if he should not lay down his arms. Yet Curio with the assistance of Antonius and Piso, prevailed so far as to have it put to a regular vote. Accordingly he proposed that those senators should move off to one side who were in favour of Cæsar alone laying down his arms and Pompey remaining in command; and the majority went over to that side. Again, upon his proposing that all should withdraw who were of opinion that both should lay down their arms and that neither should hold a command, only two-and-twenty were in favour of Pompey, and all the rest were on the side of Curio. Curio considering that he had gained his point, rushed forth to the people exulting with delight, and the people received him with clapping of hands and threw on him chaplets and flowers. Pompey was not in the Senate, for those who are in command of an army do not enter the city. But Marcellus rose up and said that he would not sit still to listen to words, but that as he spied ten legions already appearing in sight above the Alps and on their march, he also would dispatch a man to oppose them and to defend their country.
LIX. Upon this they changed their garments as was usual in a public calamity. Marcellus advanced to Pompey through the Forum with the Senate following him, and standing in front of him said, "I bid you, Pompey, defend your country and employ the forces that are in readiness and raise others." Lentulus also said the same, who was one of the consuls elect for the coming year. But when Pompey began to raise recruits, some refused and a few came together tardily and without any readiness, but the greater part cried out that some terms should be come to. For Antonius in spite of the Senate had read a letter of Cæsar to the people which contained proposals likely to conciliate the mass; for Cæsar proposed that both he and Pompey should give up their provinces and dismiss their troops, and so put themselves in the hande of the people and render an account of what they had done. Lentulus who was now consul would not assemble the Senate; but Cicero who had just returned from Cilicia attempted an amicable settlement on the terms, that Cæsar should quit Gaul and give up all his army except two legions with which he should hold Illyricum and wait for his second consulship. As Pompey was dissatisfied with this, the friends of Cæsar so far yielded as to agree that Cæsar should dismiss one of these two legions; but as Lentulus made opposition and Cato called out that Pompey was blundering again if he allowed himself to be deceived, the attempt at a settlement came to no conclusion.
LX. In the mean time intelligence arrived that Cæsar had taken Ariminum, a large city of Italy, and was marching straight upon Rome with all his force. But this was false; for he was advancing with only three hundred horsemen and five thousand legionary soldiers, and he did not wait for the rest of his force which was beyond the Alps, choosing to fall upon his enemies when they were in confusion and did not expect him, rather than to give them time to prepare to fight with him. Upon reaching the river Rubico, which was the boundary of his province, he stood in silence and lingered, reflecting, as we may presume, on the magnitude of the risk. Then, like those who throw themselves into a huge abyss from a precipice, closing the eyes of calculation and wrapping himself up to meet the danger, he called out in Greek to those who were present these words only, "Let the die be cast," and took his army over. As soon as the report reached Rome, and tumult and fear, such as were never known before, together with consternation filled the city, the Senate immediately hurried in a body to visit Pompey, and the magistrates with them; but upon Tullus asking about an army and force, and Pompey after some delay saying in a tone of no great confidence, that he had the men in readiness who had come from Cæsar, and he thought he should soon be able to get together those who had been before enrolled to the number of thirty thousand, Tullus cried aloud, "You have deceived us, Pompey," and he advised to send commissioners to Cæsar. One Favonius, in other respects no bad man, but who with his self-will and insolence often supposed that he was imitating the bold language of Cato, bade Pompey strike the ground with his foot and call up the troops which he promised. Pompey mildly submitted to this ill-timed sarcasm; and when Cato reminded him of what he had originally predicted to him about Cæsar, Pompey replied that what Cato had said was in truth more prophetic, but what he had done was of a more friendly character.
LXI. Cato advised that Pompey should be appointed general Imperator, adding, that it was the business of those who caused great mischief to put an end to it. Cato immediately left the city for Sicily, for he had obtained that island as his province; and of the rest each went to the province which had been assigned to him by lot. But as nearly all Italy was in commotion, the events that happened caused much perplexity; for those who were out of Rome hurried from all parts and crowded into the city, and the inhabitants of Rome hastened to leave the city, which in such tempest and confusion was weak in available means, but strong in insubordination and the difficulty that it caused to the magistrates. For it was not possible to allay the fear, nor did any one allow Pompey to follow his own judgment, but in whatever way a man was affected, whether by fear, grief or perplexity, he carried it to Pompey and filled him with it; and opposite measures prevailed in the same day, and it was impossible for Pompey to get any true intelligence about the enemy, because there were many who reported anything that they chanced to hear, and were vexed if he did not believe them. Under these circumstances after declaring by an edict that he saw nothing but confusion, and bidding all the senators follow him, and giving notice that he should consider all who stayed behind as partisans of Cæsar, he left the city late in the evening; and the consuls fled without even making the sacrifices which were usual before wars. But even in the midst of danger Pompey was fortunate in the general affection of the people, for though many blamed the generalship, there was not one who hated the general, but one might have found that those who were not willing to leave Pompey were more numerous than those who left the city for the cause of liberty.
LXII. A few davs after, Cæsar entered and took possession of Rome. He behaved with moderation to all and pacified everybody, except Metellus one of the tribunes who attempted to hinder him from taking money out of the treasury, on which Cæsar threatened him with death and added to his threat still harsher words, for he said, That to say this was harder for him than to do it. Having thus put Metellus to flight and taken what he wanted, Cæsar pursued Pompey, being anxious to drive him out of Italy before his troops from Iberia arrived. Pompey who had got possession of Brundisium and had plenty of ships, immediately put on board the consuls and with them thirty cohorts and sent them over before him to Dyrrachium: Scipio his father-in-law and his own son Cneius he sent to Syria to get a fleet ready. After barricading the gates and placing on the walls the soldiers who were most lightly armed, he ordered the people of Brundisium to keep quiet in their houses, and he then broke up all the ground in the city and intersected it with ditches, and filled up all the streets with stakes except two through which he went down to the sea. On the third day he had already embarked at his leisure all the troops with the exception of those who were guarding the walls, to whom he suddenly gave a signal, upon which they all ran down quickly and being taken on board got out to sea. When Cæsar saw the walls deserted, he concluded that the enemy were making off, and in his pursuit of them he narrowly escaped getting involved among the stakes and trenches; but as the people of Brundisium gave him warning, he avoided the city and, making a circuit round it, he found that all had got under sail, except two vessels which contained only a few soldiers.
LXIII. Now everybody else reckons the sailing away of Pompey among the best military stratagems, but Cæsar wondered that Pompey, who was in possession of a strong city and was expecting his troops from Iberia and was master of the sea, should desert and abandon Italy. Cicero also blames Pompey for imitating the generalship of Themistokles rather than that of Perikles, the circumstances being like those of Perikles and not those of Themistokles. And Cæsar showed by what he did that he was greatly afraid of time: for when he had taken prisoner Numerius, a friend of Pompey, he sent him to Brundisium with instructions to bring about a reconciliation on fair terms; but Numerius sailed off with Pompey. Upon this Cæsar, who in sixty days had become master of Italy without shedding any blood, was desirous of pursuing Pompey immediately, but as he had no vessels, he turned about and marched to Iberia with the design of gaining over the troops there.
LXIV. During this time Pompey got together a great force: his naval power was completely irresistible, for the fighting ships were five hundred, and the number of Liburnian vessels and other small craft was immense; the cavalry, the flower of the Romans and Italians, was seven thousand, distinguished by family, and wealth and courage; his infantry, which was a mixed body and required discipline, he exercised in Berœa, not sitting still lazily, but practising himself in gymnastic exercises as if he were still in the vigour of his age. And it was a great motive to confidence, when men saw Pompey Magnus, who was now sixty years of age save two, exercising himself among the infantry under arms, then mounting his horse and drawing his sword without any trouble while his horse was galloping and easily sheathing it again; and in the throwing of his spear showing not only an exactness of aim, but a strength of arm in the distance to which he sent it, which many of the young men could not surpass. Both kings of nations and governors came to him; and of the men of rank about him from Rome there were sufficient to make up a complete Senate. who left Cæsar though he had been his friend and had served with him in Gaul; and Brutus, son of the Brutus who was put to death in Gaul, a man of noble spirit who had never yet spoken to Pompey or saluted him because Pompey had put his father to death, but now he took service under him as the liberator of Rome. Cicero, though he had both in his writings and his speeches in the Senate recommended other measures, was ashamed not to join those who were fighting in defence of their country. There came also to Macedonia Tidius Sextius, a man of extreme old age, lame of one leg; and while others were laughing and jeering, Pompey on seeing him rose up and ran to meet him, for he considered it a great testimony for men of advanced age and feeble strength to choose danger with him in preference to safety.
LXV. A Senate being formed, upon the proposition of Cato they came to a resolution to put no Roman to death except in battle, and not to plunder any city that was subject to the Romans, which increased still further the popularity of the party of Pompey; for those who were unconcerned about the war by reason of being far removed from it or who were disregarded on account of their weakness, gave Pompey the benefit of their good wishes at least, and as far as words could go contended on his behalf in favour of the right, considering every man an enemy to gods and to men who did not wish Pompey to be victorious. Cæsar also showed much moderation in his success, for after he had captured and defeated the forces of Pompey in Iberia, he let the generals go and employed the troops. After crossing the Alps again and hurrying through Italy, he arrived at Brundisium about the winter solstice. He then crossed the sea and putting in at Oricum sent Jubius, a friend of Pompey, who was his prisoner, to Pompey to propose that they should both meet together on the third day, disband all their forces, and after being reconciled and confirming their union by oath, return to Italy. Pompey again considered this to be an ambuscade, and hastily going down to the sea he took possession of the posts and places which presented very strong positions for an army; he also seized the naval stations and landing places which were favourable for those who came by sea, so that every wind which blew brought to Pompey corn or troops or money; but Cæsar being confined in straits both on the sea and land side was of necessity glad to fight, and he attacked the lines of Pompey and continually provoked him to battle, in which Cæsar had generally the advantage and the superiority in the skirmishing. But on one occasion he narrowly escaped being completely crushed and losing his army, for Pompey fought with great courage and routed all the enemy, who lost two thousand men; but he was either unable or was afraid to force his way into Cæsar's camp and to enter with the fugitives, which made Cæsar say to his friends, "To-day the victory would have been with the enemy, if they had had a commander who knew how to conquer."
LXVI. The partisans of Pompey being greatly elated at this success were eager to have a decisive battle. Pompey wrote to the distant kings and generals and cities to inform them that he was victorious, but he feared the risk of a battle, thinking that by delay and reducing the enemy to straits he should finally vanquish men who were invincible in arms and had long been accustomed to conquer together, but as to the other military duties, and marches, and change of position, and digging of trenches and building of walls, were not efficient by reason of age and on this account were eager to come to close fighting and to engage hand to hand. However, previous to the last contest Pompey had been able in some degree to draw his men from their purpose by persuading them to keep quiet; but when Cæsar after the battle was compelled by want of provisions to break up his camp, and began his march into Thessaly through the country of the Athamanes, the confidence of the soldiers of Pompey could no longer be kept in check, and calling out that Cæsar was flying, some were for following and pursuing him, and others for crossing over into Italy, and others were sending to Rome their slaves and friends to get possession of houses near the Forum, with the intention of forthwith becoming candidates for office. Many of their own accord sailed to Cornelia who was in Lesbos bearing the good tidings of the war being at an end; for Pompey had sent her there out of the way of danger. The Senate being assembled, Afranius gave his opinion that they should stick to Italy, for Italy was the chief prize of the war, and would bring to those who were masters of it the possession of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Iberia, and all Gaul; and as to that which was the greatest concern to Pompey, his native country who was stretching out her hands only at a short distance from them, it was not honourable to leave her to be insulted and enslaved by slaves and flatterers of tyrants. But Pompey did not consider it to be consistent with his reputation to run away from Cæsar a second time and to be pursued, when fortune gave him the opportunity of being the pursuer, nor did he think it consistent with his duty to desert Scipio and the consular men in Hellas and Thessaly who would immediately fall into Cæsar's hands with their military chests and large forces; he thought also that Rome was best cared for by fighting in her defence as far from her as possible, that she might wait for the conqueror without feeling or hearing of any misfortunes.
LXVII. Having come to this decision, Pompey pursued Cæsar, resolved to avoid a battle, but by following close up to hem him in and wear him out by privation. He had other reasons for thinking this to be the best plan, and it also reached his ears that it was a subject of common conversation among the cavalry that they ought to defeat Cæsar as soon as they could and then put down Pompey also. Some say that this was also the reason why Pompey employed Cato in no matter of importance, but even when he was marching against Cæsar left him on the coast to look after the stores, through fear that if Cæsar were destroyed, Cato might forthwith compel him also to lay down his command. Accordingly as he followed the enemy leisurely he was much censured and there was a clamour against him, that his object was not to defeat Cæsar by his generalship, but his native country and the Senate, that he might always keep the command and never give over having as his attendants and guards those who considered themselves the masters of the world. Domitius Ahenobarbus also by always calling him Agamemnon and King of Kings made him odious. Favonius too made himself no less disagreeable by his scoffing manner than others by the unseasonable freedom of their language, calling out, "Men, we shall not eat figs in Tusculum even this year!" Lucius Afranius who had lost his forces in Iberia and on that account had fallen under the imputation of treachery, now seeing that Pompey avoided a battle, said he was surprised that those who accused him did not advance and fight against the trafficker in provinces. By these and like expressions often repeated they at last prevailed over Pompey, a man who was a slave to public fame and the opinion of his friends, and drew him on to follow their own hopes and impetuosity and to give up the best considered plans, a thing which would have been unbefitting even in the master of a vessel, to say nothing of the commander-in-chief of so many nations and forces. Pompey approved of the physician who never gratifies the desires of his patients, and yet he yielded to military advisers who were in a diseased state, through fear of offending if he adopted healing measures. And how can one say those men were in a healthy state, some of whom were going about among the troops and already canvassing for consulships and prætorships, and Spinther and Domitius and Scipio were disputing and quarrelling about the priesthood of Cæsar and canvassing, just as if Tigranes the Armenian were encamped by them or the King of the Nabathæans, and not that Cæsar and that force with which he had taken a thousand cities by storm, and subdued above three hundred nations, and had fought with Germans and Gauls unvanquished in more battles than could be counted, and had taken a hundred times ten thousand prisoners, and had slaughtered as many after routing them in pitched battles.
LXVIII. However, by importunity and agitation, after the army had descended into the plain of Pharsalus, they compelled Pompey to hold a council of war, in which Labienus, who was commander of the cavalry, got up first, and swore that he would not leave the battle till he had routed the enemy; and they all swore to the same effect. In the night Pompey dreamed that as he was entering the theatre, the people clapped, and that he was decorating a temple of Venus the Victorious with many spoils. And in some respects he was encouraged, but in others rather depressed by the dream, lest fame and glory should accrue from him to the race of Cæsar, which traced its descent from Venus; and certain panic alarms which were rushing through the camp aroused him. In the morning-watch a bright light shone forth above the camp of Cæsar, which was in a state of profound tranquillity, and a flame-like torch springing from this light descended upon the camp of Pompey; and Cæsar himself says that he witnessed this as he was visiting the watches. At daybreak, as Cæsar was going to move to Scotussa, and the soldiers were engaged in taking down the tents and sending forward the beasts and camp-followers, the scouts came with intelligence that they spied many arms in the enemy's encampment moving backwards and forwards, and that there was a movement and noise as of men coming out to battle. After them others came announcing that the vanguard was already putting itself in battle order. Upon this, Cæsar observing that the expected day had arrived on which they would have to fight against men, and not against hunger and poverty, quickly gave orders to hang out in front of his tent the purple colours, which is the signal for battle among the Romans. The soldiers at the sight of it left their tents with loud shouts and rejoicing and hurried to arms; as the centurions led them to their several ranks, every man, just as if he belonged to a chorus, without confusion, being well trained, quietly took his place.
LXIX. Pompey commanded the right wing, intending to oppose Antonius; in the centre he placed his father-in-law Scipio against Calvinus Lucius; and the left was commanded by Lucius Domitius, and strengthened with the main body of the cavalry. For nearly all the horsemen had crowded to that point, with the design of overpowering Cæsar and cutting to pieces the tenth legion, which had a very great reputation for courage, and Cæsar was accustomed to take his station in this legion when he fought a battle. But Cæsar, observing that the enemy's left wing was strengthened by so large a body of cavalry, and fearing their brilliant equipment, summoned six cohorts from the reserve, and placed them in the rear of the tenth legion, with orders to keep quiet and not let the enemy see them; but as soon as the cavalry advanced, they had orders to run forwards through the first ranks, and not to throw their javelins, as the bravest soldiers are used to do in their eagerness to get to fighting with the sword, but to push upwards and to wound the eyes and faces of the enemy, for those handsome, blooming pyrrichists would not keep their ground for fear of their beauty being spoiled, nor would they venture to look at the iron that was pushed right into their faces. Now Cæsar was thus employed. But Pompey, who was examining the order of battle from his horse, observing that the enemy were quietly awaiting in their ranks the moment of attack, and the greater part of his own army was not still, but was in wavelike motion through want of experience and in confusion, was alarmed lest his troops should be completely separated at the beginning of the battle, and he commanded the front ranks to stand with their spears presented, and keeping their ground in compact order to receive the enemy's attack. But Cæsar finds fault with this generalship of Pompey; for he says that he thus weakened the force of the blows which a rapid assault produces; and the rush to meet the advancing ranks, which more than anything else fills the mass of the soldiers with enthusiasm and impetuosity in closing with the enemy, and combined with the shouts and running increases the courage—Pompey, by depriving his men of this, fixed them to the ground and damped them. On Cæsar's side the numbers were twenty-two thousand; on the side of Pompey the numbers were somewhat more than double.
LXX. And now, when the signal was given on both sides, and the trumpet was beginning to urge them on to the conflict, every man of this great mass was busy in looking after himself; but a few of the Romans, the best, and some Greeks who were present, and not engaged in the battle, as the conflict drew near, began to reflect to what a condition ambition and rivalry had brought the Roman State. For kindred arms and brotherly battalions and common standards, and the manhood and the might of a single state in such numbers, were closing in battle, self-matched against self, an example of the blindness of human nature and its madness, under the influence of passion. For if they had now been satisfied quietly to govern and enjoy what they had got, there was the largest and the best portion of the earth and of the sea subject to them; and if they still wished to gratify their love of trophies and of triumphs, and their thirst for them, they might have their fill of Parthian or German wars. Scythia, too, and the Indians were a labour in reserve, and ambition had a reasonable pretext for such undertaking, the civilization of barbaric nations. And what Scythian horse, or Parthian arrows, or Indian wealth could have checked seventy thousand Romans advancing in arms under Pompey and Cæsar, whose name these nations heard of long before they heard of the name of Rome? Such unsociable, and various, and savage nations had they invaded and conquered. But now they engaged with one another in battle, without even feeling any compunction about their own glory, for which they spared not their native country, up to this day having always borne the name of invincible. For the relationship that had been made between them, and the charms of Julia, and that marriage, were from the very first only deceitful and suspected pledges of an alliance formed from interested motives, in which there was not a particle of true friendship.
LXXI. Now when the plain of Pharsalus was filled with men and horses and arms, and the signal for battle was raised on both sides, the first to spring forward from the line of Cæsar was Caius Crassianus a centurion who had the command of one hundred and twenty men, and was now fulfilling a great promise to Cæsar. For as Cæsar observed him to be the first that was quitting the camp, he spoke to him and asked what he thought of the battle; and Crassianus stretching out his right hand replied with a loud voice, "You shall have a splendid victory, Cæsar; and as to me, you shall praise me whether I survive the day or die." Remembering what he had said, he rushed forward and carrying many along with him fell on the centre of the enemy. The struggle was forthwith with the sword and many fell; but while Crassianus was pushing forwards and cutting down those who were in the front ranks, a soldier made a stand against him and drove his sword through his mouth so that the point came out at the back of the neck. When Crassianus had fallen, the battle was equally contested in this part of the field. Now Pompey did not quickly lead on the right wing, but was looking at the opposite wing and lost time in waiting for the cavalry to get into action. The cavalry were now extending their companies with the view of surrounding Cæsar, and they drove Cæsar's cavalry who were few in number upon the line in front of which they were stationed. But upon Cæsar giving the signal, the cavalry retired, and the cohorts which had been reserved to meet the enemy's attempt to outflank them, rushed forward, three thousand in number, and met the enemy; then fixing themselves by the side of the horsemen, they pushed their spears upwards, as they had been instructed, against the horses, aiming at the faces of the riders. The horsemen, who were altogether inexperienced in fighting, and had never expected or heard of such a mode of attack, did not venture to stand or endure the blows aimed at their eyes and mouths, but turning their backs and holding their hands before their faces they ingloriously took to flight. The soldiers of Cæsar leaving these fugitives to escape advanced against the infantry, and they made their attack at that point where the wing having lost the protection of the cavalry gave them the opportunity of outflanking and surrounding them. These men falling on the enemy in the flank and the tenth legion attacking them in front, the enemy did not stand their ground nor keep together, for they saw that while they were expecting to surround the enemy, they were themselves surrounded.
LXXII. After the infantry were routed, and Pompey seeing the dust conjectured what had befallen the cavalry, what reflections passed in his mind, it is difficult to say; but like a madman more than anything else and one whose reason was affected, without considering that he was Magnus Pompey, without speaking a word to any one, he walked slowly back to his camp, so that one may properly apply to him the verses
But lofty father Zeus struck fear in Ajax;
He stood confounded, and behind him threw
His shield of seven-ox-hide, and trembling look'd
Towards the crowd
In this state Pompey came to his tent and sat down without speaking, until many of the pursuers rushed into the camp with the fugitives; and then merely uttering these words, "What, even to the camp!" and nothing more, he rose and taking a dress suitable to his present condition made his way out. The rest of the legions also fled, and there was great slaughter in the camp of those who were left to guard the tents and of the slaves; but Asinius Pollio says that only six thousand soldiers fell, and Pollio fought in that battle on Cæsar's side. When Cæsar's men took the camp, they saw evidence of the folly and frivolity of the enemy. For every tent was crowned with myrtle and furnished with flowered coverings to the couches and tables loaded with cups; and bowls of wine were laid out, and there was the preparation and decoration of persons who had performed a sacrifice and were celebrating a festival, rather than of men who were arming for battle. So blinded by their hopes, and so full of foolish confidence did they come out to war.
LXXIII. Pompey having proceeded a little way from the camp let his horse go, and with very few persons about him, went on slowly as no one pursued him, and with such thoughts, as would naturally arise in the mind of a man who for four-and-thirty years had been accustomed to conquer and to have the mastery in everything, and now for the first time in his old age experienced what defeat and flight were; reflecting also that in a single battle he had lost the reputation and the power which were the fruit of so many struggles and wars, and while a little before he was protected by so many armed men and horses, and armaments, now he was retreating and had become so weak and humbled, as easily to escape the notice of his enemies who were looking for him. After passing Larissa and arriving at Tempe, being thirsty he threw himself down on his face and drank of the river, and then rising up he proceeded through Tempe till he reached the sea. There he rested for the remainder of the night in a fisherman's hut, and at daybreak embarking on board of one of the river-boats and taking with him those of his followers who were freemen, and bidding his slaves go to Cæsar without any apprehension for their safety, he rowed along the coast till he saw a large merchant-ship preparing to set sail, the master of which was a Roman, who had no intimacy with Pompey, but knew him by sight: his name was Peticius. It happened the night before that Peticius saw Pompey in a dream, not as he had often seen him, but humble and downcast, speaking to him. And it happened that he was telling his dream to his shipmates, as is usual with men in such weighty matters, who have nothing to do; when all at once one of the sailors called out that he spied a river-boat rowing from the land with men in it who were making signals with their clothes and stretching out their hands to them. Accordingly Peticius turning his eyes in that direction recognised Pompey just as he had seen him in the dream, and striking his forehead he ordered the sailors to put the boat alongside, and he stretched out his right hand and called to Pompey, already conjecturing from his appearance the fortune and the reverses of the man. Upon which the master, without waiting to be entreated or addressed, took on board with him, all whom Pompey chose (and these were the two Lentuli and Favonius), and set sail; and shortly after seeing King Deiotarus making his way from the land as fast as he could they took him in also. When it was supper time and the master had made the best preparation that he could, Favonius observing that Pompey had no domestics and was beginning to take off his shoes, ran up to him and loosed his shoes and helped him to anoint himself. And henceforward Favonius continued to wait on Pompey and serve him, just as slaves do their master, even to the washing of his feet and preparing his meals, so that a witness of the free will of that service and the simplicity and absence of all affectation might have exclaimed:
To generous minds how noble every task
LXXIV. In such wise Pompey coasted to Amphipolis, and thence crossed over to Mitylene, wishing to take up Cornelia and her son. Upon reaching the shore of the island he sent a message to the city, not such as Cornelia expected, for the pleasing intelligence that she had received both by report and by letter led her to hope that the war was terminated near Dyrrachium, and that all that remained for Pompey was to pursue Cæsar. The messenger, who found her in this state of expectation, did not venture to salute her, but indicating by tears more than words the chief and greatest of her misfortunes, he bade her hasten, if she wished to see Pompey in a single vessel and that not his own. Cornelia, on hearing these words, threw herself on the ground, and lay there a long time without sense or speech, and with difficulty recovering herself, and seeing that it was not a time for tears and lamentations, she ran through the city to the sea. Pompey met and caught her in his arms as she was just ready to sink down and fall upon him, when Cornelia said, "I see you, husband, not through your own fortune but mine, reduced to a single vessel, you who before your marriage with Cornelia sailed along this sea with five hundred ships. Why have you come to see me, and why did you not leave to her evil dæmon one who has loaded you also with so much misfortune? How happy a woman should I have been had I died before I heard that Publius, whose virgin bride I was, had perished by the Parthians; and how wise, if even after he died I had put an end to my own life, as I attempted to do; but forsooth I have been kept alive to be the ruin of Pompey Magnus also."
LXXV. So it is said Cornelia spoke, and thus Pompey replied: "It is true, Cornelia, you have hitherto known only one fortune, and that the better; and perhaps it has deceived you too, in that it has abided with me longer than is wont. But as we are mortals, we must bear this change, and still try fortune; for it is not hopeless for a man to attempt from this condition to recover his former state who has come to this after being in that other." Accordingly Cornelia sent for her property and slaves from the city; and though the Mitylenæans came to pay their respects to Pompey, and invited him to enter the city, he would not, but he exhorted them also to yield to the conqueror and to be of good heart, for Cæsar was merciful and of a humane disposition. But turning to Kratippus the philosopher, for he had come down from the city to see him, Pompey found fault with and in a few words expressed some doubts about Providence, Kratippus rather giving way to him and trying to lead him to better hopes, that he might not give him pain at so unseasonable a time by arguing against him; for Pompey might have questioned him about Providence, and Kratippus might have shown that the state of affairs at Rome required a monarchy on account of the political disorder; and he might have asked Pompey, "How, Pompey, and by what evidence shall we be persuaded that you would have used your fortune better than Cæsar, if you had been victorious?" But these matters that concern the gods we must leave as they are.
LXXVI. Taking on board his wife and friends, Pompey continued his voyage, only putting in at such ports as of necessity he must for water or provisions. The first city that he came to was Attaleia of Pamphylia; and there some galleys from Cilicia met him, and some soldiers were collecting, and there were again about sixty senators about him. Hearing that his navy still kept together, and that Cato had recruited many soldiers and was passing over to Libya, he lamented to his friends and blamed himself for being forced to engage with his army only, and for not making any use of the force which was beyond all dispute superior to that of the enemy; and that his navy was not so stationed that if he were defeated by land he might forthwith have had what would have made him a match for the enemy, a strength and power so great by sea close at hand. Indeed Pompey committed no greater fault, nor did Cæsar show any greater generalship, than in withdrawing the field of battle so far beyond the reach of assistance from the navy. However, being compelled in the present state of affairs to decide and do something, he sent round to the cities, and himself sailing about to some, asked them for money, and began to man ships. But fearing the rapid movements and speed of his enemy, lest he should come upon him and take him before he was prepared, he looked about for a place of refuge for the present and a retreat. Now there appeared to them upon consideration to be no province to which they could safely fly; and as to the kingdoms, Pompey gave it as his opinion that the Parthian at the present was the best able to receive and protect them in their present weakness, and to strengthen them again and to send them forth with the largest force; of the rest, some turned their thoughts towards Libya and Juba, but Theophanes of Lesbos pronounced it madness to leave Egypt, which was only three days' sail distant, and Ptolemæus, who was still a youth, and indebted to Pompey for the friendship and favour which his father had received from him, and to put himself in the hands of the Parthians, a most treacherous nation; and to be the first of all persons who did not choose to submit to a Roman who had been connected with him by marriage, nor to make trial of his moderation, and to put himself in the power of Arsakes, who was not able to take even Crassus so long as he was alive; and to carry a young wife of the family of Scipio among barbarians, who measured their power by their insolence and unbridled temper; and if no harm should befall Cornelia, and it should only be apprehended that she might suffer injury, it would be a sad thing for her to be in the power of those who were able to do it. This alone, it is said diverted Pompey from proceeding to the Euphrates; if indeed any reflection still guided Pompey, and he was not rather directed by a dæmon to the way that he took.
LXXVII. Accordingly when the proposal to fly to Egypt prevailed, Pompey setting sail from Cyprus in a galley of Seleukeia with his wife (and of the rest some accompanied him also in ships of war, and others in merchant vessels), crossed the sea safely; and hearing that Ptolemæus was seated before Pelusium with his army, being engaged in war against his sister, he came to that part of the coast and sent forward a person to announce his arrival to the king and to pray for his protection. Now Ptolemæus was very young, and Potheinus who managed everything, summoned a council of the chief persons; and the chief persons were those whom he chose to make so, and he bade each man give his opinion. It was indeed a sad thing that such men should deliberate about Pompey Magnus, as Potheinus the eunuch and Theodotus of Chios who was hired as a teacher of rhetoric and the Egyptian Achillas: for these were the chief advisers of the king among the eunuchs and others who had the care of his person; and such was the court whose decision Pompey was waiting for at anchor some distance from the shore and tossed by the waves, he who thought it beneath him to be indebted to Cæsar for his life. Now opinions among the rest were so far divided that some advised they should drive away Pompey, and others, that they should invite and receive him: but Theodotus displaying his power in speech and his rhetorical art proved that neither of these courses was safe, but that if they received Pompey, they would have Cæsar for an enemy and Pompey for their master, and if they drove him away, they would incur the displeasure of Pompey for ejecting him and of Cæsar for the trouble of the pursuit; it was therefore best to send for the man and kill him, for thus they would please Cæsar and have nothing to fear from Pompey. And he concluded with a smile: as it is said, A dead man does not bite.
LXXVIII. Having determined on this they intrust the execution to Achillas, who taking with him one Septimius who had a long time ago served under Pompey as a centurion and Salvius another centurion and three or four slaves, put out towards the ship of Pompey. It happened that all the most distinguished persons who accompanied Pompey had come on board his ship to see what was going on. Accordingly when they saw a reception which was neither royal nor splendid nor corresponding to the expectations of Theophanes, but a few men in a fishing-boat sailing towards them, this want of respect made them suspect treachery and they advised Pompey to row back into the open sea, while they were still out of reach of missiles. In the mean time as the boat was nearing, Septimius was the first to rise and he addressed Pompey as Imperator in the Roman language and Achillas saluting him in Greek invited him to enter the boat, because, as he said, the shallows were of great extent and the sea being rather sandy had not depth enough to float a trireme. At the same time it was observed that some of the king's ships were getting their men on board, and soldiers occupied the shore, so that it appeared impossible to escape even if they changed their minds and made the attempt; and besides, this want of confidence would give the murderers some excuse for their crime. Accordingly, after embracing Cornelia who was anticipating and bewailing his fate, he ordered two centurions to step into the boat before him, and Philippus one of his freedmen and a slave called Scythes, and while Achillas was offering him his hand out of the boat, he turned round to his wife and son and repeated the iambics of Sophocles:
Whoever to a tyrant bends his way,
Is made his slave, e'en if he goes a freeman
LXXIX. These were the last words that he spoke to his friends before he entered the boat: and as it was a considerable distance to the land from the galley, and none of those in the boat addressed any friendly conversation to him, looking at Septimius he said, "I am not mistaken I think in recognising you as an old comrade of mine;" and Septimius nodded without making any reply or friendly acknowledgment. As there was again a profound silence, Pompey who had a small roll on which he had written a speech in Greek that he intended to address to Ptolemæus, began reading it. As they neared the land, Cornelia with her friends in great anxiety was watching the result from the galley, and she began to have good hopes when she saw some of the king's people collecting together at the landing as if to honor Pompey and give him a reception. In the mean time, while Pompey was taking the hand of Philippus that he might rise more easily, Septimius from behind was the first to transfix him with his sword; and Salvius, and after him Achillas drew their swords. Pompey drawing his toga close with both hands over his face, without saying or doing anything unworthy of himself, but giving a groan only, submitted to the blows, being sixty years of age save one, and ending his life just one day after his birthday.
LXXX. Those in the ships seeing the murder uttered a shriek which could be heard even to the land, and quickly raising their anchors, took to flight: and a strong breeze aided them in their escape to the open sea, so that the Egyptians, though desirous of pursuing, turned back. They cut off the head of Pompey, and throwing the body naked out of the boat, left it for those to gaze at who felt any curiosity. Philippus stayed by the body, till the people wore satisfied with looking at it, and then washing it with sea-water he wrapped it up in a tunic of his own; and as he had no other means, he looked about till he found the wreck of a small fishing-boat, which was decayed indeed, but enough to make a funeral pile in case of need for a naked body, and that not an entire corpse. As he was collecting these fragments and putting them together, a Roman, now an old man who had served his first campaigns in his youth under Pompey, stood by him and said: "Who are you, my friend, that are preparing to perform the funeral rites to Pompey Magnus?" Philippus replying that he was a freedman, the man said: "But you shall not have this honour to yourself: allow me too to share in this pious piece of good fortune, that I may not altogether have to complain of being in a strange land, if in requital for many sufferings I get this honour at least, to touch and to tend with my hands the greatest of the Roman generals." Such were the obsequies of Pompey. On the next day Lucius Lentulus who was on his voyage from Cyprus, not knowing what had happened, was coasting along the shore, when he saw the pile and Philippus standing by it before he was seen himself and said, "Who is resting here after closing his career?" and after a slight interval, with a groan, he added, "perhaps it is you, Pompey Magnus." Presently he landed, and being seized was put to death. This was the end of Pompey. Not long after Cæsar arriving in Egypt, which was filled with this horrid deed, turned away from the man who brought him the head of Pompey, as from a murderer, and when he received the seal of Pompey, he shed tears; the device was a lion holding a sword. He put to death Achillas and Potheinus, and the king himself being defeated in battle was lost somewhere near the river. Theodotus the sophist escaped the vengeance of Cæsar, for he fled from Egypt and wandered about in a miserable state, the object of detestation; but Brutus Marcus, after he had killed Cæsar and got the power in his hands, finding Theodotus in Asia, put him to death with every circumstance of contumely. Cornelia obtained the remains of Pompey and had them carried to his Alban villa and interred there.
End of The Life Of Pompey by Plutarch