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Plutarch's Lives

Part 20 out of 35

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Agesilaus with them. But he gave this short reply, "You, O
Chabrias, came hither a volunteer, and may go and stay as you see
cause; but I am the servant of Sparta, appointed to head the
Egyptians, and therefore I cannot fight against those to whom I was
sent as a friend, unless I am commanded to do so by my country."
This being said, he dispatched messengers to Sparta, who were
sufficiently supplied with matter both for dispraise of Tachos, and
commendation of Nectanabis. The two Egyptians also sent their
ambassadors to Lacedaemon, the one to claim continuance of the
league already made, the other to make great offers for the
breaking of it, and making a new one. The Spartans having heard
both sides, gave in their public answer, that they referred the
whole matter to Agesilaus; but privately wrote to him, to act as he
should find it best for the profit of the commonwealth. Upon
receipt of his orders, he at once changed sides, carrying all the
mercenaries with him to Nectanabis, covering with the plausible
presence of acting for the benefit of his country, a most
questionable piece of conduct, which, stripped of that disguise, in
real truth was no better than downright treachery. But the
Lacedaemonians, who make it their first principle of action to
serve their country's interest, know not anything to be just or
unjust by any measure but that.

Tachos, being thus deserted by the mercenaries, fled for it; upon
which a new king of the Mendesian province was proclaimed his
successor, and came against Nectanabis with an army of one hundred
thousand men. Nectanabis, in his talk with Agesilaus, professed to
despise them as newly raised men, who, though many in number, were
of no skill in war, being most of them mechanics and tradesmen,
never bred to war. To whom Agesilaus answered, that he did not
fear their numbers, but did fear their ignorance, which gave no
room for employing stratagem against them. Stratagem only avails
with men who are alive to suspicion, and expecting to be assailed,
expose themselves by their attempts at defense; but one who has no
thought or expectation of anything, gives as little opportunity to
the enemy, as he who stands stock-still does to a wrestler. The
Mendesian was not wanting in solicitations of Agesilaus, insomuch
that Nectanabis grew jealous. But when Agesilaus advised to fight
the enemy at once, saying, it was folly to protract the war and
rely on time, in a contest with men who had no experience in
fighting battles, but with their great numbers might be able to
surround them, and cut off their communications by entrenchments,
and anticipate them in many matters of advantage, this altogether
confirmed him in his fears and suspicions. He took quite the
contrary course, and retreated into a large and strongly fortified
town. Agesilaus, finding himself mistrusted, took it very ill, and
was full of indignation, yet was ashamed to change sides back
again, or to go away without effecting anything, so that he was
forced to follow Nectanabis into the town.

When the enemy came up, and began to draw lines about the town, and
to entrench, the Egyptian now resolved upon a battle, out of fear
of a siege. And the Greeks were eager for it, provisions growing
already scarce in the town. When Agesilaus opposed it, the
Egyptians then suspected him much more, publicly calling him the
betrayer of the king. But Agesilaus, being now satisfied within
himself, bore these reproaches patiently, and followed the design
which he had laid, of overreaching the enemy, which was this.

The enemy were forming a deep ditch and high wall, resolving to
shut up the garrison and starve it. When the ditch was brought
almost quite round, and the two ends had all but met, he took the
advantage of the night, and armed all his Greeks. Then going to
the Egyptian, "This, young man, is your opportunity," said he, "of
saving yourself, which I all this while durst not announce, lest
discovery should prevent it; but now the enemy has, at his own
cost, and the pains and labor of his own men, provided for our
security. As much of this wall as is built will prevent them from
surrounding us with their multitude, the gap yet left will be
sufficient for us to sally out by; now play the man, and follow the
example the Greeks will give you, and by fighting valiantly, save
yourself and your army; their front will not be able to stand
against us, and their rear we are sufficiently secured from, by a
wall of their own making." Nectanabis, admiring the sagacity of
Agesilaus, immediately placed himself in the middle of the Greek
troops, and fought with them; and upon the first charge soon routed
the enemy. Agesilaus having now gained credit with the king,
proceeded to use, like a trick in wrestling, the same stratagem
over again. He sometimes pretended a retreat, at other times
advanced to attack their flanks, and by this means at last drew
them into a place enclosed between two ditches that were very deep,
and full of water. When he had them at this advantage, he soon
charged them, drawing up the front of his battle equal to the space
between the two ditches, so that they had no way of surrounding
him, being enclosed themselves on both sides. They made but little
resistance; many fell, others fled and were dispersed.

Nectanabis, being thus settled and fixed in his kingdom, with much
kindness and affection invited Agesilaus to spend his winter in
Egypt, but he made haste home to assist in the wars of his own
country, which was he knew in want of money, and forced to hire
mercenaries, whilst their own men were fighting abroad. The king,
therefore, dismissed him very honorably, and among other gifts
presented him with two hundred and thirty talents of silver toward
the charge of the war. But the weather being tempestuous, his
ships kept in shore, and passing along the coast of Africa he
reached an uninhabited spot called the Port of Menelaus, and here,
when his ships were just upon landing, he expired, being
eighty-four years old, and having reigned in Lacedaemon forty-one.
Thirty of which years he passed with the reputation of being the
greatest and most powerful man of all Greece, and was looked upon
as, in a manner, general and king of it, until the battle of
Leuctra. It was the custom of the Spartans to bury their common
dead in the place where they died, whatsoever country it was, but
their kings they carried home. The followers of Agesilaus, for
want of honey, enclosed his body in wax, and so conveyed him to

His son Archidamus succeeded him on his throne; so did his
posterity successively to Agis, the fifth from Agesilaus; who was
slain by Leonidas, while attempting to restore the ancient
discipline of Sparta.


The people of Rome seem to have entertained for Pompey from his
childhood, the same affection that Prometheus in the tragedy of
Aeschylus expresses for Hercules, speaking of him as the author
of his deliverance, in these words,

Ah cruel Sire! how dear thy son to me!
The generous offspring of my enemy!

For on the one hand, never did the Romans give such
demonstrations of a vehement and fierce hatred against any of
their generals, as they did against Strabo, the father of
Pompey; during whose lifetime, it is true, they stood in awe of
his military power, as indeed he was a formidable warrior, but
immediately upon his death, which happened by a stroke of
thunder, they treated him with the utmost contumely, dragging
his corpse from the bier, as it was carried to his funeral. On
the other side, never had any Roman the people's good-will and
devotion more zealous throughout all the changes of fortune,
more early in its first springing up, or more steadily rising
with his prosperity, or more constant in his adversity, than
Pompey had. In Strabo, there was one great cause of their
hatred, his insatiable covetousness; in Pompey, there were many
that helped to make him the object of their love; his
temperance, his skill, and exercise in war, his eloquence of
speech, integrity of mind and affability in conversation and
address; insomuch that no man ever asked a favor with less
offense, or conferred one with a better grace. When he gave,
it was without assumption, when he received, it was with
dignity and honor.

In his youth, his countenance pleaded for him, seeming to
anticipate his eloquence, and win upon the affections of the
people before he spoke. His beauty even in his bloom of youth
had something in it at once of gentleness and dignity; and
when his prime of manhood came, the majesty kingliness of his
character at once became visible in it. His hair sat somewhat
hollow or rising a little; and this, with the languishing
motion of his eyes, seemed to form a resemblance in his face,
though perhaps more talked of than really apparent, to the
statues of king Alexander. And because many applied that name
to him in his youth, Pompey himself did not decline it,
insomuch that some called him so in derision. And Lucius
Philippus, a man of consular dignity, when he was pleading in
favor of him, thought it not unfit to say, that people could
not be surprised if Philip was a lover of Alexander.

It is related of Flora, the courtesan, that when she was now
pretty old; she took great delight in speaking of her early
familiarity with Pompey, and was wont to say, that she could
never part after being with him without a bite. She would
further tell, that Geminius, a companion of Pompey's, fell in
love with her, and made his court with great importunity; and
on her refusing, and telling him, however her inclinations
were, yet she could not gratify his desires for Pompey's sake,
he therefore made his request to Pompey, and Pompey frankly
gave his consent, but never afterwards would have any converse
with her, notwithstanding, that he seemed to have a great
passion for her; and Flora, on this occasion, showed none of
the levity that might have been expected of her, but languished
for some time after under a sickness brought on by grief and
desire. This Flora, we are told, was such a celebrated beauty,
that Caecilius Metellus, when he adorned the temple of Castor
and Pollux with paintings and statues, among the rest dedicated
hers for her singular beauty. In his conduct also to the wife
of Demetrius, his freed servant, (who had great influence with
him in his lifetime, and left an estate of four thousand
talents,) Pompey acted contrary to his usual habits, not quite
fairly or generously, fearing lest he should fall under the
common censure of being enamored and charmed with her beauty,
which was irresistible, and became famous everywhere.
Nevertheless, though he seemed to be so extremely circumspect
and cautious, yet even in matters of this nature, he could not
avoid the calumnies of his enemies, but upon the score of
married women, they accused him, as if he had connived at many
things, and embezzled the public revenue to gratify their

Of his easiness of temper and plainness, in what related to
eating and drinking, the story is told, that once in a
sickness, when his stomach nauseated common meats, his
physician prescribed him a thrush to eat; but upon search,
there was none to be bought, for they were not then in season,
and one telling him they were to be had at Lucullus's, who kept
them all the year round, "So then," said he, "if it were not
for Lucullus's luxury, Pompey should not live;" and thereupon
not minding the prescription of the physician, he contented
himself with such meat as could easily be procured. But this
was at a later time.

Being as yet a very young man, and upon an expedition in which
his father was commanding against Cinna, he had in his tent
with him one Lucius Terentius, as his companion and comrade,
who, being corrupted by Cinna, entered into an engagement to
kill Pompey, as others had done, to set the general's tent on
fire. This conspiracy being discovered to Pompey at supper, he
showed no discomposure at it, but on the contrary drank more
liberally than usual, and expressed great kindness to
Terentius; but about bedtime, pretending to go to his repose,
he stole away secretly out of the tent, and setting a guard
about his father, quietly expected the event. Terentius, when
he thought the proper time come, rose with his naked sword, and
coming to Pompey's bedside, stabbed several strokes through the
bedclothes, as if he were lying there. Immediately after this
there was a great uproar throughout all the camp, arising from
the hatred they bore to the general, and a universal movement
of the soldiers to revolt, all tearing down their tents, and
betaking themselves to their arms. The general himself all
this while durst not venture out because of the tumult; but
Pompey, going about in the midst of them, besought them with
tears; and at last threw himself prostrate upon his face before
the gate of the camp, and lay there in the passage at their
feet, shedding tears, and bidding those that were marching off,
if they would go, trample upon him. Upon which, none could
help going back again, and all, except eight hundred, either
through shame or compassion, repented, and were reconciled to
the general.

Immediately upon the death of Strabo, there was an action
commenced against Pompey, as his heir, for that his father had
embezzled the public treasure. But Pompey, having traced the
principal thefts, charged them upon one Alexander, a freed
slave of his father's, and proved before the judges that he
had been the appropriator. But he himself was accused of
having in his possession some hunting tackle, and books, that
were taken at Asculum. To this he confessed thus far, that he
received them from his father when he took Asculum, but pleaded
further, that he had lost them since, upon Cinna's return to
Rome when his home was broken open and plundered by Cinna's
guards. In this cause he had a great many preparatory
pleadings against his accuser, in which he showed an activity
and steadfastness beyond his years, and gained great reputation
and favor; insomuch that Antistius, the praetor and judge of
the cause, took a great liking to him, and offered him his
daughter in marriage, having had some communications with his
friends about it. Pompey accepted the proposal, and they were
privately contracted; however, the secret was not so closely
kept as to escape the multitude, but it was discernible enough
from the favor shown him by Antistius in his cause. And at
last, when Antistius pronounced the absolutory sentence of the
judges, the people, as if it had been upon a signal given, made
the acclamation used according to ancient custom, at marriages,
Talasio. The origin of which custom is related to be this. At
the time when the daughters of the Sabines came to Rome, to see
the shows and sports there, and were violently seized upon by
the most distinguished and bravest of the Romans for wives, it
happened that some goatswains and herdsmen of the meaner rank
were carrying off a beautiful and tall maiden; and lest any of
their betters should meet them, and take her away, as they ran,
they cried out with one voice, Talasio, Talasius being a
well-known and popular person among them, insomuch that all
that heard the name, clapped their hands for joy, and joined
with them in the shout, as applauding and congratulating the
chance. Now, say they, because this proved a fortunate match
to Talasius, hence it is that this acclamation is sportively
used as a nuptial cry at all weddings. This is the most
credible of the accounts that are given of the Talasio. And
some few days after this judgment, Pompey married Antistia.

After this he went to Cinna's camp, where finding some false
suggestions and calumnies prevailing against him, he began to
be afraid and presently withdrew himself secretly; which sudden
disappearance occasioned great suspicion. And there went a
rumor and speech through all the camp, that Cinna had murdered
the young man; upon which all that had been anyways disobliged,
and bore any malice to him, resolved to make an assault upon
him. He, endeavoring to make his escape, was seized by a
centurion, who pursued him with his naked sword. Cinna, in
this distress, fell upon his knees, and offered him his
seal-ring, of great value, for his ransom; but the centurion
repulsed him insolently, saying, "I did not come to seal a
covenant, but to be revenged upon a lawless and wicked tyrant;"
and so dispatched him immediately.

Thus Cinna being slain, Carbo, a tyrant yet more senseless than
he, took the command and exercised it, while Sylla meantime was
approaching, much to the joy and satisfaction of most people,
who in their present evils were ready to find some comfort if
it were but in the exchange of a master. For the city was
brought to that pass by oppression and calamities, that being
utterly in despair of liberty, men were only anxious for the
mildest and most tolerable bondage. At that time Pompey was in
Picenum in Italy, where he spent some time amusing himself, as
he had estates in the country there, though the chief motive of
his stay was the liking he felt for the towns of that district,
which all regarded him with hereditary feelings of kindness and
attachment. But when he now saw that the noblest and best of
the city began to forsake their homes and property, and fly
from all quarters to Sylla's camp, as to their haven, he
likewise was desirous to go; not, however, as a fugitive, alone
and with nothing to offer, but as a friend rather than a
suppliant, in a way that would gain him honor, bringing help
along with him, and at the head of a body of troops.
Accordingly he solicited the Picentines for their assistance,
who as cordially embraced his motion, and rejected the
messengers sent from Carbo; insomuch that a certain Vindius
taking upon him to say, that Pompey was come from the
school-room to put himself at the head of the people, they
were so incensed that they fell forthwith upon this Vindius and
killed him. From henceforward Pompey, finding a spirit of
government upon him, though not above twenty-three years of
age, nor deriving, an authority by commission from any man,
took the privilege to grant himself full power, and causing a
tribunal to be erected in the market-place of Auximum, a
populous city, expelled two of their principal men, brothers,
of the name of Ventidius, who were acting against him in
Carbo's interest, commanding them by a public edict to depart
the city; and then proceeded to levy soldiers, issuing out
commissions to centurions, and other officers, according to the
form of military discipline. And in this manner he went round
all the rest of the cities in the district. So that those of
Carbo's faction flying, and all others cheerfully submitting to
his command, in a little time he mustered three entire legions,
having supplied himself beside with all manner of provisions,
beasts of burden, carriages, and other necessaries of war. And
with this equipage he set forward on his march towards Sylla,
not as if he were in haste, or desirous of escaping
observation, but by small journeys, making several halts upon
the road, to distress and annoy the enemy, and exerting himself
to detach from Carbo's interest every part of Italy that he
passed through.

Three commanders of the enemy encountered him at once, Carinna,
Cloelius, and Brutus, and drew up their forces, not all in the
front, nor yet together on any one part, but encamping three
several armies in a circle about him, they resolved to
encompass and overpower him. Pompey was no way alarmed at
this, but collecting all his troops into one body, and placing
his horse in the front of the battle, where he himself was in
person, he singled out and bent all his forces against Brutus,
and when the Celtic horsemen from the enemy's side rode out to
meet him, Pompey himself encountering hand to hand with the
foremost and stoutest among them, killed him with his spear.
The rest seeing this turned their backs, and fled, and breaking
the ranks of their own foot, presently caused a general rout;
whereupon the commanders fell out among themselves, and marched
off, some one way, some another, as their fortunes led them,
and the towns round about came in and surrendered themselves to
Pompey, concluding that the enemy was dispersed for fear. Next
after these, Scipio, the consul, came to attack him, and with
as little success; for before the armies could join, or be
within the throw of their javelins, Scipio's soldiers saluted
Pompey's, and came over to them, while Scipio made his escape
by flight. Last of all, Carbo himself sent down several troops
of horse against him by the river Arsis, which Pompey assailed
with the same courage and success as before; and having routed
and put them to flight, he forced them in the pursuit into
difficult ground, unpassable for horse, where seeing no hopes
of escape, they yielded themselves with their horses and armor,
all to his mercy.

Sylla was hitherto unacquainted with all these actions; and on
the first intelligence he received of his movements was in
great anxiety about him, fearing lest he should be cut off
among so many and such experienced commanders of the enemy, and
marched therefore with all speed to his aid. Now Pompey,
having advice of his approach, sent out orders to his officers,
to marshal and draw up all his forces in full array, that they
might make the finest and noblest appearance before the
commander-in-chief; for he expected indeed great honors from
him, but met with even greater. For as soon as Sylla saw him
thus advancing, his army so well appointed, his men so young
and strong, and their spirits so high and hopeful with their
successes, he alighted from his horse, and being first, as was
his due, saluted by them with the title of Imperator, he
returned the salutation upon Pompey, in the same term and style
of Imperator, which might well cause surprise, as none could
have ever anticipated that he would have imparted, to one so
young in years and not yet a senator, a title which was the
object of contention between him and the Scipios and Marii.
And indeed all the rest of his deportment was agreeable to this
first compliment; whenever Pompey came into his presence, he
paid some sort of respect to him, either in rising and being
uncovered, or the like, which he was rarely seen to do to
anyone else, notwithstanding that there were many about him of
great rank and honor. Yet Pompey was not puffed up at all, or
exalted with these favors. And when Sylla would have sent him
with all expedition into Gaul, a province in which it was
thought Metellus who commanded in it had done nothing worthy of
the large forces at his disposal, Pompey urged, that it could
not be fair or honorable for him, to take a province out of the
hands of his senior in command and superior in reputation;
however, if Metellus were willing, and should request his
service, he should be very ready to accompany and assist him in
the war. Which when Metellus came to understand, he approved
of the proposal, and invited him over by letter. And on this
Pompey fell immediately into Gaul, where he not only achieved
wonderful exploits of himself, but also fired up and kindled
again that bold and warlike spirit, which old age had in a
manner extinguished in Metellus, into a new heat; just as
molten copper, they say, when poured upon that which is cold
and solid, will dissolve and melt it faster than fire itself.
But as when a famous wrestler has gained the first place among
men, and borne away the prizes at all the games, it is not
usual to take account of his victories as a boy, or to enter
them upon record among the rest; so with the exploits of Pompey
in his youth, though they were extraordinary in themselves, yet
because they were obscured and buried in the multitude and
greatness of his later wars and conquests, I dare not be
particular in them, lest, by trifling away time in the lesser
moments of his youth, we should be driven to omit those greater
actions and fortunes which best illustrate his character.

Now, when Sylla had brought all Italy under his dominion, and
was proclaimed dictator, he began to reward the rest of his
followers, by giving them wealth, appointing them to offices in
the State, and granting them freely and without restriction any
favors they asked for. But as for Pompey, admiring his valor
and conduct, and thinking that he might prove a great stay and
support to him hereafter in his affairs, he sought means to
attach him to himself by some personal alliance, and his wife
Metella joining in his wishes, they two persuaded Pompey to put
away Antistia, and marry Aemilia, the step-daughter of Sylla,
borne by Metella to Scaurus her former husband, she being at
that very time the wife of another man, living with him, and
with child by him. These were the very tyrannies of marriage,
and much more agreeable to the times under Sylla, than to the
nature and habits of Pompey; that Aemilia great with child
should be, as it were, ravished from the embraces of another
for him, and that Antistia should be divorced with dishonor and
misery by him, for whose sake she had been but just before
bereft of her father. For Antistius was murdered in the
senate, because he was suspected to be a favorer of Sylla for
Pompey's sake; and her mother, likewise, after she had seen all
these indignities, made away with herself; a new calamity to be
added to the tragic accompaniments of this marriage, and that
there might be nothing wanting to complete them, Aemilia
herself died, almost immediately after entering Pompey's house,
in childbed.

About this time news came to Sylla, that Perpenna was
fortifying himself in Sicily, that the island was now become a
refuge and receptacle for the relics of the adverse party; that
Carbo was hovering about those seas with a navy, that Domitius
had fallen in upon Africa and that many of the exiled men of
note who had escaped from the proscriptions were daily flocking
into those parts. Against these, therefore, Pompey was sent
with a large force; and no sooner was he arrived in Sicily but
Perpenna immediately departed, leaving the whole island to him.
Pompey received the distressed cities into favor, and treated
all with great humanity, except the Mamertines in Messena; for
when they protested against his court and jurisdiction,
alleging their privilege and exemption founded upon an ancient
charter or grant of the Romans, he replied sharply, "What!
will you never cease prating of laws to us that have swords by
our sides?" It was thought, likewise, that he showed some
inhumanity to Carbo, seeming rather to insult over his
misfortunes, than to chastise his crimes. For if there had
been a necessity, as perhaps there was, that he should be taken
off, that might have been done at first, as soon as he was
taken prisoner, for then it would have been the act of him that
commanded it. But here Pompey commended a man that had been
thrice consul of Rome, to be brought in fetters to stand at the
bar, he himself sitting upon the bench in judgment, examining
the cause with the formalities of law, to the offense and
indignation of all that were present, and afterwards ordered
him to be taken away and put to death. It is related, by the
way, of Carbo, that as soon as he was brought to the place, and
saw the sword drawn for execution, he was suddenly seized with
a looseness or pain in his bowels, and desired a little
respite of the executioner, and a convenient place to relieve
himself. And yet further, Caius Oppius, the friend of Caesar,
tells us, that Pompey dealt cruelly with Quintus Valerius, a
man of singular learning and science. For when he was brought
to him, he walked aside, and drew him into conversation, and
after putting a variety of questions to him, and receiving
answers from him, he ordered his officers to take him away, and
put him to death. But we must not be too credulous in the case
of narratives told by Oppius, especially when he undertakes to
relate anything touching the friends or foes of Caesar. This
is certain, that there lay a necessity upon Pompey to be severe
upon many of Sylla's enemies, those at least that were eminent
persons in themselves, and notoriously known to be taken; but
for the rest, he acted with all the clemency possible for him,
conniving at the concealment of some, and himself being the
instrument in the escape of others. So in the case of the
Himeraeans; for when Pompey had determined on severely
punishing their city, as they had been abettors of the enemy,
Sthenis, the leader of the people there, craving liberty of
speech, told him, that what he was about to do was not at all
consistent with justice, for that he would pass by the guilty,
and destroy the innocent; and on Pompey demanding, who that
guilty person was that would assume the offenses of them all,
Sthenis replied, it was himself, who had engaged his friends by
persuasion to what they had done, and his enemies by force;
whereupon Pompey being much taken with the frank speech and
noble spirit of the man, first forgave his crime, and then
pardoned all the rest of the Himeraeans. Hearing, likewise,
that his soldiers were very disorderly their march, doing
violence upon the roads, he ordered their swords to be sealed
up in their scabbards, and whosoever kept them not so, were
severely punished.

Whilst Pompey was thus busy in the affairs and government of
Sicily, he received a decree of the senate, and a commission
from Sylla, commanding him forthwith to sail into Africa, and
make war upon Domitius with all his forces: for Domitius had
rallied up a far greater army than Marius had had not long
since, when he sailed out of Africa into Italy, and caused a
revolution in Rome, and himself, of a fugitive outlaw, became a
tyrant. Pompey, therefore, having prepared everything with the
utmost speed, left Memmius, his sister's husband, governor of
Sicily, and set sail with one hundred and twenty galleys, and
eight hundred other vessels laden with provisions, money,
ammunition, and engines of battery. He arrived with his fleet,
part at the port of Utica, part at Carthage; and no sooner was
he landed, but seven thousand of the enemy revolted and came
over to him, while his own forces that he brought with him
consisted of six entire legions. Here they tell us of a
pleasant incident that happened to him at his first arrival.
For some of his soldiers having by accident stumbled upon a
treasure, by which they got a good sum of money, the rest of
the army hearing this, began to fancy that the field was full of
gold and silver, which had been hid there of old by the
Carthaginians in the time of their calamities, and thereupon
fell to work, so that the army was useless to Pompey for many
days, being totally engaged in digging for the fancied
treasure, he himself all the while walking up and down only,
and laughing to see so many thousands together, digging and
turning up the earth. Until at last, growing weary and
hopeless, they came to themselves, and returned to their
general, begging him to lead them where he pleased, for that
they had already received the punishment of their folly. By
this time Domitius had prepared himself; and drawn out his army
in array against Pompey; but there was a watercourse betwixt
them, craggy, and difficult to pass over; and this, together
with a great storm of wind and rain pouring down even from
break of day, seemed to leave but little possibility of their
coming together, so that Domitius, not expecting any engagement
that day, commanded his forces to draw off and retire to the
camp. Now Pompey, who was watchful upon every occasion, making
use of the opportunity, ordered a march forthwith, and having
passed over the torrent, fell in immediately upon their
quarters. The enemy was in a great disorder and tumult, and in
that confusion attempted a resistance; but they neither were
all there, nor supported one another; besides, the wind having
veered about, beat the rain full in their faces. Neither
indeed was the storm less troublesome to the Romans, for that
they could not clearly discern one another, insomuch that even
Pompey himself, being unknown, escaped narrowly; for when one
of his soldiers demanded of him the word of battle, it happened
that he was somewhat slow in his answer, which might have cost
him his life.

The enemy being routed with a great slaughter, (for it is said,
that of twenty thousand there escaped but three thousand,) the
army saluted Pompey by the name of Imperator; but he declined
it, telling them, that he could not by any means accept of that
title, as long as he saw the camp of the enemy standing; but if
they designed to make him worthy of the honor, they must first
demolish that. The soldiers on hearing this, went at once and
made an assault upon the works and trenches, and there Pompey
fought without his helmet, in memory of his former danger, and
to avoid the like. The camp was thus taken by storm, and among
the rest, Domitius was slain. After that overthrow, the cities
of the country thereabouts were all either secured by
surrender, or taken by storm. King Iarbas, likewise, a
confederate and auxiliary of Domitius, was taken prisoner, and
his kingdom was given to Hiempsal.

Pompey could not rest here, but being ambitious to follow the
good fortune and use the valor of his army, entered Numidia;
and marching forward many days' journey up into the country, he
conquered all wherever he came. And having revived the terror
of the Roman power, which was now almost obliterated among the
barbarous nations, he said likewise, that the wild beasts of
Africa ought not to be left without some experience of the
courage and success of the Romans; and therefore he bestowed
some few days in hunting lions and elephants. And it is said,
that it was not above the space of forty days at the utmost, in
which he gave a total overthrow to the enemy, reduced Africa,
and established the affairs of the kings and kingdoms of all
that country, being then in the twenty-fourth year of his age.

When Pompey returned back to the city of Utica, there were
presented to him letters and orders from Sylla, commanding him
to disband the rest of his army, and himself with one legion
only to wait there the coming of another general, to succeed
him in the government. This, inwardly, was extremely grievous
to Pompey, though he made no show of it. But the army resented
it openly, and when Pompey besought them to depart and go home
before him, they began to revile Sylla, and declared broadly,
that they were resolved not to forsake him, neither did they
think it safe for him to trust the tyrant. Pompey at first
endeavored to appease and pacify them by fair speeches; but
when he saw that his persuasions were vain, he left the bench,
and retired to his tent with tears in his eyes. But the
soldiers followed him, and seizing upon him, by force brought
him again, and placed him in his tribunal; where great part of
that day was spent in dispute, they on their part persuading
him to stay and command them, he, on the other side, pressing
upon them obedience, and the danger of mutiny. At last, when
they grew yet more importunate and clamorous, he swore that he
would kill himself if they attempted to force him; and scarcely
even thus appeased them. Nevertheless, the first tidings
brought to Sylla were, that Pompey was up in rebellion; on
which he remarked to some of his friends, "I see, then, it is
my destiny to contend with children in my old age;" alluding at
the same time to Marius, who, being but a mere youth, had given
him great trouble, and brought him into extreme danger. But
being undeceived afterwards by better intelligence, and finding
the whole city prepared to meet Pompey, and receive him with
every display of kindness and honor, he resolved to exceed them
all. And, therefore, going out foremost to meet him, and
embracing him with great cordiality, he gave him his welcome
aloud in the title of Magnus, or the Great, and bade all that
were present call him by that name. Others say that he had
this title first given him by a general acclamation of all the
army in Africa, but that it was fixed upon him by this
ratification of Sylla. It is certain that he himself was the
last that owned the title; for it was a long time after, when
he was sent proconsul into Spain against Sertorius, that he
began to write himself in his letters and commissions by the
name of Pompeius Magnus; common and familiar use having then
worn off the invidiousness of the title. And one cannot but
accord respect and admiration to the ancient Romans, who did
not reward the successes of action and conduct in war alone
with such honorable titles, but adorned likewise the virtues
and services of eminent men in civil government with the same
distinctions and marks of honor. Two persons received from the
people the name of Maximus, or the Greatest, Valerius, for
reconciling the senate and people, and Fabius Rullus, because
he put out of the senate certain sons of freed slaves who had
been admitted into it because of their wealth.

Pompey now desired the honor of a triumph, which Sylla opposed,
alleging that the law allowed that honor to none but consuls
and praetors, and therefore Scipio the elder, who subdued the
Carthaginians in Spain in far greater and nobler conflicts,
never petitioned for a triumph, because he had never been
consul or praetor; and if Pompey, who had scarcely yet fully
grown a beard, and was not of age to be a senator, should enter
the city in triumph, what a weight of envy would it bring, he
said, at once upon his government and Pompey's honor. This was
his language to Pompey, intimating that he could not by any
means yield to his request, but if he would persist in his
ambition, that he was resolved to interpose his power to humble
him. Pompey, however, was not daunted; but bade Sylla
recollect, that more worshiped the rising than the setting sun;
as if to tell him that his power was increasing, and Sylla's in
the wane. Sylla did not perfectly hear the words, but
observing a sort of amazement and wonder in the looks and
gestures of those that did hear them, he asked what it was that
he said. When it was told him, he seemed astounded at Pompey's
boldness, and cried out twice together, "Let him triumph," and
when others began to show their disapprobation and offense at
it, Pompey, it is said, to gall and vex them the more, designed
to have his triumphant chariot drawn with four elephants,
(having brought over several which belonged to the African
kings,) but the gates of the city being too narrow, he was
forced to desist from that project, and be content with horses.
And when his soldiers, who had not received as large rewards as
they had expected, began to clamor, and interrupt the triumph,
Pompey regarded these as little as the rest, and plainly told
them that he had rather lose the honor of his triumph, than
flatter them. Upon which Servilius, a man of great
distinction, and at first one of the chief opposers of Pompey's
triumph, said, he now perceived that Pompey was truly great and
worthy of a triumph. It is clear that he might easily have
been a senator, also, if he had wished, but he did not sue for
that, being ambitious, it seems, only of unusual honors. For
what wonder had it been for Pompey, to sit in the senate before
his time? But to triumph before he was in the senate, was
really an excess of glory.

And moreover, it did not a little ingratiate him with the
people; who were much pleased to see him after his triumph take
his place again among the Roman knights. On the other side, it
was no less distasteful to Sylla to see how fast he came on,
and to what a height of glory and power he was advancing; yet
being ashamed to hinder him, he kept quiet. But when, against
his direct wishes, Pompey got Lepidus made consul, having
openly joined in the canvass and, by the good-will the people
felt for himself, conciliated their favor for Lepidus, Sylla
could forbear no longer; but when he saw him coming away from
the election through the forum with a great train after him,
cried out to him, "Well, young man, I see you rejoice in your
victory. And, indeed, is it not a most generous and worthy
act, that the consulship should be given to Lepidus, the vilest
of men, in preference to Catulus, the best and most deserving
in the city, and all by your influence with the people? It
will be well, however, for you to be wakeful and look to your
interests; as you have been making your enemy stronger than
yourself." But that which gave the clearest demonstration of
Sylla's ill-will to Pompey, was his last will and testament;
for whereas he had bequeathed several legacies to all the rest
of his friends, and appointed some of them guardians to his
eon, he passed by Pompey without the least remembrance.
However, Pompey bore this with great moderation and temper; and
when Lepidus and others were disposed to obstruct his interment
in the Campus Martius, and to prevent any public funeral taking
place, came forward in support of it, and saw his obsequies
performed with all honor and security.

Shortly after the death of Sylla, his prophetic words were
fulfilled; and Lepidus proposing to be the successor to all his
power and authority, without any ambiguities or pretences,
immediately appeared in arms, rousing once more and gathering
about him all the long dangerous remains of the old factions,
which had escaped the hand of Sylla. Catulus, his colleague,
who was followed by the sounder part of the senate and people,
was a man of the greatest esteem among the Romans for wisdom
and justice; but his talent lay in the government of the city
rather than the camp, whereas the exigency required the skill
of Pompey. Pompey, therefore, was not long in suspense which
way to dispose of himself, but joining with the nobility, was
presently appointed general of the army against Lepidus, who
had already raised up war in great part of Italy, and held
Cisalpine Gaul in subjection with an army under Brutus. As for
the rest of his garrisons, Pompey subdued them with ease in his
march, but Mutina in Gaul resisted in a formal siege, and he
lay here a long time encamped against Brutus. In the meantime
Lepidus marched in all haste against Rome, and sitting down
before it with a crowd of followers, to the terror of those
within, demanded a second consulship. But that fear quickly
vanished upon letters sent from Pompey, announcing that he had
ended the war without a battle; for Brutus, either betraying
his army, or being betrayed by their revolt, surrendered
himself to Pompey, and receiving a guard of horse, was
conducted to a little town upon the river Po; where he was
slain the next day by Geminius, in execution of Pompey's
commands. And for this Pompey was much censured; for, having
at the beginning of the revolt written to the senate that
Brutus had voluntarily surrendered himself, immediately
afterward he sent other letters, with matter of accusation
against the man, after he was taken off. Brutus, who with
Cassius slew Caesar, was son to this Brutus; neither in war nor
in his death like his father, as appears at large in his life.
Lepidus upon this being driven out of Italy, fled to Sardinia,
where he fell sick and died of sorrow, not for his public
misfortunes, as they say, but, upon the discovery of a letter,
proving his wife to have been unfaithful to him.

There yet remained Sertorius, a very different general from
Lepidus, in possession of Spain, and making himself formidable
to Rome; the final disease, as it were, in which the scattered
evils of the civil wars had now collected. He had already cut
off various inferior commanders, and was at this time coping
with Metellus Pius, a man of repute and a good soldier, though
perhaps he might now seem too slow, by reason of his age, to
second and improve the happier moments of war, and might be
sometimes wanting to those advantages which Sertorius by his
quickness and dexterity would wrest out of his hands. For
Sertorius was always hovering about, and coming upon him
unawares, like a captain of thieves rather than soldiers,
disturbing him perpetually with ambuscades and light
skirmishes; whereas Metellus was accustomed to regular conduct,
and fighting in battle array with full-armed soldiers. Pompey,
therefore, keeping his army in readiness, made it his object to
be sent in aid to Metellus; neither would he be induced to
disband his forces, notwithstanding that Catulus called upon
him to do so, but by some colorable device or other he still
kept them in arms about the city, until the senate at last
thought fit, upon the report of Lucius Philippus, to decree him
that government. At that time, they say, one of the senators
there expressing his wonder and demanding of Philippus whether
his meaning was that Pompey should be sent into Spain as
proconsul, "No," replied Philippus, "but as proconsuls," as if
both consuls for that year were in his opinion wholly useless.

When Pompey was arrived in Spain, as is usual upon the fame of
a new leader, men began to be inspired with new hopes, and
those nations that had not entered into a very strict alliance
with Sertorius, began to waver and revolt; whereupon Sertorius
uttered various arrogant and scornful speeches against Pompey,
saying in derision, that he should want no other weapon but a
ferula and rod to chastise this boy with, if he were not afraid
of that old woman, meaning Metellus. Yet in deed and reality
he stood in awe of Pompey, and kept on his guard against him,
as appeared by his whole management of the war, which he was
observed to conduct much more warily than before; for Metellus,
which one would not have imagined, was grown excessively
luxurious in his habits having given himself over to
self-indulgence and pleasure, and from a moderate and
temperate, became suddenly a sumptuous and ostentatious liver,
so that this very thing gained Pompey great reputation and
goodwill, as he made himself somewhat specially an example of
frugality, although that virtue was habitual in him, and
required no great industry to exercise it, as he was naturally
inclined to temperance, and no ways inordinate in his desires.
The fortune of the war was very various; nothing however
annoyed Pompey so much as the taking of the town of Lauron by
Sertorius. For when Pompey thought he had him safe inclosed,
and had boasted somewhat largely of raising the siege, he found
himself all of a sudden encompassed; insomuch that he durst not
move out of his camp, but was forced to sit still whilst the
city was taken and burnt before his face. However, afterwards
in a battle near Valentia, he gave great defeat to Herennius
and Perpenna, two commanders among the refugees who had fled to
Sertorius, and now lieutenants under him, in which he slew
above ten thousand men.

Pompey, being elated and filled with confidence by this
victory, made all haste to engage Sertorius himself, and the
rather lest Metellus should come in for a share in the honor of
the victory. Late in the day, towards sunset, they joined
battle near the river Sucro, both being in fear lest Metellus
should come; Pompey, that he might engage alone, Sertorius,
that he might have one alone to engage with. The issue of the
battle proved doubtful, for a wing of each side had the better;
but of the generals, Sertorius had the greater honor, for that
he maintained his post, having put to flight the entire
division that was opposed to him, whereas Pompey was himself
almost made a prisoner; for being set upon by a strong man at
arms that fought on foot, (he being on horseback,) as they were
closely engaged hand to hand, the strokes of their swords
chanced to light upon their hands, but with a different
success; for Pompey's was a slight wound only, whereas he cut
off the other's hand. However, it happened so, that many now
falling upon Pompey together, and his own forces there being
put to the rout, he made his escape beyond expectation, by
quitting his horse, and turning him out among the enemy. For
the horse being richly adorned with golden trappings, and
having a caparison of great value, the soldiers quarreled among
themselves for the booty, so that while they were fighting with
one another, and dividing the spoil, Pompey made his escape.
By break of day the next morning, each drew out his forces into
the field to claim the victory; but Metellus coming up,
Sertorius vanished, having broken up and dispersed his army.
For this was the way in which he used to raise and disband his
armies, so that sometimes he would be wandering up and down all
alone, and at other times again he would come pouring into the
field at the head of no less than one hundred and fifty
thousand fighting-men, swelling of a sudden like a winter

When Pompey was going after the battle to meet and welcome
Metellus, and when they were near one another, he commanded his
attendants to lower their rods in honor of Metellus, as his
senior and superior. But Metellus on the other side forbade
it, and behaved himself in general very obligingly to him, not
claiming any prerogative either in respect of his consular rank
or seniority; excepting only that when they encamped together,
the watchword was given to the whole camp by Metellus. But
generally they had their camps asunder, being divided and
distracted by the enemy, who took all shapes, and being always
in motion, would by some skillful artifice appear in a variety
of places almost in the same instant, drawing them from one
attack to another, and at last keeping them from foraging,
wasting the country, and holding the dominion of the sea,
Sertorius drove them both out of that part of Spain which was
under his control, and forced them for want of necessaries to
retreat into provinces that did not belong to them.

Pompey, having made use of and expended the greatest part of
his own private revenues upon the war, sent and demanded moneys
of the senate, adding, that in case they did not furnish him
speedily, he should be forced to return into Italy with his
army. Lucullus being consul at that time, though at variance
with Pompey, yet in consideration that he himself was a
candidate for the command against Mithridates, procured and
hastened these supplies, fearing lest there should be any
presence or occasion given to Pompey of returning home, who of
himself was no less desirous of leaving Sertorius, and of
undertaking the war against Mithridates, as an enterprise which
by all appearance would prove much more honorable and not so
dangerous. In the meantime Sertorius died, being
treacherously murdered by some of his own party; and Perpenna,
the chief among them, took the command, and attempted to carry
on the same enterprises with Sertorius, having indeed the same
forces and the same means, only wanting the same skill and
conduct in the use of them. Pompey therefore marched directly
against, Perpenna, and finding him acting merely at random in
his affairs, had a decoy ready for him, and sent out a
detachment of ten cohorts into the level country with orders to
range up and down and disperse themselves abroad. The bait
took accordingly, and no sooner had Perpenna turned upon the
prey and had them in chase, but Pompey appeared suddenly with
all his army and joining battle, gave him a total overthrow.
Most of his officers were slain in the field, and he himself
being brought prisoner to Pompey, was by his order put to
death. Neither was Pompey guilty in this of ingratitude or
unmindfulness of what had occurred in Sicily, which some have
laid to his charge, but was guided by a high minded policy and
a deliberate counsel for the security of his country. For
Perpenna, having in his custody all Sertorius's papers, offered
to produce several letters from the greatest men in Rome, who,
desirous of a change and subversion of the government, had
invited Sertorius into Italy. And Pompey, fearing that these
might be the occasion of worse wars than those which were now
ended, thought it advisable to put Perpenna to death, and burnt
the letters without reading them.

Pompey continued in Spain after this so long a time as was
necessary for the suppression of all the greatest disorders in
the province; and after moderating and allaying the more
violent heats of affairs there, returned with his army into
Italy, where he arrived, as chance would have it, in the height
of the servile war. Accordingly, upon his arrival, Crassus,
the commander in that war, at some hazard precipitated a
battle, in which he had great success, and slew upon the place
twelve thousand three hundred of the insurgents. Nor yet was
he so quick, but that fortune reserved to Pompey some share of
honor in the success of this war, for five thousand of those
that had escaped out of the battle fell into his hands; and
when he had totally cut them off, he wrote to the senate, that
Crassus had overthrown the slaves in battle, but that he had
plucked up the whole war by the roots. And it was agreeable to
the people in Rome both thus to say, and thus to hear said,
because of the general favor of Pompey. But of the Spanish war
and the conquest of Sertorius, no one, even in jest, could have
ascribed the honor to anyone else. Nevertheless, all this
high respect for him, and this desire to see him come home,
were not unmixed with apprehensions and suspicions that he
might perhaps not disband his army, but take his way by the
force of arms and a supreme command to the seat of Sylla. And
so in the number of all those that ran out to meet him and
congratulate his return, as many went out of fear as affection.
But after Pompey had removed this alarm, by declaring
beforehand that he would discharge the army after his triumph,
those that envied him could now only complain that he affected
popularity, courting the common people more than the nobility,
and that whereas Sylla had abolished the tribuneship of the
people, he designed to gratify the people by restoring that
office, which was indeed the fact. For there was not any one
thing that the people of Rome were more wildly eager for, or
more passionately desired, than the restoration of that office,
insomuch that Pompey thought himself extremely fortunate in
this opportunity, despairing (if he were anticipated by
someone else in this) of ever meeting with any other sufficient
means of expressing his gratitude for the favors which he had
received from the people.

Though a second triumph was decreed him, and he was declared
consul, yet all these honors did not seem so great an evidence
of his power and glory, as the ascendant which he had over
Crassus; for he, the wealthiest among all the statesmen of his
time, and the most eloquent and greatest too, who had looked
down on Pompey himself, and on all others as beneath him, durst
not appear a candidate for the consulship before he had applied
to Pompey. The request was made accordingly, and was eagerly
embraced by Pompey, who had long sought an occasion to oblige
him in some friendly office; so that he solicited for Crassus,
and entreated the people heartily, declaring, that their favor
would be no less to him in choosing Crassus his colleague, than
in making himself consul. Yet for all this, when they were
created consuls, they were always at variance, and opposing one
another. Crassus prevailed most in the senate, and Pompey's
power was no less with the people, he having restored to them
the office of tribune, and having allowed the courts of
judicature to be transferred back to the knights by a new law.
He himself in person, too, afforded them a most grateful
spectacle, when he appeared and craved his discharge from the
military service. For it is an ancient custom among the
Romans, that the knights, when they had served out their legal
time in the wars, should lead their horses into the
market-place before the two officers, called censors, and
having given an account of the commanders and generals under
whom they served, as also of the places and actions of their
service, should be discharged, every man with honor or
disgrace, according to his deserts. There were then sitting in
state upon the bench two censors, Gellius and Lentulus,
inspecting the knights, who were passing by in muster before
them, when Pompey was seen coming down into the forum, with all
the ensigns of a consul, but leading his horse in his hand.
When he came up, he bade his lictors make way for him, and so
he led his horse to the bench; the people being all this while
in a sort of amaze, and all in silence, and the censors
themselves regarding the sight with a mixture of respect and
gratification. Then the senior censor examined him: "Pompeius
Magnus, I demand of you whether you have served the full time
in the wars that is prescribed by the law?" "Yes," replied
Pompey with a loud voice, "I have served all, and all under
myself as general." The people hearing this gave a great
shout, and made such an outcry for delight, that there was no
appeasing it; and the censors rising from their judgment-seat,
accompanied him home to gratify the multitude, who followed
after, clapping their hands and shouting.

Pompey's consulship was now expiring, and yet his difference
with Crassus increasing, when one Caius Aurelius, a knight, a
man who had declined public business all his lifetime, mounted
the hustings, and addressed himself in an oration to the
assembly, declaring that Jupiter had appeared to him in a
dream, commanding him to tell the consuls, that they should not
give up office until they were friends. After this was said,
Pompey stood silent, but Crassus took him by the hand, and
spoke in this manner: "I do not think, fellow-citizens, that I
shall do anything mean or dishonorable, in yielding first to
Pompey, whom you were pleased to ennoble with the title of
Great, when as yet he scarce had a hair on his face; and
granted the honor of two triumphs, before he had a place in the
senate." Hereupon they were reconciled and laid down their
office. Crassus resumed the manner of life which he had always
pursued before; but Pompey in the great generality of causes
for judgment declined appearing on either side, and by degrees
withdrew himself totally from the forum, showing himself but
seldom in public; and whenever he did, it was with a great
train after him. Neither was it easy to meet or visit him
without a crowd of people about him; he was most pleased to
make his appearance before large numbers at once, as though he
wished to maintain in this way his state and majesty, and as if
he held himself bound to preserve his dignity from contact with
the addresses and conversation of common people. And life in
the robe of peace is only too apt to lower the reputation of
men that have grown great by arms, who naturally find
difficulty in adapting themselves to the habits of civil
equality. They expect to be treated as the first in the city,
even as they were in the camp; and on the other hand, men who
in war were nobody, think it intolerable if in the city at any
rate they are not to take the lead. And so, when a warrior
renowned for victories and triumphs shall turn advocate and
appear among them in the forum, they endeavor their utmost to
obscure and depress him; whereas, if he gives up any
pretensions here and retires, they will maintain his military
honor and authority beyond the reach of envy. Events
themselves not long after showed the truth of this.

The power of the pirates first commenced in Cilicia, having in
truth but a precarious and obscure beginning, but gained life
and boldness afterwards in the wars of Mithridates, where they
hired themselves out, and took employment in the king's
service. Afterwards, whilst the Romans were embroiled in their
civil wars, being engaged against one another even before the
very gates of Rome, the seas lay waste and unguarded, and by
degrees enticed and drew them on not only to seize upon and
spoil the merchants and ships upon the seas, but also to lay
waste the islands and seaport towns. So that now there
embarked with these pirates men of wealth and noble birth and
superior abilities, as if it had been a natural occupation to
gain distinction in. They had divers arsenals, or piratic
harbors, as likewise watch towers and beacons, all along the
sea-coast; and fleets were here received that were well manned
with the finest mariners, and well served with the expertest
pilots, and composed of swift sailing and light-built vessels
adapted for their special purpose. Nor was it merely their
being thus formidable that excited indignation; they were even
more odious for their ostentation than they were feared for
their force. Their ships had gilded masts at their stems; the
sails woven of purple, and the oars plated with silver, as if
their delight were to glory in their iniquity. There was
nothing but music and dancing, banqueting and revels, all along
the shore. Officers in command were taken prisoners, and
cities put under contribution, to the reproach and dishonor of
the Roman supremacy. There were of these corsairs above one
thousand sail, and they had taken no less than four hundred
cities, committing sacrilege upon the temples of the gods, and
enriching themselves with the spoils of many never violated
before, such as were those of Claros, Didyma, and Samothrace;
and the temple of the Earth in Hermione, and that of
Aesculapius in Epidaurus, those of Neptune at the Isthmus, at
Taenarus, and at Calauria; those of Apollo at Actium and
Leucas, and those of Juno, in Samos, at Argos, and at Lacinium.
They themselves offered strange sacrifices upon Mount Olympus,
and performed certain secret rites or religious mysteries,
among which those of Mithras have been preserved to our own
time, having received their previous institution from them.
But besides these insolencies by sea, they were also injurious
to the Romans by land; for they would often go inland up the
roads, plundering and destroying their villages and
country-houses. And once they seized upon two Roman praetors,
Sextilius and Bellinus, in their purple-edged robes, and
carried them off together with their officers and lictors. The
daughter also of Antonius, a man that had had the honor of a
triumph, taking a journey into the country, was seized, and
redeemed upon payment of a large ransom. But it was most
abusive of all, that when any of the captives declared himself
to be a Roman and told his name, they affected to be surprised,
and feigning fear, smote their thighs and fell down at his
feet, humbly beseeching him to be gracious and forgive them.
The captive seeing them so humble and suppliant, believed them
to be in earnest; and some of them now would proceed to put
Roman shoes on his feet, and to dress him in a Roman gown, to
prevent, they said, his being mistaken another time. After all
this pageantry, when they had thus deluded and mocked him long
enough, at last putting out a ship's ladder, when they were in
the midst of the sea, they told him he was free to go, and
wished him a pleasant journey; and if he resisted, they
themselves threw him overboard, and drowned him.

This piratic power having got the dominion and control of all
the Mediterranean, there was left no place for navigation or
commerce. And this it was which most of all made the Romans,
finding themselves to be extremely straitened in their markets,
and considering that if it should continue, there would be a
dearth and famine in the land, determine at last to send out
Pompey to recover the seas from the pirates. Gabinius, one of
Pompey's friends, preferred a law, whereby there was granted to
him, not only the government of the seas as admiral, but in
direct words, sole and irresponsible sovereignty over all men.
For the decree gave him absolute power and authority in all the
seas within the pillars of Hercules, and in the adjacent
mainland for the space of four hundred furlongs from the sea.
Now there were but few regions in the Roman empire out of that
compass; and the greatest of the nations and most powerful of
the kings were included in the limit. Moreover by this decree
he had a power of selecting fifteen lieutenants out of the
senate, and of assigning to each his province in charge; then
he might take likewise out of the treasury and out of the hands
of the revenue-farmers what moneys he pleased; as also two
hundred sail of ships, with a power to press and levy what
soldiers and seamen he thought fit. When this law was read,
the common people approved of it exceedingly, but the chief men
and most important among the senators looked upon it as an
exorbitant power, even beyond the reach of envy, but well
deserving their fears. Therefore concluding with themselves
that such unlimited authority was dangerous, they agreed
unanimously to oppose the bill, and all went against it, except
Caesar, who gave his vote for the law, not to gratify Pompey,
but the people, whose favor he had courted underhand from the
beginning, and hoped to compass for himself. The rest
inveighed bitterly against Pompey, insomuch that one of the
consuls told him, that if he was ambitious of the place of
Romulus, he would scarce avoid his end, but he was in danger of
being torn in pieces by the multitude for his speech. Yet when
Catulus stood up to speak against the law, the people in
reverence to him were silent and attentive. And when, after
saying much in the most honorable terms in favor of Pompey, he
proceeded to advise the people in kindness to spare him, and
not to expose a man of his value to such a succession of
dangers and wars, "For," said he, "where could you find another
Pompey, or whom would you have in case you should chance to
lose him?" they all cried out with one voice, "Yourself." And
so Catulus, finding all his rhetoric ineffectual, desisted.
Then Roscius attempted to speak, but could obtain no hearing,
and made signs with his fingers, intimating, "Not him alone,"
but that there might be a second Pompey or colleague in
authority with him. Upon this, it is said, the multitude being
extremely incensed, made such a loud outcry, that a crow flying
over the market-place at that instant was struck, and drops
down among the crowd; whence it would appear that the cause of
birds falling down to the ground, is not any rupture or
division of the air causing a vacuum, but purely the actual
stroke of the voice, which when carried up in a great mass and
with violence, raises a sort of tempest and billow, as it were,
in the air.

The assembly broke up for that day; and when the day was come,
on which the bill was to pass by suffrage into a decree, Pompey
went privately into the country; but hearing that it was passed
and confirmed, he resumed again into the city by night, to
avoid the envy that might be occasioned by the concourse of
people that would meet and congratulate him. The next morning
he came abroad and sacrificed to the gods, and having audience
at an open assembly, so handled the matter that they enlarged
his power, giving him many things besides what was already
granted, and almost doubling the preparation appointed in the
former decree. Five hundred ships were manned for him, and an
army raised of one hundred and twenty thousand foot, and five
thousand horse. Twenty-four senators that had been generals of
armies were appointed to serve as lieutenants under him, and to
these were added two quaestors. Now it happened within this
time that the prices of provisions were much reduced, which
gave an occasion to the joyful people of saying, that the very
name of Pompey had ended the war. However, Pompey in pursuance
of his charge divided all the seas, and the whole Mediterranean
into thirteen parts, allotting a squadron to each, under the
command of his officers; and having thus dispersed his power
into all quarters, and encompassed the pirates everywhere, they
began to fall into his hands by whole shoals, which he seized
and brought into his harbors. As for those that withdrew
themselves betimes, or otherwise escaped his general chase,
they all made to Cilicia, where they hid themselves as in their
hive; against whom Pompey now proceeded in person with sixty of
his best ships, not however until he had first scoured and
cleared all the seas near Rome, the Tyrrhenian, and the
African, and all the waters of Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily;
all which he performed in the space of forty days, by his own
indefatigable industry and the zeal of his lieutenants.

Pompey met with some interruption in Rome, through the malice
and envy of Piso, the consul, who had given some check to his
proceedings, by withholding his stores and discharging his
seamen; whereupon he sent his fleet round to Brundusium,
himself going the nearest way by land through Tuscany to Rome;
which was no sooner known by the people, than they all flocked
out to meet him upon the way, as if they had not sent him out
but few days before. What chiefly excited their joy, was the
unexpectedly rapid change in the markets, which abounded now
with the greatest plenty, so that Piso was in great danger to
have been deprived of his consulship, Gabinius having a law
ready prepared for that purpose; but Pompey forbade it,
behaving himself as in that, so in all things else, with great
moderation, and when he had made sure of all that he wanted or
desired, he departed for Brundusium, whence he set sail in
pursuit of the pirates. And though he was straitened in time,
and his hasty voyage forced him to sail by several cities
without touching, yet he would not pass by the city of Athens
unsaluted; but landing there, after he had sacrificed to the
gods, and made an address to the people, as he was returning
out of the city, he read at the gates two epigrams, each in a
single line, written in his own praise; one within the gate: --

Thy humbler thoughts make thee a god the more;

the other without: --

Adieu we bid, who welcome bade before.

Now because Pompey had shown himself merciful to some of these
pirates that were yet roving in bodies about the seas, having
upon their supplication ordered a seizure of their ships and
persons only, without any further process or severity,
therefore the rest of their comrades in hopes of mercy too,
made their escape from his other commanders, and surrendered
themselves with their wives and children into his protection.
He continued to pardon all that came in, and the rather because
by them he might make discovery of those who fled from his
justice, as conscious that their crimes were beyond an act of
indemnity. The most numerous and important part of these
conveyed their families and treasures, with all their people
that were unfit for war, into castles and strong forts about
Mount Taurus; but they themselves having well manned their
galleys, embarked for Coracesium in Cilicia, where they
received Pompey and gave him battle. Here they had a final
overthrow, and retired to the land, where they were besieged.
At last, having dispatched their heralds to him with a
submission, they delivered up to his mercy themselves, their
towns, islands, and strong-holds, all which they had so
fortified that they were almost impregnable, and scarcely even

Thus was this war ended, and the whole power of the pirates at
sea dissolved everywhere in the space of three months, wherein,
besides a great number of other vessels, he took ninety
men-of-war with brazen beaks; and likewise prisoners of war to
the number of no less than twenty thousand.

As regarded the disposal of these prisoners, he never so much
as entertained the thought of putting them to death; and yet it
might be no less dangerous on the other hand to disperse them,
as they might reunite and make head again, being numerous,
poor, and warlike. Therefore wisely weighing with himself,
that man by nature is not a wild or unsocial creature, neither
was he born so, but makes himself what he naturally is not, by
vicious habit; and that again on the other side, he is
civilized and grows gentle by a change of place, occupation,
and manner of life, as beasts themselves that are wild by
nature, become tame and tractable by housing and gentler usage,
upon this consideration he determined to translate these
pirates from sea to land, and give them a taste of an honest
and innocent course of life, by living in towns, and tilling
the ground. Some therefore were admitted into the small and
half-peopled towns of the Cilicians, who for an enlargement of
their territories, were willing to receive them. Others he
planted in the city of the Solians, which had been lately laid
waste by Tigranes, king of Armenia, and which he now restored.
But the largest number were settled in Dyme, the town of
Achaea, at that time extremely depopulated, and possessing an
abundance of good land.

However, these proceedings could not escape the envy and
censure of his enemies; and the course he took against Metellus
in Crete was disapproved of even by the chiefest of his
friends. For Metellus, a relation of Pompey's former colleague
in Spain, had been sent praetor into Crete, before this
province of the seas was assigned to Pompey. Now Crete was the
second source of pirates next to Cilicia, and Metellus having
shut up a number of them in their strong-holds there, was
engaged in reducing and extirpating them. Those that were yet
remaining and besieged sent their supplications to Pompey, and
invited him into the island as a part of his province, alleging
it to fall, every part of it, within the distance from the sea
specified in his commission, and so within the precincts of his
charge. Pompey receiving the submission, sent letters to
Metellus, commanding him to leave off the war; and others in
like manner to the cities, in which he charged them not to
yield any obedience to the commands of Metellus. And after
these, he sent Lucius Octavius, one of his lieutenants, to act
as general, who entering the besieged fortifications, and
fighting in defense of the pirates, rendered Pompey not odious
only, but even ridiculous too; that he should lend his name as
a guard to a nest of thieves, that knew neither god nor law,
and make his reputation serve as a sanctuary to them, only out
of pure envy and emulation to Metellus. For neither was
Achilles thought to act the part of a man, but rather of a mere
boy, mad after glory, when by signs he forbade the rest of the
Greeks to strike at Hector: --

"for fear
Some other hand should give the blow, and he
Lose the first honor of the victory."

Whereas Pompey even sought to preserve the common enemies of
the world, only that he might deprive a Roman praetor, after
all his labors, of the honor of a triumph. Metellus however
was not daunted, but prosecuted the war against the pirates,
expelled them from their strongholds and punished them; and
dismissed Octavius with the insults and reproaches of the whole

When the news came to Rome that the war with the pirates was at
an end, and that Pompey was unoccupied, diverting himself in
visits to the cities for want of employment, one Manlius, a
tribune of the people, preferred a law that Pompey should have
all the forces of Lucullus, and the provinces under his
government, together with Bithynia, which was under the command
of Glabrio; and that he should forthwith conduct the war
against the two kings, Mithridates and Tigranes, retaining
still the same naval forces and the sovereignty of the seas as
before. But this was nothing less than to constitute one
absolute monarch of all the Roman empire. For the provinces
which seemed to be exempt from his commission by the former
decree, such as were Phrygia, Lycaonia, Galatia, Cappadocia,
Cilicia, the upper Colchis, and Armenia, were all added in by
this latter law, together with all the troops and forces with
which Lucullus had defeated Mithridates and Tigranes. And
though Lucullus was thus simply robbed of the glory of his
achievements in having a successor assigned him, rather to the
honor of his triumph, than the danger of the war; yet this was
of less moment in the eyes of the aristocratical party, though
they could not but admit the injustice and ingratitude to
Lucullus. But their great grievance was, that the power of
Pompey should be converted into a manifest tyranny; and they
therefore exhorted and encouraged one another privately to bend
all their forces in opposition to this law, and not tamely to
cast away their liberty; yet when the day came on which it was
to pass into a decree, their hearts failed them for fear of the
people, and all were silent except Catulus, who boldly
inveighed against the law and its proposer, and when he found
that he could do nothing with the people, turned to the senate,
crying out and bidding them seek out some mountain as their
forefathers had done, and fly to the rocks where they might
preserve their liberty. The law passed into a decree, as it is
said, by the suffrages of all the tribes. And Pompey in his
absence was made lord of almost all that power, which Sylla
only obtained by force of arms, after a conquest of the very
city itself. When Pompey had advice by letters of the decree,
it is said that in the presence of his friends, who came to
give him joy of his honor, he seemed displeased, frowning and
smiting his thigh, and exclaimed as one overburdened, and weary
of government, "Alas, what a series of labors upon labors! If
I am never to end my service as a soldier, nor to escape from
this invidious greatness, and live at home in the country with
my wife, I had better have been an unknown man." But all this
was looked upon as mere trifling, neither indeed could the best
of his friends call it anything else, well knowing that his
enmity with Lucullus, setting a flame just now to his natural
passion for glory and empire, made him feel more than usually

As indeed appeared not long afterwards by his actions, which
clearly unmasked him; for in the first place, he sent out his
proclamations into all quarters, commanding the soldiers to
join him, and summoned all the tributary kings and princes
within his charge; and in short, as soon as he had entered upon
his province, he left nothing unaltered that had been done and
established by Lucullus. To some he remitted their penalties,
and deprived others of their rewards, and acted in all respects
as if with the express design that the admirers of Lucullus
might know that all his authority was at an end. Lucullus
expostulated by friends, and it was thought fitting that there
should be a meeting betwixt them; and accordingly they met in
the country of Galatia. As they were both great and successful
generals, their officers bore their rods before them all
wreathed with branches of laurel; Lucullus came through a
country full of green trees and shady woods, but Pompey's march
was through a cold and barren district. Therefore the lictors
of Lucullus, perceiving that Pompey's laurels were withered and
dry, helped him to some of their own, and adorned and crowned
his rods with fresh laurels. This was thought ominous, and
looked as if Pompey came to take away the reward and honor of
Lucullus's victories. Lucullus had the priority in the order
of consulships, and also in age; but Pompey's two triumphs made
him the greater man. Their first addresses in this interview
were dignified and friendly, each magnifying the other's
actions, and offering congratulations upon his success. But
when they came to the matter of their conference or treaty,
they could agree on no fair or equitable terms of any kind, but
even came to harsh words against each other, Pompey upbraiding
Lucullus with avarice, and Lucullus retorting ambition upon
Pompey, so that their friends could hardly part them.
Lucullus, remaining in Galatia, made a distribution of the
lands within his conquests, and gave presents to whom he
pleased; and Pompey encamping not far distant from him, sent
out his prohibitions, forbidding the execution of any of the
orders of Lucullus, and commanded away all his soldiers, except
sixteen hundred, whom he thought likely to be unserviceable to
himself, being disorderly and mutinous, and whom he knew to be
hostile to Lucullus; and to these acts he added satirical
speeches, detracting openly from the glory of his actions, and
giving out, that the battles of Lucullus had been but with the
mere stage-shows and idle pictures of royal pomp, whereas the
real war against a genuine army, disciplined by defeat, was
reserved to him, Mithridates having now begun to be in earnest,
and having betaken himself to his shields, swords, and horses.
Lucullus, on the other side, to be even with him, replied, that
Pompey came to fight with the mere image and shadow of war, it
being his usual practice, like a lazy bird of prey, to come
upon the carcass, when others had slain the dead, and to tear
in pieces the relics of a war. Thus he had appropriated to
himself the victories over Sertorius, over Lepidus, and over
the insurgents under Spartacus; whereas this last had been
achieved by Crassus, that obtained by Catulus, and the first
won by Metellus. And therefore it was no great wonder, that
the glory of the Pontic and Armenian war should be usurped by a
man who had condescended to any artifices to work himself into
the honor of a triumph over a few runaway slaves.

After this Lucullus went away, and Pompey having placed his
whole navy in guard upon the seas betwixt Phoenicia and
Bosporus, himself marched against Mithridates, who had a
phalanx of thirty thousand foot, with two thousand horse, yet
durst not bid him battle. He had encamped upon a strong
mountain where it would have been hard to attack him, but
abandoned it in no long time, as destitute of water. No sooner
was he gone but Pompey occupied it, and observing the plants
that were thriving there, together with the hollows which he
found in several places, conjectured that such a plot could not
be without springs, and therefore ordered his men to sink wells
in every corner. After which there was, in a little time,
great plenty of water throughout all the camp, insomuch that he
wondered how it was possible for Mithridates to be ignorant of
this, during all that time of his encampment there. After this
Pompey followed him to his next camp, and there drawing lines
round about him, shut him in. But he, after having endured a
siege of forty-five days, made his escape secretly, and fled
away with all the best part of his army, having first put to
death all the sick and unserviceable. Not long after Pompey
overtook him again near the banks of the river Euphrates, and
encamped close by him; but fearing lest he should pass over the
river and give him the slip there too, he drew up his army to
attack him at midnight. And at that very time Mithridates, it
is said, saw a vision in his dream foreshowing what should come
to pass. For he seemed to be under sail in the Euxine Sea with
a prosperous gale, and just in view of Bosporus, discoursing
pleasantly with the ship's company, as one overjoyed for his
past danger and present security, when on a sudden he found
himself deserted of all, and floating upon a broken plank of
the ship at the mercy of the sea. Whilst he was thus laboring
under these passions and phantasms, his friends came and awaked
him with the news of Pompey's approach; who was now indeed so
near at hand, that the fight must be for the camp itself, and
the commanders accordingly drew up the forces in battle array.
Pompey perceiving how ready they were and well prepared for
defense, began to doubt with himself whether he should put it
to the hazard of a fight in the dark, judging it more prudent
to encompass them only at present, lest they should fly, and to
give them battle with the advantage of numbers the next day.
But his oldest officers were of another opinion, and by
entreaties and encouragements obtained permission that they
might charge them immediately. Neither was the night so very
dark, but that, though the moon was going down, it yet gave
light enough to discern a body. And indeed this was one
especial disadvantage to the king's army. For the Romans
coming upon them with the moon on their backs, the moon, being
very low, and just upon setting, cast the shadows a long way
before their bodies, reaching almost to the enemy, whose eyes
were thus so much deceived that not exactly discerning the
distance, but imagining them to be near at hand, they threw
their darts at the shadows, without the least execution. The
Romans therefore perceiving this, ran in upon them with a great
shout; but the barbarians, all in a panic, unable to endure the
charge, turned and fled, and were put to great slaughter, above
ten thousand being slain; the camp also was taken. As for
Mithridates himself, he at the beginning of the onset, with a
body of eight hundred horse charged through the Roman army, and
made his escape. But before long all the rest dispersed, some
one way, some another, and he was left only with three persons,
among whom was his concubine, Hypsicratia, a girl always of a
manly and daring spirit, and the king called her on that
account Hypsicrates. She being attired and mounted like a
Persian horseman, accompanied the king in all his flight, never
weary even in the longest journey, nor ever failing to attend
the king in person, and look after his horse too, until they
came to Inora, a castle of the king's, well stored with gold
and treasure. From thence Mithridates took his richest
apparel, and gave it among those that had resorted to him in
their flight; and to every one of his friends he gave a deadly
poison, that they might not fall into the power of the enemy
against their wills. From thence he designed to have gone to
Tigranes in Armenia, but being prohibited by Tigranes, who put
out a proclamation with a reward of one hundred talents to any
one that should apprehend him, he passed by the head-waters of
the river Euphrates, and fled through the country of Colchis.

Pompey in the meantime made an invasion into Armenia, upon the
invitation of young Tigranes, who was now in rebellion against
his father, and gave Pompey a meeting about the river Araxes,
which rises near the head of Euphrates, but turning its course
and bending towards the east, falls into the Caspian Sea. They
two, therefore, marched together through the country, taking in
all the cities by the way, and receiving their submission. But
king Tigranes, having lately suffered much in the war with
Lucullus, and understanding that Pompey was of a kind and
gentle disposition, admitted Roman troops into his royal
palaces, and taking along with him his friends and relations,
went in person to surrender himself into the hands of Pompey.
He came as far as the trenches on horseback, but there he was
met by two of Pompey's lictors, who commanded him to alight and
walk on foot, for no man ever was seen on horseback within a
Roman camp. Tigranes submitted to this immediately, and not
only so, but loosing his sword, delivered up that too; and last
of all, as soon as he appeared before Pompey, he pulled off his
royal turban, and attempted to have laid it at his feet. Nay,
worst of all, even he himself had fallen prostrate as an humble
suppliant at his knees, had not Pompey prevented it, taking him
by the hand and placing him near him, Tigranes himself on one
side of him and his son upon the other. Pompey now told him
that the rest of his losses were chargeable upon Lucullus, by
whom he had been dispossessed of Syria, Phoenicia, Cilicia,
Galatia, and Sophene; but all that he had preserved to himself
entire till that time he should peaceably enjoy, paying the sum
of six thousand talents as a fine or penalty for injuries done
to the Romans, and that his son should have the kingdom of
Sophene. Tigranes himself was well pleased with these
conditions of peace, and when the Romans saluted him king,
seemed to be overjoyed, and promised to every common soldier
half a mina of silver, to every centurion ten minas, and to
every tribune a talent; but the son was displeased, insomuch
that when he was invited to supper, he replied, that he did not
stand in need of Pompey for that sort of honor, for he would
find out some other Roman to sup with. Upon this he was put
into close arrest, and reserved for the triumph.

Not long after this Phraates, king of Parthia, sent to Pompey,
and demanded to have young Tigranes, as his son-in-law, given
up to him, and that the river Euphrates should be the boundary
of the empires. Pompey replied, that for Tigranes, he belonged
more to his own natural father than his father-in-law, and for
the boundaries, he would take care that they should be
according to right and justice.

So Pompey, leaving Armenia in the custody of Afranius, went
himself in chase of Mithridates; to do which he was forced of
necessity to march through several nations inhabiting about
Mount Caucasus. Of these the Albanians and Iberians were the
two chiefest. The Iberians stretch out as far as the Moschian
mountains and the Pontus; the Albanians lie more eastwardly,
and towards the Caspian Sea. These Albanians at first
permitted Pompey, upon his request, to pass through the
country; but when winter had stolen upon the Romans whilst they
were still in the country, and they were busy celebrating the
festival of Saturn, they mustered a body of no less than forty
thousand fighting men, and set upon them, having passed over
the river Cyrnus, which rising from the mountains of Iberia,
and receiving the river Araxes in its course from Armenia,
discharges itself by twelve mouths into the Caspian. Or,
according to others, the Araxes does not fall into it, but they
flow near one another, and so discharge themselves as neighbors
into the same sea. It was in the power of Pompey to have
obstructed the enemy's passage over the river, but he suffered
them to pass over quietly; and then leading on his forces and
giving battle, he routed them, and slew great numbers of them
in the field. The king sent ambassadors with his submission,
and Pompey upon his supplication pardoned the offense, and
making a treaty with him, he marched directly against the
Iberians, a nation no less in number than the other, but much
more warlike, and extremely desirous of gratifying Mithridates,
and driving out Pompey. These Iberians were never subject to
the Medes or Persians, and they happened likewise to escape the
dominion of the Macedonians, because Alexander was so quick in
his march through Hyrcania. But these also Pompey subdued in a
great battle, where there were slain nine thousand upon the
spot, and more than ten thousand taken prisoners. From thence
he entered into the country of Colchis, where Servilius met him
by the river Phasis, bringing the fleet with which he was
guarding the Pontus.

The pursuit of Mithridates, who had thrown himself among the
tribes inhabiting Bosporus and the shores of the Maeotian Sea,
presented great difficulties. News was also brought to Pompey
that the Albanians had again revolted. This made him turn
back, out of anger and determination not to be beaten by them,
and with difficulty and great danger he passed back over the
Cyrnus, which the barbarous people had fortified a great way
down the banks with palisadoes. And after this, having a
tedious march to make through a waterless and difficult
country, he ordered ten thousand skins to be filled with water,
and so advanced towards the enemy; whom he found drawn up in
order of battle near the river Abas, to the number of sixty
thousand horse, and twelve thousand foot, ill armed generally,
and most of them covered only with the skins of wild beasts.
Their general was Cosis, the king's brother, who as soon as the
battle was begun, singled out Pompey, and rushing in upon him,
darted his javelin into the joints of his breastplate; while
Pompey, in return, struck him through the body with his lance,
and slew him. It is related that in this battle there were
Amazons fighting as auxiliaries with the barbarians, and that
they came down from the mountains by the river Thermodon. For
that after the battle, when the Romans were taking the spoil
and plunder of the field, they met with several targets and
buskins of the Amazons; but no woman's body was found among the
dead. They inhabit the parts of Mount Caucasus that reach down
to the Hyrcanian Sea, not immediately bordering upon the
Albanians, for the Gelae and the Leges lie betwixt; and they
keep company with these people yearly, for two months only,
near the river Thermodon; after which they retire to their own
habitations, and live alone all the rest of the year.

After this engagement, Pompey was eager to advance with his
forces upon the Hyrcanian and Caspian Sea, but was forced to
retreat at a distance of three days' march from it, by the
number of venomous serpents, and so he retreated into Armenia
the Less. Whilst he was there, kings of the Elymaeans and Medes
sent ambassadors to him, to whom he gave friendly answer by
letter; and sent against the king of Parthia, who had made
incursions upon Gordyene, and despoiled the subjects of
Tigranes, an army under the command of Afranius, who put him to
the rout, and followed him in chase as far as the district of

Of the concubines of king Mithridates that were brought before
Pompey, he took none to himself, but sent them all away to
their parents and relations; most of them being either the
daughters or wives of princes and great commanders.
Stratonice, however, who had the greatest power and influence
with him, and to whom he had committed the custody of his best
and richest fortress, had been, it seems, the daughter of a
musician, an old man, and of no great fortune, and happening to
sing one night before Mithridates at a banquet, she struck his
fancy so, that immediately he took her with him, and sent away
the old man much dissatisfied, the king having not so much as
said one kind word to himself. But when he rose in the
morning, and saw tables in his house richly covered with gold
and silver plate, a great retinue of servants, eunuchs, and
pages, bringing him rich garments, and a horse standing before
the door richly caparisoned, in all respects as was usual with
the king's favorites, he looked upon it all as a piece of
mockery, and thinking himself trifled with, attempted to make
off and run away. But the servants laying hold upon him, and
informing him really that the king had bestowed on him the
house and furniture of a rich man lately deceased, and that
these were but the first-fruits or earnests of greater riches
and possessions that were to come, he was persuaded at last
with much difficulty to believe them. And so putting on his
purple robes, and mounting his horse, he rode through the city,
crying out, "All this is mine;" and to those that laughed at
him, he said, there was no such wonder in this, but it was a
wonder rather that he did not throw stones at all he met, he
was so transported with joy. Such was the parentage and blood
of Stratonice. She now delivered up this castle into the hands
of Pompey, and offered him many presents of great value, of
which he accepted only such as he thought might serve to adorn
the temples of the gods, and add to the splendor of his
triumph; the rest he left to Stratonice's disposal, bidding her
please herself in the enjoyment of them.

And in the same manner he dealt with the presents offered him
by the king of Iberia, who sent him a bedstead, table, and a
chair of state, all of gold, desiring him to accept of them;
but he delivered them all into the custody of the public
treasurers, for the use of the Commonwealth.

In another castle called Caenum, Pompey found and read with
pleasure several secret writings of Mithridates, containing
much that threw light on his character. For there were memoirs
by which it appeared that besides others, he had made away with
his son Ariarathes by poison, as also with Alcaeus the Sardian,
for having robbed him of the first honors in a horse-race.
There were several judgments upon the interpretation of dreams,
which either he himself or some of his mistresses had had; and
besides these, there was a series of wanton letters to and from
his concubine Monime. Theophanes tells us that there was found
also an address by Rutilius, in which he attempted to
exasperate him to the laughter of all the Romans in Asia;
though most men justly conjecture this to be a malicious
invention of Theophanes, who probably hated Rutilius because he
was a man in nothing like himself; or perhaps it might be to
gratify Pompey, whose father is described by Rutilius in his
history, as the vilest man alive.

From thence Pompey came to the city of Amisus, where his
passion for glory put him into a position which might be called
a punishment on himself. For whereas he had often sharply
reproached Lucullus, in that while the enemy was still living,
he had taken upon him to issue decrees, and distribute rewards
and honors, as conquerors usually do only when the war is
brought to an end, yet now was he himself, while Mithridates
was paramount in the kingdom of Bosporus, and at the head of a
powerful army, as if all were ended, just doing the same thing,
regulating the provinces, and distributing rewards, many great
commanders and princes having flocked to him, together with no
less than twelve barbarian kings; insomuch that to gratify
these other kings, when he wrote to the king of Parthia, he
would not condescend, as others used to do, in the
superscription of his letter, to give him his title of king of

Moreover, he had a great desire and emulation to occupy Syria,
and to march through Arabia to the Red Sea, that he might thus
extend his conquests every way to the great ocean that
encompasses the habitable earth; as in Africa he was the first
Roman that advanced his victories to the ocean; and again in
Spain he made the Atlantic Sea the limit of the empire; and
then thirdly, in his late pursuit of the Albanians, he had
wanted but little of reaching the Hyrcanian Sea. Accordingly
he raised his camp, designing to bring the Red Sea within the
circuit of his expedition, especially as he saw how difficult
it was to hunt after Mithridates with an army, and that he
would prove a worse enemy flying than fighting. But yet he
declared, that he would leave a sharper enemy behind him than
himself, namely, famine; and therefore he appointed a guard
of ships to lie in wait for the merchants that sailed to
Bosporus, death being the penalty for any who should attempt to
carry provisions thither.

Then he set forward with the greatest part of his army, and in
his march casually fell in with several dead bodies still
uninterred, of those soldiers who were slain with Triarius in
his unfortunate engagement with Mithridates; these he buried
splendidly and honorably. The neglect of whom, it is thought,
caused, as much as anything, the hatred that was felt against
Lucullus, and alienated the affections of the soldiers from
him. Pompey having now by his forces under the command of
Afranius, subdued the Arabians about the mountain Amanus,
himself entered Syria, and finding it destitute of any natural
and lawful prince, reduced it into the form of a province, as a
possession of the people of Rome. He conquered also Judaea,
and took its king, Aristobulus, captive. Some cities he built
anew, and to others he gave their liberty, chastising their
tyrants. Most part of the time that he spent there was
employed in the administration of justice, In deciding
controversies of kings and States; and where he himself could
not be present in person, he gave commissions to his friends,
and sent them. Thus when there arose a difference betwixt the
Armenians and Parthians about some territory, and the judgment
was referred to him, he gave a power by commission to three
judges and arbiters to hear and determine the controversy. For
the reputation of his power was great; nor was the fame of his
justice and clemency inferior to that of his power, and served
indeed as a veil for a multitude of faults committed by his
friends and familiars. For although it was not in his nature
to check or chastise wrongdoers, yet he himself always treated
those that had to do with him in such a manner, that they
submitted to endure with patience the acts of covetousness and
oppression done by others.

Among these friends of his, there was one Demetrius who had the
greatest influence with him of all; he was a freed slave, a
youth of good understanding, but somewhat too insolent in his
good fortune, of whom there goes this story. Cato, the
philosopher, being as yet a very young man, but of great repute
and a noble mind, took a journey of pleasure to Antioch, at a
time when Pompey was not there, having a great desire to see
the city. He, as his custom was, walked on foot, and his
friends accompanied him on horseback; and seeing before the
gates of the city a multitude dressed in white, the young men
on one side of the road, and the boys on the other, he was
somewhat offended at it, imagining that it was officiously done
in honor of him, which was more than he had any wish for.
However, he desired his companions to alight and walk with him;
but when they drew near, the master of the ceremonies in this
procession came out with a garland and a rod in his hand, and
met them, inquiring, where they had left Demetrius, and when he
would come? Upon which Cato's companions burst out into
laughter, but Cato said only, "Alas, poor city!" and passed by
without any other answer. However, Pompey rendered Demetrius
less odious to others by enduring his presumption and
impertinence to himself. For it is reported how that Pompey,
when he had invited his friends to an entertainment, would be
very ceremonious in waiting, till they all came and were
placed, while Demetrius would be already stretched upon the
couch as if he cared for no one, with his dress over his ears,
hanging down from his head. Before his return into Italy, he
had purchased the pleasantest country-seat about Rome, with the
finest walks and places for exercise, and there were sumptuous
gardens, called by the name of Demetrius, while Pompey his
master, up to his third triumph, was contented with an ordinary
and simple habitation. Afterwards, it is true, when he had
erected his famous and stately theater for the people of Rome,
he built as a sort of appendix to it, a house for himself, much
more splendid than his former, and yet no object even this to
excite men's envy, since he who came to be master of it after
Pompey could not but express wonder and inquire where Pompey
the Great used to sup. Such is the story told us.

The king of the Arabs near Petra, who had hitherto despised the
power of the Romans, now began to be in great alarm at it, and
sent letters to him promising to be at his commands, and to do
whatever he should see fit to order. However, Pompey having a
desire to confirm and keep him in the same mind, marched
forwards for Petra, an expedition not altogether
irreprehensible in the opinion of many; who thought it a mere
running away from their proper duty, the pursuit of
Mithridates, Rome's ancient and inveterate enemy, who was now
rekindling the war once more, and making preparations, it was
reported, to lead his army through Scythia and Paeonia, into
Italy. Pompey, on the other side, judging it easier to destroy
his forces in battle, than to seize his person in flight,
resolved not to tire himself out in a vain pursuit, but rather
to spend his leisure upon another enemy, as a sort of
digression in the meanwhile. But fortune resolved the doubt;
for when he was now not far from Petra, and had pitched his
tents and encamped for that day, as he was talking exercise
with his horse outside the camp, couriers came riding up from
Pontus, bringing good news, as was known at once by the heads
of their javelins, which it is the custom to carry crowned with
branches of laurel. The soldiers, as soon as they saw them,
flocked immediately to Pompey, who notwithstanding was minded to
finish his exercise; but when they began to be clamorous and
importunate, he alighted from his horse, and taking the letters
went before them into the camp. Now there being no tribunal
erected there, not even that military substitute for one which
they make by cutting up thick turfs of earth and piling them
one upon another, they, through eagerness and impatience,
heaped up a pile of pack-saddles, and Pompey standing upon
that, told them the news of Mithridates's death, how that he
had himself put an end to his life upon the revolt of his son
Pharnaces, and that Pharnaces had taken all things there into
his hands and possession, which he did, his letters said, in
right of himself and the Romans. Upon this news, the whole
army expressing their joy, as was to be expected, fell to
sacrificing to the gods, and feasting, as if in the person of
Mithridates alone there had died many thousands of their

Pompey by this event having brought this war to its completion,
with much more ease than was expected, departed forthwith out
of Arabia, and passing rapidly through the intermediate
provinces, he came at length to the city Amisus. There he
received many presents brought from Pharnaces, with several
dead bodies of the royal blood, and the corpse of Mithridates
himself, which was not easy to be known by the face, for the
physicians that embalmed him had not dried up his brain, but
those who were curious to see him knew him by the scars there.
Pompey himself would not endure to see him, but to deprecate
the divine jealousy, sent it away to the city of Sinope. He
admired the richness of his robes, no less than the size and
splendor of his armor. His swordbelt, however, which had cost
four hundred talents, was stolen by Publius, and sold to
Ariarathes; his tiara also, a piece of admirable workmanship,
Gaius, the roster brother of Mithridates, gave secretly to
Faustus, the son of Sylla, at his request. All which Pompey
was ignorant of, but afterwards, when Pharnaces came to
understand it, he severely punished those that embezzled them.

Pompey now having ordered all things, and established that
province, took his journey homewards in greater pomp and with
more festivity. For when he came to Mitylene, he gave the city
their freedom upon the intercession of Theophanes, and was
present at the contest, there periodically held, of the poets,
who took at that time no other theme or subject than the
actions of Pompey. He was extremely pleased with the theater
itself, and had a model of it taken, intending to erect one in
Rome on the same design, but larger and more magnificent. When
he came to Rhodes, he attended the lectures of all the
philosophers there, and gave to every one of them a talent.
Posidonius has published the disputation which he held before
him against Hermagoras the rhetorician, upon the subject of
Invention in general. At Athens, also, he showed similar,
munificence to the philosophers, and gave fifty talents towards
the repairing and beautifying the city. So that now by all
these acts he well hoped to return into Italy in the greatest
splendor and glory possible to man, and find his family as
desirous to see him, as he felt himself to come home to them.
But that supernatural agency, whose province and charge it is
always to mix some ingredient of evil with the greatest and
most glorious goods of fortune, had for some time back been
busy in his household, preparing him a sad welcome. For Mucia
during his absence had dishonored his bed. Whilst he was
abroad at a distance, he had refused all credence to the
report; but when he drew nearer to Italy, where his thoughts
were more at leisure to give consideration to the charge, he
sent her a bill of divorce; but neither then in writing, nor
afterwards by word of mouth, did he ever give a reason why he
discharged her; the cause of it is mentioned in Cicero's

Rumors of every kind were scattered abroad about Pompey, and
were carried to Rome before him, so that there was a great
tumult and stir, as if he designed forthwith to march with his
army into the city, and establish himself securely as sole
ruler. Crassus withdrew himself, together with his children
and property, out of the city, either that he was really
afraid, or that he counterfeited rather, as is most probable,
to give credit to the calumny and exasperate the jealousy of
the people. Pompey, therefore, as soon as he entered Italy,
called a general muster of the army; and having made a suitable
address and exchanged a kind farewell with his soldiers, he
commanded them to depart every man to his country and place of
habitation, only taking care that they should not fail to meet
again at his triumph. Thus the army being disbanded, and the
news commonly reported, a wonderful result ensued. For when
the cities saw Pompey the Great passing through the country
unarmed, and with a small train of familiar friends only, as if
he was returning from a journey of pleasure, not from his
conquests, they came pouring out to display their affection for
him, attending and conducting him to Rome with far greater
forces than he disbanded; insomuch that if he had designed
any movement or innovation in the State, he might have done it
without his army.

Now, because the law permitted no commander to enter into the
city before his triumph, he sent to the senate, entreating them
as a favor to him to prorogue the election of consuls, that
thus he might be able to attend and give countenance to Piso,
one of the candidates. The request was resisted by Cato, and
met with a refusal. However, Pompey could not but admire the
liberty and boldness of speech which Cato alone had dared to
use in the maintenance of law and justice. He therefore had a
great desire to win him over, and purchase his friendship at
any rate; and to that end, Cato having two nieces, Pompey asked
for one in marriage for himself, the other for his son. But
Cato looked unfavorably on the proposal, regarding it as a
design for undermining his honesty, and in a manner bribing him
by a family alliance; much to the displeasure of his wife and
sister, who were indignant that he should reject a connection
with Pompey the Great. About that time Pompey having a design
of setting up Afranius for the consulship, gave a sum of money
among the tribes for their votes, and people came and received
it in his own gardens a proceeding which, when it came to be
generally known, excited great disapprobation, that he should
thus for the sake of men who could not obtain the honor by
their own merits, make merchandise of an office which had been
given to himself as the highest reward of his services. "Now,"
said Cato to his wife and sister, "had we contracted an
alliance with Pompey, we had been allied to this dishonor too;"
and this they could not but acknowledge, and allow his judgment
of what was right and fitting to have been wiser and better
than theirs.

The splendor and magnificence of Pompey's triumph was such that
though it took up the space of two days, yet they were
extremely straitened in time, so that of what was prepared for
that pageantry, there was as much withdrawn as would have set
out and adorned another triumph. In the first place, there were
tables carried, inscribed with the names and titles of the
nations over whom he triumphed, Pontus, Armenia, Cappadocia,
Paphlagonia, Media, Colchis, the Iberians, the Albanians,
Syria, Cilicia, and Mesopotamia, together with Phoenicia and
Palestine, Judaea, Arabia, and all the power of the pirates
subdued by sea and land. And in these different countries
there appeared the capture of no less than one thousand
fortified places, nor much less than nine hundred cities,
together with eight hundred ships of the pirates, and the
foundation of thirty-nine towns. Besides, there was set forth
in these tables an account of all the tributes throughout the
empire, and how that before these conquests the revenue
amounted but to fifty millions, whereas from his acquisitions
they had a revenue of eighty-five millions; and that in present
payment he was bringing into the common treasury ready money,
and gold and silver plate, and ornaments, to the value of
twenty thousand talents, over and above what had been
distributed among the soldiers, of whom he that had least had
fifteen hundred drachmas for his share. The prisoners of war
that were led in triumph, besides the chief pirates, were the
son of Tigranes, king of Armenia, with his wife and daughter;
as also Zosime, wife of king Tigranes himself, and Aristobulus,
king of Judaea, the sister of king Mithridates and her five
sons, and some Scythian women. There were likewise the
hostages of the Albanians and Iberians, and of the king of
Commagene, besides a vast number of trophies, one for every
battle in which he was conqueror, either himself in person, or
by his lieutenants. But that which seemed to be his greatest
glory, being one which no other Roman ever attained to, was
this, that he made his third triumph over the third division of
the world. For others among the Romans had the honor of
triumphing thrice, but his first triumph was over Africa, his
second, over Europe, and this last, over Asia; so that he
seemed in these three triumphs to have led the whole world

As for his age, those who affect to make the parallel exact in
all things betwixt him and Alexander the Great, do not allow
him to have been quite thirty-four, whereas in truth at that
time he was near forty. And well had it been for him had he
terminated his life at this date, while he still enjoyed
Alexander's fortune, since all his aftertime served only either
to bring him prosperity that made him odious, or calamities too
great to be retrieved. For that great authority which he had
gained in the city by his merits, he made use of only in
patronizing the iniquities of others, so that by advancing
their fortunes, he detracted from his own glory, till at last
he was overthrown even by the force and greatness of his own
power. And as the strongest citadel or fort in a town, when it
is taken by an enemy, does then afford the same strength to the
foe, as it had done to friends before; so Caesar, after
Pompey's aid had made him strong enough to defy his country,
ruined and overthrew at last the power which had availed him
against the rest. The course of things was as follows.
Lucullus, when he returned out of Asia, where he had been
treated with insult by Pompey, was received by the senate with
great honor, which was yet increased when Pompey came home; to
check whose ambition they encouraged him to assume the
administration of the government, whereas he was now grown cold
and disinclined to business, having given himself over to the
pleasures of ease and the enjoyment of a splendid fortune.
However, he began for the time to exert himself against Pompey,
attacked him sharply, and succeeded in having his own acts and
decrees, which were repealed by Pompey, reestablished, and with
the assistance of Cato, gained the superiority in the senate.
Pompey having fallen from his hopes in such an unworthy
repulse, was forced to fly to the tribunes of the people for
refuge, and to attach himself to the young men, among whom was
Clodius, the vilest and most impudent wretch alive, who took
him about, and exposed him as a tool to the people, carrying
him up and down among the throngs in the market-place, to
countenance those laws and speeches which he made to cajole the
people and ingratiate himself. And at last for his reward, he
demanded of Pompey, as if he had not disgraced, but done him
great kindness, that he should forsake (as in the end he did
forsake) Cicero, his friend, who on many public occasions had
done him the greatest service. And so when Cicero was in

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