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By Plutarch

(legendary, died 48 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

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 favour with less offence, or conferred one with
a better grace. When he gave, it was without assumption; when he received,
it was with dignity and honour. 

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 and 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 the 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 favour of him, thought it not unfit
to say, that people could not be surprised if Philip was a lover of

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 enamoured
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 luxury. 

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

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 an 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

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
house 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 in activity and steadfastness beyond his years, and
gained great reputation and favour, 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 favour 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 rumour 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, endeavouring 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 despatched 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 honour, 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

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 proceeding
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 besides with all manner of provisions, beasts
of burden, carriages, and other necessaries of war. And with this
equipage he set forward on his march toward 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 noway 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 town; 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 armour, 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 honours
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 with any one else, notwithstanding that there
were many about him of great rank and honour. Yet Pompey was not puffed
up at all, or exalted with these favours. 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 honourable for him to take a province out of the hands of
his senior in command and his 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. 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 favours they asked
for. But as for Pompey, admiring his valour 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, born 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 dishonour 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 favourer 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 favour, 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 commanded 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
offence 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 offences 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 in 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.

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 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 if, 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 honour, 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 valour of his army, entered Numidia; and marching
forward many days' journey up into the country, he conquered all where-ever
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
endeavoured 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 honour, 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 honourable titles, but adorned likewise
the virtue and services of eminent men in civil government with the
same distinctions and marks of honour. 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 honour of a triumph, which Sylla opposed, alleging
that the law allowed that honour 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 honour. 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 worshipped 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 offence 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 clamour, and interrupt the triumph, Pompey
regarded these as little as the rest, and plainly told them that he
had rather lose the honour 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 honours.
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 favour 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 bequeathed several legacies to all the rest of his friends, and
appointed some of them guardians to his son, 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 honour 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 colourable 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 good-will, 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 enclosed, 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 a 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

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 honour 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 honour, 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 quarrelled 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 torrent. 

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 honour 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 skilful 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 pretence 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 honourable 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 honour 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 in Rome both thus to say, and thus to hear said,
because of the general favour of Pompey. But of the Spanish war and
the conquest of Sertorius, no one, even in jest, could have ascribed
the honour to any one 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 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 some one else in this) of ever meeting
with any other sufficient means of expressing his gratitude for the
favours which he had received from the people. 

Though a second triumph was decreed him, and he was declared consul,
yet all these honours 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 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 favour 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 honour 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 dishonourable 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 honour 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 endeavour their
utmost to obscure and depress him; whereas, if he gives up any pretensions
here and retires, they will maintain his military honour 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 harbours, 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 dishonour 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. 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
honour 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 captives, 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,
determined 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 favour 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 to 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
honourable terms in favour 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 dropped 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
returned 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 harbours.
As for those that withdrew themselves betimes, or otherwise escaped
his general chase, they all made to Cilicia, where they bid themselves
as in their hives; 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 a 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 despatched their heralds
to him with a submission, they delivered up to his mercy themselves,
their towns, islands, and strongholds, all which they had so fortified
that they were almost impregnable, and scarcely even accessible.

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 strongholds 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 defence
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 made 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 honour 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 labours of the honour 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 honour 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 honour,
he seemed displeased, frowning and smiting his thigh, and exclaimed
as ore over-burdened and weary of government, "Alas, what a series
of labours upon labours! 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 gratified.

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 honour 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 honour
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 Bosphorus, 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 be 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 Bosphorus, 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 labouring 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 defence
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 so 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 headwaters 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 honour, 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 neighbours 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
offence, 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

The pursuit of Mithridates, who had thrown himself among the tribes
inhabiting Bosphorus 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 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 spoils 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, the
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 Arbela.

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 favourites, 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 possession 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 at 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
splendour 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

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 honours 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 slaughter 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 honours, 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 Bosphorus, 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 kings. 

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 Bosphorus,
death being the penalty for any who should attempt to carry provisions

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 honourably.
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 honour 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 theatre 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 taking 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 taking 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 splendour of his armour. His
sword-belt, 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 foster-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 theatre 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 splendour and glory
possible to man, and find 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 dishonoured 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 epistles. 

Rumours 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, either 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 ensue