Thayer's Note: Before e-mailing me with questions, comments, or corrections involving the numbering of Books, chapters, and sections in this text, please read the orientation page.
1a When1 the consuls drew lots, Hortensius obtained the war against the Cretans. But on account of his fondness for residence in the capital and on account of the courts, in which he had greater influence than any of his contemporaries with the exception of Cicero, he voluntarily relinquished the campaign in favour of his colleague and remained at home himself. Metellus accordingly set out for Crete . . .
1b Lucius Lucullus at this time had defeated in battle the lords of Asia, Mithridates and Tigranes the Armenian, and after forcing them to avoid battle was besieging Tigranocerta. But the barbarians did him serious injury by means of their archery as well as by the naphtha which they poured over his engines; 2 this chemical is full of bitumen and is so fiery that it is sure to burn up whatever it touches, and it cannot easily be extinguished by any liquid. In consequence Tigranes recovered courage and p5 marched forth with an army of such strength that he even scoffed at the Romans present there. He is said, indeed, to have remarked that when they came on a campaign there were only a few of them, but when on an embassy there were a great many. 3 His amusement, however, was of short duration, for he forthwith discovered how far courage and skill surpass any mere numbers. After his flight the soldiers found and gave to Lucullus his tiara and the band that went around it; for in his fear that these ornaments might lead to his recognition and capture he had torn them off and thrown them away.
1 1 . . . and since Mithridates had experienced both extremes of fortune, Tigranes entrusted the supreme command to him (?). For after his many defeats and victories no fewer, he was believed to have become in consequence better versed in generalship. These two rulers, accordingly, not only set about making preparations themselves, as if they were then for the first time beginning the war, but also sent embassies to their various neighbours, including Arsaces the Parthian, although he was hostile to Tigranes on account of some disputed territory. 2 This they offered to yield to him, and they also went maligning the Romans, declaring that the latter, in case they conquered their present antagonists while these were left to fight single-handed, would immediately make a campaign against him. For every victorious force was inherently insatiate of success and set no bound to its greed; and the Romans, who had won the mastery over many, would not choose to leave him alone.
p7 2 1 While they were thus engaged, Lucullus did not follow up Tigranes, but allowed him to reach safety quite at his leisure. Because of this he was charged by the citizens, as well as others, with refusing to end the war, in order that he might retain his command a longer time. 2 Therefore they at this time restored the province of Asia to the praetors, and later, when he was believed to have acted in this same way again, they sent to him the consul of that year to relieve him. 3 Nevertheless he did seize Tigranocerta when the foreigners living in the city revolted against the Armenians; for the most of them were Cilicians who had once been carried off from their own land, and these let in the Romans during the night. 4 Thereupon everything was plundered, except what belonged to the Cilicians; but Lucullus saved from outrage many of the wives of the principal men, when they had been captured, and by this action won over their husbands also. 5 He furthermore received Antiochus, king of Commagene (a part of Syria near the Euphrates and the Taurus), and Alchaudonius, an Arabian chieftain, and others who had made overtures to him.
3 1 Learning now from them of the embassy sent by Tigranes and Mithridates to Arsaces, he in his turn sent to him some of the allies with threats, in case he should aid the foe, and promises, if he should choose the Roman side instead. 2 Arsaces at that time, since he was still angry with Tigranes and felt no suspicion toward the Romans, sent back envoys p9 to Lucullus, and established friendship and alliance. Later, when he saw Secilius [Sextilius], who had come to him, he began to suspect that he was there to spy out the country and his power; 3 it was for this cause, he thought, and not on account of the compact which had already been made that a man distinguished in warfare had been sent. Hence he no longer gave him any aid. On the other hand, he offered no opposition, but stood aloof from both parties, naturally wishing to make neither side strong; for he thought that an evenly-balanced struggle between them would insure him the greatest safety.
Besides these achievements, Lucullus this year subdued many parts of Armenia; 4 1 and in the year of Quintus Marcius — this man held office alone, although not the only consul appointed, since Lucius Metellus, elected with him, died in the early part of the year, and the man chosen in his stead died before entering upon office, in consequence of which no one else was appointed — 2 in this year, I say, Lucullus entered upon his campaign when summer was already at its height, since in the spring it had been impossible to invade the enemy's country because of the cold. He devastated a part of their land, purposing to draw the barbarians imperceptibly into battle while defending it; but when even then they made no move, he marched against them. 5 1 In this engagement the opposing cavalry gave the Roman cavalry hard work, but none of the foe approached the infantry; indeed, whenever the foot-soldiers of Lucullus assisted the p11 horse, the enemy would turn to flight. Far from suffering any injury, however, they kept shooting back at those pursuing them, killing some instantly and wounding great numbers. 2 Now these wounds were dangerous and hard to heal; for they used double arrow-points and moreover poisoned them, so that the missiles, whether they stuck fast anywhere in the body or even if they were drawn out, would very quickly destroy it, since the second iron point, not being firmly attached, would be left in the wound.
6 1 Since many, then, were getting wounded, of whom some died, and the others were in any case maimed, and since provisions at the same time were failing them, Lucullus retired from that place and marched against Nisibis. 2 This city is built in the region called Mesopotamia (the name given to all the country between the Tigris and Euphrates) and now belongs to us, being considered a colony of ours. But at that time Tigranes, who had seized it from the Parthians, had deposited in it his treasures and most of his other possessions, and had stationed his brother as guard over it. 3 Lucullus reached this city in the summer time, and although he directed his attacks upon it in no half-hearted fashion, he effected nothing. For the walls, being of brick, double, and of great thickness, with a deep moat intervening, could be neither battered down anywhere, nor undermined, and even Tigranes, therefore, was not assisting the besieged. 7 1 But when winter set in, and the barbarians were p13 behaving rather carelessly, inasmuch as they had the upper hand and were all but expecting the Romans to withdraw, Lucullus waited for a moonless night, when there was a violent storm of rain and thunder, 2 so that the foe, not being able to see anything ahead or to hear any sound, left the outer circuit — all but a few of them — and the intervening moat. Then he approached the wall at many points, ascending it without difficulty from the mounds, and easily slew the guards who had been left behind upon it, since they were few in number. 3 In this way he filled up a part of the moat, since the barbarians had broken down the bridges in advance, and got across, since in the downpour neither archery nor fire could harm him. Immediately he captured nearly everything, for the inner circuit was not very strong by reason of the confidence felt in the outer works beyond it. 4 Some, however, fled to the citadel, among them the brother of Tigranes; but he later caused them to surrender. He also obtained much treasure, and passed the winter there.
8 1 Nisibis, then, he captured as described, but he lost many districts of Armenia and of the other countries around Pontus. For Tigranes had not aided Nisibis, believing that it could not be captured, but had hurried to the places just mentioned to see if he could secure them ahead of Lucullus, while the latter was occupied around Nisibis. 2 Then sending Mithridates back home, Tigranes himself entered his own district of Armenia. There he was opposed by p15 Lucius Fannius, whom he surrounded, however, and besieged, until Lucullus learned of it and sent assistance.
9 1 Meanwhile Mithridates had invaded the other Armenia and the neighbouring districts. Here he fell upon and destroyed many of the Romans, to whom he appeared unexpectedly as they were wandering about the country, while others he killed in battle; and thereupon he promptly recovered most of the districts. 2 For the people were well-disposed toward him because of kinship and because of his being hereditary monarch; and they likewise hated the Romans because these were foreigners and because they had been ill-treated by those set over them. Consequently they sided with Mithridates and later conquered Marcus Fabius, who was leader of the Romans there. 3 For the Thracians, who had formerly served as mercenaries under Mithridates but were then with Fabius, and the slaves present in the Roman camp gave them valiant assistance. For the Thracians, when sent ahead by Fabius to reconnoitre, did not bring back to him any reliable report, 4 and later, when he was proceeding in rather careless fashion and Mithridates suddenly fell upon him, they joined in the attack on the Romans; and at the same time the slaves, to whom the barbarian king had proclaimed freedom, took a hand in the affair. 5 They would have destroyed the Romans utterly had not Mithridates, who, although over seventy years old, was in the battle, been struck by a stone while taking a valiant? part against the enemy. This caused the barbarians to fear that he might die; and while they halted battle on that p17 account Fabius and others were able to escape to safety.
10 1 Fabius was subsequently shut up and besieged in Cabira, but was rescued by Triarius. The latter was in that vicinity on his way from Asia to Lucullus; and upon learning what had happened he collected as large a force as was possible in the circumstances 2 and so alarmed Mithridates, who supposed he was advancing with the full strength of the Roman army, as to make him withdraw before ever he came in sight. At this Triarius took courage, and pursuing the king as far as Comana, whither he had retired, won a victory over him there. 3 Mithridates was encamped on the opposite side of the river from the point which the Romans were approaching, and was anxious to join battle with them while they were worn out from the march. Accordingly, he advanced to meet them himself, and also directed that at the crisis of the battle others should cross by another bridge and attack them. But although he held his own in the struggle for a long time, he was not only deprived of the reinforcements but seriously embarrassed besides by the collapse of the bridge across which many were hastening and crowding all at once.
11 1 Later they both retreated to their own fortifications and rested, for it was now winter. Comana belongs to the present district of Cappadocia and was supposed to have possessed clear up to that time the Tauric statue of Artemis and the descendants of Agamemnon. As to how these reached them or how they remained there I cannot discover the truth, since there are various stories; 2 but what I understand clearly I will p19 state. There are two cities of this same name in Cappadocia, not very far apart, and they covet the same honours; for the stories they tell, and likewise the relics they exhibit, are the same in every case, including the sword, which each possesses, supposed to be that which belonged to Iphigenia. So much for this matter.
12 1 The following year, in the consulship of Manius Acilius and Gaius Piso, Mithridates encamped opposite Triarius near Gaziura, with the purpose of challenging and provoking him to battle; 2 in particular, he not only took his own exercise but also drilled the army in plain sight of the Romans. His hope was to engage and vanquish Triarius before Lucullus should come up, and thus recover the rest of his realm. But when the other did not stir, he sent some men to Dadasa, a stronghold where the Romans' baggage was deposited, in order that his opponent might at least go to its defence and so be drawn into conflict. 3 And thus it came about. Triarius, who feared the numbers of Mithridates and was awaiting Lucullus, whom he had sent for, was remaining quiet for the time; but when news came of the siege of Dadasa, and the soldiers in their fear for the place were becoming excited and were threatening that if no one would lead them forth they would go to the rescue at their own bidding, he reluctantly left his position. 4 As he was now moving forward, the barbarians fell upon him, surrounded and overwhelmed by their numbers those near at hand, and then riding around, killed those who had fled into p21 the plain not knowing that the river had been directed into it. 13 1 They would have destroyed them utterly, had not one of the Romans, pretending to belong to the allied force of Mithridates (for, as I have related, he had many of his troops equipped in the same manner as the Romans), approached the king, as if wishing to communicate something, and wounded him. To be sure, the fellow was immediately seized and put to death; but the barbarians were so excited over the occurrence that many of the Romans escaped. 2 Mithridates, accordingly, was having his wound cured; and suspecting that there were others also of the enemy in the camp, he held a review of the soldiers, as if for a different purpose, and then ordered them to retire hastily every man to his own tent. In this way he detected the Romans and cut them down while they were left there by themselves.
14 1 At this juncture Lucullus arrived, and gave some the impression that he would conquer Mithridates easily and soon recover all that had been let slip; nevertheless, he accomplished nothing. 2 For Mithridates, entrenched on the high ground near Talaura, would not come out against him, and the other Mithridates from Media, the son-in‑law of Tigranes, fell suddenly upon the Romans while they were scattered, and killed many of them; also the approach of Tigranes himself was announced, and there was mutiny in the army. 3 The Valerians,2 who, after being discharged, had later entered the service again, had been restless even at Nisibis on account of their victory and ensuing idleness, and also p23 because they had had provisions in abundance and had been left to themselves much of the time, while Lucullus was absent on numerous errands. 4 But it was largely a certain Publius Clodius (called Claudius by some) who through innate love of revolution brought the mutiny to a head, although his sister was married to Lucullus. At this time, however, they became turbulent again largely because they heard that Acilius, the consul, who had been sent out to relieve Lucullus for the reasons mentioned, was drawing near, and they accordingly regarded Lucullus with contempt, as being already a mere private citizen. 15 1 Lucullus, then, was in perplexity, both for these reasons and because Marcius Rex, Acilius' predecessor, who was on his way to Cilicia, his destined province, had refused a request of his for aid. 2 He hesitated, on the one hand, to strike camp with no purpose in view, and he feared, on the other hand, to stand his ground; hence he set out against Tigranes, to see if he could repulse him while off his guard and tired from the march, and at the same time put a stop somehow to the mutiny of the soldiers. However, he attained neither object. 3 The army accompanied him to a certain spot from which it was possible to turn aside into Cappadocia, when all with one consent without a word turned off in that direction. The Valerians, indeed, learning that they had been discharged by the authorities at home, withdrew altogether.
16 1 Let no one wonder that Lucullus, who had proved himself most skilful of all men in generalship, who was the first Roman to cross the Taurus with an army for warfare, and who had vanquished two powerful p25 kings and would have captured them if he had chosen to end the war quickly, was unable to control his men, and that they were always revolting and finally deserted him. 2 For he required a great deal of them, was difficult of access, strict in his demands for work, and inexorable in his punishments; he did not understand how to win over a man by persuasion, or to attach him by mildness, or to make a friend of him by conferring honours or bestowing wealth — all of which means are necessary, especially with a large crowd, and most of all with a crowd on a campaign. 3 Hence the soldiers, as long as they prospered and got booty that was a fair return for their dangers, obeyed him; but when they encountered trouble and fear took the place of their hopes, they no longer heeded him at all. The proof of this is that Pompey took these same men — for he enrolled the Valerians again — and kept them without the slightest show of revolt. So much does one man differ from another.
17 1 After this action of the soldiers Mithridates won back almost all his domain and caused great havoc in Cappadocia, since neither Lucullus defended it, on the ground that Acilius was near, nor yet Acilius himself. For the latter had been hurrying in the first place to rob Lucullus of the victory, and now, when he learned what had taken place, he did not come to the camp, but delayed in Bithynia. 2 As for Marcius, the pretext which he gave for not assisting Lucullus was that his soldiers refused to follow him. Instead, he went to Cilicia, p27 where he received one Menemachus, a deserter from Tigranes, and also Clodius, who had left Lucullus out of fear because of the occurrence at Nisibis; the latter he put in command of the fleet, for he, too, had married one of Clodius' sisters. 3 Now Clodius, after being captured by the pirates and released by them in consequence of their fear of Pompey, came to Antioch in Syria, declaring that he would be their ally against the Arabians, with whom they were then at variance. There, likewise, he stirred up a sedition and all but lost his life.
17a And Metellus later subjugated the entire island, although he was hindered and restrained by Pompey the Great, who was now in command of the whole sea and of the mainland for a three-days' march from the coast; for Pompey asserted that the islands also belonged to him. Nevertheless in spite of Pompey's opposition Metellus put an end to the Cretan war, celebrated a triumph in honour thereof, and was given the title of Creticus.
18 1 . . . Metellus spared. In his eagerness for power he attacked even the Cretans who had come to terms with the other Pompey, and heedless of their claim that there was a truce, hastened to do them injury before Pompey should come up. Octavius, who was there, had no troops and so kept quiet; in fact he had not been sent to do any fighting, but p29 to take over the cities. Cornelius Sisena, the governor of Greece, did, to be sure, when he heard the news, come to Crete and advise Metellus to spare the towns, but on failing to persuade him offered no active opposition. 2 Metellus in addition to many other injuries captured the city of Eleuthera by treachery and extorted money from it; for those who had betrayed it had by night repeatedly saturated with vinegar a very large brick tower, most difficult of capture, so that it became brittle. Next he took Lappa by storm, in spite of Octavius' occupancy of the place, and while he did the latter no harm, he put to death the Cilicians who were with him. 19 1 Octavius, incensed at this, no longer remained quiet, but first used the army of Sisenna (that general had fallen sick and died) to aid here and there the victims of oppression, and then, when these troops had retired, proceeded to Aristion at Hierapydna and aided him in fighting. Aristion had just withdrawn from Cydonia, and after conquering one Lucius Bassus who sailed out to oppose him, had gained possession of Hierapydna. 2 They held out for a time, but at the approach of Metellus left the stronghold and put to sea; they encountered a storm, however, and were driven ashore, losing many men. After this Metellus conquered the entire island. 3 In this way the Cretans, who had been free through all preceding ages and had never had a foreign master, became enslaved; and from their subjugation Metellus obtained his title. He was, however, unable to have Panares and Lasthenes, whom he had p31 also captured, march in his triumph; for Pompey got them away beforehand by persuading one of the tribunes that it was to him that they had submitted in the settlement and not to Metellus.
20 1 I will now relate the progress of Pompey's career. Pirates always used to harass those who sailed the sea, even as brigands did those who dwelt on land. There was never a time when these practices were unknown, nor will they ever cease probably so long as human nature remains the same. 2 But formerly freebooting was limited to certain localities and small bands operating only during the summer on sea and on land; whereas at this time, ever since war had been carried on continuously in many different places at once, and many cities had been overthrown, while sentences hung over the heads of all the fugitives, and there was no freedom from fear for anyone anywhere, large numbers had turned to plundering. 3 Now the operations of the bandits on land, being in better view of the towns, which could thus perceive the injury close at hand and capture the perpetrators with no great difficulty, would be broken up with a fair degree of ease; but those on the sea had grown to the greatest proportions. 4 For while the Romans were busy with their antagonists, the pirates had gained great headway, sailing about to many quarters, and adding to their band all of like condition, to such an extent that some of them, after the manner of allies, assisted many others. 21 1 Indeed, I have already related how much they accomplished in connection with others. When those wars had been ended, the pirates, instead of desisting, did much serious injury alone by themselves both to the Romans and to their p33 allies. They no longer sailed in small force, but in great fleets; and they had generals, so that they had acquired a great reputation. 2 First and foremost they robbed and pillaged those sailing the sea, no longer permitting them any safety even during the winter season, since as the result of their daring, practice, and success they made voyages in security even then; and next they despoiled even those in the harbours. For if any one ventured to put out against them, he would usually be defeated and perish; 3 but even if he conquered, he would be unable to capture any of the enemy by reason of the speed of their ships. Accordingly, they would return after a little, as if victors, and would ravage and set in flames not only farms and fields, but also whole cities; some places, however, they conciliated, so as to gain naval stations and winter quarters in a friendly land as it were.
22 1 As these operations of theirs met with success it became customary for them to go into the interior, and they inflicted many injuries on those even who had nothing to do with the sea. This is the way they treated not only the distant allies of Rome, but even Italy itself. 2 For, believing that they would obtain greater gains in that quarter and also that they would terrify all the others still more if they did not keep their hands off that country, they sailed into the very harbour of Ostia as well as other cities in Italy, burning the ships and pillaging everything. 3 Finally, as no attention was paid to them, they took up their abode on the land, disposing fearlessly of whatever men they did not kill, and of whatever spoils they took, just as if they were in their own land. 4 And though p35 some plundered here and some there, since of course it was not possible for the same persons to do harm throughout the whole length of the sea at once, they nevertheless showed such friendship one for another as to send money and assistance even to those entirely unknown, as if to their nearest of kin. 5 In fact, this was one of the chief sources of their strength, that those who paid court to any of them were honoured by all, and those who came into collision with any of them were despoiled by all.
23 1 To such an extent did the power of the pirates grow that their hostility became a grave and constant menace, admitting of no precaution and knowing of no truce. The Romans, of course, heard of these deeds from time to time, and even saw a little of what was going on, inasmuch as imports in general ceased coming in and the cornº supply was shut off entirely; 2 but they paid no serious attention to it at the proper time. Instead, they would send out fleets and generals only as they were stirred by individual reports, but accomplished nothing; on the contrary, they caused their allies all the greater distress by these very means, until they were finally reduced to the last extremity. Then at length they came together and deliberated for many days as to what really should be done. 3 Wearied by the continued dangers and perceiving that the war against the pirates would be a great and expensive one, and believing, too, that it was impossible to assail them all at once or yet individually, inasmuch as they helped one another and there was no way of driving them back everywhere at once, the people fell into great perplexity and despair of making any successful move. 4 In the end, however, one Aulus p37 Gabinius, a tribune, set forth his plan. He had either been prompted by Pompey or wished in any case to do him a favour; certainly he was not prompted by any love of the common welfare, for he was a most base fellow. His plan, then, was that they should choose from among the ex-consuls one general with full power against all the pirates, who should command for three years and have the use of a huge force, with many lieutenants. 5 He did not directly utter Pompey's name, but it was easy to see that if once the populace should hear of any such proposition, they would choose him.
24 1 And so it came about. They adopted his motion and immediately all except the senate turned to Pompey. But that body preferred to suffer anything whatever at the hands of the freebooters rather than put so great command into Pompey's hands; in fact they came near slaying Gabinius in the very senate-house, but he eluded them somehow. 2 When the people learned the feeling of the senators, they raised an uproar, even going so far as to rush upon them as they sat assembled; and if the senators had not gotten out of the way, they would certainly have killed them. 3 So they all scattered and secreted themselves, except Gaius Piso the consul — for it was in the year of Piso and Acilius that these events took place; he was arrested and was about to perish for the others when Gabinius begged him off. After this the optimates themselves held their peace, happy if only they might be allowed to live, but tried to persuade the nine tribunes to oppose Gabinius. 4 None of these, however, except one Lucius Trebellius and Lucius Roscius, would say a word in opposition, through fear of the multitude; p39 and those two men, who had the courage, were unable to fulfil any of their promises by either word or deed. For when the appointed day came on which the measure was to be ratified, things went as follows.
5 Pompey, who was very eager to command, and because of his own ambition and the zeal of the populace no longer now so much regarded this commission as an honour as the failure to win it a disgrace, when he saw the opposition of the optimates, desired to appear forced to accept. 6 He was always in the habit of pretending as far as possible not to desire the things he really wished, and on this occasion did so more than ever, because of the jealousy that would follow, should he of his own accord lay claim to the leadership, and because of the glory, if he should be appointed against his will as the one most worthy to command.
25 1 He now came forward and said: "I rejoice, Quirites, in being honoured by you. All men naturally take pride in benefits conferred upon them by their fellow-citizens, and I, who have often enjoyed honours at your hands, scarcely know how to be properly pleased on the present occasion. Nevertheless, I do not think it fitting either that you should be so insatiable to my services or that I myself should continually be in some position of command. For I have toiled since boyhood, and, as for you, you ought to be favouring others as well. 2 Do you not recall how many hardships I underwent in the war against Cinna, though I was the veriest youth, and how many labours in Sicily and in Africa before I had as yet come fully of age, or how many dangers I encountered in Spain before I was even a senator? I will not p41 say that you have shown yourselves ungrateful toward me for all these labours. 3 How could I? On the contrary, in addition to the many other important favours of which you have deemed me worthy, the very fact that I was entrusted with the command against Sertorius, when no one else was either willing or able to undertake it, and that I celebrated a triumph, contrary to custom,3 upon resigning it, brought me the greatest honour. 4 But inasmuch as I have undergone many anxieties and many dangers, I am worn out in body and wearied in soul. Do not keep reckoning that I am still young, and do not calculate that I am so and so many years old. 5 For if you will count up the campaigns that I have made as well as the dangers I have faced, you will find them far more in number than my years, and in this way you will more readily believe that I can no longer endure either the hardships or the anxieties.
26 1 "If any of you, now, should persist in your demand, in spite of all this, just observe that all such positions are causes of jealousy and hatred. This consideration you hold of no account — indeed, it is not fitting that you should pretend to regard it — but to me it would prove most grievous. 2 And I confess that I am not so much disturbed or troubled by any danger to be encountered in the midst of wars as by such a position. For what person in his right mind could take pleasure in living among men who are jealous of him? And who would be eager to carry out any public business if destined in case of failure to stand trial, and in case of success to incur jealousy? 3 In view, then, of these and other considerations p43 allow me to remain undisturbed and to attend to my own business, so that now at last I may bestow some care upon my private affairs and may not perish from exhaustion. Against the pirates elect somebody else. There are many who are at once willing and able to serve as admirals, both young men and old, so that your choice from so many becomes easy. 4 Surely I am not the only one who loves you, nor am I alone skilled in warfare; so also is this man, and the next man — not to seem to favour anybody by mentioning names."
27 1 When he had delivered this speech, Gabinius answered him, saying: "Pompey's behaviour in this very matter, Quirites, is worthy of his character: he does not seek the leadership, nor does he accept it off-hand when offered to him. 2 For a good man has no business, in any case, to desire to hold office and to manage public affairs; and in the present instance it is fitting that one should undertake all the tasks imposed only after due consideration, in order that he may accomplish them with corresponding safety. Rashness in making promises, which leads to inopportune haste also in carrying them out, causes the downfall of many; but sureness at the outset remains the same in action, and is to the advantage of all. 3 You, however, must choose not what is pleasing to Pompey, but what is of benefit to the state. Not the office-seekers, but those who are capable should be put in charge of affairs; the former are very numerous, but you will not find any other such man as Pompey. 4 Recall, furthermore, how many reverses and how serious we p45 experienced in the war against Sertorius through lack of a general, and that we found no one else equal to the task, either among the young or the old, except this man, and that we actually sent him out in place of both consuls, although at that time he neither had reached the proper age as yet nor was a member of the senate. 5 I should be glad, of course, if you had a great many able men, and if I ought to pray for such, I would so pray; but since this ability is not a matter of prayer and does not come of its own accord to any one, but a man must be born with a natural bent for it, must learn what is pertinent and practise what is fitting and above everything must enjoy good fortune throughout, — all which would very rarely fall to the lot of the same man, — 6 you must all with one accord, whenever such an one is found, both support him and make the fullest use of him, even if he does not wish it. Such compulsion proves most noble both in him who exerts it and in him who suffers it: to the former because he may be saved by it, and to the latter because he may thus save the citizens, in whose behalf the excellent and patriotic man would most readily give up both body and life.
28 1 "Or do you think that this Pompey who in his boyhood could make campaigns, lead armies, increase your possessions, preserve those of your allies, and acquire those of your adversaries, could not now, in the prime of life, when every man is at his best, and with a great fund of added experience gained from wars, prove most useful to you? 2 Will you reject, now that he has reached man's estate, him whom as a youth you chose as leader? Will you not confide p47 this campaign to the man, now become a member of the senate, to whom while still a knight you committed those wars? 3 Will you not, now that you have most amply tested him, entrust the present emergency, no less pressing than the former ones, to him for whom alone you asked in the face of those urgent dangers, even before you had carefully tested him? Will you not send out against the pirates one, now an ex-consul, whom, before he could yet properly hold office, you chose against Sertorius? 4 Nay, do not think of adopting any other course; and as for you, Pompey, do you heed me and your country. For her you were born, for her you were reared. You must serve her interests, shrinking from no hardship or danger to secure them; and should it become necessary for you to lose your life, you must in that case not await your appointed day but meet whatever death comes to you. 29 1 But truly it is absurd for me to offer this advice to you who have in so many and so great conflicts exhibited both your bravery and your love for your country. 2 Heed me, therefore, as well as these citizens here, and do not fear because some are envious. Rather press on all the more for this very reason, and in comparison with the friendship of the majority and the common advantage of us all, scorn your traducers. 3 And, if you are willing even to grieve them a little, take command for this very reason, that you may vex them by conducting the war and winning applause contrary to their expectations, and that you may yourself set a crown worthy of yourself upon your former achievements, by ridding us of many great evils."
p49 30 1 When Gabinius had thus expressed himself, Trebellius attempted to speak in opposition; but failing to receive leave to speak, he proceeded to oppose the taking of a vote. 2 Gabinius was naturally incensed, and postponed the vote regarding Pompey, while he introduced a new motion concerning Trebellius himself. The first seventeen tribes to give their decision voted that Trebellius was at fault and ought no longer to be tribune. And not until the eighteenth was on the point of voting the same way was he with difficulty induced to maintain silence. 3 Roscius, seeing this, did not dare to utter a word, but by a gesture of his raised hand urged them to choose two men, so that he might by so doing cut off a little of Pompey's power. At this gesture of his the crowd gave a great threatening shout, whereat a crow flying above their heads was so startled that it fell as if struck by lightning. 4 After that Roscius kept quiet not only with his tongue but with his hand as well. Catulus would have remained silent, but Gabinius urged him to make some speech, inasmuch as he was the foremost man in the senate and it seemed likely that through him the rest might be brought to the same way of thinking; 5 for it was Gabinius' expectation that he would join in approving the proposal as a result of the plight in which he saw the tribunes. Accordingly Catulus received permission to speak, since all respected and honoured him as one who at all times spoke and acted for their advantage, and he addressed them somewhat as follows:
31 1 "That I have been exceedingly jealous, Quirites, in behalf of you, the people, you all, no doubt, clearly p51 understand. This being so, it is incumbent upon me to set forth in simple fashion and with frankness what I know to be for the good of the state; and it is only fair for you to listen calmly and then deliberate afterwards. 2 For, if you raise an uproar, you will perhaps fail to receive some useful suggestion which you might have heard; but if you pay attention to what is said, you will be sure to discover something definitely to your advantage. 3 I, for my part, assert first and foremost that it is not proper to entrust to any one man so many positions of command one after another. This has not only been forbidden by the laws, but has also been found by experience to be most perilous. What made Marius what he became was practically nothing else than being entrusted with so many wars in the shortest space of time and being made consul six times in the briefest period; 4 and similarly Sulla became what he was because he held command of the armies so many years in succession, and later was appointed dictator, then consul. For it does not lie in human nature for a person — I speak not alone of the young but of the mature as well — after holding positions of authority for a long period to be willing to abide by ancestral customs. 32 1 Now I do not say this in any disparagement of Pompey, but because it does not appear ever to have been of advantage to you in any way, and in particular because it is not permitted by the laws. Indeed, if the command brings honour to those deemed worthy of it, all whom it concerns ought to obtain that honour, — this is democracy, — and if it brings labour, all ought to share that labour proportionately — this is equality.
p53 2 "Now in such a course there is the further advantage that many individuals gain practical experience, so that your choice of those who can be entrusted with any needful business becomes easy as a result of your trial of them; but if you take the other course, it is quite inevitable that there should be a great scarcity of those who will give themselves the needful training and who will be entrusted with affairs. 3 This is the chief reason why you were at a loss for a general in the war with Sertorius; for previous to that time you were accustomed to employ the same men for a long period. Consequently, even if in all other respects Pompey deserves to be elected against the pirates, still, inasmuch as he would be chosen contrary to the injunction of the laws and to the principles laid down by experience, it is anything but fitting for either you or him that this be done.
33 1 "This is the first and most important point I have to mention. Second, there is the consideration that so long as consuls and praetors and those serving in their places are receiving their offices and commands conformably to the laws it is in no wise fitting, nor yet advantageous, for you to overlook them and introduce some new office. 2 To what end, indeed, do you elect the annual officials, if you are going to make no use of them for such occasions? Surely not that they may stalk about in purple-bordered togas, nor that, clothed with the name alone of the office, they may be deprived of its duties. 3 How can you fail to arouse the enmity of these and all the rest who have a p55 purpose to enter public life at all, if you overthrow the ancient offices, and entrust nothing to those elected by law, but assign some strange and hitherto unheard-of command to a private individual? 34 1 Yet if there should be any necessity of choosing another in addition to the annual officials, there is for this, too, an ancient precedent — I refer to the dictator. However, because this official held such power, our fathers did not appoint one on all occasions nor for a longer period than six months. 2 Accordingly, if you require any such official, you may, without either transgressing the laws or forming plans in disregard of the common welfare, elect Pompey himself or anyone else as dictator — on condition that he shall not hold office longer than the appointed time nor outside of Italy. For surely you are not unaware that this second limitation, too, was scrupulously observed by our forefathers, and no instance can be found of a dictator chosen for another country, except one4 who was sent to Sicily and who, moreover, accomplished nothing. 3 But if Italy requires no such person, and you would no longer tolerate, I will not say the functions of the dictator, but even the name, — as is clear from your anger against Sulla, — how could it be right for a new position of command to be created, and that, too, for three years and embracing practically all interests both in Italy and outside? 4 For you all alike understand what disasters come to cities from such a course, and how many men on account of their lawless lust for p57 rule have often disturbed our populace and brought upon themselves countless evils.
35 1 "About this, then, I shall say no more. For who does not realize that it is in no wise fitting, nor yet advantageous, to entrust affairs to any one man, or for any one man to be put in control of all the blessings we have, however excellent he may be? Great honours and excessive powers excite and ruin even such persons. 2 And what is more, I ask you to consider this fact also, that it is not really possible for one man to hold sway over the whole sea and to manage the whole war properly. For you must, if you are going to accomplish any of the needful results, make war on them everywhere at once, so that they may not, either by uniting or by finding a refuge among those not involved in war, become hard to capture. 3 But no one man in command could by any manner of means accomplish this. For how could he fight on the same days in Italy and in Cilicia, Egypt and Syria, Greece and Spain, in the Ionian Sea and the islands? Consequently it is necessary for many soldiers and generals also to be in command of affairs, if they are going to be of any use to you. 36 1 And in case any one urges that, even if you confide the entire war to some one man, he will in any case have many admirals and lieutenants, my reply would be: Is it not much more just and advantageous that these men destined to serve under him be chosen by you beforehand for this very purpose and receive independent authority from you? What prevents such a course? 2 By this plan they will pay better heed to the p59 war, since each of them will be entrusted with his own particular part in it and cannot lay upon any one else the responsibility for neglect of it, and there will be keener rivalry among them because they are independent and will themselves get the glory for whatever they achieve. But by the other plan what man, do you think, subordinate to some one else, will show the same zeal, what man will perform any duty readily, when he is going to win victories not for himself but for another?
3 "That one man, now, could not at one time carry on so great a war has been admitted on the part of Gabinius himself; at any rate he asks for many assistants to be given to the one who shall be elected. The question remains, then, whether actual commanders or assistants should be sent, whether generals or lieutenants, and whether they should be commissioned by the entire populace with full authority, or by the commander alone for his assistance. 4 Surely every one of you will admit that my proposal is more in accordance with law and more advantageous with reference to the freebooters themselves as well as in all other respects. And apart from this, observe how it looks for all your offices to be overthrown on the pretext of the pirates, and for none of them either in Italy or in subject territory during this time . . ."5
p61 36a Catulus, one of the aristocrats, had said to the people: "If he fails when sent out on this errand — as not infrequently happens in many contests, especially on the sea — what other man will you find to take his place for still more urgent tasks?" Thereupon the entire throng, as if by previous agreement, cried out and exclaimed: "You!" Thus Pompey secured command of the sea and of the islands and of the mainland for •fifty miles6 inland from the sea.
37 1 . . . and of Italy in place of consul for three years; and they assigned to him fifteen lieutenants and voted all the ships, money and armaments that he might wish to take. The senate also, though quite reluctantly, ratified these measures and likewise passed such others from time to time as were necessary to their effectiveness. 2 Its action was prompted more particularly by the fact that when Piso refused to allow the under-officers to hold enlistments in Gallia Narbonensis, of which he was governor, the populace was furiously enraged and would straightway have removed him from office, had not Pompey begged him off. 3 So, after making preparations as the situation and as his judgment demanded, Pompey patrolled at one time the whole stretch of sea that the pirates were troubling, partly by himself and partly through his lieutenants; and he subdued the greater part of it that very year. 4 For not alone was the force that he directed vast both in point of fleet and infantry, so that he was p63 irresistible both on sea and on land, but his leniency toward those who made terms with him was equally great, so that he won over large numbers by such a course; 5 for those who were defeated by his troops and experienced his clemency went over to his side very readily. Besides other ways in which he took care of them he would give them any lands he saw vacant and cities that needed more inhabitants, in order that they might never again through poverty fall under the necessity of criminal deeds. 6 Among the other cities settled at this time was the one called Pompeiopolis. It is on the coast of Cilicia and had been sacked by Tigranes; its former name was Soli.
38 1 Besides these events in the year of Acilius and Piso, a law directed at men convicted of bribery in seeking office was framed by the consuls themselves, to the effect that any such person should neither hold office nor be a senator, and should incur a fine besides. 2 For now that the power of the tribunes had been restored to its ancient status, and many of those whose names had been stricken off the list by the censors were aspiring to regain the rank of senator by one means or another, a great many factions and cliques were being formed aiming at all the offices. 3 Now the consuls did not take this course because they were displeased at the practice; in fact they themselves were shown to have conducted a vigorous canvass, and Piso had actually been indicted on this charge, but had escaped being p65 brought to trial by bribing one man after another; it was rather because they were forced to it by the senate. 4 The reason for this was that one Gaius Cornelius while tribune undertook to lay very severe penalties upon those guilty of bribery, and the populace adopted them. The senate, however, realizing that while excessive punishments have some deterrent force as threats, yet men are not then easily found to accuse or condemn those on trial, since the latter will be in desperate danger, 5 whereas moderation encourages many to accusations and does not prevent condemnations, was desirous of modifying his proposition somehow, and bade the consuls frame it as a law. 39 1 But since the elections had already been announced, and accordingly no law could be enacted till they were held, and the canvassers were doing much mischief in the meanwhile, to such an extent even that assassinations occurred, the senators voted that the law should be introduced before the elections and that a body-guard should be given to the consuls. 2 Cornelius, angry at this, proposed that the senators should not be allowed to grant office to any one seeking it in a way not prescribed by law, nor to usurp the people's right of decision in any other matter. This, indeed, had been the law from very early times, but it was not being observed in practice. 3 When a great uproar arose at this, since Piso and a number of the senators opposed him, the crowd broke the consul's fasces to pieces and threatened p67 to tear him limb from limb. 4 Cornelius, accordingly, seeing their violence, dismissed the assembly for the time being before calling for any vote; later he added to the law a provision that the senate should invariably pass a preliminary decree concerning these matters and that it should be necessary for this decree to be ratified by the people. 40 1 So he secured the passage of both that law and another now to be explained.
The praetors themselves had always compiled and published the principles of law according to which they intended to try cases; for the decrees regarding contracts had not all yet been laid down. 2 Now since they were not in the habit of doing this once for all and did not observe the rules as written, but often made changes in them, many of which were introduced out of favour or out of hatred of some one, he moved that they should at the very outset announce the principles they would follow, and not swerve from them at all. 3 In fine, the Romans were so concerned at that time to prevent bribery, that in addition to punishing those convicted they even honoured the accusers. For instance, after Marcus Cotta had dismissed the quaestor Publius Oppius because of bribery and suspicion of conspiracy, though he himself had made great profit out of Bithynia, 4 they elevated Gaius Carbo, his accuser, to consular honours, although he had served only as tribune. But when Carbo himself later became governor of Bithynia and erred no less than Cotta, he was in turn accused by Cotta's son and convicted. 5 Some persons, of course, can more easily censure p69 others than admonish themselves, and when it comes to their own case do very readily the things for which they think their neighbours deserving of punishment. Hence they cannot, from the mere fact that they accuse others, inspire confidence in their own hatred of the acts in question. 41 1 Lucius Lucullus, on the other hand, after finishing his term of office as •praetor urbanus, and being chosen by lot thereafter to serve as governor of Sardinia, declined the province, detesting the business because of the many whose administration of affairs in foreign lands was anything but honest. That he was of a mild disposition he had given the fullest proof. 2 For when Acilius once commanded that the chair on which he sat while hearing cases should be broken in pieces because Lucullus, on seeing Acilius pass by, had not risen, the praetor not only did not give way to rage, but thereupon both he himself and his colleagues on his account gave their decision standing.
42 1 Roscius likewise introduced a law, and so did Gaius Manilius,7 at the time when the latter was tribune. The former received some praise for this, which marked off sharply the seats of the knights in the theatres from the other locations; 2 but Manilius came near having to stand trial. He had granted the class of freedmen the right to vote with those who had freed them; this he did on the very last day of the year toward evening, after suborning some of the populace. 3 The senate learned of it immediately on the following day, the first of the month, the day on which Lucius Tullus and Aemilius Lepidus entered upon their consulship, and it rejected his law. p71 He, then, in fear because the plebs were terribly angry, at first ascribed the idea to Crassus and some others; 4 but as no one believed him, he paid court to Pompey even in the latter's absence, especially because he knew that Gabinius had the greatest influence with him. He went so far as to offer him command of the war against Tigranes and that against Mithridates, and the governorship of Bithynia and Cilicia at the same time. 43 1 Now indignation and opposition were manifest even then on the part of the optimates, particularly because Marcius and Acilius were being removed before the period of their command had expired. 2 But the populace, although a little earlier it had sent the proper officials to establish a government over the conquered territory, regarding the war as at an end from the letters which Lucullus sent them, nevertheless voted to do as Manilius proposed. They were urged to this course very strongly by Caesar and Marcus Cicero.
3 These men supported the measure, not because they thought it advantageous to the state or because they wished to do Pompey a favour; but inasmuch as things were certain to turn out that way, Caesar not only courted the good-will of the multitude, observing how much stronger they were than the senate, 4 but also at the same time paved the way for a similar vote to be passed some day in his own interest. Incidentally, also, he wished to render Pompey more envied and odious as a result of the honours conferred upon him, so that the people might get their fill of him more quickly. Cicero, on his part, was aspiring to leadership in the state, and was endeavouring to make it clear to both the p73 plebs and the optimates that he was sure to make whichever side he should join preponderate. 5 He was accustomed to play a double rôle and would espouse now the cause of one party and again that of the other, to the end that he might be courted by both. For example, a little while before he had said that he chose the side of the optimates and for that reason wished to be aedile rather than tribune; but now he went over to the side of the rabble. 44 1 Soon after, when a suit was instituted by the optimates against Manilius and the latter was striving to gain some delay in the matter, Cicero tried in every way to thwart him, and only after obstinate objection did he put off his case till the following day, offering as an excuse that the year was drawing to a close. 2 He was enabled to do this by the fact that he was praetor and president of the court. Thereupon, when the crowd showed their displeasure, he entered their assembly, compelled to do so, as he claimed, but the tribunes, and after inveighing against the senate, promised to speak in support of Manilius. For this he fell into ill repute generally, and was called "turn-coat;" but a tumult that immediately arose prevented the court from being convened.
3 Publius Paetus and Cornelius Sulla, a nephew of the great Sulla, who had been elected consuls and then convicted of bribery, had plotted to kill their accusers, Lucius Cotta and Lucius Torquatus, especially after the latter had also been convicted. 4 Among others who had been suborned were Gnaeus Piso and also Lucius Catiline, a man of great audacity, who had sought the office himself p75 and was angry on this account. They were unable, however, to accomplish anything because the plot was revealed beforehand and a body-guard given to Cotta and Torquatus by the senate. 5 Indeed, a decree would have been passed against them, had not one of the tribunes opposed it. And when Piso even then continued to display his audacity, the senate, fearing he would cause some riot, sent him at once to Spain, ostensibly to hold some command or other; there he met his death at the hands of the natives whom he had wronged.
45 1 Pompey was at first making ready to sail to Crete against Metellus, and when he learned of the decree that had been passed, pretended to be annoyed as before, and charged the members of the opposite faction with always loading tasks upon him so that he might meet with some reverse. In reality he received the news with the greatest joy, 2 and no longer regarding as of any importance Crete or the other maritime points where things had been left unsettled, he made preparations for the war with the barbarians.
Meanwhile, wishing to test the disposition of Mithridates, he sent Metrophanes to him with friendly proposals. 3 Now Mithridates at that time held him in contempt; for as Arsaces, king of the Parthians, had recently died, he expected to conciliate Phraates, his successor. But Pompey anticipated him by quickly establishing friendship with Phraates on the same terms and persuading the latter to invade promptly the part of Armenia belonging to Tigranes. When Mithridates ascertained p77 this, he was alarmed and straightway sent an embassy and tried to arrange a truce. 4 But when Pompey demanded that he lay down his arms and deliver up the deserters, he had no opportunity to deliberate; for the large number of deserters who were in his camp, hearing of it and fearing they should be delivered up, and likewise the barbarians, fearing that they should be compelled to fight without them, raised an uproar. 5 And they would have done some harm to the king, had he not by pretending that he had sent the envoys, not for a truce, but to spy out the Roman strength, with difficulty held them in check.
46 1 Pompey, therefore, having decided that he must needs fight, was busy with his various preparations; among other things he reënlisted the Valerians. When he was now in Galatia, Lucullus met him and declared the whole conflict over, claiming there was no further need of an expedition, and that for this reason, in fact, the men sent by the senate to arrange for the government of the districts had arrived. Failing to persuade him to retire, Lucullus turned to abuse, stigmatizing him as officious, greedy for war, greedy for office, and so on. Pompey, paying him but slight attention, forbade anybody longer to obey his commands and pressed on against Mithridates, being eager to join issue with him as quickly as possible.
47 1 The king for a time kept fleeing, since his forces were inferior; he continually devastated the country before him, gave Pompey a long chase, and at the same time made him feel the want of provisions. But when his adversary invaded Armenia, both for p79 this reason and because he expected to capture it while abandoned, 2 Mithridates, fearing it would be occupied before his arrival, also entered that country. He seized a strong hill opposite the Romans and there rested with his entire army, hoping to exhaust them by the failure of their provisions, while he could secure an abundance from many quarters, being among his own subjects. But he kept sending down some of his cavalry into the plain, which was bare, and attacking those who fell in with them, as a result of which he was receiving large numbers of deserters. 3 Pompey did not dare to assail them in that position, but moved his camp to another spot where the surrounding country was wooded and where he would be troubled less by the foe's cavalry and archers, and there he set an ambuscade where an opportunity offered. 4 Then with a few troops he openly approached the camp of the barbarians, threw them into disorder, and luring them to the point he wished, killed a large number. Encouraged by this success, he also sent men out in various directions over the country after provisions.
48 1 When Pompey continued to procure these in safety and through certain men's help had become master of the land of Anaïtis, which belongs to Armenia and is dedicated to a certain goddess of the same name,a 2 and many others as a result of this kept revolting to him, while the soldiers of Marcius were added to his force, Mithridates became frightened and no longer kept his position, but immediately set out unobserved in the night, and thereafter by night marches advanced into the Armenia of Tigranes. 3 Pompey followed after him, eager to engage in battle; yet he p81 did not venture to do so either by day, for they would not come out of their camp, or by night, since he feared his ignorance of their country, until they got near the frontier. Then, knowing that they were about to escape, he was compelled to fight by night. 4 Having decided on this course, he eluded the barbarians while they were taking their noonday rest, and went on ahead by the road along which they were to march. And coming upon a defile between some hills, he stationed his army there on the higher ground and awaited the enemy. 5 When the latter had entered the defile confidently and without any precaution, in view of the fact that they had suffered no injury previously and now at last were gaining safety, insomuch that they even expected the Romans would no longer follow them, he fell upon them in the darkness; for there was no illumination from the sky, and they had no kind of light with them.
49 1 The course of the battle was as follows: First, all the trumpeters together at a signal sounded the attack, then the soldiers and all the multitude raised a shout, while some clashed their spears against their shields and others struck stones against the bronze implements. 2 The mountains surrounding the valley took up and gave back the din with most frightful effect, so that the barbarians, hearing them suddenly in the night and in the wilderness, were terribly alarmed, thinking they had encountered some supernatural phenomenon. 3 Meanwhile the Romans from the heights were hurling stones, arrows, and javelins upon them from every side, inevitably wounding some by reason of their numbers; p83 and they reduced them to the direst extremity. For the barbarians were not drawn up for battle, but for the march, and both men and women were moving about in the same place with horses and camels and all sorts of baggage; 4 some were riding on chargers, others in chariots or in the covered waggons and carriages, in indiscriminate confusion; and as some were being wounded already and others were expecting to be wounded they were thrown into confusion, and in consequence the more easily slain, since they kept huddling together. 5 This was what they endured while they were still being assailed from a distance. But when the Romans, after exhausting their long-distance missiles, charged down upon them, the outermost of the enemy were slaughtered, one blow sufficing for their death, since the majority were unarmed, and the centre was crushed together, as all by reason of the danger round about them moved thither. 6 So they perished, pushed about and trampled upon by one another without being able to defend themselves or show any daring against the enemy. For they were horsemen and bowmen for the most part, and were unable to see before them in the darkness and unable to carry out any manoeuvre in the narrow space. When the moon rose, the barbarians rejoiced, thinking that in the light they would certainly beat back some of the foe. 7 And they would have been benefited somewhat, if the Romans had not had the moon behind them and as they assailed them, now on this side and now on that, caused much confusion both to the eyes and hands of the others. For the p85 assailants, being very numerous, and all of them together casting the deepest shadow, baffled their opponents before they had yet come into conflict with them. 8 The barbarians, thinking them near, would strike vainly into the air, and when they did come to close quarters in the shadow, they would be wounded when not expecting it. Thus many of them were killed and fewer taken captives. A considerable number also escaped, among them Mithridates.
50 1 The king then hastened toward Tigranes. But on sending courtiers to him he found no friendship awaiting him, because the young Tigranes had risen against his father, and the latter suspected that Mithridates, the youth's grandfather, had really been responsible for the quarrel. For this reason, far from receiving him, Tigranes even arrested and threw into prison the men sent ahead by him. Failing, therefore, of the expected refuge, he turned aside into Colchis, 2 and thence on foot reached Maeotis and the Bosporus, using persuasion with some and force with others. He also recovered that country, after so terrifying Machares, his son, who had espoused the cause of the Romans and was then ruling there, that he would not even come into his presence; and he likewise caused this son to be killed by his associates, to whom he promised to grant immunity and money. 3 In the course of these events Pompey sent men to pursue him; but when he outstripped them by fleeing across the Phasis, the Roman leader colonized a city in the territory where he had been victorious, and gave it over to the wounded and superannuated soldiers. p87 Many also of the neighbouring people voluntarily joined the settlement and later generations of them are in existence even now, being called Nicopolitans8 and belonging to the province of Cappadocia.
51 1 While Pompey was thus engaged, Tigranes, the son of Tigranes, fled to Phraates, taking with him some of the foremost men, because his father was not ruling to suit them; and though Phraates, in view of the treaty made with Pompey, hesitated about what he ought to do, he was persuaded to invade Armenia. 2 So they came as far as Artaxata, subduing all the country before them, and even assailed that place too, for Tigranes the elder in fear of them had fled to the mountains. But when it appeared that time was required for the siege, Phraates left a part of the force with the young Tigranes and retired to his own land. Thereupon the father took the field against his son, who was now left alone, and conquered him. 3 The latter, in his flight, set out at first to go to Mithridates, his grandfather; but when he learned that he had been defeated and was rather in need of aid than able so assist any one, he went over to the Romans. Pompey, employing him as a guide, made an expedition into Armenia against his father.
52 1 Tigranes, learning of this, and becoming alarmed, immediately made overtures to him and delivered up the envoys of Mithridates. And when, on account of the opposition of his son, he could gain no moderate p89 terms, but even as it was Pompey had crossed the Araxes and drawn near to Artaxata, 2 then at last Tigranes surrendered the city to him and came voluntarily into his camp. He had arrayed himself so far as possible in a manner midway between his former dignity and his present humbled state, in order that he might seem to him worthy both of respect and pity; 3 for he had put off his tunic shot with white and the candys9 of pure purple, but wore his tiara and head-band. Pompey, however, sent a lictor and made him dismount from his horse, since the king was riding up as if to enter the very fortification on horseback according to the custom of his people. But when he saw him enter on foot, cast aside his head-dress and prostrate himself on the ground to do him obeisance, he felt an impulse of pity; 4 so springing up hastily, he raised him, bound on the head-band and seated him upon a chair close by, and spoke words of encouragement, telling him among other things that he had not lost the kingdom of Armenia, but had gained the friendship of the Romans. By these words Pompey restored his spirits, and then invited him to dinner. 53 1 But the son, who sat on the other side of Pompey, did not rise at the approach of his father nor greet him in any other way, and furthermore, though invited to dinner, did not present himself, whence he incurred Pompey's most cordial hatred.
2 Now on the following day, when Pompey had heard the claims of both, he restored to the elder all his hereditary domain; but what he had acquired later (chiefly portions of Cappadocia and Syria, as p91 well as Phoenicia and the large district of Sophene bordering on Armenia) he took away, and demanded money of him besides. To the younger he assigned Sophene only. 3 And inasmuch as this was where the treasures were, the young man began a dispute about them, and not gaining his point, since Pompey had no other source from which to obtain the sums agreed upon, he became angry and planned to escape. Pompey, being informed of this in season, kept the youth in honourable confinement and sent to those who were guarding the money, bidding them give it all to his father. 4 But they would not obey, stating that it was necessary for the young man, to whom the country was now held to belong, to give them this command. Then Pompey sent him to the forts. He, finding them all locked up, came near and reluctantly ordered that they be opened. When the keepers obeyed no more than before, claiming that he issued the command not of his own free will, but under compulsion, Pompey was vexed and put Tigranes in chains.
5 Thus the old king secured the treasures, and Pompey passed the winter in the land of Anaïtis and near the river Cyrnus, after making three divisions of his army. From Tigranes he received plenty of everything and far more money than had been agreed upon. 6 It was for this reason particularly that he shortly afterwards enrolled the king among the friends and allies of the Roman people and brought his son to Rome under guard.
p93 54 1 The quiet of his winter quarters, however, was not unbroken. Oroeses, king of the Albanians dwelling beyond the Cyrnus,10 made an expedition against them just at the time of the Saturnalia. He was impelled partly by the desire to do a favour to Tigranes the younger, who was a friend of his, but chiefly by the fear that the Romans would invade Albania; and he cherished the idea that if he should fall upon them in the winter, when they were not expecting hostilities and were not encamped in one body, he would surely achieve some success. 2 Oroeses himself marched against Metellus Celer, in whose charge Tigranes was, and sent some against Pompey and others against Lucius Flaccus, the commander of a third of the army, in order that all might not assist one another. 3 And yet, in spite of all, he accomplished nothing at any point. Celer vigorously repulsed Oroeses. Flaccus, being unable to save the whole circuit of his entrenchments by reason of their size, constructed another line inside. This fixed in his opponents' minds the impression that he was afraid, and so he was able to entice them inside of the outer trench, 4 where by making an unexpected charge upon them he slaughtered many in the conflict and many in flight. Meanwhile Pompey, having already learned of the attempt which the barbarians had made on the others, came, much to their surprise, to meet the detachment that was proceeding against him, conquered it, and at once hurried on just as he was against Oroeses. He did not overtake him, however, since Oroeses had fled after being repulsed by Celer and learning of the failures of the others; 5 but he p95 seized and destroyed many of the Albanians near the crossing of the Cyrnus. He then made a truce at their request; for although on other accounts he was extremely anxious to invade their country out of revenge, he was glad to postpone the war because of the winter.
1 The beginning of this book is missing in the MSS. The gist of the lost portion is doubtless contained in the two following passages from Xiphilinus' Epitome.
3 Pompey was the first knight to celebrate a triumph.
4 Aulus Atilius Calatinus in B.C. 249.
5 The following two fragments are perhaps from the speech of Catulus:—
Dio, Book XXXVI. "Nor will his task as monarch over all your possessions be free from envy."
Dio, Book XXXVI. "And naturally the prudent man must take thought for such a contingency."
7 Dio uses the form Μάλλιος, the Greek for Manlius or Mallius.
8 Nicopolis = "City of Victory."
9 The outer garment of the Persians, provided with sleeves.
10 This river is called the Cyrus by other writers.
Images with borders lead to more information.
The thicker the border, the more information. (Details here.)
A page or image on this site is in the public domain ONLY if its URL has a total of one *asterisk. If the URL has two **asterisks, the item is copyright someone else, and used by permission or fair use. If the URL has none the item is © Bill Thayer.
See my copyright page for details and contact information.
Page updated: 18 Jun 11