Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 3.djvu/490

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478 POMPEIUS.

of the Marian generals gave him the wished-for opportunity ; he was surrounded by three armies, commanded respectively by M. Brutus, C. Caelius Caldus, and C. Carrinas, whose great object seems to have been to prevent his escape to Sulla. Pompey now displayed for the first time the great military abilities for which he became afterwards so conspicuous ; he concentrated all his forces in one spot, and then fell upon M. Brutus at a time when he could receive no assistance from the other generals, and completely defeated him. Pompey also distinguished himself by his personal bravery in this engagement, charging at the head of his cavalry, and striking down a Celtic horseman with his own hand. The Marian generals, after the loss of this battle, quarrelled among themselves, and withdrew from the country. Pompey, who had no longer an enemy to oppose him, set out to join Sulla, and was hailed as a deliverer by the towns of Picenum, who had now no other alternative but submission. He was proscribed by the senate, but his troops proved faithful to him, and he joined Sulla in safety, having already gained for himself a brilliant reputation. He was received by Sulla with still greater distinction than he had anticipated ; for when he leapt down from his horse, and saluted Sulla by the title of Imperator, the latter returned the compliment by addressing him by the same title. Pompey was only twenty-three, and had not held any public office when he received this unprecedented mark of honour.

Next year, b. c. 82, the war was prosecuted with vigour against the Marian party. Pompey took a prominent part in it as one of Sulla's legates, and by his success gained still further distinction. The younger Marius, who was now consul, was blockaded in Praeneste, and his colleague, Carbo, was making every effort to relieve him. Sulla himself fought an indecisive battle against Carbo; but his legates, Marcius and Carrinas, were defeated by Pompey. Carbo then retreated to Ariminum, and sent Marcius to the relief of Praeneste; but Ponmpey defeated the latter again in the Apennines, and compelled him to retire. Despairing of success, Carbo then abandoned Marius to his fate, and set sail for Africa. Praeneste shortly afterwards surrendered. Sulla thus became the master of Italy, and was proclaimed dictator. He then proceeded to reward his partizans, and to take vengeance on his enemies; and in order to connect Pompey more closely with himself, he compelled him to marry his step-daughter Aemilia, the daughter of his wife Caecilia Metella, by her former husband Aemilius Scaurus. To effect this marriage two divorces had to take place: Pompey was obliged to put away his wife Antistia, though her father had been murdered by Marius as a partizan of Sulla, simply on account of his connection with Pompey; and Aemilia was obliged to leave her husband M'. Glabrio, although she was pregnant at the time. Aemilia died shortly afterwards in child-birth.

But although the war in Italy was brought to a close, the Marian party still held out in other parts of Europe; and Pompey, who was now regarded as one of the principal leaders of the aristocracy, was sent against them by Sulla. He first proceeded to Sicily, to which island Carbo had crossed over from Africa, but here met with no opposition; as soon as he landed, Carbo fled from the island, intending to take refuge in Egypt, but he was seized and brought in chains to Pompey, at Lilybaeum, who put him to death, and sent his head to Sulla. He likewise executed several others of the Marian party; but he can scarcely be reproached with cruelty for so doing, as he had no other alternative, even if he had wished to save them; and he treated the cities which had espoused the popular side with greater leniency than might have been expected. Next year, b. c. 81, Pompey left Sicily, and passed over to Africa, in order to oppose Cn. Domitius Ahenobarus the son-in-law of Cinna, who, with the assistance of Hiarbas, had collected a formidable army. But his troops, chiefly consisting of Numidians, were no match for the veterans who had conquered the well-disciplined Italian allies. Still they fought with great bravery, and out of 20,000 only 3000 are said to have survived the decisive battle. Their camp was taken, and Domitius fell. In a few months Pompey reduced the whole of Numidia ; Hiarbas was taken prisoner and put to death, and his throne was given to Hiempsal. But it was not only his military achievements that gained him great renown at Rome; unlike other Roman governors, he abstained from plundering the province, which seemed the more extraordinary, since the disturbed state of the country afforded him particular facilities for doing so. Intent upon triumphing, he collected a great number of elephants and lions in Numidia, and returned to Rome, in the same year, covered with glory. As he approached Rome, numbers flocked out of the city to meet him; and the dictator himself, who formed one of the crowd, greeted him with the surname of Magnus, which he bore ever afterwards, and handed down to his children.[1] But Pompey did not find it easy to obtain his wished-for triumph. Hitherto no one but a dictator, consul, or praetor, had enjoyed this distinction, and it seemed a monstrous thing for a simple eques, who had not yet obtained a place in the senate, to covet this honour. Sulla at first tried to dissuade Pompey from pressing his request; and as he would not relinquish his design, the matter was referred to the senate, and there Sulla positively opposed it. Pompey was not, however, to be cowed, and uttered a threat about the rising and the setting sun; whereupon Sulla, indignant at his impudence. shouted out contemptuously, "Let him triumph then !" It is true that Sulla's dominion was too firmly established to be overthrown by Pompey ; but he probably could not have put him down without a struggle, and therefore thought it better to let him have his own way. Pompey therefore entered Rome in triumph as a simple eques in the month of September b. c. 81, and before he had completed his twenty-fifth year. Pompey's conduct in insisting upon a triumph on this occasion has been represented by many modern writers as vain and childish but it should be recollected that it was a vanity which all distinguished Romans shared, and that to enter Rome drawn in

  1. There can be little doubt that this surname was given to Pompey on this occasion, though many writers assign it to a different time. The question is discussed at length by Drumann, vol. iv. p. 335. Pompey did not use it himself till he was appointed to the command of the war against Sertorius (Plut. Pomp. 13).