Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 3.djvu/496

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484 POMPEIUS.

fleet to cruise in the Euxine, and seize all vessels that attempted to carry provisions to the king in the Bosporus.

In the spring of b. c 64 Pompey left his winterquarters in Pontus, and set out for Syria. In his march he passed the field of battle near Zela, where Valerius Triarius, the legate of Lucullus, had been defeated by Mithridates three years before, with a loss of more than 7000 men. Pompey collected their bones which still lay upon the field, and buried them with due honours. On his arrival in Syria he deposed Antiochus Asiaticus [Antiochus XIII.], whom Lucullus had allowed to take possession of the throne, after the defeat of Tigranes, and made the country a Roman province. He likewise compelled the neighbouring princes, who had established independent kingdoms on the ruins of the Syrian empire, to submit to the Roman dominion. The whole of this year was occupied with the settlement of Syria, and the adjacent countries.

Next year, b. c 63, Pompey advanced further south, in order to establish the Roman supremacy in Phoenicia, Coele-Syria and Palestine. In the latter country, however, a severe struggle awaited it. The country was at the time distracted by a civil war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, the two sons of Aristobulus I., who died b. c 105. Pompey espoused the side of Hyreanus; and Aristobulus, who at first had made preparations for resistance, surrendered himself to Pompey, when the latter had advanced near to Jerusalem. But the Jews themselves refused to follow the example of their king; the more patriotic and fanatical took refuge in the fortress of the temple, broke down the bridge which connected it with the city, and prepared to hold out to the last. They refused to listen to any overtures for a surrender; and it was not till after a siege of three months that the place was taken. Pompey entered the Holy of Holies, the first time that any human being, except the high-priest, had dared to penetrate into this sacred spot. He reinstated Hyrcanus in the high-priesthood, and left the government in his hands, but at the same time compelled him to recognise the authority of Rome by the payment of an annual tribute : Aristobulus he took with him as a prisoner. It was during this war in Palestine that Pompey received intelligence of the death of Mithridates. [Mithridates, VI.] Pompey now led his troops back into Pontus for the winter, and began to make preparations for his return to Italy. He confirmed Pharnaces, the son and murderer of Mithridates, in the possession of the kingdom of Bosporus; Deiotarus, tetrarch of Galatia, who had supported the Romans in their war with Mithridates, was rewarded with an extension of territory, and Ariobarzanes, king of Cappadocia, was restored to his kingdom. After making all the arrangements necessary to secure the Roman supremacy in the East, Pompey set out for Italy, which he reached at the end of b. c 62. His arrival had been long looked for by all parties with various feelings of hope and fear. The aristocracy dreaded that he would come as their master ; the popular party, and especially the enemies of Cicero, hoped that he would punish the latter for his unconstitutional proceedings in the suppression of the Catilinarian conspiracy; and both parties felt that at the head of his victorious army he might seize upon the supreme power, and play the part of Sulla. Pompey, however, soon calmed these apprehensions. He disbanded his army almost immediately after landing at Brundisium; but he did not proceed straightway to Rome, as he was anxious to learn somewhat more accurately the state of parties before he made his appearance in the city. When he at length set out, he was received by all the cities through which he passed with an enthusiasm which knew no bounds; and as he approached the capital, the greatest part of the population flocked out to meet him, and greeted him with the wildest acclamations of joy. After remaining in the neighbourhood of the city for some months, he at length entered it in triumph, on his birth-day, the 30th of September, b. c 61. Pompey had just completed his forty-fifth year, and this was the third time that he had enjoyed the honour of a triumph. His admirers represented him as celebrating now his victory over the third continent, just as his first triumph had been gained over Africa, and his second over Europe. This triumph, however, was not only the greatest of the three, but the most splendid that the Romans had ever yet seen. It lasted for two days, although there was no army to lengthen out the procession. In front, large tablets were carried, specifying the nations and kings he had conquered, and proclaiming that he had taken 1000 strong fortresses, and nearly 900 towns and 800 ships; that he had founded 39 cities, that he had raised the revenue of the Roman people from 50 millions to 85 millions ; and that he had brought into the treasury 20,000 talents, in addition to 16,000 that he had distributed among his troops at Ephesus. Next followed an endless train of waggons loaded with the treasures of the East. On the second day Pompey himself entered the city in his triumphal car, preceded by the princes and chiefs whom he had taken prisoners, or received as hostages, 324 in number, and followed by his legates and military tribunes, who concluded the procession. After the triumph, he displayed his clemency by sparing the lives of his prisoners, and dismissing them to their various states, with the exception of Aristobulus and Tigranes, who, he feared, might excite commotions in Judaea and Armenia respectively, if they were set at liberty.

With this triumph the first and most glorious part of Pompey's life may be said to have ended. Hitherto he had been employed almost exclusively in war, and his whole life had been an almost uninterrupted succession of military glory. But now he was called upon to play a prominent part in the civil commotions of the commonwealth, a part for which neither his natural talents nor his previous habits had in the least fitted him. From the death of Sulla to the present time, a period of nearly twenty years, he had been unquestionably the first man in the Roman world, but he did not retain much longer this proud position, and eventually discovered that the genius of Caesar had reduced him to a second place in the state. It would seem as if Pompey on his return to Rome hardly knew himself what part to take in the politics of the city. He had been appointed to the command against the pirates and Mithridates in opposition to the aristocracy, and they still regarded him with jealousy and distrust. He could not therefore ally himself to them, especially too as some of their most influential leaders, such as M. Crassus, L. Lucullus,