Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 3.djvu/497

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POMPEIUS. 485

and Metellus Creticus, were his personal enemies. At the same time he does not seem to have been disposed to unite himself to the popular party, which had risen into importance during his absence in the East, and over which Caesar possessed unbounded influence. The object, however, which engaged the immediate attention of Pompey was to obtain from the senate a ratification for all his acts in Asia, and an assignment of lands which he had promised to his veterans. In order to secure this object the more certainly, he had purchased the consulship for one of his creatures, L. Afranius, who accordingly was elected with Q. Metellus for the year b. c. 60. But he was cruelly disappointed; L. Afranius was a man of slender ability and little courage, and did hardly any thing to promote the views of his patron: the senate, glad of an opportunity to put an affront upon a man whom they both feared and hated, resolutely refused to sanction Pompey's measures in Asia. This was the unwisest thing the senate could have done. If they had known their real interests, they would have yielded to all Pompey's wishes, and have sought by every means to win him over to their side, as a counterpoise to the growing and more dangerous influence of Caesar. But their shortsighted policy threw Pompey into Caesar's arms, and thus sealed the downfal of their party. Pompey was resolved to fulfil the promises he had made to his Asiatic clients and his veteran troops; his honour and reputation were pledged; and the refusal of the senate to redeem his pledge was an insult that he could not brook, more especially as he might have entered Rome at the head of his army, and have obtained his wishes with his sword. With these feelings Pompey broke off all connection with the aristocracy, and devoted himself to Caesar, who promised to obtain for him the ratification of his acts. Pompey, on his side, agreed to support Caesar in all his measures; and that they might be more sure of carrying their plans into execution, Caesar prevailed upon Pompey to become reconciled to Crassus, who by his connections, as well as by his immense wealth, had great influence at Rome. Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus, accordingly agreed to assist one another against their mutual enemies; and thus was first formed the first triumvirate.

This union of the three most powerful men at Rome crushed the aristocracy for the time. Supported by Pompey and Crassus, Caesar was able in his consulship, b. c. 59, to carry all his measures. An account of these is given elsewhere. [Caesar, p. 543.] It is only necessary to mention here, that by Caesar's agrarian law, which divided the rich Campanian land among the poorer citizens, Pompey was able to fulfil the promises he had made to his veterans; and that Caesar likewise obtained from the people a ratification of all Pompey's acts in Asia. In order to cement their union more closely, Caesar gave to Pompey his daughter Julia in marriage, Pompey having shortly before divorced his wife Mucia.

At the beginning of the following year, b. c. 58, Gabinius and Piso entered upon the consulship, and Caesar went to his province in Gaul Pompey retired with his wife Julia to his villa of Albanum near Rome, and took hardly any part in public affairs during this year. He quietly allowed Clodius to ruin Cicero, whom the triumvirs had determined to leave to his fate. Cicero therefore went into banishment; but after Clodius had once gained from the triumvirs the great object he had desired, he did not care any longer to consult their views. He restored Tigranes to liberty whom Pompey had kept in confinement, ridiculed the great Imperator before the people, and was accused of making an attempt upon Pompey's life. Pompey in revenge resolved to procure the recal of Cicero from banishment, and was thus brought again into some friendly connections with the aristocratical party. With Pompey's support the bill for Cicero's return was passed in b. c. 57, and the orator arrived at Rome in the month of September. To show his gratitude, Cicero proposed that Pompey should have the superintendence of the cornmarket throughout the whole republic for a period of five years, since there was a scarcity of corn at Rome, and serious riots had ensued in consequence. A bill was accordingly passed, by which Pompey was made the Praefectus Annonae for five years. In this capacity he went to Sicily, and sent his legates to various parts of the Mediterranean, to collect corn for the capital; and the price in consequence soon fell. About the same time there were many discussions in the senate respecting the restoration of Ptolemy Auletes to Egypt. Ptolemy had come to Rome, and been received by Pompey in his villa at Albanum, and it was generally believed that Pompey himself wished to be sent to the East at the head of an army for the purpose of restoring the Egyptian monarch. The senate, however, dreaded to let him return to the scene of his former triumphs, where he possessed unbounded influence; and accordingly they discovered, when he was in Sicily and Ptolemy in Ephesus, that the Sibylline books forbade the employment of force.

Pompey returned to Rome early in b. c. 56; and though he could not obtain for himself the mission to the East, he used all his influence in order that the late consul, Lentulus Spinther, who had obtained the province of Cilicia, should restore Ptolemy to his kingdom. Clodius, who was now curule aedile, accused Milo at the beginning of February; and when Pompey spoke in his favour, he was abused by Milo in the foulest manner, and held up to laughter and scorn. At the same time he was attacked in the senate by the tribune C. Cato, who openly charged him with treachery towards Cicero. The evident delight with which the senate listened to the attack inflamed Pompey's anger to the highest pitch; he spoke openly of conspiracies against his life, denounced Crassus as the author of them, and threatened to take measures for his security. He had now lost the confidence of all parties; the senate hated and feared him; the people had deserted him for their favourite Clodius; and he had no other resource left but to strengthen his connection with Caesar, and to avail himself of the popularity of the conqueror of Gaul for the purpose of maintaining his own power and influence. This was a bitter draught for the conqueror of the East to swallow : he was already compelled to confess that he was only the second man in the state. But as he had no alternative, he repaired to Caesar's winter-quarters at Lucca, whither Crassus had already gone before him. Caesar reconciled Pompey and Crassus to one another, and concluded a secret agreement with them, in virtue of which they were to be consuls for the next year, and obtain provinces and armies, while he was to have his government prolonged for another