Page:Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) - Volume 3.djvu/499

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POMPEIUS. 487

that he should continue in possession of an army after his rival had ceased to have one, by obtaining a senatusconsultum, by which his government of the Spains was prolonged for another five years. And, in case Caesar should obtain the consulship, he caused a law to be enacted, in virtue of which no one should have a province till five years had elapsed from the time of his holding a public office. Such were the precautions adopted against his great rival, the uselessness of which time soon showed,

The history of the next four years (b. c. 51-48) is related at length in the life of Caesar [Vol. I. pp. 549-552]; and it is, therefore, only necessary to give here a brief outline of the remaining events of Pompey's life. In b. c. 51 Pompey became reconciled to the aristocracy, and was now regarded as their acknowledged head, though it appears that he never obtained the full confidence of the party. In the following year (b. c. 50) the struggle between Caesar and the aristocracy came to a crisis. The latter demanded that Caesar should resign his province and come to Rome as a private man in order to sue for the consulship; but it would have been madness in Caesar to place himself in the power of his enemies, who had an army in the neighbourhood of the city under the command of Pompey. There was no doubt that he would immediately have been brought to trial, and his condemnation would have been certain, since Pompey would have overawed the judges by his soldiery as he had done at the trial of Milo. Caesar, however, agreed to resign his provinces, and disband his army, provided Pompey would do the same. This proposition, however, was rejected, and Caesar prepared for war. He had now completed the subjugation of Gaul, and could confideftly rely on the fidelity of his veteran troops, whom he had so often led to victory and glory. At the same time he lost no opportunity of strengthening his interest at Rome; the immense wealth he had acquired by the conquest of Gaul was lavishly spent in gaining over many of the most influential men in the city; the services of the consul Aemilius Paulus and of the tribune Curio, who were reckoned devoted partizans of Pompey, were purchased by enormous bribes. Pompey, on the other hand, neglected to prepare for the coming contest; he was firmly convinced, as we have already remarked, that Caesar would never venture to march against the constituted authorities of the state; and if he were mad enough to draw the sword, Pompey believed that his troops would desert him in the desperate enterprize, while his own fame and the cause of the republic would attract to his standard a multitude of soldiers from all parts of Italy. So confident was he of success that he did not attempt to levy troops; and when some of his friends remonstrated with him, and pointed out the defenceless condition of their party, if Caesar advanced against the city, Pompey replied "that he had only to stamp with his foot in any part of Italy, and numbers of troops would immediately spring up." He was confirmed in the conviction of his own popularity by the interest expressed on his behalf during a dangerous illness by which he was attacked this year at Neapolis. Many cities offered sacrifices for his restoration to health ; and on his recovery public rejoicings took place in numerous towns of Italy. But he was soon cruelly undeceived. At the beginning of b. c. 49 the senate decreed that Caesar should disband his army by a certain day, or otherwise be regarded as an enemy of the state. Two of the tribunes put their veto upon the decree, but their opposition was set at nought, their lives were threatened, and they fled for refuge to Caesar's camp. Caesar hesitated no longer; he crossed the Rubicon, which separated his province from Italy, and at the head of a single legion marched upon Rome. He was received with enthusiasm by the Italian towns ; his march was like a triumphal progress; city after city threw open their gates to him; the troops of the aristocracy went over to his side; and Pompey, after all his confident boasting, found himself unable to defend the capital. He fled, with all the leading senators, first to Capua, where he remained for a short time, and subsequently to Brundisium. Caesar, however, gave him no rest; by the 8th of March he was under the walls of Brundisium ; and as Pompey despaired of holding out in that city, he embarked on the 15th of the month, and crossed over to Greece. As Caesar had no ships ho could not follow him for the present, and therefore marched against Pompey's legates in Spain, whom he conquered in the course of the same year.

In the next year (b. c. 48) the war was decided. Early in January Caesar arrived in Greece, and forthwith commenced active operations. Pompey meantime had collected a numerous army in Greece, Egypt, and the East, the scene of his former glories. But although his troops far outnumbered Caesar's, he well knew that they were no match for them in the field, and therefore prudently resolved to decline a battle. His superiority in cavalry enabled him to cut off Caesars's supplies, and gave him the complete command of all the provisions of the country. The utmost scarcity began to prevail in Caesar's camp; since not only could he obtain nothing from the country, but he was likewise unable to receive any supplies from Italy, in consequence of the fleet of Pompey, which had the entire command of the sea. But Pompey was prevented from carrying out the prudent plan which he had formed for conducting the campaign. His camp was filled with a multitude of Roman nobles, unacquainted with war, and anxious to return to their estates in Italy and to the luxuries of the capital. Their superior numbers made them sure of victory; and Pompey's success at Dyrrhacium, when he broke through Caesar's lines and compelled him to retire with considersword, able loss, rendered them still more confident of success. Pompey's unwillingness to fight, which only showed that he understood his profession far better than the vain and ignorant nobles who would school him, was set down to his love of power and his anxiety to keep the senate in subjection. Stung with the reproaches with which he was assailed, and likewise elated to some degree by his victory at Dyrrhacium, he resolved to bring the contest to an issue. Accordingly, he offered battle to Caesar in the plain of Pharsalia in Thessaly, on the 9th of August, and the result justified his previous fears. His numerous army was completely defeated by Caesar's veterans. This defeat by his great rival seems at once to have driven Pompey to despair. He made no attempt to rally his forces, though he might still have collected a considerable army; but regarding every thing as lost, he hurried to the