The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch Edited for Boys and Girls With Introductions

Part 6 out of 8

forefathers taught the rest of Greece to sow corn, and how to use
springs of water, and to kindle fire, yet Cimon, by keeping open
house for his fellow-citizens, and giving travelers liberty to eat
the fruits which the several seasons produced in his land, seemed
to restore to the world that community of goods, which mythology
says existed in the reign of Saturn. Those who object to him that
he did this to be popular, and gain the applause of the vulgar,
are confuted by the constant tenor of the rest of his actions,
which all ended to uphold the interests of the nobility and the
Spartan policy, of which he gave instances, when, together with
Aristides, he opposed Themistocles, who was advancing the
authority of the people beyond its just limits, and resisted
Ephialtes, who to please the multitude, was for abolishing the
jurisdiction of the court of Areopagus. And when all the men of
his time, except Aristides and Ephialtes, enriched themselves out
of the public money, he still kept his hands clean and untainted,
and to his last day never acted or spoke for his own private gain
or emolument. They tell us that Rhoesaces, a Persian, who had
traitorously revolted from the king his master, fled to Athens,
and there, being harassed by sycophants who were still accusing
him to the people, he applied himself to Cimon for redress, and to
gain his favor, laid down in his doorway two cups, the one full of
gold, and the other of silver Darics. Cimon smiled and asked him
whether he wished to have Cimon's hired service or his friendship.
He replied, his friendship. "If so," said he, "take away these
pieces, for being your friend, when I shall have occasion for
them, I will send and ask for them."

The allies of the Athenians began now to be weary of war and
military service, willing to have repose, and to look after their
husbandry and traffic. For they saw their enemies driven out of
the country, and did not fear any new vexations from them. They
still paid the tax they were assessed at, but did not send men and
galleys, as they had done before. This the other Athenian generals
wished to constrain them to, and by judicial proceedings against
defaulters, and penalties which they inflicted on them, made the
government uneasy, and even odious. But Cimon practiced a contrary
method; he forced no man to go that was not willing, but of those
that desired to be excused from service he took money and vessels
unmanned, and let them yield to the temptation of staying at home,
to attend to their private business. Thus they lost their military
habits, and luxury and their own folly quickly changed them into
unwarlike husbandmen and traders; while Cimon, continually
embarking large numbers of Athenians on board his galleys,
thoroughly disciplined them in his expeditions, and ere long made
them the lords of their own paymasters. The allies, whose
indolence maintained them, while they thus went sailing about
everywhere, and incessantly bearing arms and acquiring skill,
began to fear and flatter them, and found themselves after a while
allies no longer, but unwittingly become tributaries and slaves.

Nor did any man ever do more than Cimon did to humble the pride of
the Persian king. He was not content with ridding Greece of him;
but following close at his heels, before the barbarians could take
breath and recover themselves, what with his devastations, and his
forcible reduction of some places and the revolts and voluntary
accession of others, in the end, from Ionia to Pamphylia, all Asia
was clear of Persian soldiers. Word being brought him that the
royal commanders were lying in wait upon the coast of Pamphylia,
with a numerous land army, and a large fleet, he determined to
make the whole sea on this side the Chelidonian islands so
formidable to them that they should never dare to show themselves
in it; and setting off from Cnidos and the Triopian headland, with
two hundred galleys, which had been originally built with
particular care by Themistocles, for speed and rapid evolutions,
and to which he now gave greater width and roomier decks along the
sides to move to and fro upon, so as to allow a great number of
full-armed soldiers to take part in the engagements and fight from
them, he shaped his course first of all against the town of
Phaselis, which, though inhabited by Greeks, yet would not quit
the interests of Persia, but denied his galleys entrance into
their port. Upon this he wasted the country, and drew up his army
to their very walls; but the soldiers of Chios, who were then
serving under him, being ancient friends to the Phaselites,
endeavoring to propitiate the general in their behalf, at the same
time shot arrows into the town, to which were fastened letters
conveying intelligence. At length he concluded peace with them,
upon the conditions that they should pay down ten talents, and
follow him against the barbarians. The Persian admiral lay waiting
for him with the whole fleet at the mouth of the river Eurymedon,
with no design to fight, but expecting a reinforcement of eighty
Phoenician ships on their way from Cyprus. Cimon, aware of this,
put out to sea, resolved, if they would not fight a battle
willingly, to force them to it. The barbarians, seeing this,
retired within the mouth of the river to avoid being attacked; but
when they saw the Athenians come upon them, notwithstanding their
retreat, they met them with six hundred ships, as Phanodemus
relates, but according to Ephorus, with three hundred and fifty.
However, they did nothing worthy such mighty forces, but
immediately turned the prows of their galleys toward the shore,
where those that came first threw themselves upon the land, and
fled to their army drawn up thereabout, while the rest perished
with their vessels, or were taken. By this, one may guess at their
number, for though a great many escaped out of the fight, and a
great many others were sunk, yet two hundred galleys were taken by
the Athenians.

When their land army drew toward the seaside, Cimon was in
suspense whether he should venture to try and force his way on
shore; as he should thus expose his Greeks, wearied with slaughter
in the first engagement, to the swords of the barbarians, who were
all fresh men, and many times their number. But seeing his men
resolute, and flushed with victory, he bade them land, though they
were not yet cool from their first battle. As soon as they touched
ground, they set up a shout and ran upon the enemy, who stood firm
and sustained the first shock with great courage, so that the
fight was a hard one, and some of the principal men of the
Athenians in rank and courage were slain. At length, though with
much ado, they routed the barbarians, and killing some, took
others prisoners, and plundered all their tents and pavilions,
which were full of rich spoil. Cimon, liked a skilled athlete at
the games, having in one day carried off two victories, wherein he
surpassed that of Salamis by sea, and that of Plataea by land, was
encouraged to try for yet another success. News being brought that
the Phoenician succors, in number eighty sail, had come in sight
at Hydrum, he set off with all speed to find them, while they as
yet had not received any certain account of the larger fleet, and
were in doubt what to think; so that thus surprised, they lost all
their vessels, and most of their men with them. This success of
Cimon so daunted the king of Persia, that he presently made that
celebrated peace, by which he engaged that his armies should come
no nearer the Grecian sea than the length of a horse's course; and
that none of his galleys or vessels of war should appear between
the Cyanean and Chelidonian isles. In the collection which
Craterus made of the public acts of the people, there is a draft
of this treaty given.

The people of Athens raised so much money from the spoils of this
war, which were publicly sold, that, besides other expenses, and
raising the south wall of the citadel, they laid the foundation of
the long walls, not, indeed, finished till at a later time, which
were called the Legs. And the place where they built them being
soft and marshy ground, they were forced to sink great weights of
stone and rubble to secure the foundation, and did all this out of
the money Cimon supplied them with.

It was he, likewise, who first embellished the upper city with
those fine and ornamental places of exercise and resort, which
they afterward so much frequented and delighted in. He set the
market-place with plane trees; and the Academy, which was before a
bare, dry, and dirty spot, he converted into a well-watered grove,
with shady alleys to walk in, and open courses for races.

When the Persians who had made themselves masters of the
Chersonese, so far from quitting it, called in the people of the
interior of Thrace to help them against Cimon, whom they despised
for the smallness of his forces, he set upon them with only four
galleys, and took thirteen of theirs; and having driven out the
Persians, and subdued the Thracians, he made the hole Chersonese
the property of Athens. Next, he attacked the people of Thasos,
who had revolted from the Athenians; and, having defeated them in
a fight at sea, where he captured thirty-three of their vessels,
he took their own by siege, and acquired for the Athenians all the
mines of gold on the opposite coast, and the territory dependent
on Thasos.

This opened him a fair passage into Macedon, so that he might, it
was thought, have acquired a good portion of that country, and
because he neglected the opportunity, he was suspected of
corruption, and of having been bribed off by king Alexander. So,
by the combination of his adversaries, he was accused of being
false to his country. In his defence he told the judges, that he
had always shown himself in his public life the friend, not, like
other men, of rich Ionians and Thessalonians, to be courted, and
to receive presents, but of the Lacedaemonians; for as he admired,
so he wished to imitate, the plainness of their habits, their
temperance, and simplicity of living, which he preferred to any
sort of riches; but that he always had been, and still was proud
to enrich his country with the spoils of her enemies. Pericles
proved the mildest of his prosecutors, and rose up but once all
the while, almost as a matter of form, to plead against him. Cimon
was acquitted.

In his public life after this, he continued, while at home, to
control the common people, who would have trampled upon the
nobility, and drawn all the power and sovereignty to themselves.
But when he afterwards was sent out to war, the multitude broke
loose, as it were, and overthrew all the ancient laws and customs
they had hitherto observed, and, chiefly at the instigation of
Ephialtes, withdrew the cognizance of almost all causes from the
Areopagus; so that all jurisdiction now being transferred to them,
the government was reduced to a perfect democracy, and this by the
help of Pericles, who was already powerful, and had pronounced in
favor of the common people.

He was indeed a favorer of the Lacedaemonians even from his youth,
and gave the names of Lacedaemonius and Eleus to his two sons,

Cimon was countenanced by the Lacedaemonians in opposition to
Themistocles, whom they disliked; and while he was yet very young,
they endeavored to raise and increase his credit in Athens. This
the Athenians perceived at first with pleasure, and the favor the
Lacedaemonians showed him was in various ways advantageous to them
and their affairs; as at that time they were just rising to power,
and were occupied in winning the allies to their side. So they
seemed not at all offended with the honor and kindness showed to
Cimon, who then had the chief management of all the affairs of
Greece, and was acceptable to the Lacedaemonians, and courteous to
the allies. But afterwards the Athenians, grown more powerful,
when they saw Cimon so entirely devoted to the Lacedaemonians,
began to be angry, for he would always in speeches prefer them to
the Athenians, and upon every occasion, when he would reprimand
them for a fault, or incite them to emulation, he would exclaim,
"The Lacedaemonians would not do thus." This raised the
discontent, and got him in some degree the hatred of the citizens;
but that which ministered chiefly to the accusation against him
fell out upon the following occasion.

In the fourth year of the reign of Archidamus, the son of
Zeuxidamus, king of Sparta, there happened in the country of
Lacedaemon, the greatest earthquake that was known in the memory
of ma; the earth opened into chasms, and the mountain Taygetus was
so shaken that some of the rocky points of it fell down, and
except five houses, all the town of Sparta was shattered to
pieces. They say that a little before any motion was perceived, as
the young men and the boys just grown up were exercising
themselves together in the middle of the portico, a hare, of a
sudden, started out just by them, which the young men, though all
naked and daubed with oil, ran after for sport. No sooner were
they gone from the place, than the gymnasium fell down upon the
boys who had stayed behind, and killed them all. Their tomb is to
this day called Sismatias.* Archidamus, by the present danger made
apprehensive of what might follow, and seeing the citizens intent
upon removing the most valuable of their goods out of their
houses, commanded an alarm to be sounded, as if an enemy were
coming upon them, in order that they should collect about him in a
body, with arms. It was this alone that saved Sparta at that time,
for the Helots had come together from the country about, with
design of surprising the Spartans, and overpowering those whom the
earthquake had spared. But finding them armed and well prepared,
they retired into the towns and openly made war with them, gaining
over a number of the Laconians of the country districts; while at
the same time the Messenians, also, made an attack upon the
Spartans, who therefore despatched Periclidas to Athens to solicit
succor, of whom Aristophanes says in mockery that he came and

In a red jacket, at the altars seated,
With a white face, for men and arms entreated.

This Ephialtes opposed, protesting that they ought not to raise up
or assist a city that was a rival to Athens; but that being down,
it were best to keep her so, and let the pride and arrogance of
Sparta be trodden under. But Cimon, as Critias says, preferring
the safety of Lacedaemon to the aggrandizement of his own country,
so persuaded the people, that he soon marched out with a large
army to their relief. Ion records, also, the most successful
expression which he used to move the Athenians. "They ought not to
suffer Greece to be lamed, nor their own city to be deprived of
her yoke fellow."

In his return from aiding the Lacedaemonians, he passed with his
army through the territory of Corinth; whereupon Lachartus
reproached him for bringing his army into the country, without
first asking leave of the people. For he that knocks at another
man's door ought not to enter the house till the master gives him
leave. "But you, Corinthians, O Lachartus," said Cimon, "did not
knock at the gates of the Cleonaeans and Megarians, but broke them
down and entered by force, thinking that all places should be open
to the stronger." And having thus rallied the Corinthian, he
passed on with his army. Some time after this, the Lacedaemonians
sent a second time to desire succor of the Athenians against the
Messenians and Helots, who had seized upon Ithome. But when they
came, fearing their boldness and gallantry, of all that came to
their assistance, they sent them only back, alleging that they
were designing innovations. The Athenians returned home, enraged
at this usage, and vented their anger upon all those who were
favorers of the Lacedaemonians; and seizing some slight occasion,
they banished Cimon for ten years, which is the time prescribed to
those that are banished by the ostracism. In the mean time, the
Lacedaemonians, on their return after freeing Delphi from the
Phocians, encamped their army at Tanagra, whither the Athenians
presently marched with design to fight them.

Cimon also, came thither armed and ranged himself among those of
his own tribe, which was the Oeneis, desirous of fighting with the
rest against the Spartans; but the council of five hundred being
informed of this, and frightened at it, his adversaries crying out
that he would disorder the army, and bring the Lacedaemonians to
Athens, commanded the officers not to receive him. Wherefore Cimon
left the army, conjuring Euthippus, the Anaphylstian, and the rest
of his companions, who were most suspected as favoring the
Lacedaemonians, to behave themselves bravely against their
enemies, and by their actions make their innocence evident to
their countrymen. These, being in all a hundred, took the arms of
Cimon, and followed his advice; and making a body by themselves,
fought so desperately with the enemy, that they were all cut off,
leaving the Athenians deep regret for the loss of such brave men,
and repentance for having so unjustly suspected them. Accordingly,
they did not long retain their severity toward Cimon, partly upon
remembrance of his former services, and partly, perhaps, induced
by the juncture of the times. For being defeated at Tanagra in a
great battle, and fearing the Peloponnesians would come upon them
at the opening of the spring, they recalled Cimon by a decree, of
which Pericles himself was author. So reasonable were men's
resentments in those times, and so moderate their anger, that it
always gave way to the public good. Even ambition, the least
governable of all human passions, could then yield to the
necessities of the State.

Cimon, as soon as he returned, put an end to the war, and
reconciled the two cities. Peace thus established, seeing the
Athenians impatient of being idle, and eager for the honor and
aggrandizement of war, lest they should set upon the Greeks
themselves, or with so many ships cruising about the isles and
Peloponnesus, they should give occasions for intestine wars, or
complaints of their allies against them, he equipped two hundred
galleys, with design to make an attempt upon Egypt and Cyprus;
purposing, by this means, to accustom the Athenians to fight
against the barbarians, and enrich themselves honestly by
despoiling those who were the natural enemies to Greece. But when
all things were prepared, and the army ready to embark, Cimon had
this dream. It seemed to him that there was a furious female dog
barking at him, and, mixed with the barking, a kind of human voice
uttered these words:

Come on, for thou shalt shortly be
A pleasure to my whelps and me.

This dream was hard to interpret, yet Astyphilus of Posidonia, a
man skilled in divinations, and intimate with Cimon, told him that
his death was presaged by this vision, which he thus explained. A
dog is enemy to him he barks at; and one is always most a pleasure
to one's enemies, when one is dead; the mixture of human voice
with barking signifies the Medes, for the army of the Medes is
mixed up of Greeks and barbarians. After this dream, as he was
sacrificing to Bacchus, and the priest cutting up the victim, a
number of ants, taking up the congealed particles of the blood,
laid them about Cimon's great toes. This was not observed for a
good while, but at the very time when Cimon spied it, the priest
came and showed him the liver of the sacrifice imperfect, wanting
that part of it called the head. But he could not then recede from
the enterprise, so he set sail. Sixty of his ships he sent toward
Egypt; with the rest he went and fought the king of Persia's
fleet, composed of Phoenician and Cilician galleys, recovered all
the cities thereabout, and threatened Egypt; designing no less
than the entire ruin of the Persian empire. And the more because
he was informed that Themistocles was in great repute among the
barbarians, having promised the king to lead his army, whenever he
should make war upon Greece. But Themistocles, it is said,
abandoning all hopes of compassing his designs, very much out of
the despair of overcoming the valor and good-fortune of Cimon,
died a voluntary death. Cimon, intent on great designs, which he
was now to enter upon, keeping his navy about the isle of Cyprus,
sent messengers to consult the oracle of Jupiter Ammon upon some
secret matter. For it is not known about what they were sent, and
the god would give them no answer, but commanded them to return
again, for Cimon was already with him. Hearing this, they returned
to sea, and as soon as they came to the Grecian army, which was
then about Egypt, they understood that Cimon was dead; and
computing the time of the oracle, they found that his death had
been signified, he being then already with the gods.

He died, some say, of sickness, while besieging Citium, in Cyprus;
according to others, of a wound he received in a skirmish with the
barbarians. When he perceived that he was going to die, he
commanded those under his charge to return, and by no means to let
the news of his death be known by the way; this they did with such
secrecy that they all came home safe, and neither their enemies
nor the allies knew what had happened. Thus, as Phanodemus
relates, the Grecian army was, as it were, conducted by Cimon
thirty days after he was dead. But after his death there was not
one commander among the Greeks that did any thing considerable
against the barbarians, and instead of uniting against their
common enemies, the popular leaders and partisans of war animated
them against one another to such a degree, that none could
interpose their good offices to reconcile them. And while, by
their mutual discord, they ruined the power of Greece, they gave
the Persians time to recover breath, and repair all their losses.
It is true, indeed, Agesilaus carried the arms of Greece into
Asia, but it was a long time afterwards; there were some brief
appearances of a war against the king's lieutenants in the
maritime provinces, but they all quickly vanished; before he could
perform any thing of moment, he was recalled by fresh civil
dissensions and disturbances at home. So that he was forced to
leave the Persian king's officers to impose what tribute they
pleased on the Greek cities in Asia, the confederates and allies
of the Lacedaemonians. Whereas, in the time of Cimon, not so much
as a letter-carrier, or a single horseman, was ever seen to come
within four hundred furlongs of the sea.

The monuments, called Cimonian to this day, in Athens, show that
his remains were conveyed home, yet the inhabitants of the city
Citium pay particular honor to a certain tomb which they call the
tomb of Cimon, according to Nausicrates the rhetorician, who
states that in a time of famine, when the crops of their land all
failed, they sent to the oracle, which commanded them not to
forget Cimon, but give him the honors of a superior being.


The people of Rome appear, from the first, to have been affected
towards Pompey, much in the same manner as Prometheus, in
Aeschylus, was towards Hercules, when after that hero had
delivered him from his chains, he says--

The sire I hated, but the son I loved.

For never did the Romans entertain a stronger and more rancorous
hatred for any general than for Strabo, the father of Pompey.
While he lived, indeed, they were afraid of his abilities as a
soldier, for he had great talents for war; but upon his death,
which happened by a stroke of lightning, they dragged his corpse
from the bier, on the way to the funeral pile, and treated it with
the greatest indignity. On the other hand, no man ever experienced
from the same Romans an attachment more early begun, more
disinterested in all the stages of his prosperity, or more
constant and faithful in the decline of his fortune, than Pompey.

The sole cause of their aversion to the father was his insatiable
avarice; but there were many causes of their affection for the
son; his temperate way of living, his application to martial
exercises, his eloquent and persuasive address, his strict honor
and fidelity, and the easiness of access to him upon all
occasions; for no man was ever less importunate in asking favors,
or more gracious in conferring them. When he gave, it was without
arrogance; and when he received, it was with dignity.

In his youth he had a very engaging countenance, which spoke for
him before he opened his lips. Yet that grace of aspect was not
attended with dignity, and amidst his youthful bloom there was a
venerable and princely air. His hair naturally curled a little
before; which, together with the shining moisture and quick turn
of his eye, produced a stronger likeness to Alexander the Great
than that which appeared in the statues of that prince.

As to the simplicity of his diet, there is a remarkable saying of
his upon record. In a great illness, when his appetite was almost
gone, the physician ordered him a thrush. His servants, upon
inquiry, found there was not one to be had for money, for the
season was passed. They were informed, however, that Lucullus had
them all the year in his menageries. This being reported to
Pompey, he said, "Does Pompey's life depend upon the luxury of
Lucullus?" Then, without any regard to the physician, he ate
something that was easy to be had.

After the death of Cinna, Carbo, a tyrant still more savage, took
the reins of government. It was not long, however, before Sylla
returned to Italy, to the great satisfaction of most of the
Romans, who, in their present unhappy circumstances, thought the
change of their master no small advantage.

Pompey, at the age of twenty-three, without a commission from any
superior authority, erected himself into a general; and having
placed his tribunal in the most public part of the great city of
Auximum, enlisted soldiers and appointed tribunes, centurions, and
other officers, according to the established custom. He did the
same in all the neighboring cities; for the partisans of Carbo
retired and gave place to him; and the rest were glad to range
themselves under his banners. So that in a little time he raised
three complete legions, and furnished himself with provisions,
beasts of burden, carriages; in short, with the whole apparatus of

In this form he moved towards Sylla, not by hasty marches, nor as
if he wanted to conceal himself; for he stopped by the way to
harass the enemy; and attempted to draw off from Carbo all the
parts of Italy through which he passed. At last, three generals of
the opposite party, Carinna, Caelius, and Brutus, came against him
all at once, not in front, or in one body, but they hemmed him in
with their three armies, in hopes to demolish him entirely.

Pompey, far from being terrified, assembled all his forces, and
charged the army of Brutus at the head of his cavalry. The Gaulish
horse on the enemy's side sustained the first shock; but Pompey
attacked the foremost of them, who was a man of prodigious
strength, and brought him down with a push of his spear. The rest
immediately fled and threw the infantry into such disorder that
the whole was soon put to flight. This produced so great a quarrel
among the three generals, that they parted and took separate
routes. In consequence of which, the cities, concluding that the
fears of the enemy had made them part, adopted the interest of

Not long after, Scipio the consul advanced to engage him. But
before the infantry were near enough to discharge their lances,
Scipio's soldiers saluted those of Pompey, and came over to them.
Scipio, therefore, was forced to fly. At last, Carbo sent a large
body of cavalry against Pompey, near the river Arsis. He gave them
so warm a reception, that they were soon broken, and in the
pursuit drove them upon impracticable ground; so that finding it
impossible to escape, they surrendered themselves with their arms
and horses.

Sylla had not yet been informed of these transactions; but upon
the first news of Pompey's being engaged with so many adversaries,
and such respectable generals, he dreaded the consequence, and
marched with all expedition to his assistance. Pompey, having
intelligence of his approach, ordered his officers to see that the
troops were armed and drawn up in such a manner as to make the
handsomest and most gallant appearance before the commander-in-
chief. For he expected great honours from him, and he obtained
greater. Sylla no sooner saw Pompey advancing to meet him, with an
army in excellent condition, both as to age and size of the men,
and the spirits which success had given them, than he alighted;
and upon being saluted of course by Pompey as Imperator, he
returned his salutation with the same title: though no one
imagined that he would have honoured a young man not yet admitted
into the senate with a title for which he was contending with the
Scipios and the Marii. The rest of his behavior was as respectable
as that in the first interview. He used to rise up and uncover his
head, whenever Pompey came to him; which he was rarely observed to
do for any other, though he had a number of persons of distinction
about him.

While Pompey was in Sicily, he received a decree of the senate,
and letters from Sylla, in which he was commanded to cross over to
Africa and to carry on the war with the utmost vigor against
Domitius, who had assembled a much more powerful army than that
which Marius carried not long before from Africa to Italy, when he
made himself master of Rome, and from a fugitive became a tyrant.
Pompey soon finished his preparation for this expedition; and
leaving the command in Sicily to Memmius, his sister's husband, he
set sail with one hundred and twenty armed vessels, and eight
hundred store-ships, laden with provisions, arms, money, and
machines of war. Part of his fleet landed at Utica, and part at
Carthage: immediately after which seven thousand of the enemy came
over to him; and he had brought with him six legions complete.

On his arrival he met with a whimsical adventure. Some of his
soldiers, it seems, found a treasure, and rest of the troops
concluded that the place was full of money, which the
Carthaginians had hid there in some time of public distress.
Pompey, therefore could make no use of them for several days, as
they were searching for treasures; and he had nothing to do but
walk about and amuse himself with the sight of so many thousands
digging and turning up the ground. At last, they gave up the
point, and bade him lead them wherever be pleased, for they were
sufficiently punished for their folly.

Domitius advanced to meet him, and put his troops in order of
battle. There happened to be a channel between them, craggy and
difficult to pass. Moreover, in the morning it began to rain, and
the wind blew violently; insomuch that Domitius, not imagining
there would be any action that day, ordered his army to retire.
But Pompey looked upon this as his opportunity, and he passed the
defile with the utmost expedition. The enemy stood upon their
defence, but it was in a disorderly and tumultuous manner, and the
resistance they made was neither general nor uniform. Besides the
wind and rain beat in their faces. The storm incommoded the
Romans, too, for they could not well distinguish each other. Nay,
Pompey himself was in danger of being killed by a soldier, who
asked him the pass-word, and did not receive a speedy answer. At
length, however, he routed the enemy with great slaughter; not
above three thousand of them escaping out of twenty thousand. The
soldiers then saluted Pompey, Imperator, but he said he would not
accept that title while the enemy's camp stood untouched;
therefore, if they chose to confer such an honor upon him, they
must first make themselves masters of the intrenchments.

At that instant they advanced with great fury against them. Pompey
fought without his helmet, for fear of such an accident as he had
just escaped. The camp was taken, and Domitius slain; in
consequence of which most of the cities immediately submitted, and
rest were taken by assault. He took Iarbas, one of the
confederates of Domitius, prisoner, and bestowed his crown on
Hiempsal. Advancing with the same tide of fortune, and while his
army had all the spirits inspired by success, he entered Numidia,
in which he continued his march for several days, and subdued all
that came in his way. Thus he revived the terror of the Roman
name, which the barbarians had begun to disregard. Nay, he chose
not to leave the savage beasts in the deserts without giving them
a specimen of the Roman valor and success. Accordingly he spent a
few days in hunting lions and elephants. The whole time he passed
in Africa, they tell us, was not above forty days; in which he
defeated the enemy, reduced the whole country, and brought the
affairs of its kings under proper regulations, though he was only
in his twenty-fourth year.

Upon his return to Utica, he received letters from Sylla, in which
he was ordered to send home the rest of his army, and to wait
there with one legion only for a successor. This gave him a great
deal of uneasiness, which he kept to himself, but the army
expressed their indignation aloud; insomuch that when he entreated
them to return to Italy, they launched out into abusive terms
against Sylla, and declared they would never abandon Pompey, or
suffer him to trust a tyrant. At first, he endeavored to pacify
them with mild representations; and when he found those had no
effect, he descended from the tribunal, and retired to his tent in
tears. However, they went and took him thence, and paced him again
upon the tribunal, where they spent a great part of the day; they
insisting that he should stay and keep the command, and he in
persuading them to obey Sylla's orders, and to form no new
faction. At last, seeing no end of their clamors and importunity,
he assured them, with an oath, that he would kill himself, if they
attempted to force him. And even this hardly brought them to

The first news that Sylla heard was, that Pompey had revolted;
upon which he said to his friends, "Then it is my fate to have to
contend with boys in my old age." This he said, because Marius,
who was very young, had brought him into so much trouble and
danger. But when he received true information of the affair, and
observed that all the people flocked out to receive Pompey to
conduct him home with marks of great regard, he resolved to exceed
them in his regards, if possible. He, therefore, hastened to meet
him, and embracing him in the most affectionate manner, saluted
him aloud by the surname of Magnus, or The Great; at the same time
he ordered all about him to give him the same appellation. Others
say, it was given him by the whole army in Africa, but did not
generally obtain till it was authorized by Sylla. It is certain,
he was the last to take it himself, and he did not make use of it
till a long time after, when he was sent into Spain with the
dignity of pro-consul against Sertorius. Then he began to write
himself in his letters in all his edicts, Pompey the Great; for
the world was accustomed to the name, and it was no longer
invidious. In this respect we may justly admire the wisdom of the
ancient Romans, who bestowed on their great men such honorable
names and titles, not only for military achievements, but for the
great qualities and arts which adorn civil life.

When Pompey arrived at Rome, he demanded a triumph, in which he
was opposed by Sylla. The latter alleged that the laws did not
allow that honor to any person who was not either consul or
praetor. Hence it was that the first Scipio, when he returned
victorious from greater wars and conflicts with the Carthaginians
in Spain, did not demand a triumph; for he was neither consul nor
praetor. He added, that if Pompey, who was yet little better than
a beardless youth, and who was not of age to be admitted into the
senate, should enter the city in triumph, it would bring an odium
both upon the dictator's power, and those honors of his friend.
These arguments Sylla insisted on, to show him that he would not
allow of his triumph, and that, in case he persisted, he would
chastise his obstinacy.

Pompey, not in the least intimidated, bade him consider, that more
worshiped the rising than the setting sun; intimating that his
power was increasing, and Sylla's upon the decline. Sylla did not
hear well what he said, but perceiving by the looks and gestures
of the company that they were struck with the expression, he asked
what it was. When he was told it, he admired the spirit of Pompey
and cried, "Let him triumph! Let him triumph!"

There is no doubt that he might then have been easily admitted a
senator, if he had desired it; but his ambition was to pursue
honor in a more uncommon track. It would have been nothing
strange, if Pompey had been a senator before the age fixed for it;
but it was a very extraordinary instance of honor to lead up a
triumph before he was a senator. And it contributed not a little
to gain him the affections of the multitude; the people were
delighted to see him, after his triumph, class with the equestrian

The power of the pirates had its foundation in Cilicia. Their
progress was the more dangerous, because at first it was little
taken notice of. In the Mithridatic war they assumed new
confidence and courage, on account of some services they had
rendered the king. After this, the Romans being engaged in civil
wars at the very gates of their capital, the sea was left
unguarded, and the pirates by degrees attempted higher things;
they not only attacked ships, but islands, and maritime towns.
Many persons, distinguished for their wealth, their birth, and
their capacity, embarked with them, and assisted in the
depredations, as if their employment had been worthy the ambition
of men of honor. They had in various places arsenals, ports, and
watch-towers, all strongly fortified. Their fleets were not only
extremely well manned, supplied with skillful pilots, and fitted
for their business by their lightness and celerity; but there was
a parade of vanity about them more mortifying than their strength,
in gilded sterns, purpose canopies, and plated oars; as if they
took a pride and triumphed in their villainy. Music resounded, and
drunken revels were exhibited on every coast. Here generals were
made prisoners; there the cities the pirates had taken were paying
their ransom; all to the great disgrace of the Roman power. The
number of their galleys amounted to one thousand, and the cities
they were masters of to four hundred.

Temples which had stood inviolably sacred till that time, they
plundered. They ruined the temple of Apollo at Claros, that of the
Cabiri in Samothrace, of Ceres at Hermione, of Aesculapius at
Epidaurus, those of Neptune in the Isthmus, at Taenarus and in
Calauria, those of Apollo at Actium and in the isle of Leucas,
those of Juno at Samos, Argos, and the promontory of Lacinium.

They likewise offered strange sacrifices; those of Olympus I mean;
and they celebrated certain secret mysteries, among which those of
Mithra continue to this day, being originally instituted by them.
They not only insulted the Romans at sea but infested the great
roads, and plundered the villas near the coast; they carried off
Sextilius and Bellinus, two praetors, in their purple robes, which
all their servants and lictors. They seized the daughter of
Antony, a man who had been honored with a triumph, as she was
going to her country house, and he was forced to pay a large
ransom for her.

But the most contemptible circumstance of all was, that when they
had taken a prisoner, and he cried out that he was a Roman, and
told them his name, they pretended to be struck with terror, smote
their thighs, and fell upon their knees to ask him pardon. The
poor man, seeing them thus humble themselves before him, thought
them in earnest, and said he would forgive them; for some were so
officious as to put on his shoes, and others to help him on with
his gown, that his quality might no more be mistaken. When they
had carried on this farce, and enjoyed it for some time, they let
a ladder down into the sea, and bade him go in peace; and if he
refused to do it, they pushed him off the deck, and drowned him.

Their power extended over the whole Tuscan sea, so that the Romans
found their trade and navigation entirely cut off. The consequence
of which was, that their markets were not supplied, and they had
reason to apprehend a famine. This at last led them to send Pompey
to clear the sea of pirates. Gabinius, one of Pompey's intimate
friends, proposed the decree, which created him not admiral, but
monarch, and invested him with absolute power. The decree gave him
the empire of the sea as far as the Pillars of Hercules, and of
the land for 400 furlongs from the coasts. There were few parts of
the Roman empire which this commission did not take in; and the
most considerable of the barbarous nations, and most powerful
kings, were moreover comprehended in it. Besides this he was
empowered to choose out of the senators fifteen lieutenants, to
act under him in such districts, and with such authority as he
should appoint. He was to take from the quaestors, and other
public receivers, what money he pleased, and equip a fleet of two
hundred sail. The number of marine forces, of mariners and rowers,
was left entirely to his discretion.

When this decree was read in the assembly, the people received it
with inconceivable pleasure. The most respectable part of the
senate saw, indeed, that such an absolute and unlimited power was
above envy, but they considered it as a real object of fear. They
therefore all, except Caesar, opposed its passing into a law. He
was for it, not out of regard for Pompey, but to insinuate himself
into the good graces of the people, which he had long been
courting. The rest were very severe in the expressions against
Pompey; and one of the consuls venturing to say, "If he imitates
Romulus, he will not escape his fate," was in danger of being
pulled in pieces by the populace.

It is true, when Catulus rose up to speak against the law, out of
reverence for his person they listened to him with great
attention. After he had freely given Pompey the honor that was his
due, and said much in his praise, he advised them to spare him,
and not to expose such a man to so many dangers; "for where will
you find another," said he, "if you lose him?" They answered with
one voice, "Yourself." Finding his arguments had no effect, he
retired. Then Roscius mounted the rostrum, but not a man would
give ear to him. However he made signs to them with his fingers,
that they should not appoint Pompey alone, but give him a
colleague. Incensed at the proposal, they set up such a shout,
that a crow, which was flying over the forum, was stunned with the
force of it, and fell down among the crowd. Hence we may conclude,
that when birds fall on such occasions, it is not because the air
is so divided with the shock as to leave a vacuum, but rather
because the sound strikes them like a blow, when it ascends with
force, and produces so violent an agitation.

The assembly broke up that day without coming to any resolution.
When the day came that they were to give their suffrages, Pompey
retired into the country; and, on receiving information that the
decree was passed, he returned to the city by night, to prevent
the envy which the multitudes of people coming to meet him would
have excited. Next morning at break of day he made his appearance,
and attended the sacrifice. After which, he summoned an assembly,
and obtained a grant of almost as much more as the first decree
had given him. He was empowered to fit out 500 galleys, and to
raise an army of 120,000 foot, and 5,000 horse. Twenty-four
senators were selected, who had all been generals or praetors, and
were appointed his lieutenants; and he had two quaestors given
him. As the price of provisions fell immediately, the people were
greatly pleased, and it gave them occasion to say that the very
name of Pompey had terminated the war.

However, in pursuance of his charge, he divided the whole
Mediterranean into thirteen parts, appointing a lieutenant for
each, and assigning him a squadron. By thus stationing his fleet
in all quarters, he enclosed the pirates as it were in a net, took
great numbers of them, and brought them into harbor. Such of their
vessels as had dispersed and made off in time, or could escape the
general chase, retired to Cilicia, like so many bees into a hive.
Against these he proposed to go himself, with sixty of his best
galleys; but first he resolved to clear the Tuscan sea, and the
coasts of Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, of all piratical
adventurers; which he effected in forty days, by his own
indefatigable endeavors and those of his lieutenants. But, as the
consul Piso was indulging his malignity at home, in wasting his
stores and discharging his seamen, he sent his fleet round to
Brundusium, and went himself by land through Tuscany to Rome.

As soon as the people were informed of his approach, they went in
crowds to receive him, in the same manner as they had done a few
days before, to conduct him on his way. Their extraordinary joy
was owing to the speed with which he had executed his commission,
so far beyond all expectation, and to the superabundant plenty
which reigned in the markets. For this reason Piso was in danger
of being deposed from the consulship, and Gabinius had a decree
ready drawn up for that purpose; but Pompey would not suffer him
to propose it. On the contrary, his speech to the people was full
of candor and moderation; and when he had provided such things as
he wanted, he went to Brundusium, and put to sea again. Though he
was straightened for time, and in his haste sailed by many cities
without calling, yet he stopped at Athens. He entered the town and
sacrificed to the gods; after which he addressed the people, and
then prepared to reembark immediately. As he went out of the gate
he observed two inscriptions, each comprised in one line.

That within the gate was:

But know thyself a man, and be a god.

That without:

We wish'd, we saw; we loved, and we adored.

Some of the pirates, who yet traversed the seas, made their
submission; and as he treated them in a humane manner, when he had
them and their ships in his power, others entertained hope of
mercy, and avoiding the other officers, surrendered themselves to
Pompey, together with their wives and children. He spared them
all; and it was principally by their means that he found out and
took a number who were guilty of unpardonable crimes, and
therefore had concealed themselves.

Still, however, there remained a great number, and indeed the most
powerful part of these corsairs, who sent their families,
treasures, and all useless hands, into castles and fortified towns
upon Mount Taurus. Then they manned their ships, and waited for
Pompey at Coracesium, in Cilicia. A battle ensued, and the pirates
were defeated; after which they retired into the fort. But they
had not been long besieged before they capitulated, and
surrendered themselves, together with the cities and islands which
they had conquered and fortified, and which by their works as well
as situation were almost impregnable. Thus the war was finished,
and whole force of the pirates destroyed, within three months at
the farthest.

Besides the other vessels, Pompey took ninety ships with beaks of
brass; and the prisoners amounted to 20,000. He did not choose to
put them to death, and at the same time he thought it wrong to
suffer them to disperse, because they were not only numerous, but
warlike and necessitous, and therefore would probably knit again
and give future trouble. He reflected, that man by nature is
neither a savage nor an unsocial creature; and when he becomes so,
it is by vices contrary to nature; yet even then he may be
humanized by changing his place of abode, and accustoming him to a
new manner of life; as beasts that are naturally wild put off
their fierceness when they are kept in a domestic way. For this
reason he determined to remove the pirates to a great distance
from the sea, and bring them to taste the sweets of civil life, by
living in cities, and by the culture of the ground. He placed some
of them in the little towns of Cilicia, which were almost
desolate, and which received them with pleasure, because at the
same time he gave them an additional proportion of lands. He
repaired the city of Soli, which had lately been dismantled and
deprived of its inhabitants by Tigranes, king of Armenia, and
peopled it with a number of these corsairs. The remainder, which
was a considerable body, he planted in Dyma, a city of Achaia,
which, though it had a large and fruitful territory, was in want
of inhabitants.

Pompey, having secured the sea from Phoenicia to the Bosphorus,
marched in quest of Mithridates, who had an army of 30,000 foot
and 2,000 horse, but durst not stand an engagement. That prince
was in possession of a strong and secure post upon a mountain,
which he quitted upon Pompey's approach, because it was destitute
of water. Pompey encamped in the same place; and conjecturing,
from the nature of the plants and the crevices in the mountain,
that springs might be found, he ordered a number of wells to be
dug, and the camp was in a short time plentifully supplied with
water. He was not a little surprised that this did not occur to
Mithridates during the whole time of his encampment there.

After this, Pompey followed him to his new camp, and drew a line
of circumvallation round him. Mithridates stood a siege of forty-
five days, after which he found means to steal off with his best
troops, having first killed all the sick, and such as could be of
no service. Pompey overtook him near the Euphrates, and encamped
over against him; but fearing he might pass the river unperceived,
he drew out his troops at midnight. At that time Mithridates is
said to have had a dream prefigurative of what was to befall him.
He thought he was upon the Pontic Sea, sailing with a favorable
wind, and in sight of the Bosphorus; so that he felicitated his
friends in the ship, like a man perfectly safe, and already in
harbor. But suddenly he beheld himself in the most destitute
condition, swimming upon a piece of wreck. While he was in all the
agitation which this dream produced, his friends awaked him, and
told him that Pompey was at hand. He was now under a necessity of
fighting for his camp, and his generals drew up the forces with
all possible expedition.

Pompey, seeing them prepared, was loth to risk a battle in the
dark. He thought it sufficient to surround them, so as to prevent
their flight; and what inclined him still more to wait for
daylight, was the consideration that his troops were much better
than the enemy's. However, the oldest of his officers entreated
him to proceed immediately to the attack, and at last prevailed.
It was not indeed very dark; for the moon, though near her
setting, gave light enough to distinguish objects. But it was a
great disadvantage to the king's troops, that the moon was so low,
and on the backs of the Romans; because she projected their
shadows so far before them, that the enemy could form no just
estimate of the distances, but thinking them at hand, threw their
javelins before they could do the least execution.

The Romans, perceiving their mistake, advanced to the charge with
all the alarm of voices. The enemy were in such a consternation,
that they made not the least stand, and, in their flight, vast
numbers were slain. They lost above 10,000 men, and their camp was
taken. As for Mithridates, he broke through the Romans with 800
horses, in the beginning of the engagement. That corps, however,
did not follow him far before they dispersed, and left him with
only three of his people.

The pursuit of Mithridates was attended with great difficulties;
for he concealed himself among the nations settled about the
Bosphorus and the Palus Maeotis. Besides, news was brought to
Pompey that the Albanians had revolted, and taken up arms again.
The desire of revenge determined him to march back, and chastise
them. But it was with infinite trouble and danger that he passed
the Cyrnus again, the barbarians having fenced it on their side
with palisades all along the banks. And when he was over, he had a
large country to traverse, which afforded no water. This last
difficulty he provided against by filling 10,000 bottles; and
pursuing his march, he found the enemy drawn up on the banks of
the river Abas, to the number of 60,000 foot and 12,000 horse, but
many of them ill-armed, and provided with nothing of the defensive
kind but skins of beasts.

They were commanded by the king's brother, named Cosis; who, at
the beginning of the battle, singled out Pompey, and rushing in
upon him, struck his javelin into the joints of his breastplate.
Pompey in return run him through with his spear, and laid him dead
on the spot. It is said that the Amazons came to the assistance of
the barbarians from the mountains near the river Thermodon, and
fought in this battle. The Romans, among the plunder of the field,
did, indeed, meet with bucklers in the form of a half-moon, and
such buskins as the Amazons wore; but there was not the body of a
woman found among the dead. They inhabit that part of Mount
Caucasus which stretches toward the Hyrcanian Sea, and are not
next neighbors to the Albanians; for Gelae and Leges lie between;
but they meet that people, and spend two months with them every
year on the banks of the Thermodon; after which they retire to
their own country.

Pompey had advanced near to Petra, and encamped, and was taking
some exercise on horseback without the trenches, when messengers
arrived from Pontus; and it was plain they brought good news,
because the points of their spears were crowned with laurel. The
soldiers seeing this, gathered about Pompey, who was inclined to
finish his exercise before he opened the packet; but they were so
earnest in their entreaties, that they prevailed upon him to
alight and take it. He entered the camp with it in his hand; and
as there was no tribunal ready, and the soldiers were too
impatient to raise one of turf, which the common method, they
piled a number of pack-saddles one upon the other, upon which
Pompey mounted, and gave them this information: "Mithridates is
dead. He killed himself upon the revolt of his son Pharnaces. And
Pharnaces has seized all that belonged to his father; which he
declares he has done for himself and Romans."

At this news the army, as might be expected, gave a loose rein to
their joy, which they expressed in sacrifices to the gods, and in
reciprocal entertainments, as if 10,000 of their enemies had been
slain in Mithridates. Pompey having thus brought the campaign and
the whole war to a conclusion so happy, and so far beyond his
hopes, immediately quitted Arabia, traverses the provinces between
that and Galatia with great rapidity, and soon arrived at Amisus.
There he found many presents from Pharnaces, and several corpses
of the royal family, among which was that of Mithridates. As for
Pompey, he would not see the body, but to propitiate the avenging
Nemesis, sent it to Sinope. However, he looked upon and admired
the magnificence of his habit, and the size and beauty of his
arms. The scabbard of his sword cost four hundred talents, and the
diadem was of most exquisite workmanship.

Pompey having thoroughly settled the affairs of Asia, hoped to
return to Italy the greatest and happiest of men.

People talked variously at Rome concerning his intentions. Many
disturbed themselves at the thought that he would march with his
army immediately to Rome and make himself sole and absolute master
there. Crassus took his children and money, and withdrew; whether
it was that he had some real apprehensions, or rather that he
chose to countenance the calumny, and add force to the sting of
envy; the latter seems the more probable. But Pompey had no sooner
set foot in Italy, than he called an assembly of his soldiers,
and, after a kind and suitable address, ordered them to disperse
in their respective cities, and attend to their own affairs till
his triumph, on which occasion they were to repair to him again.

Pompey's triumph was so great, that though it was divided into two
days, the time was far from being sufficient for displaying what
was prepared to be carried in procession; there remained still
enough to adorn another triumph. At the head of the show appeared
the titles of the conquered nations: Pontus, Armenia, Cappadocia,
Paphlagonia, Media, Colchis, the Iberians, the Albanians, Syria,
Cilicia, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Palestine, Judaea, Arabia, the
pirates subdued both by sea and land. In these countries, it was
mentioned that there were not less than 1,000 castles and 900
cities captured, 800 galleys taken from the pirates, and 39
desolate cities repeopled. On the face of the tablets it appeared
besides, that whereas the revenues of the Roman empire before
these conquests amounted but to 50,000,000 drachmas, by the new
acquisitions they were advanced to 85,000,000; and that Pompey had
brought into the public treasury in money, and in gold and silver
vessels, the value of 20,000 talents; besides what he had
distributed among the soldiers, of whom he that received least had
1,500 drachmas to his share. The captives who walked in the
procession (not the mention the chiefs of the pirates) were the
son of Tigranes, king of Armenia, together with his wife and
daughter; Zosima, the wife of Tigranes himself; Aristobulus, king
of Judaea; the sister of Mithridates, with her five sons, and some
Scythian women. The hostages of the Albanians and Iberians, and of
the king of Commagene also appeared in the train; and as many
trophies were exhibited as Pompey had gained victories, either in
person or by his lieutenants, the number of which was not small.

But the most honorable circumstance, and what no other Roman could
boast, was that his third triumph was over the third quarter of
the world, after his former triumphs had been over the other two.
Others before him had been honored with three triumphs; but his
first triumph was over Africa, his second over Europe, and his
third over Asia; so that the three seemed to declare him conqueror
of the world.

Those who desire to make the parallel between him and Alexander
agree in all respects, tell us he was at this time not quite
thirty-four, whereas, in fact, he was entering upon his fortieth
year. (It should be the forty-sixth year. Pompey was born in the
beginning of the month of August, in the year of Rome 647, and his
triumph was in the same month in the year of Rome 692.) Happy it
had been for him, if he had ended his days while he was blessed
with Alexander's good fortune! The rest of his life, every
instance of success brought its proportion of envy, and every
misfortune was irretrievable.

In the meantime the wars in Gaul lifted Caesar to the first sphere
of greatness. The scene of action was at a great distance from
Rome, and he seemed to be wholly engaged with the Belgae, the
Suevi, and the Britons; but his genius all the while was privately
at work among the people of Rome, and he was undermining Pompey in
his most essential interests. His war with the barbarians was not
his principal object. He exercised his army, indeed, in those
expeditions, as he would have done his own body, in hunting and
other diversions of the field, by which he prepared them for
higher conflicts, and rendered them not only formidable but

The gold and silver, and other rich spoils which he took from the
enemy in great abundance, he sent to Rome; and by distributing
them freely among the aediles, praetors, consuls, and their wives,
he gained a great party. Consequently when he passed the Alps and
wintered at Lucca, among the crowd of men and women, who hastened
to pay their respects to him, there were two hundred senators,
Pompey and Crassus of the number; and there were no fewer than one
hundred and twenty proconsuls and praetors, whose faces were to be
seen at the gates of Caesar. He made it his business in general to
give them hopes of great things, and his money was at their
devotion; but he entered into a treaty with Crassus and Pompey, by
which it was agreed that they should apply for the consulship, and
that Caesar should assist them, by sending a great number of his
soldiers to vote at the election. As soon as they were chosen,
they were to share the provinces, and take the command of armies,
according to their pleasure, only confirming Caesar in the
possession of what he had for five years more.

Crassus, upon the expiration of his consulship, repaired to his
province. Pompey remaining at Rome, opened his theatre; and to
make the dedication more magnificent, exhibited a variety of
gymnastic games, entertainments of music, and battles with wild
beasts, in which were killed 500 lions; but the battle of
elephants afforded the most astonishing spectacle. (Dio says the
elephants fought with armed men. There were no less than eighteen
of them; and he adds, that some of them seemed to appeal, with
piteous cries to the people; who, in compassion, saved their
lives. If we may believe him, an oath had been taken before they
left Africa, that no injury should be done them.) These things
gained him the love and admiration of the public; but he incurred
their displeasure again, by leaving his provinces and armies
entirely to his friends and lieutenants, and roving about Italy
with his wife from one villa to another. The strong attachment of
Julia appeared on the occasion of an election of aediles. The
people came to blows, and some were killed so near Pompey that he
was covered with blood, and forced to change his clothes. There
was a great crowd and tumult about his door, when his servants
went home with a bloody robe; and Julia, happening to see it,
fainted away and was with difficulty restored. Shortly after Julia
died, and the alliance which had rather covered than restrained
the ambition of the two great competitors for power was now no
more. To add to the misfortune, news was brought soon after that
Crassus was slain by the Parthians; and in him another great
obstacle to a civil war was removed. Out of fear of him, they had
both kept some measures with each other. But when fortune had
carried off the champion who could take up the conqueror, we may
say with the comic poet--

High spirits of emprise
Elates each chief; they oil their brawny limbs,
and dip their hands in dust.

So little able is fortune to fill the capacities of the human
mind; when such a weight of power, and extent of command, could
not satisfy the ambition of two men. They had heard and read that
the gods had divided the universe into three shares,
(Plutarch alludes here to a passage in the fifteenth book of the
where Neptune says to Iris--
Assign'd by lot our triple rule we know;
Infernal Pluto sways the shades below;
O'er the wide clouds, and o'er the starry plain,
Ethereal Jove extends his high domain;
My court beneath the hoary waves I keep,
And hush the roarings of the sacred deep.)

and each was content with that which fell to his lot, and yet
these men could not think the Roman empire sufficient for two of
them. Such anarchy and confusion took place that numbers began to
talk boldly of setting up a dictator. Cato, now fearing he should
be overborne, was of opinion that it were better to give Pompey
some office whose authority was limited by law, than to intrust
him with absolute power. Bibulus, though Pompey's declared enemy,
moved in full senate, that he should be appointed sole consul.
"For by that means," said he, "the commonwealth will either
recover from her disorder, or, if she must serve, will serve a man
of the greatest merit." The whole house was surprised at the
motion; and when Cato rose up, it was expected he would oppose it.
A profound silence ensued, and he said, he should never have been
the first to propose such an expedient, but as it was proposed by
another, he thought it advisable to embrace it; for he thought any
kind of government better than anarchy, and knew no man fitter to
rule than Pompey, in a time of so much trouble. The senate came
into his opinion, and a decree was issued, that Pompey should be
appointed sole consul, and that if he should have need of a
colleague, he might choose one himself, provided it were not
before the expiration of two months.

Pompey being declared sole consul by the Interrex Sulpitius, made
his compliments to Cato, acknowledged himself much indebted to his
support, and desired his advice and assistance in the cabinet, as
to the measures to be pursued in his administration. Cato made
answer, that Pompey was not under the least obligation to him; for
what he had said was not out of regard to him, but to his country.
"If you apply to me," continued he, "I shall give you my advice in
private; if not, I shall inform you of my sentiments in public."
Such was Cato, and the same on all occasions.

Pompey then went into the city, and married Cornelia, the daughter
of Metellus Scipio. She was a widow, having been married, when
very young, to Publius the son of Crassus, who was lately killed
in the Parthian expedition. This woman had many charms beside her
beauty. She was well versed in polite literature; she played upon
the lyre, and understood geometry; and she had made considerable
improvements by the precepts of philosophy. What is more, she had
nothing of that petulance and affectation which such studies are
apt to produce in women of her age. And her father's family and
reputation were unexceptionable.

Pompey's confidence made him so extremely negligent, that he
laughed at those who seemed to fear the war. And when they said if
Caesar should advance in a hostile manner to Rome, they did not
see what forces they had to oppose him, he bade them, with an open
and smiling countenance, give themselves no pain: "For, if in
Italy," said he, "I do but stamp upon the ground, an army will

Meantime Caesar was exerting himself greatly. He was now at no
great distance from Italy, and not only sent his soldiers to vote
in the elections, but by private pecuniary applications, corrupted
many of the magistrates. Paulus the consul was of the number, and
he had one thousand five hundred talents for changing sides. So
also was Curio, one of the tribunes of the people, for whom he
paid off an immense debt, and Mark Antony, who, out of friendship
for Curio, had stood engaged with him for the debt.

It is said, that when one of Caesar's officers, who stood before
the senate-house, waiting the issue of the debates, was informed
that they would not give Caesar a longer term in his command, he
laid his hand on his sword, and said, "But this shall give it."
Indeed, all the preparations of his general tended that way;
though Curio's demands in behalf of Caesar seemed more plausible.
He proposed, that either Pompey should likewise be obliged to
dismiss his forces, or Caesar suffered to keep his. "If they are
both reduced to a private station," said he, "they will agree upon
reasonable terms; or, if each retains his respective power, they
will be satisfied. But he who weakens the one, without doing the
same by the other, must double that force which he fears will
subvert the government."

But now news was brought that Caesar was marching directly towards
Rome with all his forces. The last circumstance, indeed, was not
true. He advanced with only three hundred horse and five thousand
foot; the rest of his forces were on the other side of the Alps,
and he would not wait for them, choosing rather to put his
adversaries in confusion by a sudden and unexpected attack, than
to fight them when better prepared. When he came to the river
Rubicon, which was the boundary of his province, he stood silent a
long time, weighing with himself the greatness of his enterprise.
At last, like one who plunges down from the top of a precipice
into a gulf of immense depth, he silenced his reason, and shut his
eyes against the danger; and crying out in the Greek language,
"The die is cast," he marched over with his army.

Upon the first report of this at Rome, the city was in greater
disorder and astonishment than had ever been known.

All Italy was in motion, with the stir of the coming storm. Those
who lived out of Rome fled to it from all quarters, and those who
lived in it abandoned it as fast. These saw, that in such a
tempestuous and disorderly state of affairs, the well disposed
part of the city wanted strength, and that the ill disposed were
so refractory that they could not be managed by the magistrates.
The terrors of the people could not be removed, and no one would
suffer Pompey to lay a plan of action for himself. According to
the passion wherewith each was actuated, whether fear, sorrow, or
doubt, they endeavored to inspire him with the same; insomuch that
he adopted different measures the same day. He could gain no
certain intelligence of the enemy's motions, because every man
brought him the report he happened to take up, and was angry if it
did not meet with credit.

Pompey at last caused it to be declared by a formal edict, that
the commonwealth was in danger, and no peace was to be expected.
After which, he signified that he should look upon those who
remained in the city as the partisans of Caesar; and then quitted
it in the dusk of the evening. The consuls also fled, without
offering the sacrifices which their customs required before a war.
However, in this great extremity, Pompey could not but be
considered as happy in the affections of his countrymen. Though
many blamed the war, there was not a man who hated the general.
Nay, the number of those who followed him, out of attachment to
his person, was greater than that of the adventurers in the cause
of liberty.

A few days after, Caesar arrived at Rome. When he was in
possession of the city, he behaved with great moderation in many
respects, and composed in a good measure the minds of its
remaining inhabitants.

Pompey, who was the master of Brundusium, and had a sufficient
number of transports, desired the consuls to embark without loss
of time, and sent them before him with thirty cohorts to
Dyrrhachium. But at the same time he sent his father-in-law Scipio
and his son Cnaeus into Syria, to provide ships of war. He had
well secured the gates of the city, and planted the lightest of
his slingers and archers upon the walls; and having now ordered
the Brundusians to keep within doors, he caused a number of
trenches to be cut, and sharp stakes to be driven into them, and
then covered with earth, in all the streets, except two which led
down to the sea. In three days all his other troops were embarked
without interruption; and then he suddenly gave the signal to
those who guarded the walls; in consequence of which, they ran
swiftly down to the harbor, and got on board. Thus having his
whole complement, he set sail, and crossed the sea to Dyrrhachium.

When Caesar came and saw the walls left destitute of defence, he
concluded that Pompey had taken to flight, and in his eagerness to
pursue, would certainly have fallen upon the sharp stakes in the
trenches, had not the Brundusians informed him of them. He then
avoided the streets, and took a circuit round the town, by which
he discovered that all the vessels had weighed anchor, except two
that had not many soldiers aboard.

This manoeuvre of Pompey was commonly reckoned among the greatest
act of generalship. Caesar, however, could not help wondering,
that his adversary, who was in possession of a fortified town, and
expected his forces from Spain, and at the same time was master of
them, should give up Italy in such a manner.

Caesar thus made himself master of all Italy in sixty days without
the least bloodshed, and he would have been glad to have gone
immediately in pursuit of Pompey. But as he was in want of
shipping, he gave up that design for the present, and marched to
Spain, with an intent to gain Pompey's forces there.

In the meantime Pompey assembled a great army; and at sea he was
altogether invincible. For he had five hundred ships of war, and
the number of his lighter vessels was still greater. As for his
land forces, he had seven thousand horse, the flower of Rome and
Italy, all men of family, fortune, and courage. His infantry,
though numerous, was a mixture of raw, undisciplined soldiers; he
therefore exercised them during his stay at Beroea, where he was
by no means idle, but went through the exercises of a soldier, as
if he had been in the flower of his age. It inspired his troops
with new courage, when they saw Pompey the Great, at the age of
fifty-eight, going through the whole military discipline, in heavy
armor, on foot; and then mounting his horse, drawing his sword
with ease when at full speed, and as dexterously sheathing it
again. As to the javelin, he threw it not only with great
exactness, but with such force that few of the young men could
dart it to a greater distance.

Many kings and princes repaired to his camp; and the number of
Roman officers who had commanded armies was so great, that it was
sufficient to make up a complete senate. Labienus, who had been
honored with Caesar's friendship, and served under him in Gaul,
now joined Pompey.

Caesar had now made himself master of Pompey's forces in Spain,
and though it was not without a battle, he dismissed the officers,
and incorporated the troops with his own. After this, he passed
the Alps again, and marched through Italy to Brundusium, where he
arrived at the time of the winter solstice. There he crossed the
sea, and landed at Oricum; from whence he dispatched Vibullius,
one of Pompey's friends, whom he had brought prisoner thither,
with proposals of a conference between him and Pompey, in which
they should agree to disband their armies within three days, renew
their friendship, confirm it with solemn oath, and then both
return to Italy. Pompey took this overture for another snare, and
therefore drew down in haste to the sea, and secured all the forts
and places of strength for land forces, as well as all the ports
and other commodious stations for shipping; so that there was not
a wind that blew, which did not bring him either provisions, or
troops, or money. On the other hand, Caesar was reduced to such
straits, both by sea and land, that he was under the necessity of
seeking a battle. Accordingly, he attacked Pompey's intrenchments,
and bade him defiance daily. In most of these attacks and
skirmishes he had the advantage; but one day was in danger of
losing his whole army. Pompey fought with so much valor, that he
put Caesar's whole detachment to flight, after having killed two
thousand men upon the spot; but was either unable or afraid to
pursue his blow, and enter their camp with them. Caesar said to
his friends on this occasion, "This day the victory had been the
enemy's had their general known how to conquer."

Pompey's troops, elated with this success, were in great haste to
come to a decisive battle. Nay, Pompey himself seemed to give in
to their opinions by writing to the kings, the generals, and
cities, in his interest, in the style of a conqueror. Yet all this
while he dreaded the issue of a general action, believing it much
better, by length of time, by famine and fatigue, to tire out men
who had been ever invincible in arms, and long accustomed to
conquer when they fought together. Besides, he knew the
infirmities of age had made them unfit for the other operations of
war, for long marches and countermarches, for digging trenches and
building forts, and that, therefore, they wished for nothing so
much as a battle. Pompey, with all these arguments, found it no
easy matter to keep his army quiet.

After this last engagement, Caesar was in such want of provisions,
that he was forced to decamp, and he took his way through
Athamania into Thessaly. This added so much to the high opinion
Pompey's soldiers had of themselves, that it was impossible to
keep them within bounds. They cried out with one voice, "Caesar is
fled." Some called upon the general to pursue; some to pass over
into Italy. Others sent their friends and servants to Rome, to
engage homes near the forum, for the convenience of soliciting the
great offices of state. And not a few went of their own accord to
Cornelia, who had been privately lodged in Lesbos, to congratulate
her upon the conclusion of the war.

While he thus softly followed the enemy's steps, a complaint was
raised against him, and urged with much clamor, that he was not
exercising his generalship upon Caesar, but upon the Senate and
the whole commonwealth, in order that he might forever keep the
command in his hands, and have those for his guards and servants
who had a right to govern the world. Domitius Aenobarbus, to
increase the odium, always called him Agamemnon, or king of kings.
Favonius piqued him no less with a jest, than others by their
unseasonable severity; he went about crying, "My friends, we shall
eat no figs in Tusculum this year."

These and many other like sallies of ridicule had such an effect
upon Pompey, who was ambitious of being spoken well of by the
world, and had too much deference for the opinions of his friends,
that he gave up his own better judgment, to follow them in the
career of their false hopes and prospects. A thing which would
have been unpardonable in the pilot or master of a ship, much more
in the commander-in-chief of so many nations and such numerous
armies. He had often commended the physician who gives no
indulgence to the whimsical longings of his patients, and yet he
humored the sickly cravings of his army, and was afraid to give
them pain, though necessary for the preservation of their life and
being. For who can say that army was in a sound and healthy state,
when some of the officers went about the camp canvassing for the
offices of consul and praetor; and others, namely, Spinther,
Domitius, and Scipio, were engaged in quarrels and cabals about
Caesar's high-priesthood, as if their adversary had been only a
Tigranes, a king of Armenia, or a prince of the Nabathaeans; and
not that Caesar and that army who had stormed one thousand cities,
subdued above three hundred nations, gained numberless battles of
the Germans and Gauls, taken one million prisoners, and killed as
many fairly in the field. Notwithstanding all this, they continued
loud and tumultuous in their demands of a battle; and when they
came to the plains of Pharsalia, forced Pompey to call a council
of war. Lebienus, who had the command of the cavalry, rose up
first, and took an oath, that he would not return from the battle,
till he had put the enemy to flight. All the other officers swore
the same.

The night following, Pompey had this dream. He thought he entered
his own theatre, and was received with loud plaudits; after which,
he adorned the temple of Venus the Victorious with many spoils.
This vision, on one side, encouraged him, and on the other alarmed
him. He was afraid that Caesar, who was a descendant of Venus,
would be aggrandized at his expense. Besides, a panic (A Panic was
so called, from the terror which the god Pan is said to have
struck the enemies of Greece with, at the battle of Marathon.)
fear ran through the camp, the noise of which awakened him. And
about the morning watch, over Caesar's camp, where everything was
perfectly quiet, there suddenly appeared a great light, from which
a stream of fire issued in the form of a torch, and fell upon that
of Pompey. Caesar himself says he saw it as he was going his

Caesar was preparing, at break of day, to march to Scotusa; his
soldiers were striking their tents, and the servants and beasts of
burden were already in motion, when his scouts brought
intelligence that they had seen arms handed about in the enemy's
camp, and perceived a noise and bustle, which indicated an
approaching battle. After these, others came and assured him that
the first ranks were drawn up.

Upon this Caesar said: "The long-wished day is come, on which we
shall fight with men, and not with want and famine." Then he
immediately ordered the red mantle to be put up before his
pavilion, which, among the Romans, is the signal of a battle. The
soldiers no sooner beheld it, than they left their tents as they
were, and ran to arms with loud shouts, and every expression of
joy. And when the officers began to put them in order of battle,
each man fell into his proper rank as quietly, and with as much
skill and ease, as a chorus in a tragedy.

Pompey placed himself in his right wing over against Antony, and
his father-in-law, Scipio, in the centre, opposite Domitius
Calvinus. His left wing was commanded by Lucius Domitius, and
supported by the cavalry; for they were almost all ranged on that
side, in order to break in upon Caesar, and cut off the tenth
legion, which was accounted the bravest in his army, and in which
he used to fight in person. Caesar, seeing the enemy's left wing
so well guarded with horse, and fearing the excellence of their
armor, sent for a detachment of six cohorts from the body of the
reserve, and placed them behind the tenth legion, with orders not
to stir before the attack, lest they should be discovered by the
enemy; but when the enemy's cavalry had charged, to make up
through the foremost ranks, and then not to discharge their
javelins at a distance, as brave men generally do in their
eagerness to come to sword in hand, but to reserve them till they
came to close fighting, and to push them forward into the eyes and
faces of the enemy. "For those fair young dancers," said he, "will
never stand the steel aimed at their eyes, but will fly to save
their handsome faces."

While Caesar was thus employed, Pompey took a view on horseback of
the order of both armies; and finding that they enemy kept their
ranks with the utmost exactness, and quietly waited for the signal
of battle, while his own men, for want of experience, were
fluctuating and unsteady, he was afraid they would be broken up on
the first onset. He therefore commanded the vanguard to stand firm
in their ranks, and in that close order to receive the enemy's
charge. Caesar condemned this measure, as not only tending to
lessen the vigor of the blows, which is always greatest in the
assailants, but also to damp the fire and spirit of the men;
whereas those who advance with impetuosity, and animate each other
with shouts, are filled with an enthusiastic valor and superior

Caesar's army consisted of twenty-two thousand men, and Pompey's
was something more than twice that number. When the signal was
given on both sides, and the trumpets sounded a charge, each
common man attended only to his own concern. But some of the
principal Romans and Greeks, who only stood and looked on, when
the dreadful moment of action approached, could not help
considering to what the avarice and ambition of two men had
brought the Roman Empire. The same arms on both sides, the troops
marshalled in the same manner, the same standards; in short, the
strength and flower of one and the same city turned upon itself!
What could be a stronger proof of the blindness and infatuation of
human nature, when carried away by its passions? Had they been
willing to enjoy the fruits of their labors in peace and
tranquillity, the greatest and best part of the world was their
own. Or, if they must have indulged their thirst of victories and
triumphs, the Parthians and Germans were yet to be subdued.
Scythia and India yet remained; together with a very plausible
color for their lust of new acquisitions, the pretence of
civilizing barbarians. And what Scythian horse, what Parthian
arrows, what Indian treasures, could have resisted seventy
thousand Romans, led on by Pompey and Caesar, with whose names
those nations had long been acquainted! Into such a variety of
wild and savage countries had these two generals carried their
victorious arms! Whereas now they stood threatening each other
with destruction; not sparing even their own glory, though to it
they sacrificed their country, but prepared, one of them, to lose
the reputation of being invincible, which hitherto they had both
maintained. So that the alliance which they had contracted by
Pompey's marriage to Julia, was from the first only an artful
expedient; and her charms were to form a self-interested compact,
instead of being the pledge of a sincere friendship.

The plain of Pharsalia was now covered with men, and horses and
arms; and the signal of battle being given on both sides, the
first on Caesar's side who advanced to the charge was Caius
Crastinus, who commanded a corps of one hundred and twenty men,
and was determined to make good his promise to his general. He was
the first man Caesar saw when he went out of the trenches in the
morning; and upon Caesar's asking him what he thought of the
battle, he stretched out his hand, and answered in a cheerful
tone, "You will gain a glorious victory, and I shall have your
praise this day, either alive or dead." In pursuance of this
promise, he advanced the foremost, and many following to support
him, he charged into the midst of the enemy. They soon took to
their swords, and numbers were slain; but as Crastinus was making
his way forward, and cutting down all before him, one of Pompey's
men stood to receive him, and pushed his sword in at his mouth
with such force, that it went through the nape of his neck.
Crastinus thus killed, the fight was maintained with equal
advantage on both sides.

Pompey did not immediately lead on his right wing, but often
directed his eyes to the left, and lost time in waiting to see
what execution his cavalry would do there. Meanwhile they had
extended their squadrons to surround Caesar, and prepared to drive
the few horse he had placed in front, back upon the foot. At that
instant Caesar gave the signal; upon which his cavalry retreated a
little; and the six cohorts, which consisted of 3000 men, and had
been placed behind the tenth legion, advanced to surround Pompey's
cavalry; and coming close up to them, raised the points of their
javelins, as they had been taught, and aimed them at the face.
Their adversaries, who were not experienced in any kind of
fighting, and had not the least previous idea of this, could not
parry or endure the blows upon their faces, but turned their
backs, or covered their eyes with their hands, and soon fled with
great dishonor. Caesar's men took no care to pursue them, but
turned their force upon the enemy's infantry, particularly upon
that wing, which, now stripped of its horse, lay open to the
attack on all sides. The six cohorts, therefore, took them in
flank, while the tenth legion charged them in front; and they, who
had hoped to surround the enemy, and now, instead of that, saw
themselves surrounded, made but a short resistance, and then took
to a precipitate flight.

By the great dust that was raised, Pompey conjectured the fate of
his cavalry; and it is hard to say what passed in his mind at that
moment. He appeared like a man moonstruck and distracted; and
without considering that he was Pompey the Great, or speaking to
any one, he quitted the ranks, and retired step by step toward his
camp--a scene which cannot be better painted than in these verses
of Homer: (In the eleventh book of the Iliad, where he is speaking
of the flight of Ajax before Hector.)

But partial Jove, espousing Hector's part,
Shot heaven-bred horror through the Grecian's heart;
Confused, unnerv'd in Hector's presence grown,
Amazed he stood with terrors not his own.
O'er his broad back his moony shield he threw,
And, glaring round, by tardy steps withdrew.

In this condition he entered his tent, where he sat down, and
uttered not a word, till at last, upon finding that some of the
enemy entered the camp with the fugitives, he said, "What! Into my
camp, too!" After this short exclamation, he rose up, and dressing
himself in a manner suitable to his fortune, privately withdrew.
All the other legions fled; and a great slaughter was made in the
camp, of the servants and others who had the care of the tents.
But Asinius Pollio, who then fought on Caesar's side, assures us,
that of the regular troops there were not above six thousand men
killed. (Caesar says, that in all there were fifteen thousand
killed, and twenty-four thousand taken prisoners.)

Upon the taking of the camp, there was a spectacle which showed,
in strong colors, the vanity and folly of Pompey's troops. All the
tents were crowned with myrtle; the beds were strewn with flowers;
the tables covered with cups, and bowls of wine set out. In short,
everything had the appearance of preparations for feasts and
sacrifices, rather than for men going out to battle. To such a
degree had their vain hopes corrupted them, and with such a
senseless confidence they took to the field!

When Pompey had got at a little distance from the camp, he quitted
his horse. He had very few people about him; and, as he saw he was
not pursued, he went softly on, wrapped up in such thoughts as we
may suppose a man to have, who had been used for thirty-four years
to conquer and carry all before him, and now in his old age first
came to know what it was to be defeated and to fly. We may easily
conjecture what his thoughts must be, when in one short hour he
had lost the glory and the power which had been growing up amidst
so many wars and conflicts; and he who was lately guarded with
such armies of horse and foot, and such great and powerful fleets,
was reduced to so mean and contemptible an equipage, that his
enemies, who were in search of him, could not know him.

He passed by Larissa, and came to Tempe, where, burning with
thirst, he threw himself upon his face, and drank out of the
river; after which, he passed through the valley, and went down to
the sea-coast. There he spent the remainder of the night in a poor
fisherman's cabin. Next morning, about break of day, he went on
board a small river-boat, taking with him such of his company as
were freemen. The slaves he dismissed, bidding them go to Caesar,
and fear nothing.

As he was coasting along, he saw a whip of burden just ready to
sail; the master of which was Peticius, a Roman citizen, who,
though not acquainted with Pompey, knew him by sight. Therefore,
without waiting for any further application, he took him up, and
such of his companions as he thought proper, and then hoisted
sail. The persons Pompey took with him, were the two Lentuli and
Favonius; and a little after, they saw king Deiotarus beckoning to
them with great earnestness from the shore, and took him up
likewise. The master of the ship provided them with the best
supper he could, and when it was almost ready, Pompey, for want of
a servant, was going to wash himself, but Favonius, seeing it,
stepped up, and both washed and anointed him. All the time he was
on board, he continued to wait upon him in all the offices of a
servant, even to the washing of his feet and providing his supper;
insomuch, that one who saw the unaffected simplicity and sincere
attachment with which Favonius performed these offices, cried out-

The generous mind adds dignity
To every act, and nothing misbecomes it.

Pompey, in the course of his voyage, sailed by Amphipolis, and
from thence steered for Mitylene, to take up Cornelia and his son.
As soon as he reached the island, he sent a messenger to the town
with news far different from what Cornelia expected. For, by the
flattering accounts which many officious persons had given her,
she understood that the dispute was decided at Dyrrhachium, and
that nothing but the pursuit of Caesar remained to be attended to.
The messenger, finding her possessed with such hopes, had not
power to make the usual salutations; but expressing the greatness
of Pompey's misfortunes by his tears rather than words, only told
her she must make haste if she had a mind to see Pompey with one
ship only, and that not his own.

At this news Cornelia threw herself upon the ground, where she lay
a long time insensible and speechless. At last, coming to herself,
she perceived there was no time to be lost in tears and
lamentations, and therefore hastened through the town to the sea.
Pompey ran to meet her, and received her to his arms as she was
just going to fall. While she hung upon his neck, she thus
addressed him: "I see, my dear husband, your present unhappy
condition is the effect of my ill fortune, and not yours. Alas!
how are you reduced to one poor vessel, who, before your marriage
with Cornelia, traversed the sea with 500 galleys! Why did you
come to see me, and not rather leave me to my evil destiny, who
have loaded you, too, with such a weight of calamities? How happy
had it been for me to have died before I heard that Publius, my
first husband, was killed by the Parthians! How wise, had I
followed him to the grave, as I once intended! What have I lived
for since, but to bring misfortunes upon Pompey the Great?"

Such, we are assured, was the speech of Cornelia; and Pompey
answered: "Till this moment, Cornelia, you have experienced
nothing but the smiles of fortune; and it was she who deceived
you, because she stayed with me longer than she commonly does with
her favorites. But, fated as we are, we must bear this reverse,
and make another trial of her. For it is no more improbable that
we may emerge from this poor condition and rise to great things
again, than it was that we should fall from great things into this
poor condition."

Cornelia then sent to the city for her most valuable movables and
her servants.

As soon as his wife and his friends were embarked, he set sail,
and continued his course without touching at any port, except for
water and provisions, till he came to Attalia, a city of
Pamphylia. There he was joined by some Cilician galleys; and
beside picking up a number of soldiers, he found in a little time
sixty senators about him. When he was informed that his fleet was
still entire, and that Cato was gone to Africa with a considerable
body of men which he had collected after their flight, he lamented
to his friends his great error, in suffering himself to be forced
into an engagement on land, and making no use of those forces, in
which he was confessedly stronger; nor even taking care to fight
near his fleet, that, in case of his meeting with a check on land,
he might have been supplied from the sea with another army,
capable of making head against the enemy. Indeed, we find no
greater mistake in Pompey's whole conduct, nor a more remarkable
instance of Caesar's generalship, than in removing the scene of
action to such a distance from the naval force.

However, as it was necessary to undertake something with the small
means he had left, he sent to some cities, and sailed to others
himself, to raise money, and to get a supply of men for his ships.
But knowing the extraordinary celerity of the enemy's motions, he
was afraid he might be beforehand with him, and seize all that he
was preparing. He, therefore, began to think of retiring to some
asylum, and proposed the matter in council. They could not think
of any province in the Roman empire that would afford a safe
retreat; and when they cast their eyes on the foreign kingdoms,
Pompey mentioned Parthia as the most likely to receive and protect
them in their present weak condition, and afterwards to send them
back with a force sufficient to retrieve their affairs. Others
were of opinion it was proper to apply to Africa, and to Juba in
particular. But Theophanes of Lesbos observed it was madness to
leave Egypt, which was distant but three days' sail. Besides,
Ptolemy, who was growing towards manhood, had particular
obligations to Pompey on his father's account. As so it was
determined that they should seek for refuge in Egypt. Being
informed that Ptolemy was with his army at Pelusium, where he was
engaged in war with his sister, he proceeded thither, and sent a
messenger before him to announce his arrival, and to entreat the
king's protection.

Ptolemy was very young, fourteen years of age, and Photinus, his
prime minister, called a council of his ablest officers; though
their advice had no more weight than he was pleased to allow it.
He ordered each, however, to give his opinion. But who can,
without indignation, consider that the fate of Pompey the Great
was to be determined by the wretch Photinus, by Theodotus, a man
of Chios, who was hired to teach the prince rhetoric, and by
Achillas, an Egyptian? For among the king's chamberlains and
tutors these had the greatest influence over him and were the
persons he most consulted. Pompey lay at anchor at some distance
from the place waiting the determination of this respectable
board; while he thought it beneath him to be indebted to Caesar
for his safety. The council were divided in their opinions, some
advising the prince to give him an honorable reception, and others
to send him an order to depart. But Theodotus, to display his
eloquence, insisted that both were wrong. "If you receive him,"
said he, "you will have Caesar for your enemy, and Pompey for your
master. If you order him off, Pompey may one day revenge the
affront and Caesar resent your not having put him in his hands:
the best method, therefore, is to send for him and put him to
death. By this means you will do Caesar a favor, and have nothing
to fear from Pompey." He added with a smile, "Dead men do not

This advice being approved of, the execution of it was committed
to Achillas. In consequence of which he took with him Septimius,
who had formerly been one of Pompey's officers, and Salvius, who
had also acted under him as a centurion, with three or four
assistants, and made up to Pompey's ship, where his principal
friends and officers had assembled to see how the affair went on.
When they perceived there was nothing magnificent in their
reception, nor suitable to the hopes which Theophanes had
conceived, but that a few men only in a fishing-boat came to wait
upon them, such want of respect appeared a suspicious
circumstance, and they advised Pompey, while he was out of the
reach of missive weapons, to get out to the main sea.

Meantime, the boat approaching, Septimius spoke first, addressing
Pompey in Latin by the title of Imperator. Then Achillas saluted
him in Greek, and desired him to come into the boat, because the
water was very shallow towards the shore, and a galley must strike
upon the sands. At the same time they saw several of the king's
ships getting ready, and the shore covered with troops, so that if
they would have changed their minds it was then too late; besides,
their distrust would have furnished the assassins with a pretence
for their injustice. He therefore embraced Cornelia, who lamented
his sad exit before it happened; and ordered two centurions, one
of his enfranchised slaves, named Philip, and a servant called
Scenes, to get into the boat before him. When Achillas had hold of
his hand, and he was going to step in himself, he turned to his
wife and son, and repeated that verse of Sophocles--

Seek'st thou a tyrant's door? Then farewell freedom!
Though FREE as air before.

These were the last words he spoke to them.

As there was a considerable distance between the galley and the
shore, and he observed that not a man in the boat showed him the
least civility, or even spoke to him, he looked at Septimius, and
said, "Methinks, I remember you to have been my fellow-soldier;"
but he answered only with a nod, without testifying any regard or
friendship. A profound silence again taking place, Pompey took out
a paper, in which he had written a speech in Greek that he
designed to make to Ptolemy, and amused himself with reading it.

When they approached the shore, Cornelia, with her friends in the
galley, watched the event with great anxiety. She was a little
encouraged, when she saw a number of the king's great officers
coming down to the strand, in all appearance to receive her
husband and do him honor. But the moment Pompey was taking hold of
Philip's hand, to raise him with more ease, Septimius came behind,
and ran him through the body; after which Salvius and Achillas
also drew their swords. Pompey took his robe in both hands and
covered his face, and without saying or doing the least thing
unworthy of him, submitted to his fate, only uttering a groan,
while they despatched him with many blows. He was then just fifty-
nine years old, for he was killed the day after his birthday.

Cornelia, and her friends in the galley, upon seeing him murdered,
gave a shriek that was heard to the shore, and weighed anchor
immediately. Their flight was assisted by a brisk gale, as they
got out more to sea; so that the Egyptians gave up their design of
pursuing them. The murderers having cut off Pompey's head, threw
the body out of the boat naked, and left it exposed to all who
were desirous of such a sight. Philip stayed till their curiosity
was satisfied, and then washed the body with sea-water, and
wrapped it in one of his own garments, because he had nothing else
at hand. The next thing was to look out for wood for the funeral
pile; and casting his eyes over the shore, he spied the old
remains of a fishing-boat; which, though not large, would make a
sufficient pile for a poor naked body that was not quite entire.

While he was collecting the pieces of plank and putting them
together, an old Roman, who had made some of his first campaigns
under Pompey, came up and said to Philip, "Who are you that are
preparing the funeral of Pompey the Great?" Philip answered, "I am
his freedman." "But you shall not," said the old Roman, "have this
honor entirely to yourself. As a work of piety offers itself, let
me have a share in it; that I may not absolutely repent my having
passed so many years in a foreign country; but, to compensate many
misfortunes, may have the consolation of doing some of the last
honors to the greatest general Rome ever produced." In this manner
was the funeral of Pompey conducted.

Such was the end of Pompey the Great. As for Caesar, he arrived
not long after in Egypt, which he found in great disorder. When
they came to present the head, he turned from it, and the person
that brought it, as a sight of horror. He received the seal, but
it was with tears. The device was a lion holding a sword. The two
assassins, Achillas and Photinus, he put to death; and the king,
being defeated in battle, perished in the river. Theodotus, the
rhetorician, escaped the vengeance of Caesar, by leaving Egypt;
but he wandered about a miserable fugitive, and was hated wherever
he went. At last, Marcus Brutus, who killed Caesar, found the
wretch, in his province of Asia, and put him to death, after
having made him suffer the most exquisite tortures. The ashes of
Pompey were carried to Cornelia, who buried them in his lands near
Alba. (Langhorne has well remarked that Pompey has, in all
appearance, and in all consideration of his character, had less
justice done him by historians than any other man of his time. His
popular humanity, his military and political skills, his prudence
(which he sometimes unfortunately gave up), his natural bravery
and generosity, his conjugal virtues, which (though sometimes
impeached) were both naturally and morally great; his cause, which
was certainly, in its original interests, the cause of Rome; all
these circumstances entitled him to a more distinguished and more
respectable character than any of his historians have thought
proper to afford him.)

The Engines of Archimedes from the life of Marcellus

Marcellus now moved with his whole army to Syracuse, and, camping
near the wall, proceeded to attack the city both by land and by
sea. The land forces were conducted by Appius: Marcellus, with
sixty galleys, each with five rows of oars, furnished with all
sorts of arms and missiles, and a huge bridge of planks laid upon
eight ships chained together, upon which was carried the engine to
cast stones and darts, assaulted the walls, relying on the
abundance and magnificence of his preparations, and on his own
previous glory; all which, however, were, it would seem, but
trifles for Archimedes and his machines.

These machines he had designed and contrived, not as matters of
any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance
with King Hiero's desire and request, some little time before,
that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable
speculations in science, and by accommodating the theoretical
truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the
appreciation of people in general. Eudoxus and Archytas had been
the originators of this far-famed and highly prized art of
mechanics, which they employed as an elegant illustration of
geometrical truths, and as a means of sustaining experimentally,
to the satisfaction of the senses, conclusions too intricate for
proof by words and diagrams. As, for example, to solve the
problem, so often required in constructing geometrical figures,
given the two extreme, to find the two mean lines of a proportion,
both these mathematicians had recourse to the aid of instruments,
adapting to their purpose certain curves and sections of lines.
(The 'mesolabes or mesalabium, was the name by which this
instrument was commonly known.) But what with Plato's indignation
at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and
annihilation of the one good of geometry,--which was thus
shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure
intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be
obtained without haste subservience and depravation) from matter;
so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and,
being repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as
a military art. Archimedes, however, in writing to King Hiero,
whose friend and near relation he was, had stated, that given the
force, any weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are told,
relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there were
another earth, by going into it he could remove this. Hiero being
struck with amazement at this, and entreating him to make good
this problem by actual experiment, and show some great weight
moved by a small engine, he fixed accordingly upon a ship of
burden out of the king's arsenal, which could not be drawn out of
the dock without great labor and many men; and, loading her with
many passengers and a full freight, sitting himself the while far
off, with no great endeavor, but only holding the head of the
pulley in his hand and drawing the cord by degrees, he drew the
ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly as if she had been
in the sea. The king, astonished at this, and convinced of the
power of the art, prevailed upon Archimedes to make him engines
accommodated to all the purposes, offensive and defensive, of a
siege. These the king himself never made use of, because he spent
almost all his life in a profound quiet, and the highest
influence. But the apparatus was, in a most opportune time, ready
at hand for the Syracusans, and with it also the engineer himself.

When, therefore, the Romans assaulted the walls in two places at
once, fear and consternation stupefied the Syracusans, believing
that nothing was able to resist that violence and those forces.
But when Archimedes began to ply his engines, he at once shot
against the land forces all sorts of missile weapons, and immense
masses of stone that came down with incredible noise and violence,
against which no man could stand; for they knocked down those upon
whom they fell, in heaps, breaking all their ranks and files. In
the mean time huge poles thrust out from the walls over the ships,
sunk some by the great weights which they let down from on high
upon them; others they lifted up into the air by an iron hand or
beak like a crane's beak, and, when they had drawn them up by the
prow, and set them on end upon the poop, they plunged them to the
bottom of the sea; or else the ships, drawn by engines within, and
whirled about, were dashed against steep rocks that stood jutting
out under the walls, with great destruction of the soldiers that
were aboard them. A ship was frequently lifted up to a great
height in the air (a dreadful thing to behold), and was rolled to
and fro, and kept swinging, until the mariners were all thrown
out, when at length it was dashed against the rocks, or let fall.
In the meantime, Marcellus himself brought up his engine upon the
bridge of ships, which was called "Sambuca," from some resemblance
it had to an instrument of music, but while it was as yet
approaching the wall, there was discharged at it a piece of rock
of ten talents' weight, then a second and a third, which, striking
upon it with immense force and with a noise like thunder, broke
all its foundations to pieces, shook out all its fastenings, and
completely dislodged it from the bridge. So Marcellus, doubtful
what counsel to pursue, drew off his ships to a safer distance,
and sounded a retreat to his forces on land. They then took a
resolution of coming up under the walls, if it were possible, in
the night; thinking that as Archimedes used ropes stretched at
length in playing his engines, the soldiers would now be under the
shot, and the darts would, for want of sufficient distance to
throw them, fly over their heads without effect. But he, it
appeared, had long before framed for such occasion engines
accommodated to any distance, and shorter weapons; and had made
numerous small openings in the walls, through which, with engines
of a shorter range, unexpected blows were inflicted on the
assailants. Thus, when they who thought to deceive the defenders
came close up to the walls, instantly a shower of darts and other
missile weapons was again cast upon them. And when stones came
tumbling down perpendicularly upon their heads, and, as it were,
the whole wall shot out arrows at them, they retired. And now,
again, as they were going off, arrows and darts of a longer range
inflicted a great slaughter among them, and their ships were
driven one against another; while they themselves were not able to
retaliate in any way; for Archimedes had fixed most of his engines
immediately under the wall. The Romans, seeing that infinite
mischiefs overwhelmed them from no visible means, began to think
they were fighting with the gods.

Yet Marcellus escaped unhurt, and, deriding his own artificers and
engineers, exclaimed "What! Must we give up fighting with this
geometrical Briareus, who plays pitch and toss with our ships,
and, with the multitude of darts which he showers at a single
moment upon us, really outdoes the hundred-handed giants of
mythology?" The rest of the Syracusans were but the body of
Archimedes' designs, one soul moving and governing all; for,
laying aside all other arms, with his alone they infested the
Romans, and protected themselves. In fine, when such terror had
seized upon the Romans, that, if they did but see a little rope or
a piece of wood from the wall, they instantly cried out, "There it
is again! Archimedes is about to let fly another engine at us,"
and turned their backs and fled, Marcellus desisted from conflicts
and assaults, putting all his hope in a long siege. Yet Archimedes
possessed so high a spirit, so profound a soul, and such treasures
of scientific knowledge, that though these inventions had now
obtained him the renown of more than human sagacity, he yet would
not deign to leave behind him any commentary or writing on such
subjects; but, repudiating as sordid and ignoble the whole trade
of engineering, and every sort of art that lends itself to mere
use and profit, he placed his whole affection and ambition in
those purer speculations where there can be no reference to the
vulgar needs of life; studies, the superiority of which to all
others is unquestioned, and in which the only doubt can be,
whether the beauty and grandeur of the subjects examined, or the
precision and cogency of the methods and means of proof, most
deserve our admiration. It is not possible to find in all geometry
more difficult and intricate questions, or more simple and lucid
explanations. Some ascribe this to his natural genius; while
others think that incredible effort and toil produced these
apparently easy and unlabored results. No amount of investigation
of yours would succeed in attaining the proof, and yet, once seen,
you immediately believe you would have discovered it; by so smooth
and so rapid a path he leads you to the conclusion required. And
thus it ceases to be incredible that (as is commonly told of him),
the charm of his familiar and domestic Siren made him forget his
food and neglect his person, to such a degree that when he was
occasionally carried by absolute violence to bathe, or have his
body anointed, he used to trace geometrical figures in the ashes
of the fire, and diagrams in the oil on his body, being in a state
of entire preoccupation, and, in the truest sense, divinely
possessed with his love and delight in science. His discoveries
were numerous and admirable; and he is said to have requested his
friends and relations that when he was dead, they would place over
his tomb a cylinder containing a sphere, inscribing it with the
ratio of three to two which the containing solid bears to the

Description of Cleopatra from the Life of Antony

When Antony was making preparation for the Parthian war, he sent
to command Cleopatra to make her personal appearance in Cilicia,
to answer the accusation, that she had given great assistance, in
the late wars, to Cassius. Dellius, who was sent on this message,
had no sooner seen her face, and remarked her adroitness and
subtlety in speech, than he felt convinced that Antony would not
so much as think of giving any molestation to a woman like this;
on the contrary, she would be the first in favor with him. So he
set himself at once to pay his court to the Egyptia, and gave her
his advice, "to go," in the Homeric style, to Cilicia, "in her
best attire," and bade her fear nothing from Antony, the gentlest
and the kindest of soldiers. She had some faith in the words of
Dellius, but more in her own attractions, which, having formerly
recommended her to Caesar and the young Gnaeus Pompey, she did not
doubt might prove yet more successful with Antony. Their
acquaintance was with her when a girl, young, and ignorant of the
world, but she was to meet Antony in the time of life when women's
beauty is most splendid, and their intellects are in full


Back to Full Books