Cassius Dio.

Dio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E online

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Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 3 of 30)
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remodeling his proposition somehow, and bade the consuls frame it as a
law.[-39-] Now when the comitiae had been announced in advance and
accordingly no law could be enacted till they were held, the canvassers
kept doing much evil in this intervening time, to such an extent that
assassinations occurred. As a consequence the senators voted that the
law should be introduced before the elections and a body-guard be given
to the consuls. Cornelius, angry at this, submitted a proposal that the
senators be not allowed to grant office to any one seeking it in a way
not prescribed by law, nor to vote away any other prerogative of the
people. This had been the law from very early times: it was not,
however, being observed in practice. Thereupon arose a great uproar,
since many of the senate and Piso in particular resisted; the crowd
broke his staves to pieces and threatened to tear him limb from limb.
Seeing the rush they made, Cornelius for the time being before calling
for any vote dismissed the assembly: later he added to the law that the
senate should invariably hold a preliminary consultation about these
cases and that it be compulsory to have the preliminary degree ratified
by the people.[-40-] So he secured the passage of both that law and
another now to be explained.

All the praetors themselves compiled and published the principles
according to which they intended to try cases; for all the decrees
regarding contracts had not yet been laid down. Now since they were not
in the habit of doing this once for all and did not observe the rules as
written, but often made changes in them and incidentally a number of
clauses naturally appeared in some one's favor or to some one's hurt, he
moved that they should at the very start announce the principles they
would use, and not swerve from them at all. In fine, the Romans took
such good care about that time to have no bribery, that in addition to
punishing those convicted they furthermore honored the accusers. For
instance, when Marcus Cotta dismissed the quaestor Publius Oppius
because of bribery and suspicion of conspiracy, though he himself had
made great profit out of Bithynia, they exalted Gaius Carbo who
thereupon accused Cotta, with consular honors, notwithstanding he had
served as tribune merely. Subsequently the latter himself was governor
of Bithynia and erred no less widely than Cotta; he was, in his turn,
accused by his son and convicted. Some persons, of course, can more
easily censure others than admonish themselves, and when it comes to
their own case commit very readily deeds for which they think their
neighbors deserving of punishment. Hence they can not, from the mere
fact that they prosecute others, inspire confidence in their own
detestation of the acts in question.

[-41-] As for Lucius Lucullus, he finished his term of office as city
praetor, but on being chosen by lot thereafter to serve as governor of
Sardinia he refused, detesting the business because of the throng who
were fostering corruption in foreign lands. That he was suited for the
place he had given the fullest proof. Acilius once commanded the chair
from which he had heard cases to be broken in pieces because Lucullus
seeing Acilius pass by did not rise from his seat: yet the praetor did
not give way to rage, and after that both he and his fellow officials
tried cases standing up on account of the consul's action.

[-42-] Roscius likewise introduced a law, and so did Gaius Manilius, at
the time when they were tribunes. The former received some praise for
his, - for it consisted in marking off sharply the seats of the knights
in theatres from the other locations, - but Manilius came near having to
stand trial. He had granted the class of freedmen, some of whom he got
together from the populace on the last day of the year and toward
evening, the right to vote with those who had freed them. The senate
learned of it immediately on the following day, the first of the month,
the day on which Lucius Tullius and Aemilius Lepidus entered upon the
consulship, and rejected his law.

[B.C. 66 (_a.u._ 688)]

He, then, in fear because the populace was terribly angry, at first
ascribed the idea to Crassus and some others; as no one believed him,
however, he paid court to Pompey even in the latter's absence,
especially because he knew that Gabinius had the greatest influence with
him. He went so far as to offer him command of the war against Tigranes
and against Mithridates, and the governorship of Bithynia and Cilicia at
the same time.

[-43-] Now irritation and opposition had developed even then on the part
of the nobles particularly because Marcius and Acilius were making peace
before the period of their command had expired. And the populace,
although a little earlier it had sent the men to establish a government
over the conquered territory, regarding the war as at an end from the
letters which Lucullus sent them, nevertheless voted to do as Manilius
proposed. Those who urged them most to this course were Caesar and Marcus
Cicero. These men seconded the measure not because they thought it
advantageous to the state nor because they wished to do Pompey a favor.
Inasmuch, however, as things were certain to turn out that way, Caesar
cultivated the good will of the multitude: he saw, in the first place,
how much stronger they were than the senate and further he paved the way
for a similar vote some time to be passed for his own profit.
Incidentally, too, he was willing to render Pompey more envied and
invidious as a result of the honors conferred upon him, so that the
people might get their fill of him more quickly. Cicero saw fit to play
politics and was endeavoring to make it clear to both populace and
nobles that to whichever side he should attach himself, he would
substantially benefit them. He was accustomed to fill a double r√іle and
espoused now the cause of one party and again that of the other, to the
end that he might be sought after by both. A little while before he had
said that he chose the side of the optimates and for that reason wished
to be aedile rather than tribune; but now he went over to the side of
the rabble.[-44-] Soon after, as a suit was instituted by the nobles
against Manilius and the latter was striving to cause some delay about
it, Cicero tried to thwart him, and only after obstinate objection did
he put off his case till the following day, offering as an excuse that
the year was drawing to a close. He was enabled to do this by the fact
that he was praetor and president of the court. But since the crowd was
still discontented he entered their assembly, presumably compelled
thereto by the tribunes, where he inveighed against the senate and
promised to speak in support of Manilius. For this he fell into ill
repute generally, and was termed "deserter." [Probably spurious:
"because Caesar cultivated the populace from the beginning, whereas
Cicero usually played a double part; sometimes he sided with the people,
sometimes with the assembly, and for this reason he was termed
'deserter.'" - Mai, p. 552]: but a tumult that immediately arose
prevented the court from being convened. Publius Paetus and Cornelius
Sulla (a nephew of that great Sulla) who had been appointed consuls and
then convicted of bribery, plotted to kill their accusers, Gotta and
Torquatus, Lucii, especially after the latter had been convicted in
turn. Among others who had been suborned were Gnaeus Piso and Lucius
Catiline, a man of great audacity; he had himself sought the office and
was on this account inclined to anger. They were unable, however, to
accomplish anything because the plot was announced beforehand and a
body-guard given to Cotta and Torquatus by the senate. Indeed, a decree
would have been pronounced against them, had not one of the tribunes
opposed it. And since even so Piso showed signs of audacity, the senate
being afraid he would cause some riot sent him straightway to Spain on
the pretext that he was to look after some disorder.[-45-] He there met
his death at the hands of natives whom he had wronged.

Pompey was at first making ready to sail to Crete and to Metellus, and
when he learned the decrees that had been passed pretended to be annoyed
as before, and charged the members of the opposite faction with always
loading business upon him so that he might meet some reverse. In reality
he received the news with the greatest joy, and no longer regarding as
of any importance Crete or the other maritime points wherever anything
had been left unsettled, he made preparations for the war with the

Meanwhile, wishing to test the disposition of Mithridates, he sent
Metrophanes bearing friendly proposals to him. Mithridates at that time
held him in contempt; for Arsaces, king of the Parthians, having died
about this period he expected to conciliate Phraates, his successor. But
Pompey speedily contracted friendship with Phraates on the same terms
and persuaded him to invade in advance the Armenia belonging to
Tigranes. When Mithridates ascertained this he was alarmed and by means
of an embassy immediately arranged a treaty. As for Pompey's command
that he lay down his arms and deliver up the deserters, he had no chance
to deliberate; for the large number of deserters who were in his camp
hearing it and fearing they should be delivered up, and the barbarians
fearing that they should be compelled to fight without them, raised an
uproar. And they would have done some harm to the king, had he not by
pretending falsely that he had sent the envoys not for the truce but to
spy out the Roman troops, with difficulty kept them in check.

[-46-]Pompey, therefore, having decided that he must needs fight, in the
course of his other preparations made an additional enlistment of the
Valerians. When he was now in Galatia, Lucullus met him. The latter
declared the whole conflict over, and said there was no further need of
an expedition and that for this reason also the men sent by the senate
for the administration of the districts had arrived. Failing to persuade
him to retire Lucullus turned to abuse, stigmatizing him as officious, a
lover of war, a lover of office, and so on. Pompey, paying him but
slight attention, forbade every one any longer to obey his commands and
pressed on against Mithridates, being in haste to join issue with him as
quickly as possible.

[-47-] The king for a time kept fleeing, since he was inferior in
numbers: he continually devastated the country before him, gave Pompey a
long chase, and made him feel the want of provisions. But when the Roman
invaded Armenia both for the above reasons and because he wanted to
capture it while abandoned, Mithridates fearing it would be occupied
before his advent also entered the country. He took possession of a
strong hill opposite and there rested with his entire army, hoping to
exhaust the Romans by lack of provisions, while he could get abundance
from many quarters, being in a subject territory. He kept sending down
some of his cavalry into the plain, which was bare, and injured
considerably those who encountered them; after such a movement he would
receive large accessions of deserters.

Pompey was not bold enough to assail them in that position, but he moved
his camp to another spot where the surrounding country was wooded and he
would be troubled less by the cavalry and bowmen of his adversaries, and
there he set an ambuscade where an opportunity offered. Then with some
few he openly approached the camp of the barbarians, threw them into
disorder, and enticing them to the point he wished killed a large
number. Encouraged by this, he sent some one way, some another, over the
country after provisions.

[-48-] When Pompey went on procuring these in safety and through certain
men's help had become master of the land of Anaitis, which belongs to
Armenia and is dedicated to some god after whom it is named, and many
others kept seceding to him, while the soldiers of Marcius were added to
his force, Mithridates becoming frightened no longer kept his position,
but immediately started unobserved in the night, and thereafter by night
marches advanced into the Armenia of Tigranes. Pompey followed on, eager
to secure a battle. This, however, he could not do by day, for they
would not come out of their camp, and he did not venture the attempt by
night, fearing his ignorance of the country, until they got near the
frontier. Then, knowing that they would escape, he was compelled to have
a night battle. Having decided on this course he started off before them
at noontime, unobserved of the barbarians, by the road along which they
were to march.

Finding a sunken part of the road, between some low hills, he there
stationed his army on the higher ground and awaited the enemy. When the
enemy entered the sunken way, with confidence and without an advance
guard (since they had suffered no injury previously and now at last were
gaining safety, so that they expected that the Romans would no longer
follow them), he fell upon them in the darkness. There was no
illumination from heaven and they had no kind of light.

[-49-] The nature of the ensuing battle I will now describe. First, all
the trumpeters together at a signal sounded the attack, next the
soldiers and all the multitude raised a shout, some rattling their
spears against their shields, and others stones against the bronze
implements. The hollowed mountains took up and gave back their din with
most frightful effect, so that the barbarians, hearing them suddenly in
the night and the wilderness, were terribly alarmed, thinking they had
encountered some supernatural phenomenon. Directly the Romans from the
heights smote them at all points with stones, arrows, and javelins,
inevitably wounding some by reason of their numbers, and reduced them to
every extremity of evil. They were not drawn up in line of battle, but
for marching, and both men and women were moving about in the same place
with horses and camels and all sorts of implements; some were borne on
coursers, others on chariots, covered wagons, and carts
indiscriminately; and some getting wounded already and others expecting
to be wounded caused confusion, in consequence of which they were more
easily slain, since they kept becoming entangled one with another. This
was what they endured while they were still being struck from afar off.
But when the Romans after exhausting their long-distance ammunition
charged down upon them, the edges of the force were slaughtered, one
blow sufficing for their death, since the majority were unarmed, and the
center was crushed together, as all by reason of the encompassing fear
fell toward it. So they perished, pushed about and trampled down by one
another without being able to defend themselves or venture any movement
against the enemy. For whereas they were strongest in cavalry and
bowmen, they were unable to see before them in the darkness and unable
to make any manoeuvre in the defile.

When the moon rose, some rejoiced, with the idea that in the light they
could certainly ward off some one. And they would have been benefited a
little, if the Romans had not had the moon behind them, and so produced
much illusion both in sight and in action, while assailing them now on
this side and now on that. For the attackers, being many in number and
all in one body, casting the deepest imaginable shadow, baffled their
opponents before they had yet come into conflict with them. The
barbarians thinking them near would strike the empty air in vain and
when they reached common ground would be wounded in the shadow where
they were not expecting it. Thus numbers of them were killed and the
captives were not fewer than the slain. Many also escaped, among them

[-50-] The latter's next move was to hasten to Tigranes. On sending
couriers to him, however, he found no friendship awaiting him, because
Tigranes' son had risen against him, and while holding the youth under
guard[9] the father suspected that Mithridates, his grandfather, had
been responsible for the quarrel. For this reason far from receiving him
Tigranes even arrested and threw into prison the men sent ahead by him.
Failing therefore of the hoped-for refuge he turned aside into Colchis,
and thence on foot reached Maeotis and the Bosphorus, using persuasion
with some and force with others. He recovered the territory, too, having
terrified Machares, his son, who had espoused the cause of the Romans
and was then ruling it, to such an extent that he would not even come
into his presence. And him Mithridates caused to be killed through his
associates to whom he promised to grant immunity and money.

In the course of these events Pompey sent men to pursue him: when,
however, he outstripped them by fleeing across the Phasis, the Roman
leader colonized a city in the territory where he had been victorious,
bestowing it upon the wounded and the more elderly of his soldiers. Many
of those living round about voluntarily joined the settlement and later
generations of them are in existence even now, being called Nicopolitans
[10] and paying tribute to the province of Cappadocia.

[-51-] While Pompey was thus engaged, Tigranes, the son of Tigranes,
taking with him some of the foremost men because the father was not
ruling to suit them, fled for refuge to Phraates; and, though the
latter, in view of the agreements made with Pompey, stopped to consider
what it was advisable to do, persuaded to invade Armenia. They came,
actually, as far as the Artaxatians, subduing all the country before
them, and assailed those men likewise. Tigranes the elder in fear of
them had fled to the mountains. But since it seemed that time was
required for the siege, Phraates left a part of the force with his own
son and retired to his native country. Thereupon the father took the
field against the young Tigranes, thus isolated, and conquered him. The
latter, in his flight, set out at first for Mithridates, his
grandfather; but when he learned that he had been defeated and was
rather in need of aid than able to assist any one, he went over to the
Romans. Pompey, employing him as a guide, made an expedition into
Armenia and against his father.

[-52-] The latter, learning this, in fear immediately sent heralds to
him for peace, and delivered up the envoys of Mithridates. When, on
account of the opposition of his son, he could gain no moderate terms,
and even as things were Pompey had crossed the Araxes and drawn near the
Artaxatians, then at last Tigranes surrendered the town to him and came
voluntarily into the midst of his camp. The old king had arrayed himself
so far as possible in a way to indicate his former dignity and his
present humbled condition, in order that he might seem to his enemy
worthy of respect and pity. He had put off his tunic shot with white and
the all-purple candys, but wore his tiara and headband. Pompey, however,
sent an attendant and made him descend from his horse; for Tigranes was
riding up as if to enter the very fortification, mounted on horseback
according to the custom of his people. But when the Roman general saw
him entering actually on foot, with fillet cast off, and prostrate on
the earth doing obeisance, he felt an impulse of pity; so starting up
hastily he raised him, bound on the headband and seated him upon a chair
close by, and he encouraged him, telling him among other things that he
had not lost the kingdom of Armenia but had gained the friendship of the
Romans. By these words Pompey restored his spirits, and then invited him
to dinner.

[-53-] But the son, who sat on the other side of Pompey, did not rise at
the approach of his father nor greet him in any other way, and
furthermore, though invited to dinner, did not present himself.
Wherefore he incurred Pompey's most cordial hatred. Now, on the
following day, when the Roman heard the recitals of both, he restored to
the elder all his ancestral domain. What he had acquired later, to be
sure, - these were chiefly portions of Cappadocia and Syria, as well as
Phoenicia and the large Sophanenian tract bordering on Armenia, - he took
away, and demanded money of him besides. To the younger he assigned
Sophanene only. And inasmuch as this was where the treasures were, the
young man began a dispute about them, and not gaining his point - for
Pompey had no other source from which to obtain the sums agreed upon - he
became vexed and planned to escape by flight.

Pompey, being informed of this beforehand, kept the youth under
surveillance without bonds and sent to those who were guarding the
money, bidding them give it all to his father. But they would not obey,
stating that it was necessary for the young man, to whom the country was
now held to belong, to give them this command. Then Pompey sent him to
the forts. He, finding them all locked up, approached close and
reluctantly ordered that they be opened. When the keepers obeyed as
little as before, asserting that he issued the command not of his own
free will, but under compulsion, Pompey was irritated and put Tigranes
in chains.

Thus the elder secured the treasures, and Pompey passed the winter in
the land of Anaitis and near the river Cyraus, after dividing his army
into three portions. From Tigranes he received plenty of everything and
far more money than had been agreed upon. For this reason especially he
shortly afterward enrolled the king among his friends and allies and
brought the latter's son to Rome under guard.

[-54-] The quiet of his winter quarters, however, was not unbroken.
Oroeses, king of the Albanians dwelling beyond the Cyrnus, made an
expedition against them just at the time of the Saturnalia. He was
impelled partly by a wish to do a favor to Tigranes the younger, who was
a friend of his, but mostly by the fear that the Romans would invade
Albania, and he cherished the idea that if he should fall upon them in
the winter, when they were not expecting hostilities and were not
encamped in one body, he would surely achieve some success. Oroeses
himself descended upon Metellus Celer, in whose charge Tigranes was, and
sent others against Pompey and against Lucius Flaccus, the commander of
the third division, in order that all might be thrown into confusion at
once, and so not assist one another.

In spite of all, he accomplished nothing at any point. Celer vigorously
repulsed Grosses. Flaccus, being unable to preserve the whole circuit of
the ditch intact by reason of its size, constructed another within it.
This fixed in his opponents' minds the impression that he was afraid,
and so he enticed them within an outer ditch, where by a charge upon
them when they were not looking for it he slaughtered many in close
conflict and many in flight. Meanwhile Pompey, having received advance
information of the attempt which the barbarians had made on the rest, to
their surprise encountered beforehand the detachment that was proceeding
against him, conquered it, and at once hurried on just as he was against
Oroeses. The latter, indeed, he did not overtake; for Oroeses, after the
repulse by Celer, had fled on being informed of the failures of the
rest; many of the Albanians, however, he overwhelmed near the crossing
of the Cyrnus and killed. After this he made a truce at their request.
For although on general principles he was extremely anxious to make a
return invasion of their country, he was glad to postpone the war
because of the winter.



The following is contained in the Thirty-seventh of Dio's Rome: I

How Pompey fought against the Asiatic Iberians (chapters 1-7).

How Pompey annexed Pontus to Bithynia: how Pompey brought Syria and
Phoenicia under his sway (chapters 8, 9).

How Mithridates died (chapters 10-14).

About the Jews (chapters 15-19).

How Pompey after settling affairs in Asia returned to Rome (chapters

About Cicero and Catiline and their transactions (chapters 24-42).

About Caesar and Pompey and Crassus and their sworn fellowship (chapters

Duration of time, six years, in which there were the following
magistrates, here enumerated:

L. Aurelius M.F. Cotta, L. Manlius L.F. (B.C. 65 == a.u. 689.)

L. Caesar, C. Marcius C.F. Figulus. (B.C. 64 == a.u. 690.)

M. Tullius M.F. Cicero, C. Antonius M.F. (B.C. 63 == a.u. 691.)

Decimus Iunius M.F. Silanus, L. Licinius L.F. Murena. (B.C. 62 == a.
u. 692.)

M. Pupius M.F. Piso, M. Valerius M.F. Messala Niger (B.C. 61 == a.u.

L. Afranius A.F., C. Caecilius C.F. Celer. (B.C. 60 == a.u. 694.)


[B.C. 65 (_a.u._ 689)]

[-1-] The following year after these exploits and in the consulship of

Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 3 of 30)