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151. The two triumphant generals, Pompey and Crassus, demanded the consulship as their reward. To attain this, it was needful to set aside some of the Sullæan laws, for Pompey had neither reached the required age nor passed through the preliminary offices. But the deliverers of Rome could not ask in vain. On Dec. 31, B. C. 71, Pompey triumphed a second time for his victories in Spain; the next day, Jan, 1, B. C. 70, he entered on the duties of his consulship with Licinius Crassus. Though formerly a chief instrument of the oligarchy under Sulla, Pompey now attached himself to the democratic party, more especially to the wealthy middle class. He restored to the tribunes of the people the power which Sulla had taken away, and caused judges to be chosen no longer exclusively from the Senate, but in equal proportions from the Senate, the knights, and the tribunes of the treasury a class of moneyed men who collected and paid the revenues due to the soldiers.
Reform in the government of the provinces was a rallying cry of the new party, and the year of Pompey's consulate was marked by the prosecution of Verres, ex-prætor of Syracuse, for his shameless robbery of the province of Sicily. The impeachment was conducted by Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great lawyer and orator, whose wonderful learning and eloquence had already made him illustrious. Cicero was allowed one hundred and ten days to collect evidence of Verres's guilt. In less than half the time he returned from Sicily, followed by a long train of witnesses, whose fortunes had been ruined by the fraud and inhumanity of the prætor. Verres himself had been heard to boast that he had amassed wealth enough to support a life-time of luxury, even if he should spend two-thirds of his ill-gotten gains in hushing inquiry or in buying a pardon; and the unhappy provincials plainly declared that, if he were acquitted, they would petition the Senate to repeal all the laws against official injustice, that in future their governors might, at least, only plunder to enrich themselves, and not to bribe their judges. But Verres was condemned, and not even awaiting his sentence, escaped with his treasures to Massilia.
152. At the end of his consulship, Pompey did not accept a province, but remained quietly in Rome, taking no part in public affairs. An increasing danger soon demanded the exercise of his talents. Since the destruction of the naval power of Carthage, Syria, and Egypt, the pirates of the Cilician coast had cruised unchecked throughout the Mediterranean, and had even been encouraged by Mithridates and Sertorius in their enmity against Rome. They captured the corn-ships, plundered the wealthiest cities, and even attacked Roman dignity in its most imposing form, by carrying off great magistrates, with their trains of attendants, from the Appian Way.
The crisis demanded extraordinary measures, and, in B. C. 67, Pompey was intrusted with absolute and irresponsible control of the Mediterranean, with a district extending tifty miles inland from its coasts, and with unlimited command of ships, money, and men. The price of provisions fell instantly upon his appointment, showing the confidence which his great ability had inspired. In forty days he had swept the western sea, and restored the broken communication between Italy, Africa, and Spain. Then sailing from Brundisium, he cleared the sea to the eastward, hunting the corsairs from all their inlets by means of the several squadrons under his fifteen lieutenants, and winning many to voluntary submission by his merciful treatment of the prisoners who fell into his hands.
The final battle took place near the Cilician coast, above which, on the heights of Mount Taurus, the pirates had placed their families and their plunder. They were defeated ; 10,000 men were slain, their arsenals, magazines, and 1,300 vessels destroyed, while 400 ships and 20,000 prisoners were taken. Pompey showed no less wisdom in disposing of his captives than energy in defeating them. They were settled in isolated towns, and provided with honest employment; and as a result of the short and decisive conflict of three months, the Mediterranean remained safe and open to peaceful traffic for many years.
153. The Mithridatic War, though conducted with great ability by Lucullus, had become disastrous to the Romans; and a new law, proposed by Manil'ius, now extended Pompey's jurisdiction over all the forces in Asia, with power to make war, peace, or alliance with the several kings at his own discretion. Within a year, B. C. 66, he received the submission of the king of Armenia, and drove Mithridates beyond the Cau'casus. He deposed the last of the Seleucidæ, and placed Syria, as well as Pontus and Bithynia, under provincial management.
As centers of Roman or Greek civilization, he founded thirty-nine new cities, beside rebuilding or reviving many old ones. Among the former was Nicop'olis — “the city of victory” – which he caused to be built as a home for his veteran soldiers, on the site of the decisive overthrow of Mithridates. He subdued Phænicia and Palestine, B. C. 63, captured the temple-fortress of Jerusalem by a siege of three months, and established Hyrcanus as “high priest and ruler of the people.” The next year he returned to Italy in a long triumphal procession.
RECAPITULATION. Death of Drusus is followed by the Social War, in the victorious ending of which Sulla gains great glory. Marius interferes by violence with his appoint. ment to command in the war against Pontus. Sulla overpowers the city by his legions, and Marius becomes an exile. After Sulla's departure he returns, cap. tures Rome, and massacres his opponents, but dies soon after the beginning of his seventh consulship. Sulla, returning triumphant from the East, defeats the new consuls and their allies, and by his proscriptions makes havoc with life and property at Romne. As dictator, he restores the aristocratic government of the early Republic. He dies in retirement, B. C. 78. Sertorius, ten years sovereign in Spain, is opposed by Pompey, and murdered, B. C. 72. War of the gladiators, under Spartacus, fills all Italy with terror, B. C. 73-71. It is ended by Crassus, who, with Ponipey the Great, becomes consul for B. C. 70. Cicero impeaches Verres for extortion in Sicily. Pompey, intrusted with extraordinary powers by the Gabinian law, destroys the Cilician pirates; then completes the Pontic War, and establishes Roman dominion in western Asia.
CONQUESTS OF JULIUS CÆSAR.
154. Rome, meanwhile, had narrowly escaped ruin from the iniquitous schemes of one of her own nobles. L. Ser’ģius Catili'na, a man of ancient family, but worthless character and ruined fortunes, seized the time when all the troops were absent from Italy, to plot with other nobles, as wicked and turbulent as himself, for the overthrow of the government. The new consuls were to be murdered on the day of their inauguration. Catiline and Autro'nius were to take the supreme command in Italy, and Piso was to lead an army into Spain. The first plot failed through the imprudence of its leader; but a second, of still bolder and more comprehensive character, was formed. Eleven senators were drawn into the conspiracy; magazines of arms were formed, and troops levied in various parts of the peninsula. The wide-spread discontent of the people with the existing government aided the success of the movement; and, in the end, slaves, gladiators, and even criminals from the common prisons, were to be liberated and armed.
The secret was kept by a vast number of persons for eighteen months, but the main features of the plot were at length made known to Cicero, then consul, and by his vigilance and prudence it was completely foiled. He confronted Catiline in the Senate — where the archi conspirator had the boldness to take his usual place -- with an oration, in which he laid open with unsparing vehemence the minutest circumstances of the plot. The convicted ringleader fled from Rome in the night, and placed himself at the head of his two legions, hoping yet to strike an effective blow before the levies ordered by the Senate could be fit for service. His chief accomplices were seized and strangled in prison, by order of the Senate, while he himself was followed and defeated in Etruria by the proconsul Antonius. The battle was decisive. Catiline fell fighting far in advance of his troops, and 3,000 of his followers perished with him. No free Roman was taken alive. B. C. 62.
155. Though this daring conspiracy was thus happily crushed, the weakness and disorder of society alarmed the best and wisest citizens. It was feared that some man of commanding talent might yet succeed where Catiline had failed, and overthrow the liberties of Rome. Pompey, now returning with his victorious legions from the East, was the immediate object of dread to the Senate and aristocratic party. But he quieted apprehension by disbanding his army as soon as he touched the soil of Italy, and proceeded slowly to Rome accompanied by only a few friends. They could not refuse his claim to a triumph, and from the number and extent of his victories, this pageant was the most imposing that Rome had ever seen. Although there was no army to lengthen the procession, it occupied two days in passing through the city. The inscriptions enumerated 22 kings and 12,000,000 of people as conquered; 800 ships, nearly 900 towns, and 1,000 fortresses taken; and the Roman revenues nearly doubled.
By an unusual act of clemency, Pompey spared the lives of all his captives, and dismissed to their homes all except Aristobulus, of Judæa, and the young Tigranes, of Armenia, who were detained lest they should stir up revolts in their respective countries. But though the aristocrats of the Senate had taken part in the public honors paid to Pompey, they could not forget that his appointment in the East had been in defiance of their opposition. His demands of allotments of land to his veterans, and for himself a second consulship and the ratification of his official acts, were refused; and Pompey, to redeem his pledges to his soldiers, now made an alliance with an abler man, and one far more dangerous to the old order of things — if the Senate could but have foreseen it than himself. B. C. 60.
156. Caius Julius Cæsar had been proscribed in his eighteenth year, because he had refused to put away his young wife, Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, at the command of Sulla. He was for a time a fugitive in danger of death, but his friends at length, with great difficulty, procured his pardon from the dictator, on the plea of his youth and insignificance. Sulla was more discerning; he remarked, “That boy will some day be the ruin of the aristocracy, for there are many Marii in him.”
Upon the death of his aunt Julia, the widow of Marius, Cæsar defied the law which had pronounced her husband an enemy of the state, by causing his waxen image to be carried in the funeral procession. It was welcomed by the people with loud acclamations. In his ædileship, three years later -- which, in the magnificence of the games celebrated, and the buildings erected at his own expense, surpassed all that had preceded it --- Caesar ventured upon a bolder step. He replaced in the Capitol, during one night, the statues of Marius, and the representations of his victories in Africa and Gaul, which had been removed by Sulla. When morning dawned, the common people and the veterans of Marius wept and shouted for joy at the re-appearance of the well-known features, and greeted Caesar with rapturous applause. Though formally accused in the Senate of violating a law, he could not be condemned against the voice of the people.
157. Dignities and honors followed in rapid succession. He became pontifex maximus in 63 B. C.; prætor, in 62; and at the end of his prætorship he obtained the government of Farther Spain. In this first military command he acquired not only wealth for himself and his soldiers, but great reputation by subduing the Lusitanian mountaineers. On his return, he desired both a triumph and the consulship; but he could not obtain the one if he entered the city before it was decreed, nor the other without being personally present at the approaching election; so he abandoned the showy for the solid advantage, and was duly chosen consul, with Bib’ulus, a tool of the Senate, for his colleague.
158. He now managed to detach Pompey from the senatorial party, and form with him and Crassus a triumvirate, which, though only a secret agreement, not a public magistracy, ruled the Roman world for several years. The power of Crassus was due to his enormous wealth ; that of Pompey, to his great military services; and that of Cæsar, to his unequaled genius and unbounded popularity. Their combined influence was soon felt in the official acts of Cæsar. He brought forward an Agrarian law for dividing the rich public lands of Campania among the poorest citizens. It was passed against the violent opposition of Bibulus and all the aristocratic party; a commission of twenty, with Pompey and Crassus at its head, was appointed to divide the lands, and the veterans thus obtained most of their claims.
The defeated consul, who had declared that he would rather die than yield, now shut himself up in his house, and never re-appeared in public until his year of office had expired. Cæsar obtained a ratification of all Pompey's acts in Asia, and, at the same time, attached the equites to his party, by giving them more favorable terms in farming the provincial
At the close of his consulship he obtained the government of Illyricum and Gaul, on both sides of the Alps, for a term of five years, with a general commission to “protect the friends and allies of the Roman people.”
159. The religious and national bond between the many Celtic tribes which inhabited the ancient territories of Britain, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and a part of Spain, was strong enough to unite them, now and then, in resistance to their common enemies, the Germans on the north and the Romans on the south, but not strong enough to prevent rivalries among themselves, which often gave the foreign power room to interfere in their affairs. The Roman province, founded B. C. 121, now extended northward along the Rhone as far as Geneva; and a great emigration of Germans had occupied territories west of the Rhine, from the neighborhood of the modern Strasbourg to the German Ocean.
160. During his first summer in Gaul, Cæsar, by the extraordinary swiftness and decision of his movements, subdued two nations and established