Plutarch • Life of Crassus
Luckily for Pompey, his relations with the judge's daughter, Antistia, brought first triumvirate was an informal alliance between Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus. Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar formed the unofficial and at first secret “First Triumvirate. He refused further offers from Caesar of a marriage alliance. B.C. - Caesar, Crassus and Pompey and The First Triumvirate another pair allied themselves only tenuously through marriage.
Finally, in a second tribunate, he hoped to give citizenship to Latins and Latin rights to other Italians, with the help of Flaccus who, though a distinguished former consul, took the unique step of becoming tribune. But a consul and a tribune of together persuaded the citizen voters that it was against their interests to share the privileges of citizenship: Inpreparing as private citizens to use force to oppose the cancellation of some of their laws, Gaius and Flaccus were killed in a riot, and many of their followers were executed.
During the next decade the measures benefiting the people were largely abolished, though the Gracchan land distributions, converted into private property, did temporarily strengthen the Roman citizen peasantry.
The court seems to have worked better than before, and, during the next generation, several other standing criminal courts were instituted, as were occasional ad hoc tribunals, always with the same class of jurors.
In a law adding senators to the juries was passed, but it remained in force for only a short time. It would be mere paradox to deny the importance in republican Rome, as in better known aristocratic republics, of family feuds, alliances, and policies, and parts of the picture are known—e. In foreign affairs the client kingdom of Numidia —loyal ever since its institution by Scipio Africanus—assumed quite unwarranted importance when a succession crisis developed there soon after However, two of them soon died, and power fell to the eldest, Micipsa, who himself had two sons.
Micipsa also adopted Jugurthathe natural son of his brother Mastanabal. The war was waged reluctantly and ineffectively, with the result that charges of bribery were freely bandied about by demagogic tribunes taking advantage of suspicion of aristocratic political behaviour that had smoldered ever since the Gracchan crisis.
Significantly, some eminent men, hated from those days, were now convicted of corruption. The Metelli, however, emerged unscathed, and Quintus Metellus, consul inwas entrusted with the war in Africa. He waged it with obvious competence but failed to finish it and thus gave Gaius Mariusa senior officer, his chance. The career of Gaius Marius Marius, born of an equestrian family at Arpinum, had attracted the attention of Scipio Aemilianus as a young soldier and, by shrewd political opportunism, had risen to the praetorship and married into the patrician family of the Julii Caesares.
Though Marius had deeply offended the Metelli, once his patrons, his considerable military talents had induced Quintus Metellus to take him to Africa as a legatus. Marius intrigued against his commander in order to gain a consulship; he was elected chiefly with the help of the equites and antiaristocratic tribunes for and was given charge of the war by special vote of the people. He did little better than Metellus had, but in his quaestor Lucius Sulla, in delicate and dangerous negotiations, brought about the capture of Jugurtha, opportunely winning the war for Marius and Rome.
During the preceding decade a serious threat to Italy had developed in the north. Starting inseveral Roman commanders Marcus Flaccus has been noted had fought against Ligurian and Gallic tribes in southern France and had finally established a Roman sphere of influence there: But, unwilling to extend administrative responsibilities, the Senate had refused to establish a regular provincia.
Then some migrating German tribes, chief of them the Cimbriafter defeating a Roman consul, invaded southern France, attracting native sympathy and finding little effective Roman opposition. Two more consular armies suffered defeat, and in October a consul and proconsul with their forces were destroyed at Orange. There was panic in Rome, allayed only by the firm action of the other consul, Publius Rutilius Rufus.
After a brilliant triumph that restored Roman morale, he took over the army prepared and trained by Rutilius. He was reelected consul year after year, while the German tribes delayed attacking Italy. Another triumph and a sixth consulship in were his reward. In his first consulship, Marius had taken a step of great and probably unrecognized importance: This radical solution was thenceforth generally imitated, and conscription became confined to emergencies such as the Social and Civil wars.
At the same time, Rutilius introduced arms drill and reformed the selection of senior officers. Various tactical reforms in due course led to the increasing prominence of the cohort one-tenth of a legion as a tactical unit and the total reliance on non-Roman auxiliaries for light-armed and cavalry service. The precise development of these reforms cannot be traced, but they culminated in the much more effective armies of Pompey and Caesar.
But neither he nor the Senate seemed aware of any responsibilities to the veterans.
Marius agreed, and the large lots distributed to his veterans both Roman and Italian turned out to be the beginning of the Romanization of Africa.
But this time Saturninus exacted a high price. He planned to seek reelection for 99, with Glaucia illegally gaining the consulship. Violence and even murder were freely used to accomplish these aims.
Marius now had to make a choice. Saturninus and Glaucia might secure him the continuing favour of the plebs and perhaps the equites, though they might also steal it for themselves.
But as the saviour of his country and six times consul, he now hoped to become an elder statesman princepsaccepted and honoured by those who had once looked down on him as an upstart. To this end he had long laboured, dealing out favours to aristocrats who might make useful allies. This was the reward Marius desired for his achievement; he never thought of revolution or tyranny.
Hence, when called on to save the state from his revolutionary allies, he could not refuse. He imprisoned them and their armed adherents and did not prevent their being lynched. Yet, having saved the oligarchy from revolution, he received little reward; he lost the favour of the plebs, while the oligarchsin view of both his birth and his earlier unscrupulous ambition, refused to accept him as their equal. Before long a face-saving compromise was found, and Marius returned; but in the 90s he played no major part.
The oligarchy could not forgive Marius.
Wars and dictatorship c. Mithradates VIking of Pontushad built a large empire around the Black Sea and was probing and intriguing in the Roman sphere of influence. Marius had met him and had given him a firm warning, temporarily effective: Mithradates had proper respect for Roman power. It was on this occasion that Sulla received a Parthian embassy—the first contact between the two powers. But dissatisfaction in the Roman province of Asia gave new hope to Mithradates.
When the Senate realized the danger, it sent its most distinguished jurist, Quintus Mucius Scaevola consul in 95 and pontifex maximuson an unprecedented mission to reorganize Asia Various leading senators were at once vexatiously prosecuted, and political chaos threatened. Developments in Italy The 90s also saw dangerous developments in Italy. In the 2nd century bc, Italians as a whole had shown little desire for Roman citizenship and had been remarkably submissive under exploitation and ill-treatment.
The most active of their governing class flourished in overseas business, and the more traditionally minded were content to have their oligarchic rule supported by Rome. Their admission to citizenship had been proposed as a by-product of the Gracchan reforms.
By it had become clear that the Roman people agreed with the oligarchy in rejecting it. The sacrifices demanded of Italy in the Numidian and German wars probably increased dissatisfaction among Italians with their patently inferior status. Marius gave citizenship to some as a reward for military distinction—illegally, but his standing auctoritas sufficed to defend his actions. Saturninus admitted Italians to veteran settlements and tried to gain citizenship for some by full admission to Roman colonies.
The censors of 97—96, aristocrats connected with Marius, shared his ideas and freely placed eminent Italians on the citizen registers. This might have allayed dissatisfaction, but the consuls of 95 passed a law purging the rolls and providing penalties for those guilty of fraudulent arrogation. The result was insecurity and danger for many leading Italians.
By 92 there was talk of violence and conspiracy among desperate men. It was in these circumstances that the eminent young noble, Marcus Livius Drususbecame tribune for 91 and hoped to solve the menacing accumulation of problems by means of a major scheme of reforms.
He attracted the support of the poor by agrarian and colonial legislation and tried to have all Italians admitted to citizenship and to solve the jury problem by a compromise: To cope with the increase in business it would need this expansion in size.
Some leading senators, frightened at the dangerous situation that had developed, gave weighty support. Had Drusus succeeded, the poor and the Italians might have been satisfied; the equites, deprived of their most ambitious element by promotion, might have acquiesced; and the Senate, always governed by the prestige of the noble principes rather than by votes and divisions, could have returned, little changed by the infusion of new blood, to its leading position in the process of government.
Some members of each class affected were more conscious of the loss than of the gain; and an active consul, Lucius Philippus, provided leadership for their disparate opposition. Finally he himself was assassinated. The first year of the Social War 90 was dangerous: Fortunately all but one of the Latin cities—related to Rome by blood and tradition and specially favoured by Roman law—remained loyal: Moreover, Rome now showed its old ability to act quickly and wisely in emergencies: The measure came in time to head off major revolts in Umbria and Etruria, which accepted at once.
A Roman embassy restored them, and he withdrew. However, when the envoys incited Bithynian incursions into his territory, Mithradates launched a major offensive; he overran the two kingdoms and invaded Roman territory, where he attracted the sympathy of the natives by executing thousands of Italians and defeating and capturing the Roman commanders in the area.
In Rome, various men, including Marius, had hoped for the Eastern command. But it went to Sullaelected consul for 88 after distinguished service in the Social War. Finding the oligarchy firmly opposed, he gained the support of Marius who still commanded much loyalty for his plans by having the Eastern command transferred to him.
He occupied the city and executed Sulpicius; Marius and others escaped. The end of the republic was foreshadowed. Having cowed Rome into acquiescence and having passed some legislation, Sulla left for the East. Resisted by his colleague Octavius, he left Rome to collect an army and, with the help of Marius, occupied the city after a siege. The policy now changed to one of reconciliation: After wintering his troops in the rich cities of Asia, Sulla crossed into Greece and then into Italy, where his veteran army broke all resistance and occupied Rome Wherever in Italy he had met resistance, land was expropriated and given to his soldiers for settlement.
While the terror prevailed, Sulla used his powers to put through a comprehensive program of reform His reforms aimed chiefly at stabilizing Senate authority by removing alternative centres of power. The jury reform of Gaius Gracchus, seen by some leading senators as the prime cause of political disintegration, could now be undone, and the criminal courts could once more become a monopoly of senators.
Now Licinia was the owner of a pleasant villa in the suburbs which Crassus wished to get at a low price, and it was for this reason that he was forever hovering about the woman and paying his court to her, until he fell under the abominable suspicion.
And in a way it was his avarice that absolved him from the charge of corrupting the vestal, and he was acquitted by the judges. But he did not let Licinia go until he had acquired her property. The chief proofs of his avarice are found in the way he got his property and in the amount of it. For when Sulla took the city and sold the property of those whom he had put to death, considering it and calling it spoil of war, and wishing to defile with his crime as many and as influential men as he could, Crassus was never tired of accepting or of buying it.
Then, when he had over five hundred of these, he would buy houses that were afire, and houses which adjoined those that were afire, and these their owners would let go at a trifling price owing to their fear and uncertainty. In this way the largest part of Rome came into his possession. For household management, as we see, is a branch of finance in so far as it deals with lifeless things; but a branch of politics when it deals with men.
Far different was the opinion of Marius, who said, after distributing to each of his veterans fourteen acres of land and discovering that they desired more, "May no Roman ever think that land too small which suffices to maintain him. When he entertained at table, his invited guests were for the most part plebeians and men of the people, and the simplicity of the repast was combined with a neatness and good cheer which gave more pleasure than lavish expenditure. For there was no case, they say, however trifling and even contemptible it might be, which he undertook without preparation, but often, when Pompey and Caesar and Cicero were unwilling to plead, he would perform all the duties of an advocate.
And on this account he became more popular than they, being esteemed a careful man, and one who was ready with his help. For he never met a Roman so obscure and lowly that he did not return his greeting and call him by name. It is said also that he was well versed in history, and was something of a philosopher withal, attaching himself to the doctrines of Aristotle, in which he had Alexander 5 as a teacher. At any rate he was the only one of the friends of Crassus who always accompanied him when he went abroad, and then he would receive a cloak for the journey, which would be reclaimed on his return.
But this was later on. Crassus himself, being very young, escaped the immediate peril, but perceiving that he was surrounded on all sides by the huntsmen of the tyrants, he took with him three friends and ten servants and fled with exceeding speed into Spain, where he had been before, while his father was praetor there, and had made friends.
Instead, he plunged into some fields along the sea-shore belonging to Vibius Paciacus. In these there was a spacious cave, where he hid himself. However, since his provisions were now running low, and wishing to sound the man, he sent a slave to Vibius. The air inside is dry and pure, owing to the thickness of the rock, which deflects all moisture and dripping water into the spring. He himself did not see the party of the cave, nor even know who they were, but he was seen by them, since they knew and were on the watch for the time of his coming.
Now, the meals were abundant, and so prepared as to gratify the taste and not merely satisfy hunger. So he took with him two comely female slaves and went down towards the sea. When he came to the place of the cave, he showed them the path up to it, and bade them go inside and fear nothing.
- Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
He asked them, accordingly, who they were and what they wanted. They answered, as instructed, that they were in search of a master who was hidden there.
Fenestella 7 says that he saw one of these slaves himself, when she was now an old woman, and often heard her mention this episode and rehearse its details with zest.
Many flocked to his standard, out of whom he selected twenty-five hundred men, and went about visiting the cities. One of these, Malaca, he plundered, as many writers testify, but they say that he himself denied the charge and quarrelled with those who affirmed it. However, he remained there no long time, but after dissension with Metellus set out and joined Sulla, with whom he stood in a position of special honour.
Crassus, being sent out to raise a force among the Marsi, asked for an escort, since his road would take him past the enemy. For although Pompey was the younger man, and the son of a father who had been in ill repute at Rome and hated most bitterly by his fellow-citizens, still, in the events of this time his talents shone forth conspicuously, and he was seen to be great, so that Sulla paid him honours not very often accorded to men who were older and of equal rank with himself, rising at his approach, uncovering his head, and saluting him as Imperator.
For he was lacking in experience, and his achievements were robbed of their favour by the innate curses of avarice and meanness which beset him. However, during the proscriptions and public confiscations which ensued, he got a bad name again, by purchasing great estates at a low price, and asking donations.
And yet Crassus was most expert in winning over all men by his flatteries; on the other hand, he himself was an easy prey to flattery from anybody. And this too is said to have been a peculiarity of his, that, most avaricious as he was himself, he particularly hated and abused those who were like him. And once when some one said: But in dignity of person, persuasiveness of speech, and winning grace of feature, both were said to be alike gifted.
It is true that once when Caesar had been captured by pirates in Asia and was held a close prisoner by them, 9 he exclaimed: He made very many changes in his political views, and was neither a steadfast friend nor an implacable enemy, but readily abandoned both his favours and his resentments at the dictates of his interests, so that, frequently, within a short space of time, the same men and the same measures found in him both an advocate and an opponent.
Pompey the Great | Roman statesman | btcmu.info
At any rate, Sicinnius, who gave the greatest annoyance to the magistrates and popular leaders of his day, when asked why Crassus was the only one whom he let alone and did not worry, said that the man had hay on his horn. Now the Romans used to coil hay about the horn of an ox that gored, so that those who encountered it might be on their guard. On the road they fell in with waggons conveying gladiators' weapons to another city; these they plundered and armed themselves.
Then they took up a strong position and elected three leaders. The first of these was Spartacus, a Thracian of Nomadic stock, a possessed not only of great courage and strength, but also in sagacity and culture superior to his fortune, and more Hellenic than Thracian.
This woman shared in his escape and was then living with him. But the top of the hill was covered with a wild vine of abundant growth, from which the besieged cut off the serviceable branches, and wove these into strong ladders of such strength and length that when they were fastened at the top they reached along the face of the cliff to the plain below.
On these they descended safely, all but one man, who remained above to attend to the arms. When the rest had got down, he began to drop the arms, and after he had thrown them all down, got away himself also last of all in safety. They were also joined by many of the herdsmen and shepherds of the region, sturdy men and swift of foot, some of whom they armed fully, and employed others as scouts and light infantry.
It was now no longer the indignity and disgrace of the revolt that harassed the senate, but they were constrained by their fear and peril to send both consuls into the field, as they would to a war of the utmost difficulty and magnitude.
Then, as he was forcing his way towards the Alps, he was met by Cassius, the governor of Cisalpine Gaul, with an army of ten thousand men, and in the battle that ensued, Cassius was defeated, lost many men, and escaped himself with difficulty. Crassus gave Mummius himself a rough reception, and when he armed his soldiers anew, made them give pledges that they would keep their arms. Five hundred of them, moreover, who had shown the greatest cowardice and been first to fly, he divided into fifty decades, and put to death one from each decade, on whom the lot fell, thus reviving, after the lapse of many years, an ancient mode of punishing the soldiers.
When he had thus disciplined his men, he led them against the enemy. But Spartacus avoided him, and retired through Lucania to the sea. At the Straits, he chanced upon some Cilician pirate craft, and determined to seize Sicily. By throwing two thousand men into the island, he thought to kindle anew the servile war there, 12 which had not long been extinguished, and needed only a little additional fuel.
So Spartacus marched back again from the sea and established his army in the peninsula of Rhegium. Above the ditch he also built a wall of astonishing height and strength. This lake, they say, changes from time to time in the character of its water, becoming sweet, and then again bitter and undrinkable. Once back in Italy, Pompey avoided siding with popular elements against the Optimates.
He was no revolutionary. He wanted all classes to recognize him as first citizen, available for further large-scale services to the state. He had divorced his third wife, Mucia, allegedly for adultery with Caesar, and now proposed to ally himself by marriage to the party of the young senatorial leader Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger.
But the nobles were closing their ranks against him, and his offer was rebuffed. It was to become more than a mere election compact. It would strain all the resources of the triumvirs to wrest one consulship from the Optimates; their continued solidarity was essential if they were to secure what Caesar gained for them in Caesar, for his part, wanted a long-term command. Caesar, once consul, immediately forced through a land bill and, shortly after, another appropriating public lands in Campania.
The year 56 was a critical one for the triumvirs. The nobles concocted religious impediments to prevent the dispatch of Pompey on a military mission to Egyptwhile Publius Clodius contrived to persuade Pompey that Crassus had designs on his life.
The Luca conference 56 prepared the ground for the next phase of cooperation: The three secured their ends by violence and corruption after a prolonged struggle.
Early in 55 Pompey and Crassus were at last elected consuls, with most of the lesser magistracies going to their supporters. Caesar obtained the extension of his command, while Pompey and Crassus received commands in Spain and Syria, respectively. Pompey could stay on in Italy and govern his provinces by deputies.
Pompey the Great
But their cooperation was coming to an end. The death of Julia 54 destroyed the strongest bond between Pompey and Caesar, and Crassus suffered disastrous defeat and death in Mesopotamia. The compact existed no longer, but Pompey as yet showed no inclination to break with Caesar. Civil war Meanwhile, from outside the walls of Rome, Pompey watched the anarchy in the city becoming daily more intolerable.
He was prepared to wait without committing himself until the Optimates found an alliance with him unavoidable. He refused further offers from Caesar of a marriage alliance.
There was talk in Rome as early as 54 of a dictatorship for Pompey. Street violence made it impossible to hold the elections.
In January 52 Clodius was killed by armed followers of Titus Annius Milowhose candidacy for the consulship was being bitterly opposed by both Pompey and Clodius. Now both factions exploded into even greater violence. The senate house was burned down by the mob. With no senior magistrates in office, the Senate had to call on Pompey to restore order. It was the hour he had waited for. He speedily summoned troops from Italy. The nobles would not have him as dictator; they thought it safer to appoint him sole consul.