CHAPTER XXVI. SERTORIUS. - SPARTACUS. - LUCULLUS. - POMPEY AND CRASSUS.
Quintus Sertorius (121-72), a native of the little Sabine village of Nursia under the Apennines, had joined the party of Marius, and served under him in the campaigns against the Cimbri and Teutones. In 97 he served in Spain, and became acquainted with the country with which his fame is chiefly associated. In 91 he was Quaestor in Cisalpine Gaul. He was a partisan of Marius during his troubles with Sulla, and on Sulla's return from the East he left Rome for Spain, where he took the lead of the Marian party. His bravery, kindness, and eloquence pleased the Spaniards. Many Roman refugees and deserters joined him. He defeated one of Sulla's generals, and drove out of Lusitania (Portugal) METELLUS PIUS,[Footnote: Son of Metellus Numidicus. He received the agnomen of Pius on account of the love which he displayed for his father, whom he begged the people to recall from banishment in 99.] who had been specially sent against him from Rome.
The object of Sertorius was to establish a government in Spain after the Roman model. He formed a Senate of three hundred members, and founded at Osca a school for native children. He was strict and severe towards his soldiers, but kind to the people. A white fawn was his favorite pet and constant follower. He ruled Spain for six years. In 77 he was joined by PERPERNA a Roman officer. The same year Pompey, then a young man, was sent to co-operate with Metellus. Sertorius proved more than a match for both of these generals, and defeated them near Saguntum.
The position of the Romans was becoming critical, for Sertorius now formed a league with the pirates of the Mediterranean. He also entered into negotiations with Mithradátes, and opened correspondence with the slaves in Italy, who were rebelling.
But intrigues and jealousies arose in his camp. The outcome of these was that he was treacherously murdered by Perperna at a banquet in 72, and with his death fell the Marian party in Spain.
Meanwhile a dangerous enemy was threatening Italy within her own borders. In 73 a band of gladiators, under the leadership of one of their number, named SPARTACUS escaped from the training school at Capua and took up a strong position on Mount Vesuvius. They were joined by large numbers of slaves and outcasts of every description, and were soon in a position to defeat two Praetors who were sent against them.
The next year they assumed the offensive; and Spartacus found himself at the head of 100,000 men. Four generals sent against him were defeated; and for two years he ravaged Italy at will, and even threatened Rome. But intestine division showed itself in his ranks; his lieutenants grew jealous of him, and his strength began to wane.
In 71 the command of the war was given to CRASSUS, who finished it in six months. Spartacus fell, fighting bravely, near Brundisium. Pompey, returning from the Sertorian war in Spain, met five thousand of those who had escaped from the array of Spartacus. These he slew to a man. Crassus pointed the moral of his victory by hanging, along the road from Rome to Capua, six thousand captives whom he had taken.
Mithradátes meanwhile, taking advantage of the troubles at Rome, was again in arms, and in 74 LUCIUS LICINIUS LUCULLUS was sent against him.
Lucullus, of plebeian birth, first distinguished himself in the Social War, where he gained the favor of Sulla, and accompanied him, as Quaestor, in his campaign against Mithradátes in 88. With Cotta he was chosen to the consulship in 74. The province of Cilicia was assigned to him, Bithynia to Cotta. Mithradátes invaded Bithynia, defeated Cotta, and besieged him at Chalcédon.
Lucullus, after reorganizing and disciplining his army, went to the aid of his colleague, drove the king into Pontus, and defeated him at Cabíra in 72, and his fleet at Tenedos in 71, compelling him to take refuge with his son-in-law, TIGRÁNES, King of Armenia.
Lucullus endeavored to work reforms in the administration of provincial governments in the East. The revenues of the provinces were farmed out, and the measures of Lucullus were intended to protect the tax-payers against the tax-gatherers (publicani). His reforms met with bitter opposition at Rome, especially from the Equites, whose chief source of income was often this same tax-farming. Intrigues against him by persons sent from Rome began to create dissatisfaction among his troops. He had been a severe disciplinarian, and so it was all the easier to turn the soldiers against him.
In 68 he won a victory over Tigránes and Mithradátes, at the river Arsanias; but his legions refused to follow him farther, and he was obliged to lead them into winter quarters in Mesopotamia. The next year his soldiers again mutinied, and he was replaced by Pompey.
Returning to Rome, Lucullus spent the rest of his days in retirement, dying about 57. He was very rich, and was famed for the luxurious dinners which he gave.
POMPEY AND CRASSUS.
The Sullan system stood for nine years, and was then overthrown, as it had been established, by a soldier. It was the fortune of Pompey, a favorite officer of Sulla, to cause the first violation of the laws laid down by his general.