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Pompey Chapter 18: Pompey versus Sertorius[76-71 BC]
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When Pompey was arrived in Spain, as is usual upon the fame of a new leader, men began to be inspired with new hopes, and those nations that had not entered into a very strict alliance with Sertorius, began to waver and revolt; whereupon Sertorius uttered various arrogant and scornful speeches against Pompey, saying in derision, that he should want no other weapon but a ferula and rod to chastise this boy with, if he were not afraid of that old woman, meaning Metellus. Yet in deed and reality he stood in awe of Pompey, and kept on his guard against him, as appeared by his whole management of the war, which he was observed to conduct much more warily than before; for Metellus, which one would not have imagined, was grown excessively luxurious in his habits having given himself over to self-indulgence and pleasure, and from a moderate and temperate, became suddenly a sumptuous and ostentatious liver, so that this very thing gained Pompey great reputation and goodwill, as he made himself somewhat specially an example of frugality, although that virtue was habitual in him, and required no great industry to exercise it, as he was naturally inclined to temperance, and no ways inordinate in his desires. The fortune of the war was very various; nothing however annoyed Pompey so much as the taking of the town of Lauron by Sertorius. For when Pompey thought he had him safe inclosed, and had boasted somewhat largely of raising the siege, he found himself all of a sudden encompassed; insomuch that he durst not move out of his camp, but was forced to sit still whilst the city was taken and burnt before his face. However, afterwards in a battle near Valentia, he gave great defeat to Herennius [Note 1] and Perpenna, two commanders among the refugees who had fled to Sertorius, and now lieutenants under him, in which he slew above ten thousand men. |
Note 1: Maybe another Herennnius.