The people of Rome seem to have entertained for Pompey from his childhood, the same affection that Prometheus in the tragedy of Aeschylus expresses for Hercules, speaking of him as the author of his deliverance, in these words, [Note 1]|
Ah cruel Sire! how dear thy son to me!
The generous offspring of my enemy!For on the one hand, never did the Romans give such demonstrations of a vehement and fierce hatred against any of their generals, as they did against Strabo, the father of Pompey; during whose lifetime, it is true, they stood in awe of his military power, as indeed he was a formidable warrior, but immediately upon his death, which happened by a stroke of thunder, they treated him with the utmost contumely, dragging his corpse from the bier, as it was carried to his funeral. On the other side, never had any Roman the people's good-will and devotion more zealous throughout all the changes of fortune, more early in its first springing up, or more steadily rising with his prosperity, or more constant in his adversity, than Pompey had. In Strabo, there was one great cause of their hatred, his insatiable covetousness; in Pompey, there were many that helped to make him the object of their love; his temperance, his skill, and exercise in war, his eloquence of speech, integrity of mind and affability in conversation and address; insomuch that no man ever asked a favor with less offense, or conferred one with a better grace. When he gave, it was without assumption, when he received, it was with dignity and honor.
Note 1: Prometheus Unbound