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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

on Rome. A payment of six thousand talents was extorted as the price of

peace; while Syria, Phoenicia, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Lower Cilicia were

detached from his territorial dominions.

Pompeius now found time to pursue Mithridates. In the course of the autumn

he made his way as far as the river Cyrus, where he established his army

for the winter. In B. C. 65 he continued his way northward, subduing the

mountain tribes of Albania until he reached the Phasis, which he followed

to the sea. There he was joined by his fleet, and afterwards turned back

into Pontus. In the years B. C. 64-63 he subdued Syria, Phoenicia, and

Palestine. He found the latter country engaged in a fierce civil broil

under the two leaders, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. The latter held the city

of Jerusalem, which Pompeius besieged and captured after a three month

investment. The dispute about the high priesthood was decided in favor of

Hyrcanus, who became tributary to the Romans.

The invincible Mithridates had availed himself of the opportunity afforded

by Pompeius's absence to attempt to regain his kingdom. His ambition

extended even to an imagined conquest of Italy, which was to be

accomplished with an army of Scythians; but before the now aged king could

make any progress in this undertaking, he was surprised by the rebellion of

his son Pharnaces. Thus menaced on one side by foreign foes and on the

other by filial ingratitude, he sought refuge in self-destruction.

Foreseeing such an emergency he had, for many years, experimented with

poisons, until, as is related, they lost their power upon him, leaving him

invulnerable except to more brutal agents. He accordingly induced a

mercenary Gaul to run him through with his sword. He had been king of

Pontus for fifty-seven years, and during the larger part of this period had

been the terror of the Romans in the East.

The death of Mithridates left Pompeius complete master of Asia Minor. It

only remained to settle the affairs of the province on a basis satisfactory

to the conqueror. To this end he appointed Aemilius Scaurus governor of

Syria. Pharnaces, the rebel son of Mithridates, was recognized as a king

tributary to the Romans. A general pacification ensued in which the whole

country as far as the Euphrates was reorganized into convenient districts

as dependencies of Rome. Pompeius then set out on his return to the

capital, and proceeding by easy stages arrived there in the beginning of

B.C. 61.

On returning to Rome he found the country in a ruinous condition. The old

question of land ownership had again revived in its most dangerous aspect.

The agricultural interest had once more been driven to the wall by the

aggressions of the Optimates and capitalists. The veterans of Sulla, alike

unable and indisposed to manage the lands which had been assigned them by

the Republic, had squandered their farms, joined the Proletarians, and were

strolling in bands through the country, ready to repeat the story of the

proscription and confiscation. The Senate had sunk into a condition of

imbecility, and the equestrian order, during the absence of Pompeius, had

found no leader of commanding influence in the state. Meanwhile the

tribunes continued their assaults upon the hereditary privileges of the

nobility, while the latter, generally headed by the consuls, endeavored to

maintain their time-honored prerogatives by impeaching the officers of the

popular party. At no previous time in the history of Rome had the old

aristocracy and the new power known as the People stood out in a more

clearly defined antagonism to each other than at the present. Such was the

condition of affairs while Pompeius was consummating his work in the East.

At this time occurred the great conspiracy of Lucius Sergius Catiline. The

insurrection found its pabulum in the fact of debt and inability to pay.

The profligacy and recklessness which prevailed in all ranks of society had

been especially ruinous to the young patricians. They had wasted their

estates in excesses and rioting. No kind of revenues could support the

extravagant expenditure