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extended to many of the leaders. Several of the most distinguished were

admitted to the Senate. The local institutions of the country were as

little disturbed as possible; but the Latin tongue was made the language of

official intercourse. No effort was spared to unify the nation as well as

to Romanize the people.

While these great events were taking place in the North, the capital of

Italy had been shaken with the incipient but unmistakable throes of

revolution. Pompeius proved unequal to the task which had been assigned him

by the triumvirs. The civil agitations which blew up from every direction,

in whose breath the state stood quivering like an aspen, were more than he

could apprehend or control. The audacious tribune Clodius had matters as he

would. The Senate sat horrified in the shadows, while he proceeded from

step to step with his revolutionary measures. Pompeius ceased to appear in

the forum, and confined himself to his villa. It was in August of B. C. 57

that Cicero was at last recalled from banishment. He was hailed with

delight by what remained of the senatorial party, and by the more moderate

classes of the people; but Clodius and his bands of proletarians would fain

have killed him in the street.

An effort was now made by Pompeius to heal the breach between himself and

the senatorial party. A bill was proposed conferring upon him such powers

as might have enabled him to give quiet to the city; but the Senate, ever

jealous of the extension of consular authority, refused its assent, and the

measure failed. The old distrust between Pompeius and Crassus had in the

mean time revived, and Caesar found it necessary to invite them to Luca,

the capital of his country, where a conference was held in B. C. 56, and

the two triumvirs were again reconciled. The plan suggested by Caesar was

that they should be elected consuls for the following year, with a view to

being thereafter assigned to the proconsular governments of Spain and

Syria. In return for his support, the triumvirs were to secure an extension

for another five years of Caesar's term in the proconsulship of Gaul. This

arrangement was carried out, but not until the elections held in the Campus

Martius had been debauched of all virtue by armed bands acting in the

interest of the triumvirate.

Pompeius finding himself again in authority chose not to depart with his

army for Syria, but to remain in Rome. His plan was to give secret

encouragement to those influences and tendencies which were likely to lead

to the appointment of himself as dictator. While with the one hand he

attempted to force this necessity upon the Senate, with the other he

showered favors upon the people. He encouraged the games and plays, built a

splendid theater in the Campus Martius, and turned five hundred lions and

eighteen elephants into the arena for the delectation of the multitude. In

the mean time the government was agitated by the proposition to declare war

against Parthia. Not that Parthia had been in any wise aggressive; not that

a treaty was lacking to preserve the peace, but in order that the ambition

of Crassus might be gratified by an Eastern expedition was the measure

pressed before the Senate and assembly.

Though the proposition to go to war failed of legal adoption, Crassus

prepared his army and departed for Syria. Here he spent the winter of B. C.

54-53, adding to his revenues by plunder and extortion. In the following

spring he made his way eastward, crossed the Euphrates, and was led into

the desert by an Arabian chief who acted as guide for the expedition. When

the Roman army was thus treacherously exposed on the waste plains of

Mesopotamia, the Parthian host appeared on the horizon. The desert grew

black with their coming. Then out of the rolling cloud of sand the long

line of breast-plates flashed in the sun, and in the midst of a terrible

uproar the Romans of the front ranks felt the sting of the Parthian arrows.

The lines were broken under the impetuous onset. The son of Crassus, who

undertook to stay the battle, was surrounded and killed. The rout became

general, and the army was only saved from annihilation by the coming of


Crassus, overpowered with grief and fatigue, committed the fate of his

soldiery to Octavius and Cassius. Under the guidance of these two officers

a retreat was effected during the night, as far as the town of Carrhae; but

even the