Cinna and His Times - Harold Bennett

Chapter III
The Cinnan Regime

Cinnan reforms of 87 B.C.—Marius and Cinna made consuls for 86% Fresh outbreak of violence on January 1st—The significance of this date—A specious observance of constitutionality ?—Death of Marius Attack upon Q. Mucius Scaevola—Lex Valeria de aere alieno solvendo: Was it "turpissima?"—The currency reform by edict of M. Marius Gratidianus—Prosecution of Cn. Pompeius—The censorship of Philippus and Perperna—Expedition of Flaccus to the East—Policy concerning Sulla and Mithradates—The contrast in character between Flaccus and his legate Fimbria—The campaign in Thrace—Mutiny at Byzan tium—Murder of Flaccus—Campaign of Fimbria in Asia—His appeal to Lucullus—Terms offered to the king—The sack of Ilium—Death of Fimbria and end of expedition—The year 85 B.C. at Rome—Warlike preparations of Cinna and Carbo—Was there a renewal of proscriptions at this time? The letter from Sulla—Were there consular elections for 84?—Death of Cinna.

Cinna was restored to the consulship sometime toward the end of 87 B.C., perhaps in the month of November, and after the death of his colleague, Octavius, seems to have been sole consul during the remainder of the year. Regarding the other magistracies we have no information, but in view of the prosecutions which were instituted at the beginning of the following year, it seems probable that incumbent magistrates who remained at Rome were allowed to finish their term unmolested. It is true that Appian speaks of depositions from office at this time, but this could be quite easily understood as referring to tribunes who had been chosen to fill the places of those who had fled and returned with Cinna. Appian is also the source of the information that this period witnessed the repeal of the laws enacted under Sulla. This would mean that the comitia centuriata was put back on the tribal basis, and the right of initiating legislation restored to the tribunes. Probably also the Sulpician laws, which Sulla had annulled, were now declared legal and valid, thus transferring the command against Mithradates from Sulla to Marius, and providing for the distribution of the new citizens and libertini among the thirty-five tribes, as Cinna had promised.

This period of constitutional reform seems also the most likely time for the restoration of the courts de repetundis exclusively to the equites, by the repeal of the Lex Plautia judiciaria of 89 B.C. There is no definite statement in the sources regarding the repeal of this law, but it is clear that the mixed juries which it set up did not prevail for any length of time, and that the knights were in complete control at the time of Sulla's return.

For the following year Cinna was made consul for the second time and Marius for the seventh. The epitomizer of Livy states that they declared themselves consuls without any election, but the other sources do not corroborate this view, and it seems very unlikely that they would neglect the form when they had no cause to fear the out come.

The ceremonial sacrifices on the Capitol on the occasion of their entry upon office on January 1st., 86 B. C., were marked by a fresh outbreak of violence. Livy reports that Sex. Licinius, a senator, was thrown from the Tarpeian rock by order of Marius. Cassius Dio says that the younger Marius killed one tribune with his own hands, threw down another from the rock, and banned two praetors from fire and water. Velleius says that P. Laenas, a tribune of the people, threw from the Tarpeian rock Sex. Lucilius, who had been tribune in the previous year, and that when his colleagues, whom he had impeached, fled in terror to Sulla, he banned them from fire and water. It seems probable that all these passages refer to the same banishments were directed against magistrates of the previous year, who had just laid down their office.

After the removal of their great enemies, whose lives they claimed as the terms of peace, the Marian leaders seem to have made at least a show of observing legal forms. Witness this immunity of magistrates as long as they held office; witness also the form of the attack upon them, which was evidently regarded by the perpetrators as within the law. For it is clear that a tribune of the people not only had the right of summoning a political offender to trial, but actually possessed constitutional competence for inflicting summary punishment, and might under certain circumstances order an offender to be thrown from the Tarpeian rock. It is not clear to what extent the victims attributed by Dio to the younger Marius are to be identified with those who, according to Velleius, were attacked by Laenas, but it is by no means unlikely that Marius was also one of the new tribunes and that both he and Laenas played a part.

It must be remembered, of course, that the tribunes entered office not on January 1st., but on December 10th. The praetors, however, did not change until the beginning of the new year, and the Cinnan tribunes may have waited so as to attack at once both grades of retiring magistrates. In any case, they could have chosen no better occasion for an awe-inspiring display of their new authority than when the senate had escorted the new consuls to the summit of the Capitol for the solemn sacrifices of their investiture.

Marius did not long enjoy his seventh consulship. After an illness of seven days, he died at his house on the Ides of January, 86 B.C., in the seventy-first year of his age. Plutarch, following Posidonius, says that the cause of death was pleurisy. This is likely enough, but when he adds the information that the illness was brought on by apprehensions of war with Sulla, and by the excessive drinking through which Marius sought to divert his thought and induce sleep, his charges must be regarded with as much scepticism as the report of certain minor sources that Marius died by his own hand. Far from sinking into a decline through fear of Sulla, there is good reason to believe that Marius was already planning to lead an army to the East for the discomfiture of his rival and the taking over of the coveted command. Whatever the faults of Marius may have been, he was never the man to fear an enemy; "vir in bello hostibus, in otio civibus infestissimus, quietisque inpatientissimus" is a true epitaph of his character and career. (a man of the enemy in time of war, hostile to the leisure of the citizens, and impatient in rest)

The funeral of Marius was the occasion of a fresh scene of violence. At the instance of C. Flavius Fimbria, whose zeal in the role of executioner has already been noticed, an attempt was made to murder the aged and universally respected pontifex maximus, Q. Mucius Scaevola. The choice of occasion seems to indicate that Scaevola, although a recognized partizan of Sulla, had been protected by Marius against the other members of his faction. When Fimbria heard that the wound would not prove fatal, he set a day for Scaevola's trial before the people, but the case was dropped, perhaps by orders from above. It seems probable that Fimbria was another of the tribunes for this year, and could therefore claim constitutional authority for his actions by alleging interference with his official prerogatives.

The successor of Marius in the consulship was L. Valerius Flaccus, not the consul of 100 B.C., but possibly his son. He had been curule aedile in 98 B.C., and is perhaps to be identified with the Valerius who betrayed Ostia to Marius. As consul he now introduced and carried a Lex Valeria de aere alieno solvendo, by which it was provided that all debts at Rome might be discharged by payment of one fourth of the amount due. This law is characterized by Velleius as "turpissima," (dishonorable, shameful) an estimate which is generally accepted by modern historians.

There can be no doubt, however, that the financial situation at this time was really desperate. The Social War had been responsible for a financial depression, in which the capitalists called in their loans under penalties of exorbitant interest. With the outbreak of the Mithradatic war and the loss of great private investments as well as the public revenue, financial confidence at Rome, already tottering, completely collapsed, and ready money disappeared from circulation. Remedial measures were attempted, but did not go far enough to cope effectively with the situation, which was rendered still more chaotic by the civil disturbances of 87 B.C. and the high prices caused by the blockade of the city. It is clear, therefore, that the Cinnan administration, once firmly established in power, was faced with the necessity of dealing with a financial crisis almost unprecedented in the history of the republic.

The remedy which they decided upon and embodied in the law of Flaccus may not have been the wisest solution possible, but we must at least concede that it was an honest attempt to restore order and to assess the losses where they would be least felt. The desperate expedients which have been advocated, and in some cases adopted, for dealing with the financial situation, national and international, brought about by the recent war, must give us pause before we harshly condemn the scheme or impugn the motives of an ancient experiment in financial readjustment. Although we have very little information regarding the terms of the law, it does appear that individual debtors had to present their claims before the quaestor for his sanction, and it is possible that this official supervision was due to certain limitation in the applicability of the law, the extent of which, however, it would be futile to conjecture.

The honest motives of the Cinnan government in its attempt to solve the financial problems which confronted it are more plainly evident in the currency reforms, probably also of the year 86 B.C., which are generally associated with the name of M. Marius Gratidianus. A law of M. Livius Drusus, of 91 B.C. had empowered the government to issue one plated denarius to every seven of pure silver, and there is no doubt that this adulteration of the currency had contributed materially to the instability of the times. In a period when financial stringency tended to promote hoarding to a greater degree than usual, the good coins would certainly be the ones to disappear from use, leaving the circulating currency heavily charged with the base metal. As there seems to have been no law at this time compelling the acceptance of the plated coins as legal tender, the existing situation bore heavily upon the poorer classes, while it proved a source of profit to those who had reserves for manipulation. To remedy this grievance, the colleges of tribunes and praetors conferred together and decided to recall the plated coins from circulation, establishing testing stations where base coins could be exchanged for good, and making it a punishable offence wittingly to attempt to pass a plated coin.

The story is told that the praetors and tribunes had agreed to mount the rostrum in a body for the purpose of announcing this edict to the people, but that Gratidianus anticipated the others and proclaimed the edict as his own. By this means he is said to have won so much popularity that the grateful populace erected statues in his honor in all the wards of the city and elected him to the praetorship for a second term. The cost of this wise and salutory reform must have put a severe strain upon the resources of the government, which in this case must surely be held free from any suspicion of selfish or ulterior motives.

It seems likely that there was a close connection between this drain upon the treasury and the legal proceedings which were instituted in this same year against Cn. Pompeius, the son of Strabo, who was charged with having received from his father's estate public booty, which the latter had misappropriated after the fall of Asculum. Pompey was defended by the best legal talent of the day, including Q. Hortensius and L. Marcius Philippus, and was acquitted, though not without suspicion of collusion with the presiding magistrate, Q. Antistius, whose daughter he married a few days later. This case seems to have been a genuine attempt to recover money legally due to the public chest. That there was no party motive involved is shown by the fact that Cn. Papirius Carbo, one of the foremost leaders of the Marian faction, also appeared for the defence.

The most important domestic event of the year 86, however, was the election of censors. The regular interval of five years had not elapsed since the preceding census, but the office was prematurely reinstituted because of the urgent need of reorganization in two departments which required the exercise of powers exclusively delegated to the censors, viz. the revision of the senatorial roster, and the distribution of the Italians and libertini into all the tribes. The choice fell upon L. Marcius Philippus (cos. 91) and M. Perperna (cos. 92), who were probably the only qualified men available. It was indeed a strange turn of chance that Philippus who as consul had been mainly responsible for the failure of the schemes of Drusus, should now as censor be required to enroll in all the tribes of Rome those same Italians whose enfranchisement he had then successfully opposed. If this task caused him any feelings of humiliation or embarrassment, it was part of the price he had to pay for his temporizing policy. The tribal allotments which these censors made were confirmed by a decree of the senate in 84 B.C., and were with slight exceptions approved by Sulla after his return to power. As we hear of no further agitations by the Italians for re-distribution, it is to be inferred that this arrangement was permanent and satisfactory.

In their lectio senatus these censors struck from the roll of senators all those against whom the formula of exile had been legally pronounced, including Appius Claudius Pulcher, the uncle of the censor Philippus. Probably they also filled the vacant places with Cinnan partizans, though this is nowhere definitely stated. As princeps senatus they named L. Valerius Flaccus, the colleague of Marius in the consulship of 100 B.C., and the censor of 97 B.C., another successful temporizer and probably the only consular available. The sixty-sixth lustrum was duly performed and the censors Philippus and Perperna laid down their office in the year 85 B.C.

The figures for this census are given in the Hieronymus-Eusebius chronicle under Olympiad 173, 4 = 85 B.C., as 463,000. As this seems too small an increase over the total for 115/114 B.C. of 394, 336, Beloch conjectured that D had fallen out, and would read "DCCCCLXIII milia." Others account for the low figure by assuming that the census was not complete. There is no reason, however, why it should have been incomplete, except in the case of those absent with Sulla, and as there was not another census until 70 B.C., we must assume that the Italians were satisfied at this time. An emendation, therefore, seems necessary, but I should prefer to think that the first letter of the numeral has been corrupted rather than lost, postulating as the true reading "DCCCLXIII milia." This is slightly less than the figure for 70 B.C., (910,000), and is about what we should expect, as the losses of 82 B.C. would be offset by the return of the Sullan army.

L. Valerius Flaccus, the younger, succeeded Marius not only in the consulship but also in the command against Mithradates. In the summer of his consular year, the new general, formally invested with the government of Asia, set out for his province in command of two new legions, and with him went C. Flavius Fimbria in the capacity of legate. The expedition was ill-starred from the start. In crossing from Brundisium, some of the ships were lost in a storm, while others which were in advance of the main company, were captured and burned by the enemy. The majority of the men, however, reached land in safety. In the meantime, Sulla, who had been warned of their coming and was for the moment unhampered by the foreign enemy, marched northward through Boeotia with the intention of intercepting his rival.

It is not clear whether Flaccus turned south ward to meet him. He did send forward into Thessaly a detachment of his troops, but it seems most likely that he himself with the main army did not digress very far from the Egnatian Way. It is hardly conceivable that he had any intention of matching his two new legions against Sulla's veteran five, or that Cinna had sent him out on such a mad project. His plan of campaign, which had doubtless been formulated at Rome before his departure, appears to have been as follows; first, to make a formal demand upon Sulla for the surrender of the command, and if this met with refusal, to summon his army to desert; if the direct appeal to the men also failed, then to invade Asia and undertake an offensive against Mithradates which would lead to a negotiated peace and a coalition against Sulla. The latter was already in financial straits; if he should be deprived of the fruits of victory and shut out of Asia, there would be little chance that he could continue to command the loyalty of his men or cause the Cinnan government any further anxiety.

The detachment, then, which Flaccus sent into Thessaly doubtless carried a formal demand to Sulla, and was under orders to test the disposition of his army if the demand met with the expected refusal. This part of the plan resulted in worse than failure. Flaccus, by his strict discipline, had already incurred the ill-will of his men, and not only did the Thessalian detachment desert to Sulla, but the main army itself showed signs of wavering loyalty and was kept intact only by the personal efforts of the legate Fimbria, whose popularity and influence was far greater than that of his superior. Sulla advanced as far north as Meliteia, on the slopes of Mt. Othrys in southern Thessaly, but was constrained to turn back by the arrival of news that a fresh Asiatic army had crossed from Euboea and was already devastating Boeotia in his rear. Mommsen and certain other modern writers have held the view that the opposing armies faced each other at Meliteia, and are at some pains to show why Sulla did not bring on a battle. I quote the sources which refer to the incident. Plutarch61 says: " After this, learning that Flaccus . . . was crossing the Ionian sea with an army . . . he set out towards Thessaly to meet him. But when he reached the vicinity of the city of Meliteia, tidings reached him from many quarters that the regions behind him were being ravaged again by an army of the king no smaller than the former one. . . Sulla, however, turning swiftly back . . . "

Appian writes: "And a certain portion of them, having been sent forward into Thessaly, went over to Sulla; but Fimbria, whom they thought a better general than Flaccus kept the rest from deserting." Plutarch does not say that Sulla met Flaccus before completion on account of the news from the rear. This accords with the first sentence of the Appian passage, which implies that the main body of troops with Flaccus had not yet entered Thessaly when the party which had been sent forward went over to Sulla. The only possible basis, then, for the view that the armies met at Meliteia lies in the other statement of Appian, that only the popularity of Fimbria kept the rest from deserting. It seems quite possible, however, that such wavering on the part of the soldiers might have taken place at any time while they were in northern Greece, even though Sulla's army was not directly under their eyes. At any rate, this is more likely than that Sulla had the rival legions within his grasp and let them go through patriotic motives. To him such an action would have seemed anything but patriotic. He did not know that they would go on to Asia to fight the common foe; they might just as well have combined with Mithradates against him.

Flaccus, then, having satisfied himself that there was no chance of taking over Sulla's army, either with or without Sulla's consent, continued his progress toward Asia for the prosecution of the alternative plan. The story of this march throws a flood of light upon the cause of the consul's unpopularity, and illustrates in striking fashion the contrast in character and principles between Flaccus and Fimbria. The road lay through Macedonia, a district of doubtful allegiance, but more sinned against than sinning, for its lands lay undefended, and exposed to the raids of the hostile tribes from north and east.

Fimbria, however, was not the man to scrutinize too carefully the justice of a case in which his own interests were involved. A precocious pupil of the new school of Roman generalship, he was well aware of the means by which an army might be made to serve the personal ambitions of its leader. He let it be known, therefore, that he regarded Macedonia as a hostile country, and permitted his men to plunder the inhabitants at will, and even, in some cases, to carry them off into slavery. This was at first done without the knowledge of Flaccus, since Fimbria, who had charge of the cavalry, was proceeding several days in advance of the main army. Protests were soon lodged with Flaccus, however, who ordered the complainants to follow him, and, presently coming up with Fimbria, angrily rebuked the legate and commanded the soldiers to restore the booty. This praiseworthy and impartial administration of justice, however gratifying to the provincials had the inevitable effect of deepening the resentment of the troops toward the general, and of increasing the popularity of the ambitious and unscrupulous legate, who was plotting to supplant him.

The crossing over the Strymon into the hostile territory of Thrace changed the form of the grievance, but did not remove it. The legions were now permitted to plunder, to be sure, but, with the same strict sense of duty toward the state as he had shown toward the provincials, Flaccus claimed all the booty as state property. Although some of the towns along the Via Egnatia, which here runs almost parallel with the Thracian coast, closed their gates against the Roman army, these were for the most part easily reduced; and the news that Philippi had fallen, caused a Mithradatic garrison in the neighboring town of Abdera to take to voluntary flight. The hardships of the march, however, combined with some reverses and a shortage of rations, increased the discontent of the soldiers and added fuel to the smouldering fires of mutiny, which Fimbria was awaiting an opportunity to fan into flame.

When, at the beginning of winter, the expedition reached Byzantium, Flaccus, with characteristic respect for the rights of this faithful ally of Rome, ordered the legions to bivouac outside the walls, while he himself went within the city, presumably to arrange for transportation across the straits of the Bosphorus. Fimbria recognized his opportunity and seized it. He denounced the general, who, he said, after robbing the soldiers of money, was now living in luxury in the city while his army was left exposed to storm and cold. The soldiers rose in anger, forced their way into the city, killed those of the citizens who opposed them, and billetted themselves in houses of their own choosing.

To check this mutinous outbreak, Flaccus hastened to mature his plans for transporting the army into Bithynia. Taking with him Fimbria and his quaestor, probably also an advance company of soldiers, he crossed to Chalcedon, on the Asiatic shore of the straits. There Fimbria quarreled with the quaestor about their lodgings, and when Flaccus upheld the latter, made an angry rejoinder and threatened to return to Rome. Glad of an opportunity to rid himself of his troublesome legate, Flaccus took him at his word and appointed his successor. Returning immediately to Byzantium, Fimbria represented himself to the soldiers as a victim of injustice, and by charges and insinuations against Flaccus, won their sympathy and persuaded them to drive out Minutius Thermus, who had been left in command, and to acclaim himself as their general. Flaccus returned shortly afterwards to find his authority usurped and his life in danger. Hiding in a private house until night, he then climbed the wall and escaped, first to Chalcedon and after wards to Nicomedia, where he persuaded the inhabitants to close the gates behind him.

Fimbria, who in the meantime had caused the main army to be transported across the Bosphorus, advanced on Nicomedia with the whole force and compelled the citizens to admit him. Two of his men found the consul of Rome hiding in a well; according to their orders, they cut off his head and flung it into the sea. Nicomedia was handed over to the pillage of the soldiers. Then turning southward, Fimbria established winter quarters at Nicaea, a flourishing city at the western extremity of Lake Ascania, described by Strabo as the metropolis of Bithynia. Sending to Rome a report of what had happened, or at any rate his version of it, he asked for official confirmation in the command, which the senate somewhat reluctantly granted.

The following spring witnessed a vigorous prosecution of the war against Mithradates. Whatever one may think of Fimbria's methods and principles, his strategical skill is beyond dispute. Mithradates, anticipating an attack upon his personal headquarters at Pergamum, sent out a great force under the command of his own son, supported by a number of his best generals, with orders to cut off this impudent newcomer with his scanty two legions. The royal army advanced as far as Miletopolis, on the west bank of the river Rhyndacus, a considerable stream, which is crossed at this point by the road leading from Nicaea to Cyzicus and Pergamum. In this commanding position the infantry halted, while the cavalry, itself perhaps as numerous as Fimbria's whole force, crossed the river into Bithynia, to harass him on his march. In the first skirmishes they were successful, but Fimbria presently devised an ambush, and, trapping the whole body, killed six thousand. The infantry army, which stood on guard at the river was also overcome by a stratagem. The Roman troops broke camp before daybreak, and, crossing the river during a down pour of rain, which drowned the noise of their approach and drove the sentinels undercover, fell upon the enemy still sleeping in their tents and slaughtered them with impunity.

So complete and decisive was the victory that many of the cities of Asia Minor, which had received and welcomed the representatives of the king, now hastened to forward to Fimbria assurances of their loyalty. Such protestations, however, had but little weight with the Roman commander, who knew too well the value of punitive incursions for keeping up the spirits of his troops. Cyzicus opened its gates at his approach, but on the pretext of punishing the royalist faction he seized all the richest of its citizens and had two of them scourged and then beheaded. The others were allowed to ransom their lives at the price of their fortunes, which went to fill Fimbria's chest and to subsidize once more the affections of his soldiers. But the delay was costly, for when the legions presently arrived before the gates of Pergamum they found that the king had availed himself of the respite to retire with his army to Pitane, an easily defensible headland-port on the bay of Elaea. Thus Fimbria's greed for gold and his pandering to his men lost for him an opportunity which might well have resulted in the capture of Mithradates, and the subsequent ruin of Sulla and secure establishment of the Cinnan party in Rome. So near was the Cinnan plan to success.

Fimbria went on to Pitane and laid siege to the place, but the sea lay open for the king's escape, and Fimbria had no ships. At this moment, however, a fleet appeared from the direction of Chios, and proved to be not one of the expected royal squadrons, but a Roman fleet, commanded by L. Licinius Lucullus, the proquaestor of Sulla. Fimbria at once opened negotiations with him, apprised him of the situation, and proposed a joint blockade, which, he said, would result in the capture of the king and the end of the war. Lucullus, however, rejected the overtures and sailed on, thus allowing the arch-enemy of Rome to slip out of the net which had almost ensnared him.

He has been censured by historians, both ancient and modern, for having placed the interests of his party above those of his country, but on closer examination it appears doubtful that this criticism is deserved. In the first place, it is by no means certain that he was equal to the task. There was no ground for hoping that the town would capitulate without a long blockade, and in the meantime the king's ships might be looked for daily. Lucullus's best chance for naval victory lay in dividing the enemy and maneuvering him into a disadvantage, whereas the proposed blockade might easily have brought on a battle in which the choice of time and tactics would lie with the enemy. Moreover, Fimbria's record was not one to inspire assurance of good faith. The Cinnan policy of carrying the war into Asia had been framed with the purpose of forestalling Sulla in making terms, and turning to party ends all the rewards of victory. The object of his mission so nearly achieved, it was not likely that Fimbria had any intention of driving the golden quarry into the grasp of Lucullus, or of subordinating party to country. If the naval commander had acceded to the proposals and a successful blockade had brought the king to despair, we may be sure that Fimbria would have offered terms which would have made it to the king's advantage that the surrender should take place on land. Then, if Lucullus wished to share the glory and the rewards of victory, let him renounce his allegiance to the pretender Sulla and throw in his lot with the legally constituted representative of the Roman senate. But Lucullus having declined the role of cat's-paw, the king's ships soon afterwards arrived and transported him and his army in safety across the straits to Mytilene.

Fimbria, thus balked in his main design, turned his attention to the reclamation of the province, and vented his rage upon the royalist factions in its cities, inflicting the severest penalties without an over careful discrimination of the degree of guilt. By his efforts the greater part of the province was reconquered in the name of Rome.

In the meantime, the peace negotiations between Sulla and Mithradates, which had been begun in the previous winter through the overtures of Archelaus, had progressed to the point where Mithradates had provisionally accepted Sulla's terms and had requested a personal interview with the Roman commander, who was at that time already on his way to Asia. The king had also been in communication with Fimbria, at any rate during the earlier stages of the negotiations, and tried, though without success, to use his offer as a basis for bargaining with Sulla. The actual terms which Fimbria offered, however, can be judged only by the king's statement that they were better than Sulla's, and by the obvious fact that they were not good enough for the king to accept. Evidently Fimbria could not have proposed an alliance on equal terms, offering recognition of the king's territorial ambitions in return for his assistance in crushing Sulla. Mithradates would certainly have assented readily to such a proposition, for he would have had everything to gain by it. Indeed, one can hardly doubt that in 85 B.C. the king would have been glad to join forces with Fimbria if the Roman faction which the latter represented had been willing to cede even a part of the disputed territory. Evidently no such offer was made, for Fimbria's whole conduct in Asia shows that his orders were to use Mithradates not as an ally but only as a defeated enemy. It is clear, therefore, that the terms he offered were better than Sulla's only in respect to the amount of indemnity demanded, and that the Cinnan leaders at this time, as Sertorius later, held fast to the principle that the integrity of Roman territory must be preserved. The reduction of the indemnity, however, which had been fixed by Sulla so low as to cause the king no real embarrassment, was not sufficient attraction to induce Mithradates to continue a struggle which Sulla offered to end, and there is no ground for supposing that he ever thought seriously of dealing with Fimbria.

In the summer of 85 B.C., then, the three armies under their respective generals converged upon the Troad, for Fimbria, though not a party to the conference, had evidently resolved to be near at hand, in case any situation should develop which might be turned to his advantage. Coming to Ilium, he was refused admittance and laid siege to the city. The citizens sent an appeal to Sulla, who promised to come to their aid, and ordered them meanwhile to inform Fimbria that their submission had been made to him. On receiving this message, Fimbria congratulated the Ilians upon being already the friends of the Roman people, and said that they should now receive him, for he too was a Roman and should be especially welcome in Ilium, the ancestral home of the Roman race. This specious argument did not deceive the inhabitants, but Sulla failed to send the promised aid, and the city fell by storm on the eleventh day. So complete was Fimbria's revenge for its double defection that he demolished its walls, burned the city to the ground, and punished the citizens with the utmost ferocity, reserving special torture for those who had been in communication with Sulla. The venerable temple of Minerva was burned to the ground, and all those who had taken refuge there were consumed with it, but a story arose later to the effect that its falling walls formed an arch beneath which the sacred Palladium was preserved intact. This second "sack of Troy" was regarded by the Romans as one of the blackest spots on Fimbria's infamous record.

The date of the destruction of Ilium is given by Appian in the following words: "These outrages Fimbria committed upon Ilium just at the close of the 173rd Olympiad. Some people think that a thousand and fifty years intervened between this calamity and that which it suffered at the hands of Agamemnon." The end of the 173rd Olympiad ought by strict interpretation to mean the beginning of 84 B.C., but this is certainly wrong, for Reinach has shown beyond dispute that the peace of Dardanus between Mithradates and Sulla was concluded not later than August, 85 B.C. Probably the siege preceded the peace negotiations only a little, and therefore took place shortly after midsummer, 85 B.C., that is, at the beginning of the last year of the 173rd Olympiad. This agrees with the Capitoline Chronicle, also with the statement of Appian regarding the length of the war. The latter part of Appian's statement quoted above is, of course, of no use for exact chronology.

The meeting between Sulla and Mithradates, at which they concluded peace on the basis of Sulla's original terms, dealt the death blow to Fimbria's hopes. He retired southward, and stood on the defensive at Thyatira, in the interior of Lydia, some fifty miles east of Pergamum. There Sulla presently came up with him, and pitched his camp at a distance of less than a quarter-mile. After a formal exchange of preliminaries, in which both commanders denied the legality of the other's position, Sulla gave orders for the digging of a trench around Fimbria's camp. The latter's men at once began to desert, and in spite of his impassioned appeal to an assembly of the legions the disaffection spread. A second assembly was called, and certain tribunes who had previously accepted a bribe, proposed that each man should be called upon by name to swear anew the military oath of allegiance; but the plan failed, for although the first name called was that of Nonius, one of Fimbria's closest associates, even he refused to take the oath. Fimbria drew his sword and would have killed him had not the threatening shouts of the soldiers compelled him to desist.

With characteristic unscrupulousness Fimbria then tried baser methods. He bribed a slave to enter Sulla's camp as a deserter and assassinate him, but this plan also failed, because the slave's nervousness betrayed him; he was arrested and confessed. When his revelations became known, Sulla's soldiers advanced angrily and contemptuously to the boundaries of Fimbria's camp and shouted across taunts and insults, mocking him with the nickname of "Athenio."

At last reduced to despair, the wretched man went out to the line of circumvallation and asked for an interview with Sulla. The latter did not deign to appear, but sent instead a certain Rutilius, probably one of his subordinate officers, who in Sulla's name offered him safe-conduct to the coast and a ship on which to leave Asia. But Fimbria was at least no coward. He had never granted quarter to an enemy and he asked none for himself. Replying vaguely to Rutilius that he knew a better way, he went to Pergamum, and there, in the temple of Aesculapius, with the help of a slave, died on his own sword. Sulla permitted his freedmen to recover the body and give it burial. The whole remaining army, with the exception of a few officers who were too seriously compromised to hope for mercy, went over to Sulla and took the oath of allegiance.

In such inglorious fashion ended the expedition by which Cinna had hoped both to recover Asia and to remove the menace of Sulla. The force was, of course, quite incommensurate with the task, but even so the end might have been accomplished had Fimbria been as skillful in diplomacy as he was in strategy. His mad, reckless spirit, however, was ill-fitted for the work of compromise and conciliation, wherein lay the only hope of success. Perhaps Flaccus would have made a better negotiator, and the two men by co-ordinating their talents might have carried through the program to a successful conclusion; but it is idle to speculate on what might have been, and it certainly would be going too far to regard any such balancing of leadership as premeditated. As it turned out, the actual result of the expedition was precisely the opposite of what the Cinnan government had intended, for it was Sulla who reaped the rewards of the victories of both armies, and Fimbria who saw his plans ruined by the desertion of his men to more prosperous standards.

News of these events reached Rome in the autumn of 85 B.C., and startled the ruling faction into a frenzy of new preparations. Cinna and Cn. Papirius Carbo, his colleague in the consulship of this year, at once sent out their agents into all parts of Italy to collect men, money, and supplies, appealing in particular to the Italian citizens, whose champions they claimed to be. They gave orders for the repair of all available ships, ordered a squadron from Sicily to the Adriatic, and posted garrisons along the sea-coast. The opinion of Drumann, however, that this period witnessed a renewal of proscription and confiscation, seems to me entirely unfounded. Sulla's victory in the East made it certain that he would presently return to Italy, and was doubtless the sign for many waverers to make open profession of their choice of side by presenting themselves in person at the general's headquarters. It is probable also that T. Pomponius Atticus, Cicero's friend, was not the only man of wealth and standing who withdrew voluntarily from Italy in order that he might escape the necessity of identifying himself with either side in the approaching struggle. There is no evidence, however, that any of these late departures took place under any form of compulsion, and not the slightest basis for the statement that there were proscriptions for the sake of filling the treasury. On the contrary, the policy of Cinna and Carbo at the end of 85 B.C. seems to have been one of conciliation, for we have the direct statement of Appian that they made friendly overtures to the leading men of the state and sought to win their support in the coming struggle.

Into the midst of these warlike preparations came a letter from Sulla to the senate. The writer started by enumerating his former services to the state, dwelt at length upon his recent victories over Mithradates, and made much of the fact that he had received and succored those of the senate's number who had been banished from Rome by Cinna. For their sufferings and his own he promised to visit a speedy vengeance upon the guilty, but added that all others, the new citizens included, need have no fears. In this concluding section the moderate party of the senate saw a basis for negotiations, and on the motion of L. Valerius Flaccus, the princeps senatus, the majority voted that a commission be sent to Sulla to discuss terms for a peaceful solution of the situation. At the same time they ordered the consuls to stop recruiting until such time as Sulla's reply should be received. To this Cinna and Carbo agreed, but as soon as the commission had set sail they redoubled their efforts, and presently traversed the whole of Italy, raising troops and assembling them on the Adriatic seaboard. Before leaving Rome, however, they held the consular elections and declared themselves re-elected for the following year. The epitome of Livy, refers to Cinna and Carbo as "a se ipsis consules per biennium creati," but this does not necessarily mean that the constitutional form of election was entirely set aside. On the contrary, when Appian states that Cinna and Carbo declared themselves re-elected before they left Rome in 85 B.C., he adds that they did this in order that they might not have to return at an early date to hold elections, evidently meaning that the consuls recognized their obligation to hold at least the form of an election before the end of the year. It is unlikely, however, that any of the consular elections during the Cinnan regime were contested. Probably Cinna and his various colleagues announced their candidacy each year in the regular manner and raised no formal obstruction to prevent other competitors from doing the same. As none saw fit to run the risk, when election day came round, one of the consuls in office simply declared the two consular nominees elected by acclamation. Such a proceeding as this, although complying with the letter of the constitution, would certainly seem to a hostile historian sufficient ground for referring to the consuls as appointed "citra ulla comita" or "a se ipsis creati."

The beginning of his fourth consulship, then, found Cinna concentrating ships and men on the Adriatic coast, evidently with the intention of taking the offensive against Sulla and deciding the issue on foreign soil. Transportation of the troops across the upper Adriatic from Ancona1 to Liburnia was commenced early in the year 84 B.C., and the first contingent was successfully landed. The men, however, did not relish the prospect of a civil war, which promised hard blows but no booty, and their misgivings were doubtless increased by the propaganda of agents of Sulla and the senate, who joined the force as volunteers. Dissatisfaction blazed up into open mutiny on the arrival of news that the second convoy for Liburnia had been wrecked in a storm and the survivors had dispersed to their homes. The whole remaining force with one accord refused to quit Italian soil. Cinna ordered them to be called into an assembly, thinking that he would terrorize them back into obedience, but they gathered in an ugly mood. As the consul approached, one of his lictors struck a soldier who was obstructing the way, another soldier struck the lictor, and Cinna ordered his arrest. Someone threw a stone and hit the consul. Another followed, and then another. The scene was probably unpremeditated, but the mob spirit carried them on until they dared not turn back. As Cinna sank to the ground beneath a shower of missiles, the nearest rioters closed in upon him and stabbed him to death.

Such is the account of Cinna's death according to most of the sources. Plutarch, however, tells a different story. He says that Pompey went to Cinna's camp, but finding certain false charges made against him, withdrew secretly. The soldiers then, believing that Cinna had made away with him, rioted and attacked the consul, who, while trying to escape, was overtaken and killed by a centurion, upon whom his prayers and the offer of a costly signet ring had no effect. Drumann rejected this whole story on the grounds that Pompey belonged to the opposite party, but his solution is, I think, too drastic. The story is obviously colored up by flatterers of Pompeius Magnus, who, as Drumann says, wished to show that the great man was already at that time loved and admired by the troops, but I believe it contains, as such stories usually do, a basis of truth. To one looking back at this time over Pompey's celebrated role in the subsequent civil war, it does seem at first glance improbable that he was ever associated with Cinna, but the apparent improbability of the situation is itself an argument against it being a pure invention. The improbability is, however, only superficial, for there is nothing to show that Pompey (always unstable in his political affiliations) was at this time openly committed to Sulla. He had remained quietly in Italy under Cinnan rule, and it seems quite reasonable that the consul, whose camp was in Picenum, near Pompey's great estates, should have invited the young man to accept a commission in the new army. The modicum of truth in the sequel is that Pompey had been inciting the troops to rebel against leaving Italy, (hence the charges which were raised against him and inspired his fears), and was thus partially and indirectly responsible for the riot in which Cinna was killed.