Front Matter The First Settlers Escape from the Burning City The Clever Trick The Boards Are Eaten The Wolf and the Twins Romulus Builds Rome The Maidens Carried Off Union of Sabines and Romans Death of Romulus Strange Signs of the Romans The Quarrel with Alba The Horatii and Curiatii Tarquin and the Eagle The Roman Youths The King Outwitted The Murder of Tarquin The Ungrateful Children The Mysterious Books Tarquin's Poppies The Oracle of Delphi The Death of Lucretia The Stern Father A Roman Triumph A Roman Triumph (Cont.) Defense of the Bridge The Burnt Hand The Twin Gods The Wrongs of the Poor Fable of the Stomach The Story of Coriolanus The Farmer Hero The New Laws Death of Virginia Plans of a Traitor A School-Teacher Punished Invasion of the Gauls The Sacred Geese Two Heroes of Rome Disaster at Caudine Forks Pyrrhus and His Elephants The Elephants Routed Ancient Ships Regulus and the Snake Hannibal Crosses the Alps The Romans Defeated The Inventor Archimedes The Roman Conquests Destruction of Carthage Roman Amusements The Jewels of Cornelia Death of Tiberius Gracchus Caius Gracchus Jugurtha, King of Numidia The Barbarians The Social War The Flight of Marius The Proscription Lists Sertorius and His Doe Revolt of the Slaves Pompey's Conquests Conspiracy of Catiline Caesar's Conquests Crossing of the Rubicon Battle of Pharsalia The Death of Caesar The Second Triumvirate The Vision of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra The Poisonous Snake The Augustan Age Death of Augustus Varus Avenged Death of Germanicus Tiberius Smothered The Wild Caligula Wicked Wives of Claudius Nero's First Crimes Christians Persecuted Nero's Cruelty Two Short Reigns The Siege of Jerusalem The Buried Cities The Terrible Banquet The Emperor's Tablets The Good Trajan Trajan's Column The Great Wall Hadrian's Death Antoninus Pius The Model Pagan Another Cruel Emperor An Unnatural Son The Senate of Women The Gigantic Emperor Invasion of the Goths Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra A Prophecy Fulfulled First Christian Emperor Roman Empire Divided An Emperor's Penance Sieges of Rome End of the Western Empire

Story of the Romans - Helene Guerber

Sertorius and His Doe

When Sulla died, there were still two parties, or factions, in Rome, which could not agree to keep the peace. These two factions were headed by Catulus and Lepidus, the consuls for that year. Catulus had been a friend of Sulla, and was upheld by Pompey, who was a very clever man. Pompey was not cruel like Marius and Sulla, but he could not be trusted, for he did not always tell the truth, nor was he careful to keep his promises.

As the two consuls had very different ideas, and were at the head of hostile parties, they soon quarreled and came to open war. Catulus, helped by so able a general as Pompey, won the victory, and drove Lepidus to Sardinia, where he died.

Although the civil war at home was now stopped, there was no peace yet, for it still raged abroad. Sertorius, one of the friends of Marius, had taken refuge in Spain when Sulla returned. Here he won the respect and affection of the Spaniards, who even intrusted their sons to his care, asking him to have them educated in the Roman way.

The Spaniards, who were a very credulous people, thought that Sertorius was a favorite of the gods, because he was followed wherever he went by a snow-white doe, an animal held sacred to the goddess Diana. This doe wandered in and out of the camp at will, and the soldiers fancied that it brought messages from the gods; so they were careful to do it no harm.

As the Spaniards shared this belief, they were always ready to do whatever Sertorius bade them; and when a Roman army was sent to Spain to conquer him, they rallied around him in great numbers.

Now you must know that Spain is a very mountainous country. The inhabitants, of course, were familiar with all the roads and paths, and therefore they had a great advantage over the Roman legions, who were accustomed to fight on plains, where they could draw themselves up in battle array.

Instead of meeting the Romans in a pitched battle, Sertorius had his Spaniards worry them in skirmishes. By his orders, they took up their station on the mountains, and behind trees, from whence they could hurl rocks and arrows down upon their foe.

When the Roman general saw that his army was rapidly growing less, and that he would have no chance to show his skill in a great battle, he made a proclamation, offering a large sum of money to any one who would kill Sertorius, and bring his head into the Roman camp.

Sertorius was indignant when he heard of this proclamation, and gladly accepted the offer of Mithridates to join forces with him against the Romans. But before this king could help him, Sertorius grew suspicious of the Spaniards, and fancied that they were about to turn traitors and sell him to the Romans.

Without waiting to find out whether these suspicions were true, he ordered the massacre of all the boys intrusted to his care. Of course the Spaniards were furious, and they all declared that it served Sertorius right when Perperna, one of his own men, fell upon him while he was sitting at table, and killed him.

In the mean while, however, the Roman senate had sent out another army, under Pompey, and this general had fought several regular battles with Sertorius. Perperna now tried to take the lead of the Spaniards and the Romans who hated Pompey; but, as he was a coward, he lost the next battle and was made prisoner. Hoping to save his life, Perperna then offered to hand over all the papers belonging to Sertorius, so that Pompey could find out the names of the Romans who were against him.

Fortunately, Pompey was too honorable to read letters which were not addressed to him. Although he took the papers, it was only to fling them straight into the fire without a single glance at their contents. Then he ordered that Perperna, the traitor, should be put to death; and, having ended the war in Spain, he returned to Rome.