User Tools

Site Tools



Plutarch, Life of Caesar 41

For these reasons Pompey did not wish to fight, but Cato was the only one to commend his course, and this from a desire to spare the lives of his fellow citizens; for when he saw even those of the enemy who had fallen in battle, to the number of a thousand, he burst into tears, muffled up his head, and went away. All the rest, however, reviled Pompey for trying to avoid a battle, and sought to goad him on by calling him Agamemnon and King of Kings, implying that he did not wish to lay aside his sole authority, but plumed himself on having so many commanders dependent on him and coming constantly to his tent. And Favonius, affecting Cato's boldness of speech, complained like a mad man because that year also they would be unable to enjoy the figs of Tusculum because of Pompey's love of command. Afranius, too, who had lately come from Spain, where he had shown bad generalship, when accused of betraying his army for a bribe, asked why they did not fight with the merchant who had bought the provinces for him. Driven on by all these importunities, Pompey reluctantly sought a battle and pursued Caesar.

Plutarch, Life of Pompey 60

As soon as the report of this came flying to Rome and the city was filled with tumult, consternation, and a fear that was beyond compare, the senate at once went in a body and in all haste to Pompey, and the magistrates came too. And when Tullus asked Pompey about an army and a military force, and Pompey, after some delay, said timidly that he had in readiness the soldiers who had come from Caesar, and thought that he could speedily assemble also those who had been previously levied, thirty thousand in number, Tullus cried aloud, “Thou hast deceived us, Pompey!” and advised sending envoys to Caesar; and a certain Favonius, a man otherwise of no bad character, but who often thought that his insolent presumption was an imitation of Cato's boldness of speech, ordered Pompey to stamp upon the ground and call up the forces which he used to promise. But Pompey bore this ill-timed raillery with meekness; and when Cato reminded him of what he had said to him at the outset about Caesar, he replied that what Cato had said was more prophetic, but what he himself had done was more friendly.

cynics/favonius.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:20 (external edit)