Plutarch's Lives


I. Πρὸς Πομπήϊον ἔοικε τοῦτο παθεῖν ὁ Ῥωμαίων δῆμος εὐθὺς ἐξ ἀρχῆς, ὅπερ ὁ Αἰσχύλου Προμηθεὺς πρὸς τὸν Ἡρακλέα σωθεὶς ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγων·

Ἐχθροῦ πατρός μοι τοῦτο φίλτατον τέκνον.

οὔτε γὰρ μῖσος οὕτως ἰσχυρὸν καὶ ἄγριον ἐπεδείξαντο Ῥωμαῖοι πρὸς ἕτερον στρατηγὸν ὡς τὸν Πομπηΐου πατέρα Στράβωνα, ζῶντος μὲν αὐτοῦ φοβούμενοι τὴν ἐν τοῖς ὅπλοις δύναμιν (ἦν γὰρ 2ἀνὴρ πολεμικώτατος), ἐπεὶ δὲ ἀπέθανε κεραυνωθείς, ἐκκομιζόμενον τὸ σῶμα κατασπάσαντες ἀπὸ τοῦ λέχους καὶ καθυβρίσαντες, οὔτε μὴν εὔνοιαν αὖ πάλιν σφοδροτέραν ἢ θᾶσσον ἀρξαμένην ἢ μᾶλλον εὐτυχοῦντι συνακμάσασαν ἢ πταίσαντι παραμείνασαν βεβαιότερον ἄλλος ἔσχε 3Ῥωμαίων ἢ Πομπήϊος. αἰτία δὲ τοῦ μὲν μίσους ἐκείνῳ μία, χρημάτων ἄπληστος ἐπιθυμία, τούτῳ δὲ πολλαὶ τοῦ ἀγαπᾶσθαι, σωφροσύνη περὶ δίαιταν, ἄσκησις ἐν ὅπλοις, πιθανότης λόγου, πίστις ἤθους, εὐαρμοστία πρὸς ἔντευξιν, ὡς μηδενὸς


Pompey, i.


I. Towards Pompey the Roman people must have had, from the very beginning, the feeling which the Prometheus of Aeschylus has towards Heracles, when, having been saved by him, he says:—

“I hate the sire, but dearly love this child of his.”1

For never have the Romans manifested so strong and fierce a hatred towards a general as they did towards Strabo, the father of Pompey; while he lived, indeed, they feared his talent as a soldier, for he was a very warlike man, but when he was killed by a thunderbolt,2 and his body was on its way to the funeral pyre, they dragged it from its bier and heaped insults upon it. On the other hand, no Roman ever enjoyed a heartier goodwill on the part of his countrymen, or one which began sooner, or reached a greater height in his prosperity, or remained more constant in his adversity, than Pompey did. And whereas there was one sole reason for the hatred felt towards Strabo, namely, his insatiable desire for money, there were many reasons for the love bestowed on Pompey; his modest and temperate way of living, his training in the arts of war, his persuasive speech, his trustworthy character, and his tact in meeting people, so that no man asked a

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-lives_pompey.1917