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[112] Sertorius was so exasperated by this that he visited savage and barbarous punishment upon many of his men and fell into disrepute in consequence. The soldiers blamed him particularly because wherever he went he surrounded himself with a body-guard of Celtiberian spearmen instead of Romans, removing the latter in favor of the former. Nor could they bear to be reproached with treachery by him while they were serving under an enemy of the Roman people. That they should be charged with bad faith by Sertorius while they were acting in bad faith to their country on his account, was the very thing that vexed them most. Nor did they consider it just that those who remained with the standards should be condemned because others deserted. Moreover, the Celtiberians took this occasion to insult them as men under suspicion. Still they were not altogether alienated from Sertorius since they derived advantages from his service, for there was no other man of that period more skilled in the art of war or more successful in it. For this reason, and on account of the rapidity of his movements, the Celtiberians gave him the name of Hannibal, whom they considered the boldest and most crafty general ever known in their country. In this way the army stood affected toward Sertorius. The forces of Metellus overran many of his towns and brought the men belonging to them under subjection. While Pompey was laying siege to Pallantia and underrunning the walls with wooden supports, Sertorius suddenly appeared on the scene and raised the siege. Pompey hastily set fire to the timbers and retreated to Metellus. Sertorius rebuilt the part of the wall which had fallen and then attacked his enemies who were encamped around the castle of Calagurris and killed 3000 of them. And so this year went by in Spain. 1
Y.R. 681

1 A letter from Pompey to the Senate describing his desperate condition and threatening, unless supplied with money, to return to Italy, with Sertorius probably in close pursuit, is preserved in the writings of Sallust.

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