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[115] As Metellus had gone to other parts of Spain,-- for he considered it no longer a difficult task for Pompey alone to vanquish Perpenna, -- these two skirmished and made tests of each other for several days, but did not bring their whole strength into the field. On the tenth day, however, a great battle was fought between them. They resolved to decide the contest by one engagement--Pompey because he despised the generalship of Perpenna; Perpenna because he did not believe that his army would long remain faithful to him, and he could now engage with nearly his whole strength. Pompey, as might have been expected, soon got the better of this inferior general and disaffected army. Perpenna was defeated all along the line and concealed himself in a thicket, more fearful of his own troops than of the enemy's. He was seized by some horsemen and dragged toward Pompey's headquarters, loaded with the execrations of his own men, as the murderer of Sertorius, and crying out that he could give Pompey a great deal of information about the factions in Rome. This he said either because it was true, or in order to be brought safe to Pompey's presence, but the latter sent orders to kill him before bringing him into his presence, fearing lest the news that Perpenna wanted to communicate should be the source of new troubles at Rome. Pompey seems to have behaved very prudently in this matter, and his action added to his high reputation. So ended the war in Spain with the life of Sertorius. I think that if he had lived longer the war would not have ended so soon or so successfully.1

1 Plutarch says that Perpenna, having the papers of Sertorius in his hands, offered to show Pompey letters from persons of the highest quality in Rome inviting Sertorius to march to Italy in order to bring about a change in the government, but that Pompey took the papers and burned them without reading them, or allowing anybody else to do so. He says also that all of the conspirators against Sertorius who fell into Pompey's hands were put to death by his orders. (Life of Sertorius, 27.)

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