This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 The servants of Pothinus cut off Pompey's head and kept it for Cæsar, in expectation of a large reward, but he visited condign punishment on them for their nefarious deed. The remainder of the body was buried by somebody on the shore, and a small monument was erected over it, on which somebody else wrote this inscription: -- "What a pitiful tomb is here for one who had temples in abundance."1 In the course of time the monument was wholly covered with sand, and the bronze images that had been erected to Pompey by his partisans at a later period near Mount Casius had been degraded and removed to the secret recess of the temple, but in my time they were sought for and found by the Roman emperor Hadrian, while making a journey thither, who cleared away the rubbish from the monument and made it again conspicuous, and placed Pompey's images in their proper places. Such was the end of Pompey, who had carried on the greatest wars and had made the greatest additions to the empire of the Romans, and had acquired by that means the title of Great. He had never been defeated before,2 but had remained unvanquished and most fortunate from his youth till now. From his twenty-third to his fifty-eighth year he had not ceased to exercise royal power, but on account of his jealousy of Cæsar he had seemed to rule in the interest of the people.
1 Plutarch gives a pathetic account of Pompey's funeral, which was performed by his freedman Philippus and one old Roman who had served as a soldier under him, and who was now living in exile and poverty. " Such," says another historian, " was the departure from life of a most excellent and illustrious man, after three consulships and as many triumphs, who had ruled the whole world and had reached a position above which it was not possible to rise, in the 58th year of his age and on the day before his birthday. So greatly had fortune been at strife with herself in his case that he who had been in want of earth to conquer was now in want of enough for a grave." (Velleius, ii. 53.) Dio Cassius (lxix. 11), describing the Emperor Hadrian's tour in the East A.D. 122, says that "while he was passing from Judea to Egypt he offered a funeral sacrifice for Pompey, on which occasion the following verse escaped him: 'What a pitiful tomb is here for one who had temples in abundance.' He also rebuilt the tomb that had fallen into ruin." This is not inconsistent with Appian's narrative.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.