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Quintus. One of the most extraordinary men in the later times of the Roman Republic. He was a native of Nursia, a Sabine village, and was born of obscure but respectable parents. He served under Marius in the war against the Teutones; and before the battle of Aquae Sextiae (Aix), in B.C. 102, he entered the camp of the Teutones in disguise as a spy, for which hazardous undertaking his intrepid character and some knowledge of the Keltic language well qualified him. He also served as tribunus militum in Spain under T. Didius (B.C. 97). He was quaestor in 91, and had before this time lost an eye in battle. On the outbreak of the Civil War in 88 he declared himself against the party of the nobles, and commanded one of the four armies which besieged Rome under Marius and Cinna (B. C. i. 67). He was, however, opposed to the bloody massacre which ensued after Marius and Cinna entered Rome.

In 83 Sertorius was praetor, and either in this year or the following he went into Spain, whence he crossed over to Mauretania, and gained a victory over Paccianus, one of Sulla 's generals. After this, at the request of the Lusitanians, he became their leader, and for some years successfully resisted all the power of Rome. He availed himself of the superstitious character of that people to strengthen his authority over them. A fawn was brought to him by one of the natives as a present, which soon became so tame as to accompany him in his walks and attend him on all occasions. After Sulla had become master of Italy, Sertorius was joined by many Romans, and among the rest by M. Perperna, with fifty-three cohorts. (See Perperna.) To give some show of form to his formidable power, Sertorius established a Senate of 300, into which no provincial was admitted. The continued want of success on the part of Metellus, who had been sent against Sertorius in 79, induced the Romans to send Pompey to his assistance, but with an independent command. Pompey arrived in Spain in 76 with a large force (30,000 infantry and 1000 cavalry), but was unable to gain any decisive advantages. For the next five years Sertorius kept both Metellus and Pompey at bay, and cut to pieces a large number of their forces. Sertorius was at length assassinated at a banquet in 72 by Perperna and some other Roman officers, who had long been jealous of his authority. See his life by Plutarch and the dissertation by Smits, De Quinto Sertorio (1867).

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