2. C. Flavius
Fimbria, probably a son of No. 1, was one of the most violent partizans of Marius and Cinna during the civil war with Sulla. Cicero (pro Sext. Rose.
12) calls him a homo audacissimus et insanissimus.
During the funeral ceremonies of C. Marius, in B. C. 86, C. Fimbria caused an attempt to be made on the life of Q. Mucius Scaevola, and, as the latter escaped with a severe wound, Fimbria made preparations to bring an accusation against him before the people. When asked what he had to say against so excellent a man, he replied, nothing, except that he had not allowed the deadly weapon to penetrate far enough into his body.
After the death of C. Marius, in B. C. 86, Cinna assumed L. Valerius Flaccus as his colleague in the consulship, in the place of Marius, and sent him into Asia to oppose Sulla and bring the war against Mithridates to a close; but as Valerius Flaccus was inexperienced in military affairs, Fimbria accompanied him as his legate or commander of the horse (not as quaestor, as Strabo xiii. p.596
, states). Flaccus drew upon himself the hatred of the soldiers by his avarice and cruelty, and Fimbria took advantage of it in endeavouring to win the favour of the army. While staying at Byzantium, Fimbria became involved in a quarrel with the quaestor of Valerius Flaccus, and the latter decided the dispute in favour of the quaestor, for which he was assailed by Fimbria in insulting terms. Fimbria was deprived of his office in consequence, and Val. Flaccus sailed to Chalcedon. Fimbria, who remained at Byzantium, created a mutiny among the soldiers who were left there. Flaccus returned to Byzantium, but was obliged to quit the place, and took to flight. Fimbria pursued him to Chalcedon, and thence to Nicomedeia, where he killed him, in B. C. 85.
He forthwith undertook the command of the army.
He gained several not unimportant victories over the generals of Mithridates, and when the king himself took to flight, Fimbria followed him to Pergamus, and chased him from thence to Pintana. Here he might have made the king his prisoner, if Lucullus, who had the command of the fleet, had condescended to co-operate with the usurper, and not allowed the king to escape. having thus got rid of one enemy, Fimbria began a most cruel war against the Asiatics who had fought in the ranks of Mithridates, or declared in favour of Sulla. Among the places of the latter class was Ilium, which was treacherously taken, and wantonly and cruelly destroyed.
He raged in Asia, without restraint, like an insane person, and succeeded in subduing a great part of the country.
But in B. C. 84, Sulla crossed over from Greece into Asia, and, after having concluded peace with Mithridates, he attacked Fimbria in his camp near the town of Thyateira. As Fimbria was unable to make his men fight against Sulla, he tried to get rid of his enemy by assassination, and, as this attempt failed, he endeavoured to negotiate ; but when Sulla refused, and demanded absolute submission, Fimbria fled from his camp to Pergamus, and having retired into a temple of Aesculapius, he tried to kill himself with his own sword; but as the wound did not cause his death, he commanded one of his slaves to give him the final blow. Such was the miserable end of a short career, which had begun with treachery. Cicero (Cic. Brut. 66
) describes his public speaking just as we might expect of a man of his temperament : it was of a furious and most vehement kind, and like the raving of a madman. (Liv. Epit. 82
; Plut. Sull. 2
3; Appian, App. Mith. 8.51
; Veil. Pat. 2.24 : Dio Cass. Fragm. Peiresc.
127-130, Reimar.; Aur. Vict. de Vir. Ill.
70; Oros. 6.2
; V. Max. 9.11.2
; Frontin. Strat.
3.17.5 ; J. Obsequ. 116.)