9. Q. Pompeius
Rufus, son of No. 8, and grandson of the dictator Sulla, first appears in public in B. C. 54 as the accuser of M. Messalla, because he had gained his election to the consulship by bribery. [MESSALLA, No. 7.] He was tribune of the plebs B. C. 52, and not B. C. 53, as Dio Cassius states (40.45).
In his tribuneship he distinguished himself as the great partizan of the triumvir Pompey.
The latter longed for the dictatorship, and therefore secretly fomented the disturbances at Rome, in hopes that all parties tired of anarchy would willingly throw themselves into his arms. Rufus supported his views, and to increase the confusion would not allow any of the elections to be held.
There seemed an end of all government.
The senate apprehended Rufus and cast him into prison, notwithstanding his sacred character as tribune; but this act of violence only strengthened his power and influence.
He retaliated by throwing into prison one of the most active supporters of the senatorial party, the aedile Favonius.
The murder of Clodius by Milo on the 20th of January still further favoured the views of the triumvir ; Rufus and his colleague Munatius Plancus added fuel to the fire, and omitted no means for increasing the wrath of the people. Pompey was appointed sole consul; the laws which he proposed were supported by Rufus and his party, and Milo was condemned.
But he had no sooner laid down his office of tribune, on the 10th of December in this year, than he was accused by one of his late colleagues, M. Caelius, of violating the very law De Vi,
which he had taken so active a part in passing.
He was condemned, and lived in exile at Bauli in Campania. Here he was in great pecuniary difficulties, till M. Caelius, who had accused him, generously compelled his mother Cornelia to surrender to him his paternal property.
The last time that Rufus is mentioned is in B. C. 51, when his enemies spread the false report that he had murdered Cicero on his journey to Cilicia. (Cic. ad Q. Fr.
3.2.3, ad Att.
iv. ]6.8; D. C. 40.45
; Ascon. in Cic. Milon.
passim ; Caelius, ad Fam.
8.1.4; V. Max. 4.2.7