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22. Accordingly, a second triumph was decreed him,1 and the consulship. It was not on this account, however, that men thought him admirable and great, nay, they considered this circumstance a proof of his splendid distinction, that Crassus, the richest statesman of his time, the ablest speaker, and the greatest man, who looked down on Pompey himself and everybody else, had not the courage to sue for the consulship until he had asked the support of Pompey. [2] Pompey, moreover, was delighted, since he had long wanted an opportunity of doing him some service and kindness, and therefore granted his request readily and solicited the people in his behalf; announcing that he should be no less grateful to them for such a colleague than for the consulship. [3] Notwithstanding, after they had been elected consuls, they differed on all points, and were constantly in collision.2 In the senate, Crassus had more weight; but among the people the power of Pompey was great. For he gave them back their tribunate, and suffered the courts of justice to be transferred again to the knights by law.3 But the most agreeable of all spectacles was that which he afforded the people when he appeared in person and solicited his discharge from military service.

[4] It is customary for a Roman knight, when he has served for the time fixed by law, to lead his horse into the forum before the two men who are called censors, and after enumerating all the generals and imperators under whom he has served, and rendering an account of his service in the field, to receive his discharge. Honours and penalties are also awarded, according to the career of each.

[5] At this time, then, the censors Gellius and Lentulus were sitting in state, and the knights were passing in review before them, when Pompey was seen coming down the descent into the forum, otherwise marked by the insignia of his office, but leading his horse with his own hand. When he was near and could be plainly seen, he ordered his lictors to make way for him, and led his horse up to the tribunal. [6] The people were astonished and kept perfect silence, and the magistrates were awed and delighted at the sight. Then the senior censor put the question: ‘Pompeius Magnus, I ask thee whether thou hast performed all the military services required by law?’ Then Pompey said with a loud voice: ‘I have performed them all, and all under myself as imperator.’ On hearing this, the people gave a loud shout, and it was no longer possible to check their cries of joy, but the censors rose up and accompanied Pompey to his home, thus gratifying the citizens, who followed with applause.

1 In 71 B.C.

2 Cf. the Crassus, xii. 1.f.

3 By a law passed in the time of Sulla, only senators were eligible as judges.

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