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4. M. Perperna Vento, son of No. 3, joined the Marian party in the civil war, and was raised to the praetorship (Perperna praetoius, Vell. 2.30), though in what year is uncertain. After Sulla had completely conquered the Marian party in Italy in B. C. 82, Perperna fled to Sicily with some troops; but upon the arrival of Pompey shortly afterwards, who had been sent thither by Sulla, Perperna evacuated the island. On the death of Sulla in B. C. 78, Perperna joined the consul M. Aemilius Lepidus in his attempt to overthrow the new aristocratical constitution, and retired with him to Sardinia on the failure of this attempt. Lepidus died in Sardinia in the following year, B. C. 77, and Perperna with the remains of his army crossed over to Spain, where the amiable disposition and brilliant genius of Sertorius had gained the love of the inhabitants of the country, and had for some time defied all the efforts of Q. Metellus Pius, who had been sent against him with a large army by the ruling party at Rome. Perperna, however, was not disposed to place himself under the command of Sertorius. He had brought with him considerable forces and large treasures; he was proud of his noble family, being both the son and grandson of a consul; and although his abilities were mean, he thought that the chief command ought to devolve upon him, and therefore resolved to carry on the war on his own account against Metellus. But his troops, who well knew on which commander they could place most reliance, compelled him to join Sertorius, as soon as they heard that Pompey was crossing the Alps in order to prosecute the war in conjunction with Metellus. For the next five years Perperna served under Sertorius, and was more than once defeated. [For details, see SERTORIUS.] But although Perperna acted apparently in concert with Sertorius, he and the other Roman nobles who accompanied him were jealous of the ascendency of the latter, and at last were mad enough to allow their jealousy and pride to destroy the only man who could have restored them to political power. In B. C. 72, Perperna and his friends assassinated Sertorius at a banquet. His death soon brought the war to a close. Perperna was completely defeated in the first battle which he fought with Pompey after the death of Sertorius, and was taken prisoner. Anxious to save his life, he offered to deliver up to Pompey the papers of Sertorius, which contained letters from many of the leading men at Rome, inviting Sertorius to Italy, and expressing a desire to change the constitution which Sulla had established. But Pompey refused to see him, and commanded him to be put to death and the letters to be burnt. (Appian, App. BC 1.107, 110, 113-115 ; Plut. Pomp. 10, 20, Sert. 15, 25-27; Liv. Epit. 96; Eutrop. 6.1; Flor. 3.22; Oros. 5.23; Vell. 2.30; Sail. Hist. lib. ii. iii.; Cic. Ver. 5.58.)

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