6. CN. SERVILIUS CN. F. CN. N. CAEPIO, son of No. 3, consul B. C. 140 with C. Laelius (Cic. Brut. 43
; Obsequ. 82), succeeded his brother, Q. Fabius Maximus Servilianus, in the conduct of the war against Viriathus in Lusitania His brother had made a treaty of peace with Viriathus, which had been confirmed by the senate; but Caepio, by representing that the treaty was unfavourable to the interests of Rome, persuaded the senate to allow him at first to injure Viriathus, as far as he could, secretly, and finally to declare open war against him. Hereupon, Viriathus sent two of his most faithful friends to Caepio to offer terms of peace; but the consul persuaded them, by promises and great rewards, to assassinate their master. Accordingly, on their return to their own party, they murdered Viriathus while he was asleep in his tent, and afterwards fled to Caepio.
But this murder did not put an immediate stop to the war.
After burying the corpse of Viriathus with great magnificence, his soldiers elected Tantalus as their general, who undertook an expedition against Saguntum. Repulsed from thence, he crossed the Baetis, closely pursued by Caepio, and, despairing of success, at length surrendered, with all his forces, to the Roman general. Caepio deprived them of their arms, but assigned them a certain portion of land, that they might not turn robbers from want of the necessaries of life. (Appian, App. Hisp. 70
; Liv. Epit. 54
; Flor. 2.17
; Eutrop. 4.16
; Oros. 5.4
; Vell. 2.1
; V. Max. 9.6.4
; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. Ill.
71; Diod. xxxii Ecl. 4.) Caepio treated his soldiers with great cruelty and severity, which rendered him so unpopular, that he was nearly killed by his cavalry on one occasion. (Dio Cass. Frag.
Ixxiii. p. 35, ed. Reimar.)
The two last-mentioned brothers, Nos. 5 and 6, are classed by Cicero (Cic. Brut. 25
) among the Roman orators.
He says, that they assisted their clients much by their advice and oratory, but still more by their authority and influence. They appeared as witnesses against Q. Pompeius. (V. Max. 8.5.1
; Cic. Font. 7