These things, however, were still in the future. Meanwhile Lucullus got into a contention with Pompey over the arrangements in Pontus (each of them, namely, demanded that his own proceedings should be confirmed), Cato came to the aid of Lucullus, who was manifestly wronged, and Pompey, worsted in the senate and seeking popular favour, invited the soldiery to a distribution of land.1
But when Cato opposed him in this measure also, and frustrated the law, then Pompey attached himself to Clodius, at that time the boldest of the popular leaders, and won Caesar to his support, a result for which Cato himself was in a way responsible. For Caesar, on returning from his praetorship in Spain,2
desired to be a candidate for the consulship, and at the same time asked for a triumph.
But since by law candidates for a magistracy must be present in the city, while those who are going to celebrate a triumph must remain outside the walls, he asked permission from the senate to solicit the office by means of others. Many were willing to grant the request, but Cato opposed it; and when he saw that the senators were ready to gratify Caesar, he consumed the whole day in speaking and thus frustrated their desires.
Accordingly, Caesar gave up his triumph, entered the city, and at once attached himself to Pompey and sought the consulship.3
After he had been elected consul, he gave his daughter Julia in marriage to Pompey, and now that the two were united with one another against the state, the one would bring in laws offering allotment and distribution of land to the poor, and the other would be at hand with support for the laws.
But the party of Lucullus and Cicero, ranging themselves with Bibulus, the other consul, opposed the measures, and above all Cato, who now suspected that the friendly alliance between Caesar and Pompey had been made for no just purpose, and declared that he was afraid, not of the distribution of land, but of the reward which would be paid for this to those who were enticing the people with such favours.