But to those who were on the spot, what happened there seemed still greater matter for wrath and indignation. For Lucullus was not allowed to bestow rewards or punishments for what had been done in the war, nor would Pompey even suffer any one to visit him, or to pay any heed to the edicts and regulations which he made in concert with the ten commissioners, but prevented it by issuing counter-edicts, and by the terror which his presence with a larger force inspired.
Nevertheless, their friends decided to bring the two men together, and so they met in a certain village of Galatia. They greeted one another amicably, and each congratulated the other on his victories. Lucullus was the elder man, but Pompey's prestige was the greater, because he had conducted more campaigns, and celebrated two triumphs.
Fasces wreathed with laurel were carried before both commanders in token of their victories, and since Pompey had made a long march through waterless and arid regions, the laurel which wreathed his fasces was withered. When the lictors of Lucullus noticed this, they considerately gave Pompey's lictors some of their own laurel, which was fresh and green. This circumstance was interpreted as a good omen by the friends of Pompey; for, in fact, the exploits of Lucullus did adorn the command of Pompey.
However, their conference resulted in an equitable agreement, but they left it still more estranged from one another. Pompey also annulled the ordinances of Lucullus, and took away all but sixteen hundred of his soldiers. These he left to share his triumph, but even these did not follow him very cheerfully.
To such a marvellous degree was Lucullus either unqualified or unfortunate as regards the first and highest of all requisites in a leader. Had this power of gaining the affection of his soldiers been added to his other gifts, which were so many and so great,—courage, diligence, wisdom, and justice,—the Roman empire would not have been bounded by the Euphrates,
but by the outer confines of Asia, and the Hyrcanian sea; for all the other nations had already been subdued by Tigranes, and in the time of Lucullus the Parthian power was not so great as it proved to be in the time of Crassus, nor was it so well united, nay rather, owing to intestine and neighbouring wars, it had not even strength enough to repel the wanton attacks of the Armenians.
Now my own opinion is that the harm Lucullus did his country through his influence upon others, was greater than the good he did her himself. For his trophies in Armenia,
standing on the borders of Parthia, and Tigranocerta, and Nisibis, and the vast wealth brought to Rome from these cities, and the display in his triumph of the captured diadem of Tigranes, incited Crassus to his attack upon Asia; he thought that the Barbarians were spoil and booty, and nothing else. It was not long, however, before he encountered the Parthian arrows, and proved that Lucullus had won his victories, not through the folly and cowardice of his enemies, but through his own daring and ability. This, however, is later history.