When Pompey had exhausted most of his private resources and spent them on the war, he asked money of the senate, threatening to come back to Italy with his army if they did not send it. Lucullus was consul at this time, and was not on good terms with Pompey, but since he was soliciting the conduct of the Mithridatic war for himself, made great efforts to have the money sent,1
for fear of furthering Pompey's desire to let Sertorius go, and march against Mithridates, an antagonist whose subjection, as it was thought, would bring great glory and involve little difficulty.
But in the meantime Sertorius was treacherously killed by his friends,2
and Perpenna, the ringleader among them, attempted to carry on his work. He had indeed the same forces and equipment, but lacked equal judgement in the use of them. Accordingly, Pompey took the field against him at once, and perceiving that he had no fixed plan of campaign, sent out ten cohorts as a decoy for him, giving them orders to scatter at random over the plain.
Perpenna attacked these cohorts, and was engaged in their pursuit, when Pompey appeared in force, joined battle, and won a complete victory. Most of Perpenna's officers perished in the battle, but Perpenna himself was brought before Pompey, who ordered him to be put to death. In this he did not show ingratitude, nor that he was unmindful of what had happened in Sicily,3
as some allege against him, but exercised great forethought and salutary judgement for the commonwealth. For Perpenna, who had come into possession of the papers of Sertorius, offered to produce letters from the chief men at Rome, who had desired to subvert the existing order and change the form of government, and had therefore invited Sertorius into Italy. Pompey, therefore, fearing that this might stir up greater wars than those now ended, put Perpenna to death and burned the letters without even reading them.