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The Civil Wars

143. Thus was Sextus Pompeius captured. He was the last remaining son of Pompey the Great, and had been deprived of his father when very young and of his brother while still a stripling. After their death he concealed himself for a long time and practised robbery secretly in Spain until he had collected a large following, because he made himself known as Pompey's son. Then he practised more open robbery. After the death of Gaius Caesar he carried on war vigorously and collected a large army, together with ships and money, took islands, became master of the western sea, brought famine upon Italy, and compelled his enemies to make peace on such terms as he chose. Of most importance was the aid that he rendered in the proscriptions to Rome when exposed to utter destruction, rescuing many of the nobility who were, at this later time, safe at home by means of him. But stricken with some strange aberration, he never pursued an aggressive policy against his foes, although fortune offered him many opportunities; he only defended himself.

144 1  After such a career Pompeius was taken prisoner. Titius brought Pompeius' soldiers into Antony's service and put Pompeius himself to death at Miletus in the fortieth year of his age. This he did either on his own account, angry at some former insult, and ungrateful for the subsequent kindness, or in pursuance of Antony's order. Some say that Plancus, not Antony, gave this order. They think that Plancus, while governing Syria, was authorized by letters to sign Antony's name in cases of urgency and to use his seal. Some think that it was written by Plancus with Antony's knowledge, but that the latter was ashamed to write it on account of the name Pompeius, and because Cleopatra was favourable to him on account of Pompey the Great. Others think that Plancus, being cognizant of these facts, took it upon himself to give the order as a matter of precaution, lest Pompeius, with the co-operation of Cleopatra, should disturb the auspicious respect between Antony and Octavian.