|Do not fly Iberia
Lucullus Chapter 20: Lucullus administration of Asia[71-70 BC]
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|Lucullus was now busy in looking after the cities of Asia, and having no war to divert his time, spent it in the administration of law and justice, the want of which had for a long time left the province a prey to unspeakable and incredible miseries; so plundered and enslaved by tax-farmers and usurers, that private people were compelled to sell their sons in the flower of their youth, and their daughters in their virginity, and the States publicly to sell their consecrated gifts, pictures, and statues. In the end their lot was to yield themselves up slaves to their creditors, but before this, worse troubles befell them, tortures, inflicted with ropes and by horses, standing abroad to be scorched when the sun was hot, and being driven into ice and clay in the cold; insomuch that slavery was no less than a redemption and joy to them. Lucullus in a short time freed the cities from all these evils and oppressions; for, first of all, he ordered there should be no more taken than one percent. Secondly, where the interest exceeded the principal, he struck it off. The third, and most considerable order was, that the creditor should receive the fourth part of the debtor's income; but if any lender had added the interest to the principal, it was utterly disallowed. Insomuch, that in the space of four years all debts were paid, and lands returned to their right owners. The public debt was contracted when Asia was fined twenty thousand talents by Sulla, but twice as much was paid to the collectors, who by their usury had by this time advanced it to a hundred and twenty thousand talents. And accordingly they inveighed against Lucullus at Rome, as grossly injured by him, and by their money's help, (as, indeed, they were very powerful, and had many of the statesmen in their debt,) they stirred up several leading men against him. But Lucullus was not only beloved by the cities which he obliged, but was also wished for by other provinces, who blessed the good-luck of those who had such a governor over them.