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Pompey Chapter 6: Pompey raises an army in Picenum[84 BC]
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At that time Pompey was in Picenum in Italy, where he spent some time amusing himself, as he had estates in the country there, though the chief motive of his stay was the liking he felt for the towns of that district, which all regarded him with hereditary feelings of kindness and attachment. But when he now saw that the noblest and best of the city began to forsake their homes and property, and fly from all quarters to Sulla's camp, as to their haven, he likewise was desirous to go; not, however, as a fugitive, alone and with nothing to offer, but as a friend rather than a suppliant, in a way that would gain him honor, bringing help along with him, and at the head of a body of troops. Accordingly he solicited the Picentines for their assistance, who as cordially embraced his motion, and rejected the messengers sent from Carbo; insomuch that a certain Vindius taking upon him to say, that Pompey was come from the school-room to put himself at the head of the people, they were so incensed that they fell forthwith upon this Vindius and killed him. From henceforward Pompey, finding a spirit of government upon him, though not above twenty-three years of age, nor deriving, an authority by commission from any man, took the privilege to grant himself full power, and causing a tribunal to be erected in the market-place of Auximum, a populous city, expelled two of their principal men, brothers, of the name of Ventidius, [Note 1] who were acting against him in Carbo's interest, commanding them by a public edict to depart the city; and then proceeded to levy soldiers, issuing out commissions to centurions, and other officers, according to the form of military discipline. And in this manner he went round all the rest of the cities in the district. So that those of Carbo's faction flying, and all others cheerfully submitting to his command, in a little time he mustered three entire legions, having supplied himself beside with all manner of provisions, beasts of burden, carriages, and other necessaries of war. And with this equipage he set forward on his march towards Sulla, not as if he were in haste, or desirous of escaping observation, but by small journeys, making several halts upon the road, to distress and annoy the enemy, and exerting himself to detach from Carbo's interest every part of Italy that he passed through.
Note 1: the second brother is Ventidius