chapter  IV
24 Pages

The consulship

Right at the very beginning of his consulship, Lucullus was obliged to deal with a crisis that had arisen in Spain. There the forces of the government were exper iencing considerable difficulties because of the failure of Rome to send them supplies and reinforcements.1 Pompey had despatched a stream of missives asking for help but to no avail.2 At last he wrote in exasperation to say that if the present situation continued he would be forced to bring his army back to Italy with the possibility that Sertorius would then soon be hot on his heels.3 This letter was read to the senate at the start of 74. Immediately, Lucullus and the other consul, Cotta, neither of whom had any desire to see Pompey’s return, proposed he be given what he asked for. Their influence prevailed and the necessaries were duly voted.