Dolabella, Publics Cornelius
cicero rome forced
DOLABELLA, PUBLICS CORNELIUS, a Roman general notorious for his profligacy, was born about 70 B.C. His vicious character made itself apparent even in his early years. Before he attaitted his majority he is said to have been more than once guilty of capital crimes, from the punishment of which he was only delivered through the advocacy of Cicero. In the year 50 he forced his wife Fabia to leave him, a.nd married Tullia, the daughter of Cicero, who strongly opposed the union. Dolabella's motive in establishing this connection was to prevent Cicero from giving evidence in favour of Appius Claudius, whom he had accused of having violated the sovereign rights of the people. In the following year, his numerous creditors ba,vine. become clamorous, he was forced to quit Rome, and betook himself to the camp of Cwsar, to the great regret of his father-in-law. During C'tusar's absence in Spain, Dolabella commanded the fleet in the A.driatic, but he did not gain any distinction. He took part in the battle of Pharsalus (48), after which he returned to Rome, in the expectation, delusive as it proved, that Coesar would rrive him a substantial reward for his services, and so enable itaa to pay his debts. To gain immunity from the urgent demands of his creditors, he procured his election to the tribuneship, which he had no sooner done than he intro-duced a bill (rogatio) proposing that all debts should be cancelled. This was strongly resisted by his colleagues, and two parties were formed, between whom more than one bloody encounter took place in the streets of the city. On Caesar's return from Alexandria he saw the expediency of removing Dolabella from Rome, aud accordingly took him as one of his generals in the ex_pedition to Africa and Spain. Dolabella was ambitious of the consulship, and obtained a promise of it from Cao.sar for the year 44. The latter, however, influenced partly by the stron,g opposition of Antony, assumed the office himself, and deferred the fulfilment of his promise to Dolabella until he should set out on his expedition against the Parthians. The assassina-tion of Csar occurring before this arrangement could be carried out, Dolabella at once seized the insignia of the consulship, and, by making friends witlt Brutus and the other assassins, was confirmed in the office he had usurped. To ingratiate himself still further with the republican party, he caused an altar erected in honour of Caasar to be thrown down, and many of those who had sought to offer sacrifices on it to be crucified or thrown from the Tarpeian rock. Ire did not hesitate at once to. change sides, however, when Antony made it his intere,st to do so by offering him the command of the. expedition against the Parthians and the province of Syria. An unduly protracted and circuitous march was signalized by rapacious extortion, which became still more rapacious when at length Dolabella reached Syria. His crowning iniquity was the murder of Trebonius at Smyrna, which, according to Cicero's account, v.-as preceded by two day's torture for the purpose of discover-ing the locality and amount of the treasure contained in the town. On hearing of this gross abuse of power, the senate outlawed Dolabella, and declared him a public enemy. Cassius was appointed to supersede him, proceeded to Asia Minor, and had taken Laoclicea, when Dolabella in despair caused himself to be killed by one of his own soldiers, 43 u.c.