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Afranius, Lucius, Roman General

AFRANIUS, LUCIUS, ROMAN GENERAL, Roman general, lived in the times of the Sertorian (79-72), third Mithradatic (74-61) and Civil Wars. Of humble origin (Cic. ad Att. i. 16. 20), from his early years he was a devoted adherent of Pompey. In 60, chiefly by Pompey's support, he was raised to the consulship, but in performing the duties of that office he showed an utter incapacity to manage civil affairs. In the following year, while governor of Cisalpine Gaul, he obtained the honour of a triumph, and on the allotment of Spain to Pompey (55), Afranius and Marcus Petreius were sent to take charge of the government. On the rupture between Caesar and Pompey they were compelled, after a short campaign in which they were at first successful, to surrender to Caesar at Ilerda (49), and were dismissed on promising not to serve again in the war. Afranius, regardless of his promise, joined Pompey at Dyrrhachium, and at the battle of Pharsalus (48) had charge of Pompey's camp. On the defeat of Pompey, Afranius, despairing of pardon from Caesar, went to Africa, and was present at the disastrous battle of Thapsus (46). Escaping from the field with a strong body of cavalry, he was afterwards taken prisoner, along with Faustus Sulla, by the troops of Sittius, and handed over to Caesar, whose veterans rose in tumult and put them to death.

See Hirtius, Bell. Afric. 95; Plutarch, Pompey; Dio Cassius xxxvii., xli.-xliii.; Caesar, B.C i. 57-87; Appian, B.C ii.; for the history of the period, articles on CAESAR and POMPEY.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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