Gnaeus Pompeius was a highly
successful Roman general & statesman in the last decades of the
Roman Republic. He played a key role in the victory of the patrician
Cornelius Sulla during the civil war with supporters of the populist
Gaius Marius (84-78
After re-conquering Spain, Pompey returned
to Italy to help M. Licinius Crassus end the slave rebellion led by
the gladiator Spartacus (71
BCE). This led to his election as consul
of Rome (70
Most of the next decade he spent in the eastern
Mediterranean consolidating Roman control of Asia Minor & Syria.
He stifled a civil war in Judea by intervening in the sibling feud
II & Hyrcanus
II. His conquest of Jerusalem
BCE) not only subordinated the Jewish state to Rome but ended
monarchy. On the other hand,
his support for Antipater
paved the way for the Herodian
dynasty & involved the
rulers of Judea
in Roman politics for more than century.
In the short run, however, Pompey's
absence from Rome allowed his conservative critics in the Senate to
take control of the capitol & to veto his plans for land reform.
Though himself a patrician, Pompey formed an alliance with two other
reform-minded generals, Crassus & Julius
Caesar, to form the first triumvirate (60 BCE).
His election with Crassus as consuls in 55 BCE
was the last popular election in Rome before the Republic collapsed in civil war.
To cement the union, Pompey married Caesar's only daughter, Julia. But Caesar's ambitions led to a rift between the triumvirs. When
Caesar brought his army into Italy in open defiance of the Senate
after his conquest of Gaul (50 BCE),
Pompey was chosen to lead the
defense of the state. His naval blockade temporarily forced Caesar
to abandon Italy & head east. But Pompey suffered a disastrous
defeat at Farsala, Greece (48 BCE).
Cut off from his own fleet, he
sought support in Egypt from his client Ptolemy
XIII, brother &
co-regent of Cleopatra VII. Instead,
on his arrival he was assassinated by the advisors of his young host.
34, 41-82, 104-105, 123-127, 144, 268.
1.119, 127-160, 179, 183-187, 195-196, 201, 216, 343.
______, Against Apion
Cassius Dio, Roman
36.17-20, 23-37, 42-48, 52-54.
13-23, 43-44, 49-50, 56.
39.6, 9, 24-26, 30-32, 38-39, 55-56, 60-64.
25, 40, 43-63.
Plutarch, Pompey 1-80.
______, Caesar 13-15, 21, 25, 28-48.
Caesar, Civil Wars
1.2-3, 6-19, 23-39, 53, 60;
3.10-13, 18-22, 29-30, 40-63, 69-110.
Other resources on line: