Pompey

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Pompey the Great Gnaeus Pompeius, better known as Pompey, was born on September 29, 106 BC. He was four years older than Julius Caesar. Pompey’s father was a rich Roman noble, who was elected to the consul in 89 BC. Pompey distinguished himself as a great leader early in his life. In the civil war between Gaius Marius and Lucius Sulla, Pompey sided with Sulla. Sulla, with the help of Pompey, made some vary impressive defeats in Africa and Sicily. In 79 BC Sulla resigned and died the next year. Two of his patrons, who had fought for him, Pompey and Marcus Crassus, moved to leading military positions in the seventies. Crassus and Pompey fought together in a battle against a Marian rebel, Quintus Sertorius, and a slave rebellion lead by Spartacus in Italy. They returned, having won, in 71 BC. Pompey then spent time campaigning successfully in Rome before he was elected to consul, with Marcus Crassus for the year 70 BC. After Pompey served his time on Consul he was given command over the Mediterranean, where he did what nobody else had successfully done before. He rid it of Pirates. Pompey, then, went to various places, establishing an ally of the King of Armenia, capturing Jerusalem, and making Syria a Roman duty. Pompey was a great general, but not a very good politician. In 59 BC Pompey returned to Rome to find that tensions with himself and Crassus had grown. Both Crassus and Pompey had large armies, but also pieces of the city that were loyal to them. Cicero, the leader of the senate, allied himself with Pompey through great flattery. Cicero told Pompey that he must be the protector of the republic. Crassus had other plans, and by 57 BC both men were in Italy with their armies. Before war broke out Julius Caesar stepped in. Caesar being a neutral negotiator used these well-known talents and convinced Pompey, Crassus, and Cicero to meet. The men worked out an agreement. This settlement had never been made before among the leaders of Rome. Caesar convinced Crassus and Pompey to join their power and influence with his own. Caesar was a successful leader of Gaul at this time. So the three agreed, and formed what is today known as the First Triumvirate. During this time Pompey married, most likely for political reasons, Julia, Caesar's daughter. Two of the three men returned to Rome and forced the Senate to obey them.

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