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Pompey

Satisfactory Essays
Question: Account for Pompey’s rise to political prominence between 78- 62 BC. You are to examine and analyse political machinations of Pompey and attempt to explain how he managed to fulfil his ambition. You must establish a clear understanding of the complexities of the political situation and the effects of the Civil War.

Gnaeus Pompeius Crassus, better known as Pompey, or Pompey the Great, was born on September the 20th, 106 BC. Pompey was a Roman general and statesman, the erstwhile ally of Julius Caesar, but later his arch rival for power. Pompey was born in Rome into a senatorial family, and established an impressive military record. He brought an end to the Servile War instigated by the slave Spartacus; cleared the Mediterranean Sea of pirates; conquered the kingdoms of Pontus, Armenia and Syria; and captured Jerusalem in 61 BC. He entered Rome in triumph, but encountered opposition from the Senate. Pompey then formed an alliance, commonly called the First Triumvirate, with Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus.

The career of Pompeius opened in fraud and violence. It was instigated, in war and peace, through illegality and treachery. Pompey was a great general, but a bad politician. Pompey helped to end the slave revolt of Spartacus in 72 BC. Because of his leadership abilities, Pompey was elected consul in 70 BC. However, he ran into opposition in the senate, especially from Marcus Crassus, and returned to leading the army to more conquests.

Pompey was an opportunist, he worked by himself, all the while leading the senate to think that he was working with them. He manipulated the senate to make out that Caesar was dangerous. Pompey became the most powerful man in Rome. During the time of his political prominence, the senate was very weak. Because of Pompeys popularity with the public and his military ability, along with his opportunism, he rose to this political prominence by his political machinations. The Civil War between Gnaeus Marius and Lucius Sulla was a major factor that effected his political situation.

Pompey was a young, confident man who had a habit to boast of the magnitude of his clientela, to advertise monarchs and nations bound to his personal allegiance. (Ad fam. 9, 9, 2: ‘regum ac nationum clientelis quas oestentare crebro solebat). Pompey had from Thrance to the Causasus and down to Egypt acknowledging his predominance. The worship of power, paid homage to Pompey as a god, a saviour and a benefactor, devising before long a novel title, ‘the warden of earth and sea’.
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