Pompey The Great

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Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, more commonly known as Pompey the Great, conquered

many lands during the 100’s BCE. As a young general, he had much to learn, that at an early

age, he had already distinguished himself as a great leader. Pompey’s term as consul

strengthened Rome, through his powerful and effective ruling.

Pompey’s rise in power as such a young general, could not have been accomplished

without the help of Sulla- one of Pompey’s father’s close friends. In the beginning of the Civil

War, between rivals Sulla and Marius, Pompey’s father supported Marius- so, by default, so did

Pompey. Soon after the death of Pompey’s father, he provided his army and resources to Sulla.

The people he once was trying to help, he was now mercilessly executing, and these Marion

leaders could do nothing but surrender (Cawthorne 20). Sulla, impressed by Pompey’s

demeanor, allowed him to join forces with him, which was the first step to Pompey’s rise to

glory. He soon sent him to Picenum, Eastern Italy, Sicily, and Africa to wipe out the rest of the

Marion leaders (Grossman OL). At this young age of about 23, Pompey was given a triumph

although he was still an equestrian or low in power. Sulla was not necessarily happy about

giving Pompey the triumph, since he had just finished celebrating his own, and was not certain

Pompey deserved it (Roberts 595). After this parade, was when people started to call him

Pompey “the Great.” Because of how grateful and impressed Sulla was, Pompey was then

married to Sulla’s stepdaughter.

After this marriage, things started to become complicated within Pompey and Sulla’s

relationship. Sulla began to notice Pompey’s growing prestige and they hit a bump (Everitt 73...

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... element of surprise, since a lot of

Pompey’s army was elsewhere. Caesar knew it would take time for Pompey to organize his

army, so he attacked. His tactic worked and his legendary speed surprised Pompey and threw all

of Rome into a panic. One by pne people began to lose confidence in Pompey and blame him for

what happened (Freeman 244). He narrowly escaped death at his camp when it was attacked, and

decided to take refuge with King Ptolemy of Egypt. However, Ptolemy didn’t want to offend

Caesar, the obvious winner. So as soon as Pompey stepped on shore he was shot and killed

(Lawthorne 21).

Although he lost, Pompey had helped Rome as a whole with his organized and powerful

ruling. This young general accomplished a lot until his death, much more than many others.

People such as Pompey have helped to strengthen Rome, and create history.
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