Asses the Role of Pompey as a Significant Military Leader

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Pompey was crucial and significant during the period of the rise and fall of Rome, steadily yet surely he increased ranks within the Roman politics order via Military and Political events. Despite coming form a Cinna family (enemy of Sulla) Pompey became a strong leader along side Sulla. Only to derail from Sulla’s beliefs and order that he so idolised, to grow and lead on his own.

Pompey’s rise to political power (which was the strongest of powers in Rome) was highly based on his military techniques and endeavours. The revolt of Lepidus in 77BC began ironically by Lepidus agreeing to an oath to not fight between consuls, but the Populares still arrived only years later with an army to rebel against Sulla’s reforms and Cursus Honorum. This army was lead by Himself and Brutus. The senate seeing Lepidus as a threat, granted Pompey Propraetorian imperium, the power to guide an army, for the second time (*) to assist Catalus. Catulus defeated Lepidus, and shortly after Brutus fell to Pompey, and was killed. Not all of the army of Lepidus were killed, and they fled to Spain in search of a new leader, as they were an army, not wanting to split and return home. As they reached Spain they joined under power with Sertorius, a Roman rebel leader. Pompey, already admired with his efforts against Lepidus, wanted to boost his glory, in doing so he ignored Catulus’s orders to disband his army to be granted the permission to fight along side Metellus against Sertorius. These efforts were once again successful for persuasive Pompey and he was granted a third illegal imperium as they also had no choice as Sertorius became more fearful. Again the fear of being taken over or destruction of what Sulla had created, including the powerful senate standings, had been left on the, extremely willing, Pompey, who gladly took the place next to Metellus and after most of the defeat had passed, Pompey arrives to ‘clear off’ the handful of Sertorius’ army only to arrive home in all glory as being the main contender in the win over Sertorius. The allies of Sertorius in Spain were treated humanely by Pompey, and strategically became a profitable investment for Rome as he granted some citizenship. (*) Pompey’s early relations with Sulla had granted him his first propraetorian imperium. These actions were unheard of as Pompey firstly had no political power and was far below the requisite age. This was against Sulla’s own reforms during his own time under his own observation. This occasion was the start of Pompey as a powerful politically strong Roman with the help of Sulla and the senates need and lengths they would go to remain in power. After Pompey had been successful against the Marians, Sulla stated him as ‘Magnus’ (great), Pompey began to grow, not only in power but in self belief and strength, demanding a triumph for his efforts. Pompey states ‘that more people worship the rising than the setting sun’ implying that he, who is growing will gain respect and power whilst the old, setting men will fall, referring to Sulla. Sulla again disobeyed his own reforms that were based on age, experience and political power and gave in to his requests. At this time, Sulla as well as senators noticed that Pompey was beginning to rise, reputation wise and politically and his significance in Rome’s wellbeing became more and more crucial. The senate made efforts to reduce Pompey’s input into the security of Rome as the situation became more obvious. Sallust quotes Pompey towards the senate “For after having exposed me, in spite of my youth, to a cruel war, you have, so far as in you lay, destroyed me and my faithful army, the most wretched of all deaths, starvation.” [1] Yet he always remained the one of power, experience and military ‘appeal’

Piracy in the periods of 80-70BC in the Mediterranean sea was widespread and was a large problem, but never concerned Rome or its crucial provinces. Large farm owners dismissed the pirates as sometimes they...
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