The Five Wives of Pompey the Great

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This article details the romantic life of Pompey. He had five wives over the course of forty years. They were all made as political alliances and used to further his career. His first two wives, Antistia and Aemilia, were subject to quick divorces and public humiliation because they weren’t able to hold on to Pompey. He did not have any children from them and they suffered diminished reputations. As a result, some contemporaries of Pompey wrote that the reason that they divorced was because of Pompey’s dedication to his career and ambition. It was a reflection of the times and the sanctity of marriage. Marriage was not for love, it was for political gains and social climbing. His first marriage was to the daughter of a praetor, because Antistius saw potential and abilities and he was impressed. However, shortly after that, Sulla began to take notice of Pompey as well, and wanted to arrange an alliance. So he offered up his stepdaughter, Aemilia. He divorced his first wife and remarried the second. However, soon after that, he met and was arranged to marry Mucia, the daughter of Mucius Scaelova. From this marriage, Pompey had a lot more to gain than from the other two marriages. This marriage was unusual because it lasted for seventeen years and Pompey had three children with Mucia. They also divorced, but not so he could remarry. There were allegations that she was unfaithful, and that angered Pompey. However, both men and women were unfaithful during these times so marriages were not usually ended over infidelity. This marriage could have ended over adultery or political endeavors for Pompey. During the period between wives, Pompey was described to be both a loving and devoted husband, faithful and caring to his wives, but also to be ambitious and brutal to his wives and unforgiving and careless. I think he had a little bit of both in him. With the right wife, he would have been caring, but with one he did not want to be with, it would be difficult to be kind...
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