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(Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus) (pŏm`pē), 106 B.C.–48 B.C., Roman general, the rival of Julius CaesarCaesar, Julius
(Caius Julius Caesar), 100? B.C.–44 B.C., Roman statesman and general. Rise to Power

Although he was born into the Julian gens, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome, Caesar was always a member of the democratic or popular party.
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. Sometimes called Pompey the Great, he was the son of Cnaeus Pompeius Strabo (consul in 89 B.C.), a commander of equivocal reputation. The young Pompey fought for SullaSulla, Lucius Cornelius
, 138 B.C.–78 B.C., Roman general. At the height of his career he assumed the name Felix. He served under Marius in Africa and became consul in 88 B.C., when Mithradates VI of Pontus was overrunning Roman territory in the east.
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 in Picenum, in Sicily, and in Africa so successfully that Sulla allowed him to enter Rome in triumph and receive (81 B.C.) the title Magnus. He helped drive (77 B.C.) LepidusLepidus
, family of the ancient Roman patrician gens Aemilia. Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, d. 152 B.C., was a consul in 187 and 175 B.C., a censor in 179 B.C., and pontifex maximus [high priest] from 180 B.C.
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 from Italy and went (76 B.C.) to Spain to fight the remnants of the Marius party led by SertoriusSertorius, Quintus
, d. 72 B.C., Roman general. He was a general under Marius but did not take part in Marius' proscriptions. Sertorius was appointed governor of Farther Spain in 83 B.C. but fled to Africa to escape the reprisals of Sulla. He later was summoned (80 B.C.
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. After this he returned (72 B.C.) to Italy and helped to end the slave revolt of SpartacusSpartacus
, d. 71 B.C., leader in an ancient Italian slave revolt, b. Thrace. He broke out (73 B.C.) of a gladiators' school at Capua and fled to Mt. Vesuvius, where many fugitives joined him.
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. Although he was not legally eligible, he was elected consul in 70 B.C.; he supported laws restoring the powers of the tribunes and forcing the senate to share some of the magistracies with the knights. Pompey's main career as a general began in 67 B.C., when he was commissioned by the law proposed by Aulus Gabinius to destroy the pirates infesting the Mediterranean. From this success he went on to vanquish Mithradates VIMithradates VI
(Mithradates Eupator) , c.131 B.C.–63 B.C., king of Pontus, sometimes called Mithradates the Great. He extended his empire until, in addition to Pontus, he held Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, and the Black Sea coast beyond the Caucasus.
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 and Tigranes, king of Armenia. He next annexed Syria and Palestine and began the Roman organization of the East. In 62 B.C. he returned to Rome. The senate, jealous and ungrateful, had been influenced by the MetellusMetellus
, ancient Roman family of the plebeian gens Caecilia. Lucius Caecilius Metellus, d. c.221 B.C., consul (251 B.C.), fought in the First Punic War. He was pontifex maximus (from 243) and was said to have been blinded (241) in rescuing the Palladium from the burning
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 faction of senatorial extremists, who eventually drove Pompey into alliance with their deadly enemy, Caesar. The First Triumvirate was established in 60 B.C., and Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey became rulers of Rome. Pompey profited least from the combination. He was never popular, and his residence in Rome, while Caesar was away, diminished his hold on the people. At the same time the irresponsible behavior of ClodiusClodius
(Publius Clodius Pulcher) , d. 52 B.C., Roman politician. He belonged to the Claudian gens (see Claudius), and his name is also written as Publius Claudius Pulcher. He was brother to Appius Claudius Pulcher and to the notorious Clodia. In 62 B.C.
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 and Pompey's own inclinations made him more and more sympathetic to the senate. The relations of Pompey and Caesar, however strained, were always amicable while Pompey's wife Julia, Caesar's daughter, was alive, but after her death (54 B.C.) Pompey became Caesar's jealous enemy. Finally, after the disorders of the gangs organized by Clodius and MiloMilo
(Titus Annius Papianus Milo), 95 B.C.–47 B.C., Roman partisan leader. As tribune of the people (57 B.C.) he obtained the recall from exile of Cicero. At the insistence of Pompey, Milo hired a gang to fight the gang of Clodius.
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, in 52 B.C., Pompey received the sole consulship as the leader of the senatorial party. He made Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio his colleague. Caesar broke with the senate and crossed (49 B.C.) the Rubicon, and the civil war began. Pompey was defeated at Pharsalus (48 B.C.) and fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated.


See M. Beard and M. Crawford, Rome in the Late Republic (1985).

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called Pompey the Great; Latin name Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus. 106--48 bc, Roman general and statesman; a member with Caesar and Crassus of the first triumvirate (60). He later quarrelled with Caesar, who defeated him at Pharsalus (48). He fled to Egypt and was murdered
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