Pompey’s imperium in 77 BC and Its Political Context

Korolenkov Anton V.

The article is devoted to Pompey’s appointment in 77 BC during the wars against Lepidus and Sertorius. According to the author, in the case of the campaign against Lepidus Pompey became a propraetor rather than a legatus pro praetore, and got his powers not from the Senate but from the interrex App. Claudius. In his eventual province Pompey might have succeeded not the propraetor Calidius as is usually supposed but the proconsul Domitius Calvinus. During the debate in the Senate about his appointment in Hispania Citerior Pompey did not menace the Senate by having the army but had a previous political arrangement with L. Marcius Philippus and his supporters ready to take his side. They got the appointment through despite some passive resistance in the Senate. The award of the proconsular imperium to Pompey in spite of his being a mere eques was motivated not only by the dire situation in Spain and Pompey’s military abilities, but also by the loyalty of battle-ready troops who were ready to follow him to Spain and were mainly paid by himself.

Keywords: civil wars in Rome, Gnaeus Pompey, Lucius Marcius Philippus, the revolt of Lepidus, Sertorian War, extraordinary command in Rome

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