Proconsul Sertorius

Tsirkin Yuliy B.

Epigraphic finds in Spain prove that Sertorius was a proconsul, as it is also shown by Plutarch’s data. The question arises: how could Sertorius take up this post without being a con- sul. Before Sulla’s law, a person who had not been a consul could well become a proconsul, but after the 2nd Punic war this practice was abandoned. Sertorius was an active opponent of the Sullan party in 87 BC and after their victory receded into the background, thus becoming a leader of the «opposition» party which he tried to organise within the anti-Sullan camp. It is not improbable that Sertorius was officially elected proconsul at the comitia (perhaps on Car- bo’s initiative) with the purpose of uniting anti-Sullan forces and sending away Sertorius to the periphery of the Roman world. For some time Sertorius was unaware of his new position, but then, realising that he would not be able to play the leading role in Italy, he tried to create his own stronghold in Spain. Refusing to acknowledge Sulla and the governors he had ap- pointed, Sertorius considered himself legally elected proconsul even during his second arrival on the Pyrenean Peninsula.

Keywords: Proconsul Sertorius, Plutarch, Spain, Pyrenean Peninsula