The author of the article contests the hypothesis advanced by A.V. Koptev that in the late 80s and in 70s BC Pompey was not a privatus cum imperio, but had twice obtained praetorship and thereby held military commands. It is argued in the article that the theoretical model of imperium and its relationship with auspicia and lex curiata developed by A.V. Koptev contains inherent logical contradictions, and the evidence on which it is based is characterized elsewhere as unreliable by A.V. Koptev himself. Besides, his analysis of the political events of the last decades of the Republic contains a number of factual errors substantially undermining his argumentation. Finally, A.V. Koptev has not succeeded in refuting convincingly the bulk of ancient evidence according to which Pompey had been privatus cum imperio before his first consulship. The author of the article considers improbable A.V. Koptev’s view that all this evidence does not reflect the reality, but only political propaganda.