Roman republic 5 70 s bc rise of pompey 106 48bc crassus 115 53bc and caesar 100 44bc
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Roman Republic 5 70’s BC Rise of Pompey (106-48BC) Crassus (115-53BC) and Caesar (100-44BC) PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Roman Republic 5 70’s BC Rise of Pompey (106-48BC) Crassus (115-53BC) and Caesar (100-44BC). AFTER SULLA (78BC). Undoing Sulla’s reforms favouring the Optimates began immediately he died . Lepidus was consul for 78BC a success of the Social war, and Sulla’s Proscriptions,

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Roman Republic 5 70’s BC Rise of Pompey (106-48BC) Crassus (115-53BC) and Caesar (100-44BC)

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Roman Republic 5 70’s BCRise of Pompey(106-48BC)Crassus(115-53BC)andCaesar(100-44BC)


  • Undoing Sulla’s reforms favouring the Optimates began immediately he died.

    • Lepidus was consul for 78BC

      • a success of the Social war, and Sulla’s Proscriptions,

    • A populare who’d won support from the urban poor

      • offering cheap corn, returning confiscated property, recalling exiles

    • Tried to restore the tribunate, was vetoed by the other consul, & attacked Rome

      • Scared senate declared a senatus consultum ultimum , and was killed in 77BC

    • Showed how easily the reforms of Sulla could be overturned.

  • Gnaeus Pompeius’ early career

    • Charismatic son of a successful “novus homo” senator from southeast Italy.

      • Campania (where Naples, Pompeii were) ,

    • Had helped out Sulla in the Social war with his private Army

      • Raised from among his Clients

      • HE’D defeated Sulla’s enemies in Sicily & Africa and Sulla reluctantly granted him an unprecedented Triumph (usually Consuls only) at 25 yrs of age (& against Romans).

    • Sulla sarcastically nicknamed him “the great” – Magnus,

      • Mocking his aspirations to copy Alexander & tried to downgrade his triumph (putting it on 3rd )

    • Senate had given him pro-praetorian imperium to fight Lepidus

      • when he attacked Rome (against Sulla’s reforms)

      • He executed Lepidus’ deputy, M Junius Brutus (father of Caesar’s assassin)

    • He resisted senate’s efforts to end his command,

      • suggesting he be sent with pro-consular rank to help the Roman governor of Spain with a rebellion (15 yrs too young).

      • One of Marius’s generals, Sertorius, was rebelling there

      • V young, he hadn’t even been elected to the lowest rung of the cursus honorum – so wasn’t even a senator

    • The rebellion ended when Sertorius was killed in battle in 71BC,

      • Pompey co-governed the Hispania province successfully

      • settled things there gently avoiding massacres & giving citizenship to loyal Spaniards.

  • Rome’s problems as Pompey rose to recognition

    • corrupt law courts

      • Still under senatorial control – and favouring upper class not urban poor’s interests

    • Spanish rebellion

      • Of Sulla’s supporter, Sertorius

    • Tribunes still not restored to power

    • Mithridates playing up again

    • Pirates threatening Rome’s corn supply

    • Spartacus led slave revolt 73/72BC (3rd Servile war)

      • A Thracian, had rebelled with 70 gladiators & raised a large army on Mt Vesuvius

      • Had many initial victories around Campania (at 1st Rome didn’t take him seriously sent only 7000 militia men).

      • He trained squads in gladitorial techniques exponentially ready for the consular armies of 72BC

      • They defeated these as he headed out of Italy across the alps, but then (mysteriously) turned back

      • Crassus given pro-consular power in Italy to put it down & 50,000 (8 legions). A feared general (decimation)

      • His legions headed off the rebels at the alps (why did he not escape Italy??) and was chased south to the toe.

      • Betrayed by pirates, captured by Crassus’ and crucified – (6,000)

      • Pompey, returning from Spain, helped mop up the Northern remnants (5000)

      • but he claimed his 2nd triumph upsetting Crassus (and his hoped for consulship).

    • Many feared a new civil war

  • Consulship of Pompey and Crassus (70BC).

    • Crassus – a tycoon from an old consular plebian family

      • Victims of the Marian purges

      • Successful in Sulla’s army, but eclipsed by Pompey throughout his military career (pipped for triumphs )

      • a tycoon ($170billion)– slave-hirer, land, silver mines and fire-brigade scammer (had defeated Spartacus)

      • though Pompey claimed this honour, (had cleaned up the leftovers when returning from Spain)

    • Crassus and Pompey formed a pact of alliance ‘amicitia’, and became consuls for 70BC

      • Better to work together, than to destroy each other

      • Even though Pompey was 6 yrs younger than the legal age limit and hadn’t worked up the cursus honorum

      • Senate gave him special dispensation and a 2nd Triumph, while Crassus only got an Ovation for Spartacus’ defeat

  • Pompey was the hero of the day

    • The victor of Sparticus (undeservedly)

    • With tribs because he favoured restoring the tribunate,

    • with equites because equestrian representation in courts

  • After 10 yrs most of Sulla’s reforms were now overturned,

    • the senate had failed to make the most of the opportunity he’ given it, and civil war was inevitable.

  • Both Pompey & Crassus reflected the senate’s conservatism (optimates) but was annoyed by their reforms

    • and both were shut both out of good military command after their term

    • Especially the war against Mithridates (which was rekindeld in 74BC).

    • Pompey especially had to struggle to get any command, and even then through the tribunes, not the senate

  • Rise of Caesar

    • Like Sulla, he was of the best patrician family

      • (tracing back to Venus and Aeneas)

      • had been out of cash and influence until his aunt married Marius, and they could again afford high office.

    • Young Caesar had fallen foul of Sulla for not divorcing his first wife

      • a daughter of Sulla’s opponent Cinna,

    • He’d fled Rome (until Sulla forgave him)

    • He’d been captured by pirates and ransomed

      • when returning from Rhetorics lessons in Rhodes,

      • fulfilled his promise to return, capture the pirates and crucified them.

    • Military tribune in 71, Quaestor in Spain in 68BC, with Pompey in his battle against the Pirates in 67BC.

  • Pompey defeats the Pirates 68/67BC

    • The Pirate problem blockading Rome’s corn (with Mithridates)

    • finally solved by a law (lex Gabinia) giving Pompey immense imperium

      • a 3yr imperium infinitum over the sea & proconsul status over land 80km inland plus men, ships, money.

    • In 3 months he had removed the problem and was declared “first Man in Rome”

      EX 10G pg 277

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