Sextus Pompey

Sextus Pompey

Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey (c.67 BC-35 BC), was a Roman general from the late Republic (1st century BC). He was the last focus of opposition to the Second Triumvirate.

Sextus Pompeius was the youngest son of Pompey the Great (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) by his third wife, Mucia Tertia. His older brother was Gnaeus Pompeius, from the same mother. Both boys grew up in the shadow of their father, one of Rome's best generals and an originally non-conservative politician who drifted to the more traditional faction when Julius Caesar became a threat.

When Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, thus starting a civil war, Sextus' older brother Gnaeus followed their father in his escape to the East, as did most of the conservative senators. Sextus stayed in Rome in the care of his stepmother, Cornelia Metella. Pompey's army lost the battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC and Pompey himself had to run for his life. Cornelia and Sextus met him in the island of Lesbos and together they fled to Egypt. On the arrival, Sextus watched his father being killed by treachery on September 29 of the same year. After the murder, Cornelia returned to Rome, but in the following years Sextus joined the resistance against Caesar in the African provinces. Together with Metellus Scipio, Cato the younger, his brother Gnaeus and other senators, they prepared to oppose Caesar and his army to the end.

Caesar won the first battle at Thapsus in 46 BC against Metellus Scipio and Cato, who committed suicide. In 45 BC, Caesar managed to defeat the Pompeius brothers in the battle of Munda, in Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal). Gnaeus Pompeius was executed, but young Sextus escaped once more, this time to Sicily.

Back in Rome, Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March (March 15) 44 BC by a group of senators led by Cassius and Brutus. This incident did not lead to a return to normality, but provoked yet another civil war between Caesar's political heirs and his assassins. The second triumvirate was formed by Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus, with the intention of avenging Caesar and subduing all opposition. Sextus Pompeius in Sicily was certainly a rebellious man, but the Cassius and Brutus faction was the second triumvirate's first priority. Thus, with the whole island as his base, Sextus had the time and resources to develop an army and, even more importantly, a strong navy operated by Sicilian marines.

Brutus and Cassius lost the twin battles of Philippi and committed suicide in 42 BC. After this, the triumvirs turned their attentions to Sicily and Sextus.

But by this time, Sextus was prepared for strong resistance. In the following years, military confrontations failed to return a conclusive victory for either side, although in 40 BC Sextus' admiral, the freedman Menas seized Sardinia from Octavian's governor Marcus Lurius. In 39 BC, Sextus and the triumvirs signed for peace in the Pact of Misenum. The reason for this peace treaty was the anticipated campaign against the Parthian Empire. Antony, the leader, needed all the legions he could get so it was useful to secure an armistice in the Sicilian front.

The peace did not last for long. Octavian and Antony's frequent quarrels were a strong political motivation for resuming the war against Sextus. Octavian tried again to conquer Sicily, but he was defeated in the naval battle of Messina (37 BC) and again in August 36 BC. But Octavian had Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a very talented general, on his side. Only a month afterwards, Agrippa destroyed Sextus' navy off Naulochus cape. Sextus escaped to the East and, by abandoning Sicily, lost his only base of support.

Sextus Pompeius was caught in Miletus in 35 BC and executed without trial (an illegal act since Sextus was a Roman citizen) by order of Marcus Titius, Antony's minion. His violent death would be one of the weapons used by Octavian against Antony several years later, when the situation between the two reached a boiling point.

Sextus had married Scribonia. Scribonia was the daughter of Lucius Scribonius Libo, consul of 34 BC.


*48 BC - in Egypt with his father, who is assassinated
*47/45 BC – resistance in Africa
*45 BC - defeated in Munda
*42 BC - controls Sicily with a powerful navy
*39 BC - pact of Misenum with Octavianus and Antony
*37 BC - defeats Octavian off Messina
*36 BC -
**August, defeats Octavian
**September, defeated by Agrippa off Naulochus (Sicily)
*35 BC - captured and executed in Asia Minor (Miletus)

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sextus Pompeius — Magnus Pius (* um 67 v. Chr. in Rom; † 35 v. Chr. in Milet) war ein römischer Feldherr und Politiker. Nach dem Tod seines Vaters Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus wurde er Führer der pompeianischen Partei. Als die Caesarianer im Zweiten Triumvirat 43 v. Chr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pompey (disambiguation) — Pompey can refer to: * Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, also known as Pompey the Great Pompey the Triumvir) a Roman statesman * Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo father of Pompey the Great * Gnaeus Pompeius eldest son of Pompey the Great * Sextus Pompey… …   Wikipedia

  • Sextus Pompee — Sextus Pompée Denarius de Sextus Pompeius, célébrant une victoire navale sur Auguste Sextus Pompée (Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius) (v. 68 av. J. C. 35 av. J. C.) est le plus jeune fils du grand Pompée, et de sa troisième épouse Mucia Tertia. Il fut …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sextus Pompeius — Sextus Pompée Denarius de Sextus Pompeius, célébrant une victoire navale sur Auguste Sextus Pompée (Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius) (v. 68 av. J. C. 35 av. J. C.) est le plus jeune fils du grand Pompée, et de sa troisième épouse Mucia Tertia. Il fut …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pompey — For other uses, see Pompey (disambiguation). Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus Roman statue of Pompey, at the Villa Arconati a Castellazzo di Bollate (Milan, Italy). It was brought there from Rome in 1627 by Galeazzo Arconati. Born September 29, 106 BC …   Wikipedia

  • Sextus Pompée — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Sextus Pompeius (homonymie). Denarius de Sextus Pompeius, célébrant une victoire navale sur Auguste Sextus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sextus — (abbreviated as Sex. , the feminine form is Sexta , not to be confused with Sixtus) is a common ancient Roman praenomen. It probably means sixth (cf. Latin sextus , sixth ). Parallel praenomina are Secundus, Tertius, Quintus, Septimus, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Sextus Roscius — (fl. 1st century BC), tried in Rome for parricide in 80 B.C., was defended successfully by the young Cicero in his first major litigation. The defense involved some risk for Cicero, since he accused Lucius Cornelius Chrysogonus, a freedman of… …   Wikipedia

  • Sextus Pompeius (relatives of triumvir Pompey) — This article is about Sextus Pompeius, the paternal uncle of triumvir Pompey and the descendants from Pompey’s uncle. For Pompey’s son of the same name, see Sextus Pompeius . Brother to Pompeius StraboSextus Pompeius Virdoctus (flourished 2nd… …   Wikipedia

  • Pompey the Great — in full Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus born Sept. 29, 106, Rome died Sept. 28, 48 BC, Pelusium, Egypt Statesman and general of the Roman republic. His early military career was illustrious. He fought effectively for Sulla against Marius in the Social War …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.