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Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire$
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Kit Morrell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755142.001.0001

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Pompey and the reforms of 70

Pompey and the reforms of 70

(p.22) 1 Pompey and the reforms of 70
Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire

Kit Morrell

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the programme Pompey implemented as consul in 70 to address the related problems of exploitation in the provinces and corruption in the courts. It is suggested that Pompey did not intend to change the composition of juries. Instead, his solution consisted of the election of censors to remove the senate’s most corrupt members; a call for stricter trials, starting with the ‘show trial’ of Gaius Verres; and the promotion of better standards of provincial governance. The key evidence comes from Cicero’s Verrines: Pompey backed the prosecution of Verres both for the sake of his Sicilian clients and as part of his broader programme for the provinces, and Cicero’s speeches reflect Pompey’s policy. Pompey’s refusal of his consular province and legislation subsequently put in place by the tribunes of 67 can also be understood in connection with Pompey’s programme of provincial reform.

Keywords:   Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Marcus Tullius Cicero, Gaius Verres, Cicero Verrines, Roman provinces, Corruption, Juries, Censors, Criminal trials

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