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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 in the east

Pompey in the east

(p.57) 2 Pompey in the east
Pompey, Cato, and the Governance of the Roman Empire

Kit Morrell

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Pompey’s eastern campaigns of the 60s and the ideal of ethical imperialism he sought to embody. The emphasis on moral virtue even above martial qualities familiar from Cicero’s speech Pro Lege Manilia appears also in accounts of the pirate war, the Mithridatic campaign, and Pompey’s triumph. Pompey consistently demonstrated a preference for bloodless victories and humane treatment that extended even to pirates, while his financial organization of the east, though it brought great profits to Rome and to Pompey himself, accorded with Roman ‘best practice’ and does not negate his ethical achievement in other areas. Finally, the chapter considers possible Stoic (particularly Posidonian) influences on Pompey and suggests that he pursued a ‘cosmopolitan’ vision of empire that, if not influenced by Stoicism, had much in common with it.

Keywords:   Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey), Mithridatic war, Stoic philosophy, Posidonius, Roman triumph, Publicani, Pirates, Cicero Pro Lege Manilia

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